The New Adventures were a series of original, full-length Doctor Who novels published by Virgin Books. They continued the adventures of the Seventh Doctor after the TV story Survival. As the books were geared for an older audience, they included mature themes, strong language, violence, and sexual elements.
Following the broadcast of the 1996 TV movie, BBC Books took over the license for publishing original Doctor Who fiction, although there was an overlap of more than a year to allow Virgin to publish its contracted novels until mid 1997. After the Eighth Doctor novel The Dying Days, the New Adventures continued with Bernice as the main character in the Virgin Bernice Summerfield New Adventures.
Virgin launched two spin-off lines following the initial success of the NA line: the Decalogs, a series of five short story collections, and the Missing Adventures, chronicling the adventures of the first six Doctors.
From 1999 onward, Big Finish adapted several novels for audio by Big Finish, either directly or altered to omit the Doctor and focus on Summerfield. In 2007, the New Adventures novel Human Nature was adapted as the television episodes Human Nature and The Family of Blood.
Although the continuity of the Virgin books were initially ignored by the BBC Books lines, this was eventually relaxed and references to New and Missing Adventures began to appear. In DWM 482, Steven Moffat described the New Adventures as "a separate (and equally valid) continuity" to the BBC Wales television series.
- The New Adventures introduced a few new companions into the life of the Doctor: Bernice Summerfield (debuting in Love and War), Roz Forrester and Chris Cwej (debuting in Original Sin) and Wolsey the cat (debuting in Human Nature).
- Ace was written out in Love and War and left the Doctor before reuniting with him in Deceit. During the intervening three years, she changed considerably. Ace left a second time, permanently, in Set Piece. Ace's character development and departure were contradicted by later media.
- Apart from the novels, a few of the comics and audios take place specifically in the New Adventures continuity. These feature the Seventh Doctor, Bernice, and the older version of Ace.
- Eternity Weeps portrays the death (some years in the future, from the viewpoint of readers when the book first came out) of the Third Doctor's companion, Liz Shaw.
- The New Adventures were linked in several major ways to Virgin's Missing Adventures line.
- A story strand which originated in Blood Harvest continued into the first Missing Adventure Goth Opera in an effort to get readers to buy both books.
- Shakedown and Lords of the Storm both featured the Sontarans in the same month.
- The Missing Adventure Cold Fusion featured both the Fifth Doctor and the Seventh Doctor alongside Roz, Chris Cwej, and the Fifth Doctor's companions.
- The novel Shakedown was itself an adaptation of the Reeltime Pictures production Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans, greatly expanded to include the Doctor.
- In Big Finish Productions' Bernice Summerfield series, audio adaptations of Birthright and Just War modified the novels to remove Doctor Who elements to which Big Finish did not yet have the rights.
- The novel Human Nature was adapted into the two-part story Human Nature/The Family of Blood in Series 3 of BBC Wales' Doctor Who.
- Love and War was directly adapted by Big Finish into an audio drama in 2012. This was followed by The Highest Science, Damaged Goods, Theatre of War, All-Consuming Fire and Original Sin.
Production notes Edit
- Following the broadcast of the 1996 TV movie, BBC Books took over the license for publishing original Doctor Who fiction, but there was an overlap of more than a year to allow Virgin to publish its contracted novels. As a result, the book line changed its branding, the Doctor Who logo on the front cover and spine was removed beginning with the publication of Eternity Weeps.
- So Vile a Sin was the final book to be published featuring the Doctor, but it was published out of narrative sequence due to delays preventing its completion. The death of a major character in that book was meant to be a surprise, but because of the production delay this was no longer possible, and the novel was adapted accordingly: its prologue began with the funeral for the character, and the event was made an intrinsic part of the narrative, rather than a shock conclusion.