Many of you will remember the first time you saw Doctor Who and were scared witless by the Daleks, the Cybermen or any of the other grotesque (but often slightly wobbly) creatures and foes the Doctor faced in his travels around the galaxy. Now a whole new generation of fans are discovering the adventures of the Time Lord in his 50th year and while the special effects have improved, the show’s magic and ability to scare young and old alike is as powerful as ever.
Gerry Anderson went on record for the 30th anniversary of Doctor Who to say that “one of the greatest tragedies…” of his life was that his son Jamie Anderson was a Doctor Who fan. It certainly seems fitting, therefore, that Jamie has now contributed to a book of celebrity memories of Doctor Who. The book was originally self-published by Steve Berry after he witnessed the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s on his mother Janet in the final years of her life. She passed away in 2009 and Steve decided to raise money to help fight this terrible disease. A life-long Doctor Who fan, Steve approached former Doctor Who stars, writers and crew as well as celebrities to ask them to share their personal memories of the show. Jamie contributed to this new edition of the book, which seemed a fitting tribute to his father Gerry Anderson, who died last year from Alzheimer’s disease.
For Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary Year, Gollancz is republishing Behind the Sofa in a new edition with new contributions including Bernard Cribbins, Sophia Myles and Lindsay Duncan as well as former Who scriptwriter turned bestselling Gollancz novelist Ben Aaronovitch, as well as Jamie Anderson. The book also features illustrations from Doctor Who magazine artist Ben Morris who also designed the original edition.
Steve will be donating 100% of his royalties from the book to Alzheimer’s Research UK, which is also one of Orion, Gollancz’s parent company, company charities for 2013.
“When I conceived the book, I wanted it to fulfil two purposes; firstly, to raise a TARDIS-load of cash for scientific research into the dementia that affected my mum; and secondly, to show just how vibrantly Doctor Who can live on in the memories of those who experience it,” said Steve. “Just as the Doctor’s various incarnations have proved increasingly popular with viewers over the years, I hope that the newly regenerated edition of this book will go from strength to strength.”