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New Book Range Launches with Titles From Doctor Who Authors (And Proofed by the DWC’s Editor)

Two Doctor Who authors have written books for another much-loved TV franchise, The Raccoons.

Fans will instantly recognise John Peel, whose Cry Wolf! launches the brand-new Raccoons range, just as his Timewyrm: Genesys launched the Virgin New Adventures line of Doctor Who fiction in 1991. Similarly, Iain McLaughlin’s contributions to the Whoniverse are extensive, taking into account a wealth of stories for UNIT, Short Trips, and the Lethbridge-Stewart series; not to mention his co-creating the audio companion, Erimem, for Big Finish’s The Eye of the Scorpion in 2001.

Created by Kevin Gillis, The Raccoons was originally shown in the UK on the BBC in the mid-1980s and 1990s, bringing in generations of dedicated viewers with its mix of anarchic humour, environmental messages, magnetic storytelling – and a range of colourful, memorable characters like Bert Raccoon, his best friend Cedric Sneer, Melissa and Ralph, Schaeffer the dog, and, of course, the dastardly pink aardvark, Cyril Sneer.

These three books – Cry Wolf!, The One That Got Away, and Blast from the Past! – mark the first time the Canadian franchise has released children’s novels. And so, publisher Candy Jar Books has assembled a hit crew of authors well-versed in writing for big kids and small kids alike to deliver these engaging, funny, and innovative tales. Kevin says:

“We’re delighted to be working with Candy Jar Books in releasing a set of stories featuring the Raccoons, and the characters of the Evergreen Forest, for the very first time. Candy Jar has brought together a great team of well-known authors to write these novels. They have done an incredible job capturing the drama, mystery, and comedy of the series for a great co-reading book experience.”

Away from The Raccoons, John Peel is synonymous with the Daleks! In the 1990s, he became one of a very limited number of writers to adapt Terry Nation’s and David Whitaker’s Dalek scripts into Target novelisations. After adapting The Chase, Mission to the Unknown, The Power of the Daleks, and The Evil of the Daleks, John also contributed War of the Daleks and Legacy of the Daleks to the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures range.

Peel, of course, has a history of working on cult classics, having written numerous titles under the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and The Next Generation, James Bond, Jr., and Are You Afraid of the Dark? banners. While McLaughlin is the former editor of Britain’s longest-running comic, The Beano, he’s also written for The Tomorrow People, Blake’s 7, and Sherlock Holmes.

But Doctor Who fans will know Iain best for his Erimem novels, as well as audio adventures like Human Conflict in The Churchill Years: Volume 2; the UNIT instalments, The Wasting and Time Heals; and the Doctor Who Magazine exclusive, The Veiled Leopard. His Raccoons book, The One That Got Away, is sure to tug at heartstrings, and, focusing on river pollution at a time when over 80% of young people want to take action against climate change, it’s an ideal read for youngsters, or indeed anyone environmentally-minded.

Cry Wolf! and The One That Got Away are joined by Blast from the Past!, written by Chris McGuire, who launched Hacker T Dog on CBBC, and developed and wrote the BAFTA-winning Me:TV.

Oh, and all three books have been proof-edited by me — as someone who loved watching The Raccoons as a kid (… and adult), this was an amazing, inspiring project to work on. I loved every second.

Each book has seven chapters, designed to be read by children alongside their parents across a week. They also have QR codes that allow readers to access additional interactive video and music content.

Cry Wolf!, The One That Got Away, and Blast from the Past! by Candy Jar Books are out now. The titles will be distributed by the Books Council of Wales, and will be available from Gardners, Peters, Waterstones, Amazon, and your local independent bookstore.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

New Book Range Launches with Titles From Doctor Who Authors (And Proofed by the DWC’s Editor)

by Philip Bates time to read: 3 min
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