A script written by the the late Douglas Adams (well known author of The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy) will now become a novel penned by author James Goss.
City Of Death featured Tom Baker in a four part dramatisation back in 1979. With over 16 million viewers it rates as one of the most accomplished groups of episodes to date.
Set in Paris, the Doctor and Romana encounter the evil Scarlioni (Julian Glover). Scarlioni attempts to invent time-travel in a complex plot involving Leonardo da Vinci. This venture has serious implications to life on Earth and the Doctor steps in to save the day.
Biographer to Douglas Adams, Jem Roberts, explains the script had to be put together in a rush after it had been abandoned by previous writer David Fisher due to personal problems. Adams, a script editor at the time, explained how producer Graham Williams, in preparation for the work:
Took me back to his place, locked me in his study and hosed me down with whisky and black coffee for a few days
James Goss, already with 2 Doctor Who novels to his name, as well as having produced a radio version of ‘Shada’ (another Douglas Adams creation) explains in an interview with The Guardian how Adams himself was approached to write novels from his own scripts:
they even said they’d pay double. But he [Adams] thanked them politely and declined, and used his ideas in other books.
However Goss has now taken up the gauntlet, but says:
When you’re essentially ghost-writing, and for someone as good as Douglas Adams, you know readers will say ‘That’s not how Adams would have done it’
Still, James Goss remains undaunted by the task, and his novel inspired by Adams’ City of Death will be published by BBC Books on the 21st of May.