Tag: Penguin Books

Longtime ‘Doctor Who’ Writer Loses Book Deal Over Transphobic Tweets

A new anthology of stories based on The Doctor Who has dropped Gareth Roberts, a former writer for the BBC TV sci-fi show, for transphobic tweets.


Gareth Roberts

Image Via Doctor Who.TV

The Doctor Who: The Target Storybook is an upcoming anthology that contains both prequels, sequels, and spin-off set in the Doctor Who universe. It’s from Ebury Publishing, an imprint BBC Books, set out for this October.

Penguin Books lists the writers as “Terrance Dicks, Matthew Sweet, Simon Guerrier, Colin Baker, Matthew Waterhouse Jenny T Colgan, Una McCormack, Steve Cole, Vinay Patel, George Mann, Susie Day, Mike Tucker, Joy Wilkinson, Beverly Sanford,” and advertises that “[w]ith contributions from show luminaries past and present, the Target Storybook is a once-in-a-lifetime tour round the wonders of the Whoniverse”.

Notably, Gareth Roberts has been taken off the list.


Still from "The Lodger"

Image Via TV Club – The AV Club

Gareth Roberts has only scripted episodes such as The Lodger and Closing Time (to name a few,) but he’s written a range of Doctor Who spin-off novels and comic stripes for the Doctor Who Magazine.

Thus he was contacted and commissioned to the write a story for the upcoming anthology. He submitted it, and it got leaked online. He claims “a section” of the Doctor Who fandom “agitated” for his removal, and other contributors threatened to withdraw if he was involved.


Dr. Who

Image Via Pink News

Back in Pink News wrote in 2017 how Gareth Roberts’ Twitter tirades.

Come the announcement of the new book, if the fandom is anything like me, you looked up the authors of this anthology. Who will be adding to the Doctor Who universe? What have they done? What can we expect?

Thus the tweets were found and, as Bleeding Cool notes, “[n]aturally, this caused some backlash, as his comments can be seen as deeply offensive. And some are left wondering whether his connection with Doctor Who has left others who identify as trans too uncomfortable to work on the show, or even blocked their access to it.”

Fellows author has writing for the anthology came out against Gareth Roberts as well.


According to Gareth Roberts, he’s never met them, however he has since deleted his tweets.

Pink News grabbed a screenshot. That is below:


Gareth Roberts' history of anti-trans slurs

Image Via Pink News

Gareth Roberts, also about the potential for a public apology:

Some have urged me to make a full, obeisant apology. Even if I was inclined to, I don’t think it would have any effect at all – for example, Helen Lewis of The New Statesman is currently being monstered for the most careful, respectful piece on this issue. I’m not bothered very much by words though I’m bothered when they distress my friends and family. But then, that’s how intimidation works. That’s why intimidators intimidate. (And I know for a fact it would be much worse for a woman in this position.)

He also notes in the last paragraph that, “My opinions on transgenderism are neither extreme nor unusual.” He also notes he will not have to give back the back money he received for the story.

The Guardian quotes a Ebury Publishing spokeswoman as saying, “Comments made by the author on social media using offensive language about the transgender community have caused upset to Doctor Who fans and conflict with our values as a publisher.”

From Ebury Publishing, an imprint BBC BooksThe Doctor Who: The Target Storybook will be out this October.



Featured Image Via Instinct Magazine

Lady Chatterly's Lover up for Auction

Export Ban on Judge’s Copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover

In October 2018, a copy of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover went up for auction and went for £56,000, more than the expected £15,000. The only issue is that this book belonged to a judge, Sir Laurence Byrne.

Lawrence wrote the book just before his death, and it was only published in Italy and France in 1920. the book was seen to be too scandalous to publish in the U.K. That changed in 1960 when Penguin Books decided to go ahead with the publication. The publishing house was then put on trial for obscenity.


D.H. Lawrence author of Lady Chatterly's Lover

image via the new york times

Now, a copy of the book has been banned from leaving the U.K. 

The paperback contains the original markings by judge Sir Laurence Byrne’s wife Lady Dorothy, highlight sexually explicit content. Lady Dorothy also kept running notes, keeping track of passages and page numbers, where she had added her own comments.

The publisher was eventually found not guilty, which made the trial that much more sensational. The case served as a test of the previously passed 1959 Obscene Publications Act, beginning the divide between the old establishment and a new era.

The book was purchased at auction for £56,250 last year, but the buyer wants to take it abroad. According to the BBC, “those who want to export items of cultural significant from the UK must apply for a licence.” The temporary block on the book’s export means that anyone interested in purchasing the book has until August 9th to make this known, and an additional three months in which to secure the cost.

Featured Image Via Justcollecting News