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Bookmark and Share Lethbridge Stewart: 50th Anniversary Novels

4/22/2018 07:45:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books have announced the forthcoming release of a new series of novels celebrating fifty years of the Brigadier!

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Laughing Gnome (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Laughing Gnome

December 2011, and the Lethbridge-Stewart clan are gathering. The patriarch, Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is not well. In fact, he’s dying.

He’s determined to face his end with dignity. He has lived a long life, seen a lot of strange things, saved the world more times than he can count, but he has also made a lot of mistakes.

What if he had a chance to revisit some of those mistakes?




In 1968, Doctor Who viewers were introduced to the character Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart.

Created by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln for the serial, The Web of Fear, Lethbridge-Stewart returned the following year in The Invasion, now promoted from colonel to the brigadier in command of UNIT. A legend of Doctor Who was born, and the Brigadier (as he became to be known) continued as regular fixture in Doctor Who until 1976, alongside both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. He would return to the series several times during the 1980s, and be mentioned often in the revived series from 2005, with a guest appearance in Doctor Who spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and his daughter, Kate, was introduced to the series in 2011 as a semi-regular feature. Beyond the TV series, the Brigadier has enjoyed a long life in spin-off media, including novels, short stories, audio plays, comics and, of course, his own series of novels with Candy Jar since 2015.

To celebrate this milestone, Candy Jar Books is releasing a series of six titles. The first five fall under the banner of The Laughing Gnome, and follows Sir Alistair, Brigadier Bill Bishop and Dame Anne as they adventure through time, visiting the 1930s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and the 2010s! These are followed by a novel that takes the readers right back to the start of the Brigadier’s journey and reveals the decision that changed his life forever!

The Laughing Gnome consists of Scary Monsters by Simon A Forward, The Fear of Web by Alyson Leeds, The Danger Men by Nick Walters, Day of the Matador by Robert Mammone, and Lucy Wilson and the Bledoe Cadets by Tim Gambrell. These are followed by On His Majesty’s National Service by David A McIntee & Dr Lynette Nusbacher.


Simon Forward, who previously wrote Blood of Atlantis, says:
To be invited back to contribute to the Brig's fiftieth anniversary celebrations is a huge privilege. And with that privilege, like great power, comes great responsibility. We have a duty to the character and to Nick Courtney, the actor who ensured him such a long life in our imaginations. And we have the pleasure of throwing him into new situations and adventures. For my part, I'm aiming to pit him against a terror that is very much a part of his time but one that should resonate with our present. An international thriller, a haunting episode from the past, for our very British hero, teamed up with a returning character from Blood of Atlantis. Who you could call Watson to the Brigadier's Holmes, but then he'd have to kill you.

Alyson Leeds, penning her first novel for the series after her contribution to The HAVOC Files 4, says:
Doctor Who was never part of my childhood. Born in the late ‘80s, I did not have a Doctor of my own, and by the time of the revival I was in my late teens. Though I enjoyed the show well enough it was the expanded universe of Who, the novels and audios, that made me a fan. It was here that I first met the Brigadier, and where he instantly became a favourite character. It had always been my ambition to write, and I hoped that I might eventually get a chance to write for the world of Who. Never did I imagine that my first novel would roll both ambitions into one! That I should be writing for the Brigadier, and at so significant a point in his history, was certainly beyond my wildest dreams. Fifty years on from the Brig’s first appearance, so beautifully realised by Nicholas Courtney, many have talked about what makes the Brig such an enduring and beloved character. I find his simple honesty of spirit appeals to me most. He is not a complicated man; he does what he thinks is right, in a way that does not compromise his duty or his beliefs. In a world increasingly beset by troubles, a hero who will not hesitate to step forward and do the best he can is a perpetual breath of fresh air. My part of the story takes the Brig and Anne back to their ‘beginning’, to 1969 and the Underground. Having lived her life and come to terms with the losses she has felt along the way, Dame Anne is suddenly presented with the opportunity to change the past and save someone dear to her – her father. There will be consequences, that is undeniable, but how far would any of us go to save someone we loved?

Nick Walters, author of Mutually Assured Domination and The Man from Yesterday, says:
Candy Jar is doing something rather special and unexpected to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Brigadier. When Andy [Frankham-Allen, range editor] first told me about it a few years ago it sounded bonkers. A simple ‘X Doctors’ style reunion nostalgia trip this most certainly is not! It’s a bold, interesting and challenging idea which is going to take people by surprise. I was thrilled to be asked to write a story for this series. The idea for my story originated in a striking image which came to me last August whilst sitting in a coffee shop with Andy and all the other writers. I pitched the idea to Andy and he was on board straight away! The Danger Men is on the surface quite a straightforward, fun, spy thriller, a homage to everything from Bond to Bourne, Le Carre and Mission Impossible, and even the Milk Tray Man! There’s some serious stuff behind it, though, mainly in the backgrounds and motivation of the Bond-style villains of the story, who are led by the wonderfully-named (even though I say so myself), Dieter Allegro. Nothing is quite what you expect...

Robert Mammone, who wrote this year’s Travers & Wells, says:
The Brigadier is what every authority figure should be – steadfast and loyal, with just a hint of a twinkle in the eye, indicating he gets the joke as well. It is right, then, that the inheritors of that formidable legacy, Candy Jar, celebrate the character in his fiftieth anniversary year. Thanks to Candy Jar, I’ve been given the opportunity to write a story which honours the Brigadier, and celebrates the character Nicholas Courtney. Together with Anne and Bill Bishop, the Brigadier will face off against an old foe in the London of 1973. And lurking in the cracks of history, an ancient evil threatens to re-emerge into the light of day and overthrow the human race...

Tim Gambrell, who is also writing his first novel, having contributed several short stories for the series, including The Bledoe Cadets and The Bald Man of Pengriffen, says:
Writing for an icon like the Brigadier is an honour at any time, but how much more so to be given that opportunity as part of the character’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations? He’s such a likeable, enduring and, above all else, real character. What a joy to be able to take him by the hand and immerse oneself fully in the extended world that Candy Jar has created. It lets you write big stories, with real impact, but in small worlds, and affecting real people. I get the Brig, the Bledoe Cadets and Lucy Wilson as my playmates in a story that stretches from Alistair’s childhood to his days as a grandfather.

David A McIntee teams up with Dr Lynette Nusbacher, military historian, and says:
As I've said before, for me, the Brigadier's place is all about Nick Courtney and the ideal match between character and actor, with both fitting the other so perfectly. It was said of Sean Bean than he didn't so much play Sharpe as wear the role, and this is so true of Nick and the Brig as well. It's such a rare thing to happen, and therefore particularly special that the resulting figure reaches fifty years or popularity, that it's astonishing to be involved in looking back at that half century. Astonishing too, to be taking that figure to its basics, and exploring what's really deep within this character. Every man is the sum of his memories, as the Doctor once said, but he's also a product of the world around him, both inside his perceptions and outside. Worlds are big, bigger than you'd think, and you don't need a TARDIS to have a range of experiences enough to fill anyone's imagination. We may not have Nick any more, but he's still in the Brigadier, and always will be, however big and involved the Brig's world turns out to be.

The Laughing Gnome is available from the Lethbridge-Stewart website and will also be available from the Candy Jar webstore. It also forms part of any existing subscriptions.

Bookmark and Share Vinyl Releases for Record Store Day

4/21/2018 12:30:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The BBC is marking Record Store Day 2018 by releasing the soundtrack of two Doctor Who stories on vinyl for the very first time.

Record Store Day, which takes place today, April 21, sees the full-cast television soundtracks for the The Tomb Of The Cybermen and City Of Death made available on vinyl for the first time. Both adventures come separately as 2 LP sets on coloured vinyl with newly commissioned gatefold artwork.

Record Store Day 2018 is celebrated around the world.

Find about Record Store Day in the UKin the USor in Australia or look up Record Store Day in your own country.

Tomb of the Cybermen (Credit: BBC Worldwide )The Doctor faces the dreaded Cybermen in the digitally remastered soundtrack of the classic BBC TV story, with linking narration by Frazer Hines, best known for playing companion Jamie. It has legendary status amongst Whovians as the serial was believed lost for many years until discovered in Hong Kong in 1992.

The action of The Tomb of the Cybermen follows directly on from that of the preceding serial The Evil of the Daleks, with the Doctor and Jamie welcoming the newly orphaned Victoria aboard the TARDIS. Commissioned as Doctor Who and the Cybermen Planet, this was the third encounter between the Doctor and his half-human, half-machine foes.

It was co-written by Kit Pedler, who devised the Cybermen in The Tenth Planet, and Gerry Davis, the story editor who had helped develop them.
City of Death (Credit: BBC Worldwide )Previously unreleased on vinyl, the two hour story is presented on 2 LP heavyweight translucent green vinyl, and featuring newly commissioned gatefold artwork, sleeve notes and on set photos.

Whilst sightseeing in Paris, the Doctor and Romana notice a series of unexplained temporal disturbances. When a visit to the Louvre lands them in hot water, they realise that a certain Count Scarlioni knows more about advanced technology than a 20th century Parisian should. With British detective Duggan in tow, the time travellers become embroiled in an audacious plot to steal the Mona Lisa and sell it on the open market.

Bookmark and Share The Road To The Thirteenth Doctor

4/13/2018 01:45:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

The Road To The Thirteenth Doctor #1 (Credit: Titan / Klebs Jr) The Road To The Thirteenth Doctor #1 (Credit: Titan / Will Brooks) The Road To The Thirteenth Doctor #1 (Credit: Titan / Robert Hack) Titan Comics and BBC Studios have announced The Road To The Thirteenth Doctor – a three-part comic event beginning this July and leading into Titan’s all-new Thirteenth Doctor ongoing comic series launching in the autumn.

The Road To The Thirteenth Doctor features new adventures of the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors written by James Peaty (Supergirl) and illustrated by a host of amazing creators, with a Robert Hack (Sabrina, Archie) cover on each.

In Titan’s The Road to The Thirteenth Doctor comics, the Tenth Doctor encounters lost, ghostly spaceships, the Eleventh Doctor and Alice visit a robot-infested 19th Century San Francisco, and the Twelfth Doctor finds London’s Piccadilly Circus transformed into a wasteland of emptiness and Pterodactyls.

Each issue contains a serialized short story from the creative team behind the new Thirteenth Doctor on-going comic series - written by Jody Houser, with art by Rachael Stott and Enrica Angiolini.

The Road To The Thirteenth Doctor heralds a new era for Titan Comics’ Doctor Who line, culminating in 2018’s Doctor Who Comics Day – a global event inspired by Titan Comics’ Doctor Who comic books - on Saturday, November 24. This marks the fifth annual Doctor Who Comics Day, which is set to be bigger than ever with new comics and collections, merchandise, variant covers, signings, and events across the world at comic shops, bookstores, retail chains, libraries, and on digital platforms.

For further news and developments on The Road To The Thirteenth Doctor follow Titan Comics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr.

Bookmark and Share Original Unearthly Child Script Up for Auction

4/10/2018 10:42:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

An Unearthly Child - Script The script for the very first episode of Doctor Who, as used by the first Doctor himself, William Hartnell, is being auctioned next month.

The script for An Unearthly Child is 43 pages long and contains blue pencil annotations made by William Hartnell as he was developing the character of The Doctor.

It was discovered by the vendor's grandfather whilst refurbishing the home lived in by Hartnell, and his wife Heather, during the time he was working on the series. The script featured in an episode of the Antiques Roadshow shown last Christmas.

The script is being sold by Aston's Auctioneers and Valuers at their Film & Music Memorabilia & Comics Auction on Thursday 3rd May. It is expected to raise between £5,000 and £7,000.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine Issue 524

4/08/2018 09:27:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 524 (Credit: Panini) Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Paul Cornell and Jenny T Colgan all discuss their new Target Books in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine

Steven Moffat tells DWM
I asked [Russell] why he was doing a novelisation, and he said, ‘Because when we’re very old, this will matter more to us than the show.’ Well, fair enough. But also, The Day of the Doctor was such a monster of a show to do, and almost certainly the biggest success I’ll ever have – so I wasn’t letting someone else do the final lap!
Also in this issue...
  • RUSSELL T DAVIES
  • The former showrunner returns to write this issue’s Production Notes column.
  • GALLIFREY ONE
  • Inside the Los Angeles convention that’s renowned as one of the greatest Doctor Who events in the world.
  • DOCTOR WHO INFINITY
  • An exclusive preview of the ambitious new game starring Michelle Gomez as Missy and Ingrid Oliver as Osgood.
  • OUT OF THE TARDIS
  • Impressionist and Doctor Who fan Jon Culshaw answers randomly selected questions from the TARDIS tin.
  • PETER MILES
  • The life and career of the actor who played Nyder in the classic 1975 story Genesis of the Daleks.
  • BBC RECORDS & TAPES
  • All the Doctor Who releases from the record company run by the BBC from the late 1960s to the early 1990s.
  • DOCTOR WHO LOGOS
  • The untold story behind the creation of Doctor Who’s 2010-17 logo.
  • KLAUS JOYNSON
  • The DJ and drummer is interviewed about his remarkable Doctor Who-themed album New Adventures in Time & Space.
  • COSPLAY
  • Christel Dee’s guide to cosplaying the Doctor’s distinctive orange spacesuit.
  • THE FACT OF FICTION
  • Exploring the hidden depths to the 2015 story Sleep No More.
  • THE CLOCKWISE WAR
  • Part one of a new comic strip adventure written by Scott Gray and illustrated by John Ross.
PLUS... News, previews, book and audio reviews, competitions, The Blogs of Doom and much more.

Doctor Who Magazine 524 is on sale now, price £5.99.

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 524 (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magazine Issue 524 (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magazine Issue 524 (Credit: Panini) Doctor Who Magazine Issue 524 (Credit: Panini) d

Bookmark and Share Series 9 Soundtrack Details

4/03/2018 10:34:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who - Series 9 (Credit: BBC / Silva Screen)Silva Screen will release the soundtrack to Series 9 of Doctor Who on 27th April 2018

Premiering in September 2015, the ninth series of Doctor Who featured Peter Capaldi in the title role in his second season. This four-part collection features general cues on discs one and two, the complete score from the episode Heaven Sent on disc three and on disc four the Christmas Special, The Husbands Of River Song.

Five-time BAFTA nominee Murray Gold recently confirmed that he is stepping down from composer duties on the show after 12 years of providing some of the finest music to be heard on contemporary television.
It’s one of the last great morality tales out there but it also celebrates life. For that reason I think it’s a great show for kids. I couldn’t write this much music for it if I didn’t feel that way.
Underlining the breadth of Gold’s composing skill across over 149 minutes of music, this album is also the 12th Silva Screen release of his music since the 2005 Doctor Who revival.

  1. The One in a Thousand
  2. Davros Remembers
  3. A Message from Missy
  4. Meeting in the Square
  5. Finding The Doctor
  6. What Have You Done
  7. Davros Approaches
  8. Some Kind of Submarine
  9. The Ghosts
  10. The Bootstrap Paradox
  11. Finding The Fisher King
  12. Another Ghost Has Appeared
  13. We Need to Get Back to The TARDIS
  14. Directions from The Ghosts
  15. Something in the Spacesuit
  16. Two Days on a Longboat
  17. I Am Ashildr
  18. In a Way, She's a Hybrid
  19. I Call Myself Me
  20. They Need Us
  21. The Last Thing We Need
  1. Deep Cover
  2. Just Come Inside
  3. This is Not a War
  4. Defending The Earth
  5. The Morpheus Song
  6. Saving Rigsy
  7. Madam Mayor
  8. Running from the Raven
  9. Death is Locked In
  10. Face the Raven
  11. Back Home
  12. The General's Regeneration
  13. A Duty of Care
  14. Clara's Diner
  1. A Second Shadow
  2. The Veil
  3. A Fly on a Painting
  4. A Change of Clothes
  5. A Mechanical Maze
  6. Digging a Grave
  7. Tell No Lies
  8. Two Events in Life
  9. Waiting for the Veil
  10. The Final Room
  11. One Confession Away
  12. Break Free
  13. Same Old Day
  14. The Shepherd's Boy
  1. Carol Singers will be Criticised
  2. A Dying Husband
  3. The Finest Surgeon in The Galaxy
  4. The Halassi Androvar
  5. The Husbands of River Song
  6. The TARDIS Can't Take Off
  7. Time to Do it Properly
  8. Harmony and Redemption
  9. Hydroflax in The TARDIS
  10. Whole Again at Last
  11. All the Firewalls in The Galaxy
  12. A Restaurant with a View
  13. The Woman He Loves
  14. The Singing Towers

Bookmark and Share Black Archive #18: Marco Polo

3/31/2018 11:10:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Black Archive #18: Marco Polo (Credit: Obverse) The latest release from The Black Archive series of books looks at the 1964 Doctor Who story Marco Polo

Marco Polo was broadcast during an era of cultural change, reshaping television’s role as historian, and locating the reader, not the author, at the centre of interpretation. This is crucial given how the fourth serial recruits the viewer as a fellow traveller in Marco’s caravan.

The epic journey is staged through camera-treatments and mobility, adaptive and remedial interventions, public and book history, cultural assumptions and memories. Rather than the solitary authorial figure of Marco, this book celebrates the collaborators, copyists, studio personnel and fans, whose community storytelling is in the philosophical spirit of Doctor Who.

Dene October is editor of Doctor Who and History and is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts, London. He is in the possibly unique position of having seen Marco Polo not once, but twice, on broadcast.

October investigates several threads while keeping to the rhythm of the travelogue, exploiting how the exhaustive televisual experience inverts the trope of time travel. His book is itself a wayfaring reflection on how we travel through media and memory in reconstructing this most famous and earliest of missing stories.
Marco Polo is all about writing. It’s what Tegana – the Mongol warlord secretly working against Kublai Khan – complains about, drawing his sword in frustration as Marco sits about writing his journal. What Tegana means is there’s too much talk and not enough sword fights (cue episode seven spoilers!). But his comment might equally be one about the serial itself, which has an unfair reputation for discursive storytelling. Except that’s not how I remember the serial at all … and I’ve been lucky enough to see it, not once but twice.

Writing Marco Polo for the Black Archive was an opportunity to put the record straight. Except that, just like Marco’s original narrative told for a thirteenth century audience, the fourth serial is lost, leaving us with a need to reconstruct it for new audiences. But that’s okay, because what is a black archive unless it is the opportunity to reflect on the empty space before us? In this sense, the Black Archive is, like a television screen, both immersive and reflective, one we sometimes catch sight of ourselves in. This is what I wanted to assert throughout this book, which explores many critical as well as personal themes, such as how camera treatments tell stories and facilitate virtual travel, how stories are told in adaptive and remedial frameworks, and as public history, and how fan-viewers become custodians of popular culture … fans like me, a writer reconstructing, like Marco, his travels from memory.
Black Archive #18: Marco Polo is released on 7th April 2018 and can be ordered from Obverse Books.

Bookmark and Share The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence + Free Download

3/28/2018 10:23:00 am - Reported by Chuck Foster

Candy Jar Books have released details about the history of the first book in their forthcoming spin-off series from Lethbridge-Stewart, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Independent publisher Candy Jar Books is tackling prejudice against differences and promoting diversity, self-confidence and acceptance for young people, in publishing their latest sci-fi adventure series for children.

The series begins with The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence. The action-packed adventure story is set in the sleepy Welsh town of Ogmore-by-Sea and features the young, sharp-as-a-tack Lucy Wilson, a London-bred pre-teen with mixed-race parentage, and her perennial side-kick Hobo, a highly intelligent boy with alopecia.

The book is written by author Sue Hampton, who was diagnosed with the condition alopecia universalis in 1981 and has since become an ambassador for the charity Alopecia UK. With Sue’s first book, The Waterhouse Girl, inspired by her own experience of learning to live with the sometimes overwhelming condition, Sue feels that it’s incredibly important that young people who feel “different” are positively represented in mainstream fiction, in ways that don’t portray them as “other”.

She says:
Writing The Waterhouse Girl changed my life, and changed the way I saw my alopecia. I began to feel braver, because my character was dealing with alopecia better than I was. Since then I’ve wanted to write stories where the characters are not defined by their condition, because that’s not what defines me. In Avatars of the Intelligence, Hobo does have alopecia, yes, but he is also loyal, brave and intelligent – all the qualities that Lucy needs in a friend.
Through her work with Alopecia UK, Sue visits schools across the UK offering education and support to those in need, and this experience has taught her how big a difference having friends can make to somebody living with a condition like alopecia.

A representative for Alopecia UK says:
At this time it’s very difficult to say with any certainty just how many children are affected by alopecia, however it’s likely to be thousands rather than hundreds.

The Lucy Wilson series acts as a spin-off from Candy Jar’s existing science fiction range of Lethbridge-Stewart novels starring the character from the 1960s classic era of Doctor Who Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, created by Henry Lincoln and Mervyn Haisman and portrayed by Nicholas Courtney in the television series. New protagonist Lucy Wilson is the granddaughter of the Brigadier, and carries the formidable legacy of the Lethbridge-Stewart name along with her. Sue says:
Lucy is dauntless, loyal and whip-smart. She’s a modern girl with strong values and opinions, which means that she feels the injustices in the world even more strongly than most and always stands up for what’s right.
Avatars of the Intelligence deals with themes that affect many young people, such as feeling like an outsider and being bullied, in a way that Sue hopes will empower and inspire readers. Recent statistics from Childline show that as many as one in six young people experience anxiety-related problems, and in the top five concerns raised in counselling sessions over twelve months were low self esteem, feeling sad, low or lonely and bullying.

Lucy Wilson: Avatars of the Intelligence is a celebration of characters who boldly refuse to become victims of their circumstances. Despite the fact that both Hobo and Lucy are initially viewed as outsiders, they find courage and friendship in each other and, together, take on an unseen evil force tormenting their school – the Great Intelligence.

Themes of self-acceptance and confidence are further reflected in the cover artwork, created by Beano artist Steve Beckett. Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, says:
We felt that it was really important that we didn’t have Hobo hidden in any way on the cover – no hats or hoods. This is a character who is totally unashamed, and we felt it wouldn’t be right to present him otherwise. We want this to inspire other children who might feel like they’re different, if they feel lonely or left out, that it’s our differences that make us who we are.
The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence is now available to order.

Firstly, I’m delighted that so many of you enjoyed Avatars of the Intelligence very much.

“This is one of the only books I have been interested in for a while. I used to hate reading but ever since I read this book I have loved reading.” “I don’t think it could be any better.” Most of all I’m happy that you like my characters. People said some positive and perceptive things about Lucy – “I love Lucy’s character because she is strong-willed and determined (although a bit stubborn)” – but on the whole Hobo seems to be the favourite. “Hobo is a unique and original character who teaches us loads about alopecia and people who might not look like other people but are still really interesting and do good things.” “I particularly like Hobo. He is a character that shows how you can face bullies with a smile. Instead of shying away from comments about his alopecia he faces them head-on which makes him a really strong character in the book.”

A lot of you are interested in alopecia and the way I used my own experience of hair loss. “I really like how Sue takes something that happened in her life and turns it into something great.” I never thought of it that way when I was writing it but I’m happy for anyone to see the book in that light. Here, having already written two novels in which alopecia is the story, I wanted to introduce a clever, funny and individual character who just happens to have no hair. I also wanted to show that alopecia has made him stronger, kinder and wiser. As Ambassador for Alopecia UK I’ve met many young people with alopecia and that’s what it seems to do. Like all challenges it teaches people a lot about themselves and being human. “The book demonstrates how outcasts face challenges. Hobo is an extremely interesting character because he doesn’t fit into society’s expectations.”

A few people said the book starts slowly. The beginning of a novel is always the hardest part because there’s a lot to establish, especially in the kind of book that’s driven by character. It takes a while to get to know characters well enough to care, and it’s REALLY important to me that readers do care about mine. The first mysterious, creepy action is on page 13 but there are lots of sci-fi references before that to hint at what’s to come, and the emotional action starts on page one.

Two of you added that it’s a bit confusing at first with various characters named in the first few pages. That’s because, in this book which begins a series, we start with Lucy, but being a Lethbridge-Stewart she’s really the next in line: it’s in her blood. So unusually, I was handed a central character with a family tree, ready-made. I gave Lucy a personality, interests, strengths and weaknesses, but the Lethbridge-Stewart legacy is already established. There are many novels and short story collections published by Candy Jar about her grandfather, who even has a Wikipedia page! For the fans of that legacy, I had to acknowledge her family from the start; they’ll know at once who Conall is, and Nick, and all the family members. The book is meant to appeal to existing Whovians and fans of Lethbridge-Stewart, and some of its biggest fans so far are adult, like the guys who praised my book on a podcast for Doctor Who fans. But it’s also meant to appeal to readers from Y6 up, some of whom will come to it completely fresh, with none of this background. As a reader I’m always happy to wonder and deduce for a few pages before a relationship structure firms up, and by the end of chapter one those characters should all be clear. Using close third person means that I follow Lucy’s thoughts and perspective so people can’t be identified with labels, because she would think of Conall and Dean by name, not as her eldest, gay brother and his husband. I’ve written it so that readers can work all that out pretty quickly.

The colourful cover, which is the work of a Beano artist called Steve Beckett, really does appeal to Y5/6 readers – you should see them drawn to it in primary schools when I visit – and I hear that they enjoy the story, while teenage and adult readers will be more aware of the emotional dynamics and issues of diversity that some of you mentioned. I’ve been contacted by a father and daughter and a father and son who reported that both generations thought it was great. I came across a division into hard’ and ‘soft’ science fiction, and this book is definitely soft in the sense that it’s driven by character and its ‘science’ (in this author’s head, at any rate) is psychology rather than physics. I’d say this generally applies to Doctor Who, too, but some fans might like to challenge me on that.

You may have noticed that there’s plenty of imagery. It’s a playfulness with words and can give energy to a story, be fun or funny, crank up the excitement – sometimes in a horrifying way – and create an atmosphere. Sci-fi has its own vocabulary, of course, and like the action the language can be highly dramatic. It’s my thirty-first book but my first venture into this genre.



The Lucy Wilson Collection (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar has produced a 95-page free ebook The Lucy Wilson Collection. This contains The Two Brigadiers by Jonathan Macho, Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton, an extract of Avatars of the Intelligence by Sue Hampton, an extract of Curse of the Mirror Clowns by Chris Lynch, and a non-fiction chapter about the Brigadier written by Andy Frankham-Allen.

The e-book is available to download via our website.

Bookmark and Share Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story Collection

3/24/2018 05:39:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story Collection (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce an exciting new collection of stories featuring Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection comes off the back of the publisher’s mission to find new writing talent in south Wales and beyond.

In August 2017 Candy Jar offered aspiring writers and fans of the Lethbridge-Stewart series the opportunity to pen their own chapter in the Lethbridge-Stewart universe.

The results are in, and Candy Jar has collected the best and brightest writers in this short story anthology. Head of publishing, Shaun Russell, says:
With The Havoc Files coming to an end, and the Brig celebrating his fiftieth anniversary this year, I am very excited to be presenting a new take on this iconic character. We’ve had such high quality stories and we feel the fans will enjoy taking an alternative journey alongside the Haisman characters.

The book features eight exclusive short stories featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life. This is a chance for fans to see the Brigadier like never seen him before!

The eight stories are:
  • Shadows in the Glen by Richard Brewer
  • The Friendship Paradox by Thomas Firth
  • Special Responsibility by Gary Tinnams
  • Soldier in Time by Martin Gregory
  • The Man with the Red Case by Matthew Ball
  • The Brigadier Rides Again by Ross Hastings
  • In Machina Exspiravit by Anthony Robertson
  • Burning Daylight by Paul Chase


The idea for the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition came from the company’s commitment to shedding light on fresh writing talent. Since 2015 the Lethbridge-Stewart novels have championed previously unknown authors such as Jonathan Macho and Gareth Madgwick, alongside famous writing names in the Doctor Who universe including John Peel, Nick Walters, Simon A Forward and David A McIntee.

Lauren Thomas, publishing co-ordinator at Candy Jar Books, says:
It’s been a real eye-opener to witness the abundance of creativity and passion held for the Brigadier by Doctor Who fans. We always knew that the submissions wouldn’t disappoint, but we’ve truly been delighted by the quality of writing.

Range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen, says:
As we move into our planned second phase for the Brig, we feel it’s time to explore all aspects of his life across the decades. This new approach will be seen first in Lineage (available to pre-order here) and will be followed by our six anniversary novels (due to be released later this year). As an alternative take on the character The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection fits perfectly within this new mindset.

Candy Jar will announce the top story in this collection later in the spring, and will reveal which author will get to work with Andy Frankham-Allen, Lethbridge-Stewart range editor and author of The Forgotten Son, Beast of Fang Rock and Night of the Intelligence, on a new Lethbridge-Stewart novel.

Andy continues:
It takes something special to get into the mind of the Brigadier and I’m anticipating great things from all of these talented new writers. You never know we may be launching a new Chris Chibnall or Terrance Dicks at the beginning of their career.

£1.50 from each book will be donated the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. Shaun, who received chemotherapy treatment at the centre, says:
In 2015 I was diagnosed with bowel cancer, just as we were launching the first Lethbridge-Stewart series. As you can imagine, undergoing six months of treatment was physically and emotionally draining. If it wasn’t for the support of the centre I wouldn’t have got through this difficult time. This is my way of giving something back.

As well as many other stories, the book features young Alistair in World War Two, the 1970s Brig in action, and retired Alistair as he discovers the real nightmare of commuting. Customers are advised that this book will be a limited edition release, only available to purchase directly from Candy Jar Books for £8.99 and with limited copies available.

The short story collection is in part a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Brigadier, and comes alongside Candy Jar releasing another limited edition release, Lineage:

The Lethbridge-Stewart name carries with it stories of integrity, honour and courage. But was it always so? From its earliest origins with the Clan Stewart in Scotland, and the Lethbridges in Devon, England, the name has a storied past. Historical figures, history makers, military heroes… Lineage presents seven brand new tales from some of the most popular authors previously published in The HAVOC Files collection.

Bookmark and Share A Second Target for Tommy

3/23/2018 11:11:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

A Second Target for Tommy (Credit: Nigel Parkinson / Obverse Books)
The Charity Book A Second Target for Tommy is now available as an ebook (Kindle and Epub) for £9.99

The book, a sequel to A Target for Tommy, published in 2016, has been created by the writing community in aid of writer Tommy Donbavand, who having overcome throat cancer, now has been diagnosed with a tumour in his lung. As a result, he continues to be unable to do the school visits which generated much of the income he needs to support his family.

The book contains, for the first time ever, the script of a crucial scene from an early draft of Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary Special, Day of the Doctor, featuring the Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, and kindly provided by outgoing Who showrunner, Steven Moffat.
Full List Of Writers And Stories

Eye Of Orion? – Jay Eales
The Hangover Of Injustice – Andrew Lawston
The Caterpillar Room – Kate Orman
3am Eternal – Paul Castle
Nipping Out For Some Bits – Ian Potter
The Misadventure Of Mark Thorne – Andy Frankham-Allen
Wherever And Whenever – Cody Schell
From Skaro With Love! – Nick Campbell
Seasons Of War – Horde Of Travesties Prologue: The Man In The Tree – Declan May
Why Though? – Ira Lightman
The Runaway Hi-fi – Paul Magrs
Eyebrows And Fish – Matt Bright
The Xanthous Knight – Blair Bidmead
Repeat Prescription – Eddie Robson
Doctor Who: The Special – Steven Moffat
The Watcher – Nick Wallace
Collateral Damage – Matt Barber
The Envelope Please – Jonathan Dennis
The Thief Of Joy – Jon Arnold
Doctor Who And The Exile From Hell – Simon Bucher-Jones
When Iris Met Billy – Stuart Douglas
The Same Old Road – Ian Potter
Walk A Mile In My Shoes – Jay Eales
Fair – Ned Netherwood
Order from Obverse Books

Bookmark and Share Eccleston talks About Doctor Who

3/20/2018 11:34:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Christopher Eccleston (Credit: Getty Images)Christopher Eccleston has been talking to the media about his time on Doctor Who, explaining some of the circumstances of his departure.

The actor has told Radio Times how difficult he found making the series, revealing that there was a breakdown of trust between the show's producers, including Russell T Davies, and himself as early as the first period of filming.
My relationship with my three immediate superiors, the showrunner, the producer, and co-producer, broke down irreparably during the first block of filming and it never recovered. They lost trust in me and I lost faith trust and belief in them.
Eccleston left the series at the end of the first year, with his departure announced shortly after the first episode aired, but the circumstances of his departure have always been a subject of much speculation. Until now neither the actor or the production team have given their take on the issues involved.

Eccleston admitted some of the problems may have been caused by his taking on a role very different to any he hat attempted before.
Some of my anger about the situation came from my own insecurity. They employed somebody who was not a natural light comedian.

I think that if you're setting up a huge series like that the director has to be impeccable in setting the tone. Billie [Piper], who we know was and is brilliant, was very, very nervous and very, very inexperienced. So, you had that, and then you had me. Very, very experienced, possibly the most experienced on it, but out of my comfort zone.
When Eccleston left the series the BBC put out a statement saying the actor had left after fearing becoming typecast, a statement later retracted with an apology from the Corporation to the actor for not consulting him prior to issuing the statement.

Eccleston himself has never talked about his departure until now, saying he wanted to concentrate on the fact he had played the part rather than on his reasons for leaving.
When I left, I gave my word to [then-showrunner] Russell T Davies that I wouldn’t do anything to damage the show. But they did things to damage me. I didn’t criticise anybody. I didn't issue a statement.
He told the Guardian last week that the BBC had tried to damage his career.
I gave them a hit show and I left with dignity and then they put me on a blacklist. I was carrying my own insecurities as it was something I had never done before and then I was abandoned, vilified in the tabloid press and blacklisted. I was told by my agent at the time: ‘The BBC regime is against you. You’re going to have to get out of the country and wait for regime change. So I went away to America and I kept on working because that’s what my parents instilled in me. My dad always said to me: ‘I don’t care what you do – sweeping the floor or whatever you’re doing – just do the best job you can.’ I know it’s cliched and northern and all that bollocks, but it applies
Eccleston said that his relationship with Russell T Davies, who he previously worked with on the 2003 series The Second Coming, had been destroyed by the experiences on Doctor Who saying that he “never will have” a working relationship with the screenwriter again.

Eccleston was speaking ahead of the release of his new series, the BBC One drama Come Home.

Bookmark and Share The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13

3/14/2018 07:54:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Out Today, the Twelfth Doctor's final Year Three adventure in Doctor Who The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13

D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13

Writer: Richard Dinnick
Artist: Pasquale Qualano
Cover A: ​Blair Shedd ​Cover B: ​Photo - Will Brooks ​Cover C: Simon Myers

The conclusion of Year Three!

The weeping angels descend on the Doctor, but his companions, old and new, have a few tricks up their sleeves to help him out!
D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Cover A (Credit: Titan ) D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Cover B (Credit: Titan ) D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Cover C (Credit: Titan ) D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Page 1 (Credit: Titan ) D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Page 2 (Credit: Titan ) D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Page 3 (Credit: Titan ) D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Page 4 (Credit: Titan ) D​octor Who: The Twelfth Doctor Year Three #13 - Page 5 (Credit: Titan )

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who: Series Three Steelbook

3/13/2018 08:48:00 pm - Reported by Chuck Foster

BBC Worldwide have announced that Series Three of the revived series of Doctor Who will be the latest to receive the blu-ray Steelbook treatment, with the release due on 7th May. The three-disc set features HD-upscaled episodes of the series plus the extras originally released with the 2007 DVD collection.

Doctor Who - Series 3 Steelbook - Back Cover (blu-ray) (Credit: BBC Worldwide) Doctor Who - Series 3 Steelbook - Cover (blu-ray) (Credit: BBC Worldwide) Doctor Who - Series 3 Steelbook - Front Cover (blu-ray) (Credit: BBC Worldwide)

Bookmark and Share Ken Dodd 1927-2018

3/12/2018 10:46:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Ken Dodd / Sylvester McCoy (Credit: BBC )The comedian, singer and actor Ken Dodd has died at the age of 90.

Ken Dodd is best known for his sixty-year-long career as a music hall style entertainer but made a few forays into drama, one memorable appearance playing the Tollmaster in the 1987 Seventh Doctor story Delta and the Bannermen.

Kenneth Arthur Dodd was born on 8 November 1927 in the Liverpool suburb of Knotty Ash, the son of a coal merchant. His first job was as a door to door salesman, traipsing around the suburbs of Liverpool selling pots and pans to housewives.

The stage beckoned and after a long stint as an amateur, he turned professional in 1954, appearing in Nottingham as Professor Yaffle Chucklebutty, Operatic Tenor and Sausage Knotter. Within four years he was topping the bill in the home of variety, Blackpool.

After a decade of touring the northern clubs, he ventured south making his London debut at the London Palladium in 1965, when he topped the bill in an extraordinarily successful 42-week run.

His first successful single came in 1960, Love Is Like A Violin. In all, he had 19 UK Top 40 hits including the song Tears, which topped the UK charts for five weeks in 1965 and remains one of the UK's biggest selling singles of all time. For the next two decades, he was a regular on Television and Radio as well as continuing with a punishing schedule of stage appearances.

In 1989 came the court case which may have ended his career. He was accused by the Inland Revenue of tax evasion and committed for trial at Liverpool Crown Court. Details of his eccentricity emerged with tales of £336,000 hidden around his house. It emerged that he had 20 bank accounts in Jersey and the Isle of Man, and made regular 'cash and carry' flights to deposit money in them which was not declared to the Inland Revenue.

He was acquitted by the Jury swayed by the arguments of his defense counsel George Carman QC, who remarked: Some accountants are comedians but comedians are never accountants. He was however faced with a reported £2m bill for legal fees and tax he had previously promised to pay.

From that point, the Inland Revenue became a feature of his act as did his reputation for never being able to leave the stage. Some of you are optimists, he'd tell his audience at the start of a show, you've booked your taxis for half-past 12.

He was still touring well into his eighties and in 2016 was awarded a knighthood by the Queen for services to entertainment.

Ken Dodd married his partner of 40 years, Anne Jones, two days before he died in the same house in which he was born.

Bookmark and Share New WhoTalk Commenteries

3/11/2018 10:42:00 am - Reported by Marcus

WhoTalk - Survival (Credit: Fantom Publishing)The Monster Era -Anneke Wills, Frazer Hines, Toby Hadoke (Credit: Fantom Publishing) Fantom Publishing is releasing two new Commentaries in their WhoTalk series.

The series beings cast a crew together to provide an alternative commentary to the officially released Doctor Who stories.

The first two, of what is promised to be a bumper year of releases, come from either end of the original series.

Producer Paul W T Ballard explains
There were a few ‘orphan’ missing episodes without commentaries that we made it our mission to cover with this range. So we bring together a collection from the Patrick Troughton golden ‘Monster Era‘ of the show, which covers a number of key stories, including The Faceless Ones and The Evil of the Daleks.

It’s with a heavy heart that we also include our last commentary recording with our dear friend Deborah Watling, who is joined by missing episode hunter Phil Morris to watch the concluding installment of The Web of Fear. There is also a bonus interview where she recalls her favourite, and sadly still missing, story Fury from the Deep.

All in all, it’s quite a packed release, and the special edition version contains even more material, including Frazer Hines’s commentary for The Abominable Snowmen, and George Layton’s first viewing of The Space Pirates!
The second release this month is the serial which ended the show’s twenty-six year run on television.
Survival is one of my favourite serials, and we have had a few reunions of the cast at our conventions over the years. So it was a no-brainer to take advantage of the exciting options available and get the gang together to watch Survival for Who Talk.
There are two complete commentaries for the story included on the release.
We were thrilled to be joined by author Rona Munro, who hasn’t been interviewed a lot about the series. We were delighted to introduce to Sophie Aldred for the first time, more than a quarter of a century after the show was actually made!
These CDs are very limited, and exclusively available via whotalk.co.uk

Both sets are now available, you can purchase directly direct from Who Talk at a discounted price of £10.99 each (RRP £12.99) or via download priced £9.99. The special edition bundle will be available exclusively via the website priced £39.99.

Please note: These commentaries contain no BBC copyrighted elements and do not feature any audio from the episodes themselves.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Audio Recordings Archived

3/09/2018 04:27:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Mark Ayres and Graham Strong (Credit: Stephen Cranford) Graham Strong, the man responsible for the survival of many high-quality audio recordings, from missing Doctor Who episodes, has donated his collection to Mark Ayres of the Doctor Who Restoration Team, in order to be properly archived.

Strong started recording the audio from the series when he was just 14, using a domestic reel to reel, quarter-inch, tape recorder, the only way of preserving audio recordings at the time. The first recordings were made via a basic crystal microphone, hanging over the television speaker with a plant pot placed on the top of the T.V. to keep the microphone in place.

Following The Daleks' Master Plan, episode 7, Strong, a keen electronics student, managed to wire the audio input into the Tape recorder, directly to the audio output of the Television set. A highly dangerous procedure that breaks every rule of electrical safety but one that resulted in recordings that were crystal clear.

In fact, the surviving recordings are so clear that they often exceed the quality available on the surviving film prints of the episodes, and as a result, a number of DVD's of early episodes contain audio taken from Strong's recordings rather than the film print.

Strong was one of a small number of early fans who recorded audio from the now missing stories. However, he is believed to be the only one to record directly from the Television, resulting in the superior quality of his recordings.

Doctor Who Recordings (Credit: Stephen Cranford) Doctor Who Recordings (Credit: Stephen Cranford) Doctor Who Recordings (Credit: Stephen Cranford) Doctor Who Recordings (Credit: Stephen Cranford)
With Thanks to Stephen Cranford