Bookmark and Share Black Archive #34: Battlefield

8/15/2019 10:52:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Black Archive - Battlefield (Credit: Obverse Books) The latest in the series looking in detail at the making of Doctor Who, Black Archive, has been published by Obverse Books

Edition #34 looks at the seventh Doctor story Battlefield and come from range editor, Philip Purser-Hallard.

Often seen as the black sheep of the final season of 20th century Doctor Who, Battlefield also happens to be one of Purser-Hallard's favourite Who stories, but he's not allowed that fondness to blind him the serial's faults - though fair to say he doesn't pan it either.

Battlefield (1989) sees a clash of mythologies, as the progressive, anti-racist, sporadically pacifist Doctor Who of the late 1980s takes on Britain’s authoritarian, chivalric national myth of King Arthur. With a script by Ben Aaronovitch, now a bestselling urban fantasy novelist but then only the writer of the previous year’s acclaimed Remembrance of the Daleks (1988), it forms with its predecessor a ‘philosophical pair’, replacing its 1960s setting with an imagined 1990s and showing a Doctor dealing with the repercussions of his future actions, rather than his past. Even as a script Battlefield falls short of complete success, yet it remains an emotionally literate, politically engaged and thematically complex piece. It finds areas of overlap between Andrew Cartmel’s radical conception of Doctor Who and Arthurian myth in the legend of a past golden age, represented by the return of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and UNIT, and in the identification of the Doctor – always presented by the series as a wizard, a prophet and a mentor – with Merlin. It interrogates the patriarchal attitudes of both the Arthurian myths and 1970s Doctor Who from a contemporary perspective, and questions the attitudes to war found in both.

It also does an exemplary job of worldbuilding, sketching in a convincing near future based on a handful of lines, and presents a complex, questionable, even sympathetic villain motivated by a value system alien to our own. Finally, it raises questions of predestination: through the other characters’ foreknowledge of the Doctor’s future; through the fate apparently decreed for Ancelyn and Bambera; and, perhaps, through the Brigadier’s survival of a story whose structure seems to demand that he should die.

Philip Purser-Hallard is the founding editor of the Black Archive range, the author of The Black Archive #4: Death in Heaven and co-author of The Black Archive #13: Human Nature / The Family of Blood.

He has published five novels, including a trilogy of near-future Arthurian urbanfantasy political thrillers, The Pendragon Protocol, The Locksley Exploit and Trojans, and a Sherlock Holmes novel, The Vanishing Man.

Link to Website

Bookmark and Share The Target Storybook

8/10/2019 11:00:00 am - Reported by Marcus

The Target Storybook (Credit: BBC Books) BBC Books is to publish a new collection of spin-off stories from famous episodes throughout the history of Doctor Who.

In this collection, you’ll find all-new stories spinning off from some of your favourite Doctor Who moments across the history of the series. Learn what happened next, what went on before, and what occurred off-screen in an inventive selection of sequels, side-trips, foreshadowings and first-hand accounts – and also look forward in time, with a brand new adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor.

Each story expands upon aspects of Doctor Who’s enduring legend. The book includes fifteen different stories, with contributions from show luminaries past and present – including Terrance Dicks, Colin Baker, Matthew Waterhouse, Mike Tucker, Joy Wilkinson, and Vinay Patel – and bestselling writers such as Jenny T. Colgan, Jacqueline Rayner, Una McCormack, Steve Cole and George Mann. With artwork from Mike Collins and cover art by Anthony Dry.

Doctor Who: The Target Storybook is published on 24th October 2019 by BBC Books, priced £16.99.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Colin Baker is an English actor who became known for playing Paul Merroney in the BBC drama series The Brothers from 1974 to 1976. He went on to play the sixth incarnation of the Doctor in the TV series Doctor Who. He reprised the role for the 1993 Children in Need special, Dimensions in Time, and the 1989 stage show Doctor Who – The Ultimate Adventure. He has also voiced the Doctor for over 140 Doctor Who audio stories for Big Finish Productions.

Steve Cole is an editor and children’s author whose sales exceed three million copies. His hugely successful Astrosaurs young fiction series has been a UK top-ten children’s bestseller. His several original Doctor Who novels have also been bestsellers.

Jenny T. Colgan has written numerous bestselling novels as Jenny Colgan, which have sold over 2.5 million copies worldwide, been translated into 25 languages, and won both the Melissa Nathan Award and Romantic Novel of the Year 2013. Aged 11, she won a national fan competition to meet Peter Davison (the Fifth Doctor).

Susie Day is the author of the Pea's Book and Secrets series from Puffin. Her latest novel for children, Max Kowalski Didn't Mean It, is about dragons and toxic masculinity. Between books, she works as a copywriter in Birmingham. Susie currently lives in Coventry with her partner and two silly cats.

Terrance Dicks worked on scripts for The Avengers as well as other series before becoming full Script Editor of Doctor Who from 1968. Dicks worked on the Jon Pertwee Third Doctor era of the programme, and returned as a writer – scripting Tom Baker's first story as the Fourth Doctor: Robot. Terrance Dicks novelised many of the original Doctor Who stories for Target books, and has written original Doctor Who novels for BBC Books.

Simon Guerrier is co-author of Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived and Whographica for BBC Books, and has written countless Doctor Who books, comics, audio plays and documentaries. He has been a guest on Front Row and The Infinite Monkey Cage on Radio 4 and, with his brother Thomas, makes films and documentaries – most recently Victorian Queens of Ancient Egypt for Radio 3.

George Mann is the author of the bestselling Doctor Who: Engines of War and Newbury & Hobbes steampunk mystery series. He’s also written new adventures for Sherlock Holmes, a collection of Star Wars myths and fables, and the supernatural crime series Wychwood. He lives near Grantham, UK, with his wife, son and daughter.

Una McCormack is a New York Times bestselling author. She has written four Doctor Who novels: The King's Dragon and The Way through the Woods (featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy, and Rory); Royal Blood (featuring the Twelfth Doctor and Clara), and Molten Heart (featuring the Thirteenth Doctor, Yaz, Ryan and Graham). She is also the author of numerous audio dramas for Big Finish Productions.

Vinay Patel is a playwright and screenwriter. His television debut was the BAFTA-winning Murdered By My Father and for Doctor Who he has written Demons of the Punjab. His latest play, An Adventure, ran at the Bush Theatre in 2018. Elsewhere, he contributed to the bestselling collection of essays, The Good Immigrant.

Jacqueline Rayner is the author of over 40 books and audio plays, including number one bestseller The Stone Rose, the highest-selling Doctor Who novel of all time, and two Doctor Who ‘Quick Reads’ for World Book Day. She lives in Essex with her husband and twin sons, and writes regularly for Doctor Who Magazine.

Beverly Sanford's first Young Adult novel, The Wishing Doll, was published by Badger Learning in 2014, followed by Remember Rosie, Silent Nation and two non-fiction books. A BBC Writer’s Room semi-finalist (2011) and an Editor’s Choice in the Jim Henson Co/Penguin Dark Crystal Author Quest (2014), Bev is currently working on a screenplay for Sun Rocket Films and a children’s fiction series.

Matthew Sweet presents the BBC radio programmes Free Thinking, Sound of Cinema and The Philosopher’s Arms. He has judged the Costa Book Award, edited The Woman in White for Penguin Classics and was Series Consultant on the Showtime/Sky Atlantic series Penny Dreadful. His books include The West End Front and Operation Chaos: The Vietnam Deserters Who Fought the CIA, the Brainwashers and Themselves.

Mike Tucker is a visual effects designer and author who has written several original Doctor Who novels as well as fiction for other shared universes. He has also co-written numerous factual books relating to film and television, including Impossible Worlds and the TARDIS Instruction Manual.

Matthew Waterhouse played Adric, companion to Tom Baker and Peter Davison's Doctors from 1980 to 1982. Since then, he has worked extensively as an actor in theatre. His published writing includes a memoir, Blue Box Boy, three novels and a book of stories. Recently he's appeared in episodes of the audio version of Dark Shadows and numerous Doctor Who audio projects, including an award-winning one-man play, Doctor Who: A Full Life, and a forthcoming quartet of new adventures starring alongside Tom Baker.

Joy Wilkinson is an award-winning writer working across film, television, theatre and radio. She was a Screen International 'Star of Tomorrow', a two-time Brit List nominee and has had her work widely produced in the UK and internationally. For television, Joy has written the Doctor Who episode The Witchfinders, and her other credits include BBC One’s critically-acclaimed drama Nick Nickleby.

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition 53 - Target Books

8/07/2019 10:21:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

DWM Special 53 - Target Books (Credit: Panini) The latest special edition from Doctor Who Magazine explores the world of the much loved Target Books.

Considered a unique record of Doctor Who’s history in the era before fanzines, official magazines and home video, Target books are probably the most cherished items of merchandise inspired by the show.

They’re certainly the most commercially successful. From the early 1970s to the early 90s, it’s estimated that Target sold over eight million novelisations and other Doctor Who books.

This is the inside story of a legendary imprint, from its rise and fall to its triumphant revival in 2018. 

Highlights include numerous rare images and exclusive interviews with the key players, including:
  • Chris Achilleos (cover artist for The Auton Invasion, The Zarbi, The Doomsday Weapon, etc)
  • Jeff Cummins (cover artist for The Mutants, The Horror of Fang Rock, The Talons of Weng-Chiang, etc)
  • Peter Darvill-Evans (Target Books editor from 1989)
  • Terrance Dicks (the most prolific author of Target books)
  • Anthony Dry (cover artist for City of Death, Rose, The Day of the Doctor etc)
  • John Peel (author of the novelisations of The Chase, The Power of the Daleks, The Evil of the Daleks etc)
  • Marc Platt (author of the Battlefield and Ghost Light novelisations)
  • Nigel Robinson (Target Books editor from 1984 to 1987)
  • Andrew Skilleter (cover artist for The Gunfighters, The Abominable Snowmen, The Stones of Blood etc)
  • Alan Willow (artist who provided internal illustrations for The Cybermen, Terror of the Autons, The Sea-Devils etc) 


 Other highlights include:
  • Extracts from two unpublished manuscripts
  • The untold story of Doctor Who Discovers, based on the archive of author Fred Newman
  • Details of foreign editions
  • The Companions of Doctor Who series
  • Interviews with collectors who own original Target Books artwork


and an afterword from Pete McTighe, the writer of the 2018 story Kerblam!

On sale from Thursday 8 August 2019