Doctor Who: Adventures in LockdownBookmark and Share

Monday, 19 October 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Adventures in Lockdown (Credit: Penguin Random House)

Penguin Random House has announced the release of  Doctor Who: Adventures in Lockdown, a collection of stories written by Doctor Who writers in response to COVID-19.

During challenging months of global uncertainty and isolation, the Doctor and the TARDIS have remained a dream that drew many -allowing them to roam the cosmos in search of distraction, reassurance and adventure.

This very special short story collection brings these epic tales together, along with three brand new stories and beautiful illustrations in support of BBC Children in Need.

Current showrunner Chris Chibnall, and former showrunners Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat, present exciting adventures, alongside work from Chris Riddell, Joy Wilkinson, Paul Cornell, PeteMcTighe, Sonia Leong, Sophie Cowdrey and Mike Collins.

Also featuring three brand new stories from Neil Gaiman, Mark Gatiss and Vinay Patel, Adventures in Lockdown is a book for any DoctorWho fan in your life, stories that will send your heart spinning wildly through space and time...

 

Full list of stories:

  1. A Message from the Doctor
  2. Things She Thought While Falling by Chris Chibnall
  3. The Terror of the Umpty Ums by Steven Moffat
  4. Doctor Who and the Time War by Russell T Davies
  5. Revenge of the Nestene by Russell T Davies
  6. Rory’s Story by Neil Gaiman
  7. One Virtue, and a Thousand Crimes by Neil Gaiman
  8. The Simple Things by Joy Wilkinson
  9. The Tourist by Vinay Patel
  10. Fellow Traveller by Mark Gatiss
  11. The Shadow Passes by Paul Cornell
  12. Shadow of a Doubt by Paul Cornell
  13. The Shadow in the Mirror by Paul Cornell
  14. Press Play by Pete McTighe
  15. Listen by Steven Moffat
  16. The Secret of Novice Hame by Russell T Davies

Doctor Who: Adventures in Lockdown will be available to purchase from UK retailers only, with £2.25 from every copy going to BBC Children in Need

BBC Books Publishing Director, Albert DePetrillo, says:

Since I first mentioned the idea for this collection to the Doctor Who and BBC Children in Need teams, the response has been amazing. We’ve gathered a truly stellar list of writers and illustrators, who have contributed their time and creativity for a wonderful cause. Doctor Who and BBC Children in Need are a powerful combination, and Adventures in Lockdown is a book that celebrates the best of the Whoniverse – which is to say,the best in all of us.

The book will be released on November 5, 2020.and can be ordered on Amazon





Michelle Ryan returns as Lady ChristinaBookmark and Share

Sunday, 18 October 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Lady Christina series 2 (Credit: Big Finish)
Aristocratic adventurer Lady Christina de Souza is back in a brand new, full-cast audio drama series due for release in July 2021 from Big Finish
 
The character, played by Michelle Ryan, was last seen on television in the 2009’s Easter Special episode of Doctor Who, Planet of the Dead,
 
Lady Christina series 2 comprises three new stories, as the jetsetting action heroine travels to a land down under, discovers historical treasures and grapples with difficult family decisions.
 
Actor Michelle Ryan said:
Lady Christina is someone who's very capable and independent. Like a cat, she does have nine lives, I really think. People seem to really respond to her.

It's so great to put her boots back on, and get back in the studio and have a little play. Everyone's bringing their A-game. The writing's really good. I've really had a brilliant time.
 
Lady Christina 2 is now available to pre-order as a collector’s edition box set or download, from just £16.99, exclusively at www.bigfinish.com.
Jetsetter, adventurer, and owner of a very unusual London bus, Lady Christina de Souza is travelling the globe and catching up with the rellies.

First, a treasure hunt with her reprobate father in the Indian Ocean. Then, a flying visit to the Australian outback in search of a lost Great Aunt...

But Sam Bishop and Jacqui McGee of UNIT are on her trail. As one reunion takes a dangerous turn, Christina has a hard decision to make –for the good of the family!
 
The three new tales in this series are:
  • The Wreck by James Goss
  • Walkabout by Sarah Grochala
  • Long Shot by John Dorney
 
Director Helen Goldwyn said:
These scripts and these characters are fantastic; really capturing the spirit of the first series but also adding new twists and dimensions. These new stories also do real justice to the multi-layered character of Lady Christina. There’s so much comedy but then there’s also lots of dark, gruesome moments!
The series also features guest appearances from Warren Brown (Luther, Good Cop), Tracy Wiles (Intrigo: Samaria) and William Gaminara (Silent Witness).
 
Lady Christina 2 is now available to pre-order as a collector’s edition box set or download, exclusively from the Big Finish website, from just £16.99.
 
Plus, for one week only, Big Finish listeners can save money by ordering Lady Christina series 1-2 in a bundle from just £35.00. This discount expires at 23:59 (UK time) on 22 October 2020




Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 557Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 October 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 557 (Credit: Panini)

The latest edition of Doctor Who Magazine included an exclusive preview of the new animated series Daleks!

 

Highlights include:

  • An exclusive look at the new animated YouTube series Daleks!, featuring interviews with the cast and crew members.
  • Voice artist Nicholas Briggs explains how he brought the Emperor Dalek to life.
  • Doctor Who’s 50 scariest moments, with comments from Maxine Alderton, Chris Chibnall, Frazer Hines, Steven Moffat and more.
  • Ray Holman’s guide to the creatures he designed and dressed for Series 12 – with never-before-seen sketches from the Doctor Who Costume Department.
  • The second part of Time Lord Victorious: Monstrous Beauty, a new comic-strip adventure for the Ninth Doctor and Rose.
  • A new regular feature on memorabilia looks at how to collect the Doctor Who Annual.
  • The Fact of Fiction continues its exploration of the 1964 story Marco Polo, plus interviews with Carole Ann Ford, Philip Voss and production assistant Penny Joy.
  • Apocrypha rediscovers the 1987 comic-strip The World Shapers
  • Reviews of new books The Monster Vault and The Knight, the Fool and the Dead.

·        

Also includes previews and reviews, news, prize-winning competitions, Time and Space Visualiser, The Blogs of Doom and more.

 

Doctor Who Magazine Issue 557 is on sale from Thursday 15 October £5.99 (UK)





Doctor Who Gaming - 2 New AdventuresBookmark and Share

Monday, 12 October 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality (Credit: BBC Studios)

 

The world of Doctor Who is expanding with the planned release of two brand new adventures

Join Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker and Tenth Doctor David Tennant on a quest to save reality in a new console and PC game

Dive back into Blink and explore the hidden past of the Weeping Angels in a groundbreaking ‘found phone’ handheld and mobile game

Digital entertainment studio, Maze Theory, in partnership with BBC Studios, has today reveals the expansion of the Doctor Who interactive universe with two brand-new video games launching in Spring 2021. 

Coming to consoles and PC, Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality reimagines, and builds upon, last year’s VR experience, Doctor Who: The Edge of Time, with a new and compelling first-person adventure. 

With brand-new gameplay, new monsters and new worlds to explore, players will wield the Thirteenth Doctor’s sonic screwdriver on a quest to save the universe.

Players will be guided by the Thirteenth Doctor, voiced by Jodie Whittaker, and joined by the Tenth Doctor, voiced by David Tennant.

Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality (Credit: BBC Studios)

 

Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality features:

  • A Console and PC adventure across Space and Time  - built with current and next-generation consoles in mind, Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality features new worlds to explore, new puzzles, new challenges and new gameplay.
  •  
  • An Original Doctor Who story - uncover a universe-spanning threat as you seek to  save reality from a series of time-breaking glitches. Continue the story that began in The Edge of Time and partner with the Doctor to unearth a greater mystery.
  •  
  • New Enemies and AI - come face-to-face with classic Doctor Who monsters including the Daleks and Weeping Angels. Experience the metal-clad terror of the Cybermen and more foes yet to be revealed…
 
 

Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality (Credit: BBC Studios)Also revealed today is Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins, coming to iOS and Android mobile devices as well as Nintendo Switch. 

The game is being developed by award-winning Malaysian studio Kaigan Games, renowned for pushing the boundaries of storytelling within mobile. 

 

The game will see players uncover and decipher the mystery of a ‘found phone’, unravelling a sinister series of events taking place at Wester Drumlins, the iconic ‘uninhabited’ home featured in the legendary Doctor Who episode Blink.

Someone is missing and a menacing new nemesis has emerged. Players will work with Petronella Osgood and other classic characters as they get steadily closer to the truth.

There is only one rule: don't turn your back, don't look away and don't blink!

 

Ian Hambleton, CEO of Maze Theory said: 

With our partners at BBC Studios, we are expanding the Doctor Who universe through a ground-breaking trilogy of experiences, now delivered across multiple devices and platforms.

The uniting of The Thirteenth Doctor and The Tenth in Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality is set to be an epic moment in a game that completely re-imagines last year’s VR experience. While The Lonely Assassins tells a brand new story exploring the legend of one of the most iconic episodes ever. As part of Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious, we have also delivered an amazing fan-centric update to the VR game Doctor Who: The Edge of Time.

These launches reaffirm the studio’s commitment to take players on exciting and unexpected narrative journeys.

Kevin Jorge, Senior Producer – Games & Interactive, BBC Studios said 

The Edge of Reality and The Lonely Assassins bring Doctor Who to life on console and mobile in a new and thrilling way. From saving the universe with the Thirteenth and Tenth Doctors, to bringing back the Weeping Angels, it’s going to be an exciting year and we can’t wait to reveal more!

 

Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins (Credit: BBC Studios)Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins (Credit: BBC Studios)Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins (Credit: BBC Studios)

 

 

Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam in Spring 2021. 

Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins will launch on iOS, Android & Nintendo Switch in Spring 2021.

 Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality is a Maze Theory production for BBC Studios in partnership with Just Add Water

Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins is a Maze Theory production for BBC Studios in partnership with Kaigan Games 

 





Doctor Who: A Tale of Two Time LordsBookmark and Share

Friday, 9 October 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: A Tale of Two Time Lords (Credit: Titan)

The Thirteenth Doctor meets the Tenth in the latest paperback release from Titan Comics. 

Doctor Who: A Tale of Two Time Lords is due for release later this month.
 
This deluxe edition collects #1 - 4 of the Eisner-nominated writer Jody Houser and artist Roberta Ingranata's return for Year Two of the critically acclaimed Doctor Who comics.
 
Volume 1 ties into the fan-favorite season 3 episode "Blink", written by former showrunner Steven Moffat.
 

The book can be ordered from Amazon

  • Doctor Who: A Tale Of Two Time Lords

 

  • Writer: Jody Houser
  • Artist: Roberta Ingranata
  • Colourist: Colourist

The 13th Doctor is back! This time she faces the horrific Weeping Angels - who else can help her out but one of her previous incarnations: the Tenth Doctor himself? Landing in the swinging 60s, Thirteen and fam are stranded in the middle of a territorial battle between the Angels and the creepy autons, all the while having to avoid her former self and causing the universe to implode. What could go wrong?
 
Doctor Who: A Tale of Two Time Lords - Page 1 (Credit: Titan ) Doctor Who: A Tale of Two Time Lords - Page 2 (Credit: Titan ) Doctor Who: A Tale of Two Time Lords - Page 3 (Credit: Titan ) Doctor Who: A Tale of Two Time Lords - Page 4 (Credit: Titan ) Doctor Who: A Tale of Two Time Lords - Page 5 (Credit: Titan ) Doctor Who: A Tale of Two Time Lords - Page 6 (Credit: Titan )




First Look Images - Revolution of the DaleksBookmark and Share

Thursday, 8 October 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Revolution of the Daleks. (Credit: BBC Studios)Revolution of the Daleks. (Credit: BBC Studios)

The BBC has released two new images from the upcoming Doctor Who episode Revolution of the Daleks

The images were released today as part of New York Comic Con


The upcoming festive special will see the return of one of the Doctor’s biggest and most feared enemies – the Daleks. 

The Doctor is locked away in a high-security alien prison. Isolated, alone, with no hope of escape. Far away, on Earth, her best friends, Yaz, Ryan and Graham have to pick up their lives without her.

But it’s not easy. Old habits die hard. Especially when they discover a disturbing plan forming.

A plan which involves a Dalek. How can you fight a Dalek, without the Doctor?

Revolution of the Daleks will air during the upcoming festive period on BBC One and BBC America.

 





Doctor Who – Short Trips: The Meaning of RedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 6 October 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Short Trips: The Meaning of Red (Credit: Big Finish)

This month's Short Trip Audio release from Big Finish, The Meaning of Red, is performed by Nicola Bryant

All alone on a desolate, alien world, Peri Brown must fight for survival on her own. Can she succeed without the Doctor’s help?

Available as a download only, Doctor Who –Short Trips: The Meaning of Red Is the debut Big Finish audio adventure by writer Rod Brown.

It is a story that explores friendship, survival and self-discovery. Nicola Bryant reprises the role of Peri, a companion to the Fifth Doctor (as originally seen on television in 1984); this time showing how she takes matters into her own hands when the Time Lord isn’t present.
Doctor Who –Short Trips: TheMeaning of Redis now available to download exclusively from the Big Finish website for just £2.99
 

The TARDIS accidentally strands Peri alone on the inhospitable world of Calleto. Taking refuge with the planet’s only colonists, she waits and waits, but the Doctor doesn’t return. Her only hope lies in discovering the secrets of this planet.

It’s that, or she dies.

Doctor Who –Short Trips are short stories, many written by some of Doctor Who’s most popular authors from the worlds of television, print, comics and audio, and read by a host of favourite Big Finish actors.

Writer Rod Brown said:

The Doctor has been my best friend and companion since I was aged two; I was therefore so grateful for the opportunity to write for Peri and the Fifth Doctor. Peri had grown significantly between her two TV appearances with Peter Davison; from the somewhat rebellious hothead in Planet of Fire to the more mature and sympathetic character we saw on Androzani Minor.I thought it would be interesting to explore the reasons why and how she had grown up during this period –hence her predicament in The Meaning of Red.

Producer Alfie Shaw said:

The Meaning of Red takes a post-2005 Doctor Who television series staple (the ‘Doctor Lite’ episode) and applies it to a classic TARDIS team. Rod's done a fantastic job of highlighting the strengths of Peri as a character. Even though she's separated from the Doctor, we see all the traits that make her a perfect match for him. Nicola's a fantastic reader and has brought the whole thing to life wonderfully.

 

Doctor Who –Short Trips: The Meaning of Redis now available to download exclusively from the Big Finish website for just £2.99. 





Frank Windsor 1928 - 2020Bookmark and Share

Friday, 2 October 2020 - Reported by Marcus


Frank Windsor as Inspector Mackenzie (Credit: BBC)The actor Frank Windsor has died at the age of 92

 

Frank Windsor appeared in two Doctor Who stories in the 1980s. In 1983 he played Ranulf Fitzwilliam in the Fifth Doctor story The King's Demons. In 1989 he returned opposite the seventh Doctor playing Inspector Mackenzie in the story Ghost Light.

Windsor was best known for his regular role in the early Police series Z-Cars.

Frank Windsor studied speech training and drama at the Central School of Speech and Drama. He regularly appeared on television from the mid-1950s mostly playing historical characters in series such as An Age of Kings.

His big break came in 1962 when he was cast as Detective Sergeant John Watt in the gritty police series Z-Cars. The series was set in Liverpool and dealt with the realities of policing a large city. In tone it was very different to anything that had gone before and made stars of many of its regular cast, including Brian Blessed, James Ellis, Stratford Johns, Jeremy Kemp and Colin Welland. He played the role for three years before moving onto the spin-off series Softly, Softly and Softly, Softly: Taskforce from 1966 to 1976.

Other roles included a part in the pilot episode of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and a role in The Avengers. His lighter side came out in the pilot episode of the situation comedy The Dustbinmen in 1968, and as Scoutfinder General in an episode of The Goodies. other TV credits included 1960s sci-fi A for Andromeda, and a 1985 adaptation of Charles Dickens' Bleak House. From 1987 to 1989 he starred in the comedy-drama, Flying Lady. 

He had regular roles in the BBC drama Casualty; the ITV drama Peak Practice; he played Major Charlie Grace in EastEnders

In  later years appeared in a number of television commercials advertising life-assurance policies for people over 50

Windsor died at his home in London on 30 September 2020. He is survived by his wife Mary. 

His death was announced by his agent. 

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our much-loved client, Frank Windsor, at the age of 92. As per Frank's wishes and in keeping with Covid restrictions, there will be no funeral or memorial service, just a private cremation with his ashes being laid to rest with his beloved son David.

Windsor's son was killed in a car crash in 1987 at the age of 29. 

 

 

 

 





PeladonBookmark and Share

Friday, 2 October 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Peladon
The latest edition of the Fanzine Peladon has just been released. 
 
Issue 10 looks at the criticism received by recent series of Doctor Who and asks why it has become so toxic. 
 
The fanzine also talks to writer Andrew Harrison about his memories of growing up with Who while Steve O'Brien explores some of the many Wha-Ifs in Doctor Who’s 57-year history,
 
The first issue of Peladon was published in Jan 1985 and so it's been going, on and off, for 35 years now. It is believed to be the UK's longest-running fanzine outside of those published by the DWAS.
 
The A5 fanzine is available for £2 by emailing stevemarkobrien@gmail.com
 




Doctor Who Magazine Special EditionBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 30 September 2020 - Reported by Marcus
DWM Special 55 - Production Design (Credit: Panini)

The Doctor Who Magazine Special Editions return with a lavish new issue devoted to the series’ production design.

Production designers are some of the unsung heroes of Doctor Who, bringing outlandish script concepts to life and recreating historical settings for one of the BBC’s most demanding productions. Initially responsible for creating alien creatures as well as bizarre planets and other exotic destinations, designers have played a central role in the series’ production since it began in 1963.

This richly illustrated Special Edition examines the production designer's craft in unprecedented detail.

Exclusive interviews and rarely seen images provide a fascinating insight into the artistry behind a television legend.

Highlights include numerous rare images and exclusive interviews with the key players, including:

  • Jeremy Bear (The Mutants)
  • Nigel Curzon (Terror of the Zygons)
  • Arwel Wyn Jones (production designer on the 2018 series)
  • Michael Pickwoad (production designer on the 2010-17 series)
  • Jon Pusey (The Pirate Planet) Stephen Scott (Mawdryn Undead)
  • Dafydd Shurmer (production designer from the 2020 series)
  • Edward Thomas (production designer on the 2005-10 series) Tom Yardley-Jones (The Leisure Hive)

 Other highlights include:

  • Features on the design of Doctor Who in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and2010s
  • Bill Constable’s previously unpublished designs for the 1965 movie Dr. Who and the Daleks
  • Barry Newbery’s designs for The Aztecs
  • Recreating sets for The Evil of the Daleks with its designer, Chris Thompson

 

Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition 55: Production Design is sale at WH Smith, selected supermarkets and online from store.panini.co.uk from Wednesday 30 September 2020 priced £6.99.

It’s also available as a digital edition, priced £5.99, from pocketmags.com





New Time Lord Victorious Figurine SetsBookmark and Share

Friday, 25 September 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Dalek Executioner (Credit: BBC Studios)

Hero Collector – designers, manufacturers, and publishers of high-quality collectables from across the worlds of pop culture – has today revealed the latest figurine sets in Time Lord Victorious, the multi-platform Doctor Who adventure.

 

The latest Time Lord Victorious box set features the menacing, black-armoured Dalek Executioner, and the ingenious, battle-worn Dalek Strategist! These new Dalek designs were created specifically for the multi-platform story, and are accompanied by an in-depth magazine, packed with special details and an exclusive prose story which forms part of the Time Lord Victorious narrative.

 

Time Lord Victorious officially launched earlier this month, with products and experiences dropping until early 2021. The multi-platform story brings partners and platforms for the first time ever to tell a brand new Doctor Who adventure for fans across the world. Fans can enjoy as much or as little of the adventure as they choose, exploring the animation as well as novels, magazines, comics, escape rooms, audios, games, immersive theatre, vinyl, figurines and t-shirts. 

 

Fans and collectors should stay tuned for further information about Hero Collector Doctor Who merchandise, including the reveal of the final Time Lord Victorious box set!

 

Pre-order your Dalek Executioner and Dalek Strategist box set on Forbidden Planet or Big Bad Toy Store for £19.99/$34.95.

 

 

Find out more about Doctor Who: Time Lord Victorious on BBC Studios: timelordvictorious.com.





The Wintertime ParadoxBookmark and Share

Friday, 25 September 2020 - Reported by Marcus

The Wintertime Paradox (Credit: Penguin Random House,)

The Wintertime Paradox, a new book by Dave Rudden, will be published in October.


The book will feature incredible stories of Doctor Who Christmases past, present and future..

Did you know Davros and the Doctor met for three Christmases, on different planets, across time and space?

Have you heard the one about the time the Plasmavores came to pay a festive visit?

This thrilling anthology presents a fantastic collection of adventures through time and space, featuring the best-loved characters and places from the Doctor Who world.

The perfect stories for the bleakest - and sometimes brightest - time of the year, these festive, thrilling and often moving tales make the ideal gift for Doctor Who fans and young sci-fi lovers alike.

The book will be published on October 15th in hardback, RRP £12.99

.Dave Rudden is a former actor, teacher and time-displaced Viking currently living in Dublin. He is the author of the award-winning Knights of the Borrowed Dark trilogy and enjoys cats, adventure and being cruel to fictional children. A lifelong Doctor Who fan, Dave is also the author of Twelve Angels Weeping.

The book is available for pre-order on Amazon





Black Archive UpdateBookmark and Share

Thursday, 24 September 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Obverse Books

Obverse Books have announced that the Black Archive series will revert to a bi-monthly schedule after the 50th release in the series. 

Since its launch in early 2016, the award-winning Black Archive series from Obverse Books has established itself as a key critical work on the history of televised Doctor Who and In 2018 the series moved to a monthly schedule in 2018 in response to reader feedback. 

However, while the books remain hugely popular and widely praised, the publisher has decided that the volume of work required to keep up the high standards for a new book every four weeks is too great. It has therefore been decided to move the books back to their original bi-monthly schedule after Archive #50.

The editorial team will be joined by a fourth editor, Paul Driscoll, who joins Stuart Douglas, Phil Purser-Hallard and Paul Simpson.

Driscoll is an editor and author, and the co-founder of Altrix Books, the publishers of the Chronosmith Chronicles book series. He has written two Black Archives and one Silver Archive and has most recently published the novel After Vincent, and editedArmy of Ghosts, a collection of essays on Doctor Who’s sometimes forgotten stories.

Stuart Douglas, the publisher of the Black Archive, said:

It’s been a bit of a high wire act publishing a Black Archive every month – both exciting and hugely satisfying as we released a new, high-quality book every few weeks – but now, as we head into our second set of fifty Archives, seemed a good point to free up some time for the editorial team to work on their many other projects. Paul Driscoll was the only person we considered when we decided we also wanted to bring another editor on board. The various Archives he has written have all been of the very highest quality, and his editorial experience with Altrix will undoubtedly prove invaluable. We’re all looking forward very much to putting together the next half-century of Black Archives!

Further information on the Black Archive schedule and current titles can be found at www.blackarchive.co.uk.





Lethbridge-Stewart/Lucy Wilson updatesBookmark and Share

Sunday, 20 September 2020 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Kiss of the Ice Maiden (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced the second of its standalone Lethbridge-Stewart hardback novels for 2020, Kiss of the Ice Maiden by Michael Sloan:
Lethbridge-Stewart moved through the overlapping shadows in the cemetery with his heart pounding in his chest. The coffin was shrouded by rain that sheeted across the ground. He knew what would be waiting for him, but he could not turn away from it. He approached the grave carefully, aware that one of the shadows could manifest itself into the shape of the creatures. Vines had wrapped their tentacles around the coffin. Lethbridge-Stewart stepped up alongside it, holding onto his revolver, and lifted the lid. He shoved it to one side, revealing the creature lying beneath. She was a scarecrow of the vision he had in his mind. Her skin was dry and flaked off when he touched it. She was a husk, wasting away as if ravaged by a deadly disease. Her eyes were obsidian, her long eyelashes a mockery of the once beautiful face. Its texture repelled him. It was his worst nightmare.

Michael Sloan has hundreds of TV credits to his name, including Battlestar Galactica, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Six Million Dollar Man, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. However, he is perhaps best known as the creator of the original The Equalizer TV series, which has subsequently been adapted into a billion-dollar franchise starring Denzel Washington.

In the late ‘60s, early ‘70s Michael spent a great deal of time in the UK and fell in love with Doctor Who, particularly the Jon Pertwee era. Michael said:

I have been a fan of Doctor Who for as long as I can remember. I wanted my Lethbridge-Stewart book to be a distinctive departure for his character. So, in my book the Brigadier falls in love!  This is a thriller and, as you would imagine, the course of true love does not run smooth. Despite this, I thought it would make a change for the readers to see Lethbridge-Stewart wrestling with his emotions. He is vulnerable and his normal stalwart persona has been emotionally comprised.

Kiss of the Ice Maiden is reminiscent of the early 1970s Hammer Horror films set in present day such as Dracula A.D. 1972. It has supernatural and horrific overtones, and is the kind of book that would expect from the creator of The Equalizer.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said

A few years ago I worked together with Michael on Lost in Christmas, a children’s book about a family who become trapped inside Christmas cards and have to find a way to escape. While working on this, I sent Michael some Lethbridge-Stewart books and he devoured them. It wasn’t long before he pitched his own idea and I jumped at it. His story is certainly a different perspective on our hero. It also takes us right back to the 1970s, and picks up where we left off after A Very Private Haunting.

The Kiss of the Ice Maiden delves deeper into the Brig’s past to find out what makes him tick. Alongside this, Anne Travers has lost her father to the Great Intelligence, and has turned her back on HAVOC. Michael’s story is an emotional punch-up and is reminiscent of The Equalizer. Michael continues:

The book does echo some of my screenplays I have written over the years, where the hero is flawed, but still very much a hero.  I did this with some effect in the three Equalizer books. The Robert McCall character is tough, edgy and mercurial, all qualities that he shares with Lethbridge-Stewart. Particularly when he has been played with such strength and vision by Denzel Washington in the two Equalizer movies that have been shot by Sony/Columbia.

The striking cover art is by artist Martin Baines, who created artwork for the Downtime hardback. Martin said:

For me book covers need to convey the feel and mood inside a book. I don't think you are treating the reader well if every cover looks the same with a generic photoshopped face of the hero on the cover and is often short sighted. When I was briefed by Candy Jar I instantly thought of the brilliant painted covers for Pan's paperbacks in the sixties and posters for Hammer Horror. I do not normally use this type of palette so it was a bit of experiment but I really liked the poster of Hammer's The Gorgan and thought it was a good starting point. I think it makes this cover slightly different and more special for the readers. The empty fairground also brought great images in my head.

 

There will be two editions of The Kiss of the Ice Maiden, both now available for pre-order from Candy Jar Books, a standard paperback edition limited to 200 copies, and a limited edition hardback, which also includes a postcard and free book featuring stories from the Lethbridge-Stewart universe.

Please note that this special is not covered by any subscription offer.

 



Lucy Wilson: The Phantom of Tucker Road (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The latest instalment of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries will be The Phantoms of Tusker Rock by Christopher Bryant:

Lucy Wilson might be the scourge of all things extra-terrestrial, but her latest opponent is a little closer to home. Try as Lucy might, her dad just doesn’t get it. Earth’s last line of defence doesn’t get to take days off, even if it means staying out on a school night!

Particularly when those nights are broken by the sound of supernatural howling. And ghostly Vikings stalking the streets. And a mysterious coven of druids, led by someone who looks awfully like the little old woman down the road…

Whatever her dad says, Lucy’s got a job to do. But with night falling, and the waters rising, soon she finds herself cut off from everyone she loves.

Like several of Lucy’s previous adventures, the latest mystery is rooted in the area’s ancient legends. It was a concept that appealed to author Christopher, whose Welsh heritage has always informed his life and work. In The Phantoms of Tusker Rock we find Lucy and her superbrain sidekick Hobo encountering the ghostly cyhyraeth – a disembodied howl portending the death of the listener, which, legends say, can be heard emanating from Ogmore’s Tusker Rock to this day. The Rock has long been a source of legend, the ruin of unwary ships for centuries. And where myths collide, and the supernatural threatens, Lucy Wilson is sure to be found.

Christopher said:

One of the things I’ve always loved about Doctor Who is how it opens a portal – sometimes literally – between the everyday and the fantastic. In particular I’ve always liked the episodes that take the viewer into history. Whether it’s the Doctor’s flirting with Elizabeth I, or taking a jaunt around Dickensian London, it’s such a cool way of giving young viewers a sense of connection to their heritage. When Candy Jar approached me, I saw the opportunity to root around in that rich trove of folklore and myth and, hopefully, introduce it to a new generation.

South Wales, of course, has been a hotspot of all things extraterrestrial, extratemporal and extraordinary ever since the BBC established the home of Doctor Who in Cardiff. As the capital of not only (unquestionably) the world’s most beautiful country, but also one of its most loved and enduring franchises, in recent years the city has drawn in tourists from all over the world, keen to see the real-life home of the Doctor’s adventures. As Candy Jar’s Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, put it:

You can go anywhere in the world and people know Wales because of the Doctor. When we started the Lucy Wilson series, we knew we wanted to build on this connection; not only did basing our stories in Wales help establish an internal logic within the wider universe, but being a Cardiff company built up Lucy’s adventures. Lucy is a mixed-race character, who moved to the area from London. Using her character as the means to explore Wales’ folklore, we hope to paint a picture of Wales in the modern day – a country proud of its traditions yet cosmopolitan, diverse, and entirely at home in the twenty-first century.

 

The Phantoms of Tusker Rock is available to pre--order from the Candy Jar website.

 


 

Candy Jar Books currently have a sale on for their range of books, and have also made an additional free story available to listen to, Edge of Glory.