As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 4 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 25 Jul 2012

Lethbridge-Stewart: The New Unusual / fifth series limited edition runBookmark and Share

Thursday, 12 October 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart exclusives (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced the fifth series of the Lethbridge-Stewart range of novels will be released as limited editions available exclusively via their website, with the first book, The New Unusual, now available for pre-order.

The New Unusual sees Anne Travers and the team investigate strange goings-on at hippy dream-ins, which sends them to Australia. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:
Adrian Sherlock first came to my attention via John Peel, and when Shaun and I discussed the idea of sending the team to Australia, it seemed common sense to have an Australian write the novel.
Adrian continues:
That was an idea I warmed to immediately, having always wanted to see Australia more connected with world of science fiction. Australia’s an amazing country, with many exotic and fascinating wonders, so it was a lot of fun to include them in the narrative.

The New Unusual takes its title from a favourite line of dialogue spoken by the Doctor in the opening episode of the Doctor Who serial, The Mind of Evil. He states that the purpose of the Brigadier's team is to investigate new and unusual menaces. When Andy first gave me the chance to pitch an idea for the novel, I knew I had to tap into the spirit of the times and that meant a fad or a craze, something the kids were into. Furthermore, I knew there had to be a hint of the mind-bending surrealism of the time, which reflected some of the experimentation with drugs such as LSD. But it had to have an explanation that was right for the world of Lethbridge-Stewart, something unearthly and threatening.

Anne Travers takes centre stage for the first half of this novel, with Shaun Russell, head of publishing, explaining:
Anne continues to be a popular character, easily strong enough to lead a book on her own. When planning these books out we like to keep a balance between our two lead characters, and this year we’ve already had two Brig-centric novels and one Anne. This marks Anne’s second major plotline this year, as she continues to deal with the fallout of her father’s death and what effect it has on her place in the world.
Adrian adds:
I had the idea that Anne knows there is a menace and becomes increasingly determined to uncover it. But in any good story, the main characters encounter opposition when they pursue their goals. It seemed to me that Anne might do what she has to do to succeed, overcoming opposition, yet feeling increasingly that she is unhappy with herself. A crisis comes when any one of us betrays our own values in order to achieve an end. I was fascinated by the notion that she might not like who she is becoming, if she goes too far and leads her friends into too much peril.

And with Lethbridge-Stewart, the story offered a good opportunity to present him as a man in total contrast to the youth of the time and their willingness to seek that which is ‘new and unusual’. I knew that he had to go beyond simple soldiering and face real threats and the possibility of his own death. I knew he had to see himself, to learn a little something about himself, in this adventure into the unknown.

The book continues a trend running through Beast of Fang Rock, Moon Blink and Night of the Intelligence, taking a look at aspects of the hippy movement of the late-‘60s, early-‘70s. The striking cover art, featuring Anne Travers and Bill Bishop is full hippy get-up, is by Adrian Salmon:
I knew my wife would kill me if I didn't draw the cover. She's a tough Aussie gal and when I found out The New Unusual was set in Australia, I asked to be the artist to bring Old Tom, Anne and Bill in all their grooviness to life!


Novels in the fifth series are limited editions of 400 copies, and will only be available to buy from Candy Jar Books - they will NOT be made commercially available. The New Unusual can be pre-ordered individually or as part of the discounted UK bundle, international bundle, or part of the yearly subscription offer.

Lethbridge-Stewart: The New Unusual (Credit: Candy Jar Books)It's the early 1970s, a time of change, a time of turmoil, a time of surrealism, LSD and the Age of Aquarius, a time of fads, Moon landings and wars, and the young people of the world are seeking something new - and unusual!

For Anne Travers, an encounter with a so-called 'dream egg' is just the beginning of a long nightmare. Her scientific curiosity aroused, Anne begins to probe the secret underground scene known as 'dream-ins', where students and others meet to get involved with a new craze and, perhaps, something far more alien to human experience.

And for Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who finds himself drawn into Anne's investigations, this probe will lead him and the Fifth Operational Corps to the wilderness of the Australian Outback, to a little opal mining town called Coober Pedy and a search for answers.

The New Unusual includes a revised ‘exclusive’ version of The Playing Dead short story.



Please note this is the final week to be able to get a preview copy of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence. The book will not be made commercially available until March 2018.




FILTER: - Books - Candy Jar Books - Lethbridge-Stewart

Shada Gets Animated CompletionBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Shada (Credit: BBC Worldwide)Shada (Credit: BBC Worldwide)BBC Worldwide is to release the Douglas Adams Doctor Who story Shada, using animation to complete the story.

Shada was planned to be the celebratory end to the seventeenth series of Doctor Who. Acclaimed writer Douglas Adams had completed the script, Tom Baker’s Doctor was at the height of his popularity, and the series had bigger audiences than ever before.

The story was also due to be the final story produced by Graham Williams, before handing over to new producer John Nathan Turner, who would introduce a new look to the series. But it was not to be. Strike action at the BBC in November 1979 meant the final studio recording sessions were cancelled, and the story was never completed.

A video was released in 1992, with Tom Baker providing linking material to camera for the missing scenes, re-released as a DVD in 2013. A web version of the story was also produced for the official Doctor Who website to mark the programme's 40th Anniversary in 2003. It used basic Flash animation alongside a new audio track produced by Big Finish and starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. In 2013 an unofficial fan version, directed by Ian Levine, was completed using animation to fill in the missing scenes. In this version, although a number of original cast members revoiced their parts, the Fourth Doctor was voiced by another actor.

Now, thirty-eight years on from the planned transmission, BBC Worldwide has announced that a new official version of Shada is to be completed, combining the original, remastered footage, with new colour animation. The animation will feature the newly-recorded voices of the original cast, including Tom Baker as the Doctor and Lalla Ward as Romana, performing the original script.

Tom Baker says
Shada was one of my favourite Doctor Who stories. I have many fond memories of shooting the location scenes in Cambridge, and it was disappointing not to finish the story in studio. I’m so glad that BBC Worldwide have found a way to bring fans a complete visual version.
The new feature-length production incorporates all of the live-action scenes from 1979, together with new animated material. Shada finds the Doctor in Cambridge working alongside companion Romana and retired Time Lord, Professor Chronotis, to defeat the evil alien Skagra who is attempting to steal the secrets to the prison planet, Shada.

Doctor Who: Shada is being produced by the team behind the highly successful and critically acclaimed animation of lost Doctor Who serial The Power of the Daleks and lost Dad’s Army episode A Stripe For Frazer . The team have had access to nearly seven hours of raw footage from the original 1979 Shada shoot from which they are editing the new production from scratch, with all the original location film negatives re-scanned in full HD and digitally remastered. It will not, however, be possible to create a full HD version of the new production, as the original studio video material is locked into its original SD format, and no higher resolution is possible.

Paul Hembury, Executive Producer, BBC Worldwide says
Fans loved The Power of the Daleks, so we’re delighted to be able to complete and bring them another lost Doctor Who classic.
Shada will be released as a digital download on Friday 24th November, and on DVD and Bluray on Monday 4th December.

The release is avaiable to preorder as a Steelbook, DVD and Blu-ray.

Shada - Lalla Ward (Credit: BBC Worldwide)Shada - Tom Baker and Daniel Hill (Credit: BBC Worldwide)
On Saturday 2nd December there will be a special screening of Doctor Who: Shada at BFI Southbank, London. Further information will be available from the BFI from Monday 23rd October. Tickets for BFI members will be available from Tuesday 7th November, and for the public from Tuesday 14th November.

Blu Ray/DVD - Bonus Material
  • Taken Out of Time (25' 39")
  • Now and Then (12' 45")
  • Strike, Strike, Strike! (27' 50")
  • Studio Sessions - 1979 (44' 38")
  • Dialogue Sessions (14' 16")
  • Model Filming (04' 36")
  • Deleted Scenes (01' 22")
  • Title Sequence Films (TBC)
  • Live Action Reference Footage (02' 48")
  • 1979 Gallery (04' 50")
  • 2017 Gallery (02' 52)




FILTER: - Blu-ray/DVD - Fourth Doctor - Tom Baker

Forty Years of K-9Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 8 October 2017 - Reported by Marcus
Moments in TimeIt was Forty years ago today, on Saturday 8th October 1977, that we first met the Doctor's 'Tin' Dog, when K-9 made his debut appearance in Doctor Who.

K-9 was the invention of writers Bob Baker and Dave Martin, who created the character for their fourth Doctor story The Invisible Enemy. Although originally intended to appear in that one story, the character was retained after producer Graham Williams saw its potential appeal to younger fans of the series.

K-9 was voiced by John Leeson, who had been contracted to provide the voice of the Nucleus for the story and was also asked to voice the robot Dog. Apart from Season 17, when the character was voiced by David Brierley, Leason has voiced the character ever since.

Making the character a permanent member of the crew was not without its problems for the production team. The radio controlled model was prone to operational problems in the studio and Directors found it difficult to compose a shot comprising the lanky frame of Tom Baker and the squat shape of K-9. However, the character did prove popular with the audience and rapidly became an icon of the series,

K9 - Timequake A new improved model was introduced at the start of season 16, with improved electronics, but the character still had its limits, being written out of some stories altogether.

When John Nathan Turner took over as the producer in 1980, he decided to have the character written out, and at the end of the story Warrior's Gate, K-9 finally left the Doctor. Just a year later the character was back, alongside former companion Elisabeth Sladen, in a one-off adventure K-9 and Company. The first television spin-off from the main series of Doctor Who.

K-9 made a final classic series appearance in the twentieth-anniversary story The Five Doctors.

It was in 2006 that the character returned to the screen in the revamped version of Doctor Who in a story by Toby Whithouse. School Reunion also brought Sarah Jane Smith, in the person of Elisabeth Sladen back into Doctor Who, an appearance that would lead to the commissioning of The Sarah Jane Adventures, also featuring the Robot Dog.

In 2010 an Australian produced series, featuring a redesigned K-9, was broadcast, consisting of 26, 30-minute episodes. The series was produced independently of the BBC, so no BBC owned characters could appear. The series was shown on Channel 10 in Australia and Channel 5 in the UK.

Forty years after his first appearance, K-9's character is still in production, with original co-creator Bob Baker, along with Paul Tams working on a feature film, K9: TimeQuake which will feature the robot dog up against classic Doctor Who villain Omega.




FILTER: - K9 - Moments in Time

Trevor Martin 1930-2017Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 7 October 2017 - Reported by Marcus

The actor Trevor Martin, the first actor to play The Doctor on stage, has died at the age of 87.

Trevor Martin first appeared in Doctor Who in 1969, playing a Time Lord in the final Second Doctor story The War Games.

However, he is best remembered for playing The Doctor in a stage play based on the series, Doctor Who and the Daleks in the Seven Keys to Doomsday, which ran in London's Adelphi Theatre for four weeks at the end of 1974.

The play, by Terrance Dicks, was set just after the regeneration of the Third Doctor, with Martin playing an alternate version of the Fourth Doctor, who made his TV debut in the form of Tom Baker, during the run of the play.

The Doctor's companions were played by Wendy Padbury and James Matthews. In 2008 the play was adapted for Audio by Big Finish with Martin once more taking the lead role.

Away from Doctor Who Trevor Martin was a regular face on British Television, first appearing in the play Tomorrow Mr. Tompion! And About Time Too! in 1958. Appearances followed in Three Golden Nobles, Orlando, Jackanory, The Tragedy of King Richard II, Z Cars, Armchair Thriller, Inspector Morse, Coronation Street and The Bill.

An interview with Trevor Martin is due to be released on October 16th as part of the Myth Makers series.




FILTER: - Classic Series - Obituary

The Doctor Who ProjectBookmark and Share

Thursday, 5 October 2017 - Reported by Marcus

The latest season of adventures from the long-running fan-written fiction series, The Doctor Who Project (TDWP), is currently in production.

The unofficial series features the Tenth Doctor and companion Hannah Redfoot as they travel through all of time and space in seven new adventures.

Season 41 begins with The Throne of Peladon by James P. Quick, the first part of a two-part adventure which sees the Doctor and Hannah return to Peladon in the year 4,100, where political machinations could once again rip the planet apart. Then, they encounter a boy soprano with a voice of gold who never grows old, land on a planet where the ghost of the Great One returns, confront an alien scientist bent on changing time, and the Doctor falls ill to a mysterious disease.

Writers for the rest of the season include Hamish Crawford, Ian Manning, J.E. Remy, Matthew James (Ghost Ship, The Snow Maiden), Richard Hoover (Where There’s Thunder), and Nick Krohn. Season 41 continues with The Secret of Peladon (Sep 30), Palimpsest (Oct 7), Web of Insanity (Oct 14), Dolce Music Della Morte (Oct 21), Rights and Responsibilities (Oct 28) and Moondust (Nov 4).

Stories are available free to readers in PDF format.

For more information visit The Doctor Who Project website.




FILTER: - Fan Productions - Tenth Doctor

Lethbridge-Stewart: '48 CrashBookmark and Share

Sunday, 1 October 2017 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar have announced '48 Crash, a Lethbridge-Stewart short story to tie in with the Radio One's 50th Annversary weekend:

Lethbridge-Stewart: '48 Crash (Credit: Candy Jar Books)In tribute to the 50th anniversary of BBC Radio 1, Candy Jar Books has announced a Kindle-only short story, ’48 Crash by Mark Carton.

This weekend sees the BBC celebrate with a three-day “vintage” digital radio station, Radio 1 Vintage, with 50 one-hour themed shows compiled from Radio 1 archive material, featuring DJs from across its entire history. To coincide, the story ’48 Crash will be available to buy from Amazon Kindle over the same period.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, said:
Having grown up listening to BBC Radio, I’ve been waiting to hear what they had planned for the 50th anniversary of Radio 1. It seemed like a fantastic opportunity to celebrate a British institution that has had such an impact over the years. When Mark suggested that he’d like to write a short story to mark the event, I thought that combining his core idea with the Lethbridge-Stewart range was a no-brainer.

This celebratory release aligns with our Kindle release of the individual short stories featured in our limited edition HAVOC Files one through three. Each short story will now be available to download from Amazon Kindle individually for £1.29. Customers who previously missed the PDF e-books will be able to read each story in isolation without having to commit to the whole load. This is something we’ve been asked for many times. You ask, we do!

Mark Carton has been an avid follower of the Lethbridge-Stewart range, and is the author of Candy Jar children’s novel The League of the Red-Nosed Gentlemen. He says:
The Brig is an iconic part of Doctor Who history, which itself, of course, an iconic part of the BBC’s story too. In tribute to Radio 1’s Birthday, we thought it would be fitting if he returned to the fold, so to speak, to help out Auntie once again! It’s an action-packed tale, and a little irreverent, which we thought was befitting of Radio 1’s ethos. Lethbridge-Stewart must solve a mystery encoded in some of the popular hits of Radio 1’s early days. When the music’s over, does he succeed? I’ll leave that to the readers to find out!

A free PDF version of ’48 Crash will also be available to customers who purchase The Flaming Soldier from the Candy Jar website.



  • It is also possible to pre-order a preview copy of the new Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries, announced last month. The book is due to be released widely in early 2018, but limited copies are available now via the Candy Jar website.
  • Candy Jar Books is also offering an exciting new opportunity for aspiring writers. Launched at the Candy Jar Book Festival in Cardiff this year, the Candy Jar Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition invites writers to submit a short story based on the Doctor Who character Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. More details about how to submit can be found at the Candy Jar Books Festival website.




FILTER: - Books - Candy Jar Books - Lethbridge-Stewart