Candy Jar Books release online Lucy Wilson short-story by Sue HamptonBookmark and Share

Sunday, 18 August 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have released an online short story by Sue Hampton to tie in with their spin-off Lethbridge-Stewart series of books, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries - The Llanfairfach Rebellion (Credit: Candy Jar)ONE WORLD, ONE LAST CHANCE:
AWARD-WINNNING AUTHOR ARRESTED

Sue Hampton, the award-winning author of Thinner Than Water (“enjoyable and fascinating” – Beverley Knight), Just for One Day (“terrific” – Michael Morpurgo) and Candy Jar Books’ first Lucy Wilson instalment, Avatars of the Intelligence, has been arrested.

On 15th April 2019, Sue peacefully occupied Waterloo Bridge, as part of Extinction Rebellion’s month of protest against the “criminal inactivity” of the government in the face of today’s climate crisis. Their cause is a popular one – its urgency couldn’t be greater, the science any clearer. And yet in April alone, over a thousand protestors were arrested.

The granddaughter of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Lucy Wilson is no stranger to radical action herself. And Sue’s short story sees her in the thick of the action – on the site, in fact, where Sue was herself arrested, Waterloo Bridge.

For figures such as Sue, the repercussions of a criminal record are potentially severe. A one-time primary school teacher, Sue has been a professional author for over a decade, and much of her time is spent touring schools giving talks to students across the country. Her theme, both in her work and her talks, is the importance of love and respect. As a long term sufferer of alopecia universalis, and an ambassador for Alopecia UK, it is a subject close to her heart.

Head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, Shaun Russell, explains why he thought it was important to give Sue this platform:
We’ve all seen the news – the predictions for the coming decades if we don’t change our ways. Not everyone will agree with Extinction Rebellion’s way of doing things, but everyone has to agree they’re right about one thing: we’re running out of time. I’ve been working with Sue for years; she’s always been tireless in her pursuit of what’s right – whether it’s her work raising money for Alopecia UK, or her tours of the country’s schools talking to school children. The idea that she might be prevented from carrying out her work in schools because of a criminal record is ridiculous. All she’s doing is campaigning for a sane climate policy – for a future for our children. For what it’s worth, we wanted to show that her publisher was behind her.
Editorial Coordinator in Candy Jar, Will Rees, says:
Sue wrote the first Lucy Wilson novel, and she was a big part of making Lucy not just a tireless in her fight against extra-terrestrials, but forthright in her social and political views. Like many I’ve been inspired by the speeches of Greta Thunberg; the current wave of climate activism is a fight being led by the next generation. Thanks to Sue, Lucy is a very modern young woman, and we have no doubt that the girl from Ogmore-by-Sea would also be fighting for our planet.

The short story can be downloaded here.




Black Archive #34: BattlefieldBookmark and Share

Thursday, 15 August 2019 - 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




The Target StorybookBookmark and Share

Saturday, 10 August 2019 - 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.




Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition 53 - Target BooksBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 7 August 2019 - 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




Character Options B and M Collection RevealedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 31 July 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Character Options has revealed a new series of exclusive Doctor Who toys for local B&M Stores in the UK.

The collection was unveiled on Character Options’ own YouTube channel via an unboxing-style video presented by the firm’s Creative Director Al Dewar. In the video viewers were treated to a detailed review of the range which consists of three figures sets featuring Daleks and the TARDIS.

The Seventh Doctor Collector Figure Set – is a three articulated figure set Including The Doctor wearing his cream jacket, jumper and ubiquitous plaid trousers. His duo of villains includes the Cyberman and Cyberleader each with Cybergun accessories.

The Seventh Doctor Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )The Seventh Doctor Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )The Seventh Doctor Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )The Seventh Doctor Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )The Seventh Doctor Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )The Seventh Doctor Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )The Seventh Doctor Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )
The Two Doctors Collector Figure set – is from the episode entitled the Two Doctors and includes Second Doctor as Androgum as played by Patrick Troughton, the companion and American college student Perpugilliam (Peri) Brown and the villain of the episode, the Sontaran, Group Marshal Stike.

The Two Doctors Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )The Two Doctors Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )The Two Doctors Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )
The Sontarans Collector Figure Set – also features this fearful enemy and includes Lieutenant Harry Sullivan - one of the companions of the Fourth Doctor, plus two Sontarans - Field Major Styre, and Commander Lynx. Accessories include Sontaran helmets and blasters.

The Sontarans Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )The Sontarans Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )The Sontarans Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )The Sontarans Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )The Sontarans Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )The Sontarans Collector Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )
The TARDIS is a much loved piece in every Doctor Who collection and this latest launch includes two sets to collect that feature this essential Time Travelling Machine with opening doors

The Fifth Doctor and TARDIS from Caves of Androzani –Produced in 5.5 inch scale and has the Fifth Doctor played by Peter Davison and the somewhat travel weary police box TARDIS that has returned from the Caves of Androzani as in the 6th episode in Season 21 where the Doctor willingly undergoes a regeneration to save his companion!

Doctor Who The Fifth Doctor and Tardis (Credit: Character Options )Doctor Who The Fifth Doctor and Tardis (Credit: Character Options )
The Fourth Doctor and TARDIS from Shada Collector Figure Set – is as seen in the final, long delayed, episode of Series 17. Shada is the secret Time Lord’s Prison and it is with much trepidation that the Doctor, as played by Tom Baker, must make a visit.

Doctor Who The Fourth Doctor and Tardis (Credit: Character Options )Doctor Who The Fourth Doctor and Tardis (Credit: Character Options )
Three Doctor and Dalek sets have also been created inspired by popular Big Finish audio episodes including:

The Eighth Doctor and Dalek Interrogator Prime Action Figure Set – shows the fully articulated Doctor dressed in jeans and double breasted jacket and the Dalek Interrogator he faces when captured in the episode.

Doctor Who The Eighth Doctor and Dalek Interrogator Prime Action Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )Doctor Who The Eighth Doctor and Dalek Interrogator Prime Action Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )Doctor Who The Eighth Doctor and Dalek Interrogator Prime Action Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )
The War Doctor and Dalek Scientist Action Figure Set – has the Doctor as played by John Hurt in the War Doctor Audio episodes, the Dalek included is a scientist and works independently of High Command.

Doctor Who The War Doctor and Dalek Scientist Action Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )Doctor Who The War Doctor and Dalek Scientist Action Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )
The Seventh Doctor and Axis Strike Squad Dalek Action Figure Set – features the Time Lord as played by Sylvester McCoy in the Gallifrey VI Series. He must help regain Gallifrey and defeat the bronzed Daleks that have taken over the AXIS.

Doctor Who The Seventh Doctor and Axis Strike Squad Dalek Action Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )Doctor Who The Seventh Doctor and Axis Strike Squad Dalek Action Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )Doctor Who The Seventh Doctor and Axis Strike Squad Dalek Action Figure Set (Credit: Character Options )
Al Dewar, commented
It was huge fun to reveal by video the entire new collection. We are incredibly proud of this summer 2019 line up and believe that the fans will be equally delighted with each product that are to be launched. Our loyal following of collectors are always keen to gain a first glimpse of what’s new and doing this in such a personal style was important to us. The next stage is to see the range in store!
The collection will be available in B&M stores from Late August




Doctor Who: Battle ScarsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 31 July 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: Battle Scars (Credit: Big Finish)A new Doctor Who Short Trips has just been released by Big Finish

Doctor Who: Short Trips – Battle Scars, by Selim Ulug, takes us back in history as the Ninth Doctor makes a voyage on the Titanic.

Nightmarish memories of the Boer War. Crippling debts. An unconscious stranger in the garden. Arthur Daniels is beset with problems. Little does he know that his proposed solution could be the biggest problem of them all: a voyage to America aboard the RMS Titanic.
Writer Selim Ulug, a previous winner of the Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trips Opportunity, told us more about this tale for the Ninth Doctor (set before he met Rose)
It's a thrill to have the opportunity to write for Big Finish again. In Battle Scars we learn what happens when the Daniels family of Southampton encounter the Doctor. They're booked to sail on the Titanic, but when you run into the Doctor, unexpected things are sure to happen.

In addition to answering the question of why the family stayed behind, I wanted to use this story to explore the impact of war on its participants. The Doctor, after all, was recently in the Time War. Other characters in the story fought in the second Boer War. They're all looking for ways to move forward.
Narrated by Nicholas Briggs, Doctor Who – Short Trips: Battle Scars is available now at just £2.99 on download (only) from Big Finish.





Coming next in the Short Trips range, #HarrySullivan gets trending!

This Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane and, of course, Harry Sullivan story is narrated by Louise Jameson.
En route to answer the Brigadier’s summons, the TARDIS is dragged off course. The Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry find themselves trapped on The Zephyr, a spaceship that is going at full speed and yet is unable to move. With fuel running dangerously low, their only hope lies on Alderasea, a nearby world exclusively for the famous and celebrated.

However, Alderasea has never heard of them and has no intention of letting them land.






Cosmic Masque issue VIIIBookmark and Share

Saturday, 27 July 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Cosmic Masque issue VIII (Credit: DWAS)
Cosmic Masque issue VIII is now available from the Doctor Who Appreciation Society website.

Cosmic Masque is the e-magazine about fandom, published by DWAS

In this edition, 60 pages of fiction, reviews, interviews and articles including some of the more recent Big Finish releases, Titan Comics, accounts of visits to Comic-Con and signings and an interview with Dee Sadler (Greatest Show in the Galaxy).

The e-magazines is free for everyone to download and in two formats - single page to a view, or two page spreads.

It can be found on the Society Website.

A limited run print copy of Cosmic Masque VIII will be produced in 2019 in support of one of the DWAS chosen charities

Comments and contributions are welcome at cm@dwasonline.co.uk




Doctor Who Magazine - Issue 541Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 25 July 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine - Issue 541 (Credit: Panini)
Previous unseen images from some of the stories directed by Christopher Barry can be seen in the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

Images from The Daleks, The Rescue, The Romans, The Savages, The Power of the Daleks, The Dæmons, The Mutants, Robot, The Brain of Morbius and The Creature from the Pit are included in the magazine, released today.

Also in this issue:
  • Director Michael E Briant, actress Kay Patrick and writer Marc Platt recall working with Christopher Barry.
  • Jon Pertwee reflects on life after Doctor Who in the second part of an interview conducted at his first-ever convention appearance in 1977.
  • David Bradley answers questions from the TARDIS tin.
  • The Fact of Fiction explores the Eleventh Doctor story The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon.
  • Reviews of the Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 10 Blu-rays and Eric Saward’s Resurrection of the Daleks novelisation.
  • Part Two of Power of the Mobox, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends.
  • The Blogs of Doom, audio reviews, previews, news, prize-winning competitions and much more
DWM 541 is on sale from today, Thursday 25 July, priced £5.99.




New Countermeasures Novel for 2020Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 July 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced a brand new two-book novel, based on the Intrusion Countermeasures Group that first featured on television in 1988's Remembrance of The Daleks. The first part is due to be published in 2020:

Countermeasures: Birds of Passage (Credit: Candy Jar Books)
Birds Of Passage
Written by J Frank Andreas


In the 1960s Ian Gilmore led a special military group that dealt with the unusual and the unexplained. Including, occasionally, aliens. They were the Intrusion Countermeasures Group. Eventually it was determined the group was no longer needed, and soon other organisations took their place; like the Fifth Operational Corps and UNIT.

Almost a decade later, Air Vice Marshal Gilmore is looking forward to his retirement, enjoying life as a father and husband. But a someone is out to discredit him and the work he did, targeting both him and his family! Soon, Gilmore has no choice but to go on the run in an effort to protect his son. Only there is a further complication.

The think-tank that his wife was involved in has disappeared. Help appears in the form of Major Bill Bishop of the Fifth Operational Corps, and former member of the Intrusion Countermeasures Group, Allison Williams. Together they will attempt to uncover the architects of the conspiracy, and rescue both Gilmore’s and Bishop’s wives; Anne Travers and Rachel Jensen!


From the creative minds of Andrew Cartmel, Andy Frankham-Allen and Ben Aaronovitch comes a new thriller series featuring characters originally created for Doctor Who.

Birds of Passage and the follow up book Birds of Prey will form one story told over two novels, described as a series of thrillers akin to recent best-sellers by Vince Flynn, Steve Cavanagh and James Swallow, aimed at a more mature readership than the family-friendly Lethbridge-Stewart range.

Author J Frank Andreas says:
It was a real pleasure to be asked by Candy Jar to bring this hard-hitting story to life. The two Andrews (Frankham-Allen and Cartmel) have come up with a cracking story. I’m very much on board for doing some vastly different to Big Finish, taking the characters in a completely new direction. Hopefully those who love the Big Finish ranges will find something to love here, while people who have never experienced the Countermeasures Group at all, can come in and enjoy the thrill ride and get to know them for the first time!

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explains how Birds of Passage came to pass:
I’ve always loved the characters Ben created for Remembrance, and it was a joy to write for Gilmore in my short story, The Dogs of War. In 2017 I had the pleasure of writing for the full team in a Big Finish adventure, and when the news hit that Big Finish were no longer producing an ongoing series of New Counter Measures (although they have since began producing occasional stories), I saw an opening to bring the team to prose and do something a little different with them. I wanted to take them in a different direction to Big Finish, and so I approached Andrew Cartmel, who remains great friends with Ben Aaronovitch. We quickly secured a deal with Ben, which saw Andrew coming on as executive consultant – meaning he’s involved in developing the stories and character arcs alongside me.
Andrew Cartmel says:
I’m proud of the work I did on Doctor Who, and in particular I’m enormously proud of Remembrance of the Daleks. Thanks to the brilliant writing of Ben Aaronovitch, and performances by a sterling cast, we managed to craft a story which I think stands with the finest in the history of the show and will continue to do so. And, speaking of continuing, it’s a pleasure to know that the characters from Remembrance are enjoying a healthy afterlife in the adventures of the Intrusion Countermeasures Group, now in the form of a new series of novels from Candy Jars books. I’m looking forward to it, and to working with Andy as a consultant on this series.

Birds of Passage is due out in 2020, with Birds of Prey following in 20221. Both can now be pre-ordered from the Candy Jar website, either individually or both together, with a limited discount available now.




20 Years of Big Finish - Special OfferBookmark and Share

Friday, 19 July 2019 - Reported by Marcus
20th Anniversary (Credit: Big Finish)Today marks 20 years since Big Finish released their first Doctor Who audio adventure, The Sirens of Time.

To celebrate, the company is marking the occasion with some discount offers on a selection of highlights from the past two decades. 

The very first Doctor Who release ever, starring Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, The Sirens of Time, is available at just £1 on download. 

Doctor Who - Jubilee is available at £2 on download. This Big Finish adventure was the original story that became 'Dalek' on TV. Although the televised episode in 2005 (starring Christopher Eccleston) ended up being very different in many important ways, this is the core of the idea that Russell T. Davies wanted writer Rob Shearman to develop.

Spanning whole galaxies and centuries, Dalek Empire is an epic story of war, love, deceit, betrayal and sacrifice, featuring truly memorable characters brought to life by an all-star cast. You can get the whole of Series 1 at just £3 on download! (Each episode is also available at 75p each. 

The Fifth Doctor meets some of his earliest companions, in The Secret History, at just £4 on CD and download. 

Gallifrey, one of the most popular ranges in The Worlds of Doctor Who, is the West Wing meets science fiction. In this story a very different Romana (played by Juliet Landau), must save the universe… Gallifrey: Intervention Earth is available at £5. 

Five years ago, Big Finish started lovingly exploring the beginnings of Doctor Who in The Early Adventures. The first of these, Domain of the Voord, is on offer at £6 on CD or download. 

Paying homage to the fans who kept Doctor Who alive after its cancellation in 1989, Big Finish released adaptations of several of the Virgin New Adventures, called the Novel Adaptations. The first of these, which was also the debut of popular Big Finish character Professor Bernice Summerfield, is on special offer at £7 on CD or download. 

There are a whole host of Short Trips in the TARDIS. Series 1-4 are available at £8. 

Jago & Litefoot was one of the most beloved Doctor Who spinoffs on audio. You can get the whole of series one, starring Christopher Benjamin and the late Trevor Baxter, at £9 on CD or download. 

Big Finish was incredibly lucky to work with the late, great Sir John Hurt, expanding his hidden incarnation of the Doctor, the War Doctor. Steeped in violence, born into war, you can get the first series of The War Doctor, entitled Only the Monstrous, at £10 on CD or download. 

More adventures with classic companions! The Companion Chronicles - The Second Doctor Volume 1 is available at £11 on CD or download. 

Celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who back in 2013, The Destiny of the Doctor collection maps an adventure through 11 incarnations, and is available at £12 on CD or download, saving you over 50%.

Big Finish was delighted when David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor, stepped back in the TARDIS for more adventures back in 2016. The first volume of his adventures is available at just £13!

The Third Doctor’s era, originally starring Jon Pertwee as the Doctor, has been reverentially resurrected with Tim Treloar taking on the mantle of the great man, and Katy Manning back as Jo Grant. You can hear series one now at just £14 on CD or download. 

After his portrayal of William Hartnell in the television movie, An Adventure in Space and Time, Big Finish was delighted to bring David Bradley back as the First Doctor. The first series of his adventures are available at £15 on CD or download. 

The Eighth Doctor sagas are some of Big Finish’s most popular stories, with the Eighth Doctor playing a much darker, brooding version than listeners knew from his TV outing... Dark Eyes, which won an award at the BBC Audio Drama Awards, is available now at £16 on CD or download. 

When Big Finish was granted the licence for New Series Doctor Who back in 2015, the very first series out of the gate was UNIT. The first volume, UNIT Extinction, featuring the return of the Autons, is available at £17 on CD or download. 

Tom Baker returned in 2012 to wear his long scarf again as the Fourth Doctor, and has dazzled listeners ever since. Philip Hinchliffe, one of the most renowned Doctor Who producers, joined Big Finish to curate a series of new adventures, with volume one available at £18 on CD or download. 

One of the great joys for Big Finish fans is the different interpretation of the Sixth Doctor, as played by Colin Baker. You can pick up his final foray (in this particular timeline), The Last Adventure, at £19 on CD or download. 

And, in 2013, to celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who on television, five Doctors met for The Light at the End. This limited edition box set is now available at just £20 on CD or download. 

Many of these adventures, and similar ones from the Worlds of Doctor Who at Big Finish, can be heard in our livestream event this weekend, on the Official Doctor Who YouTube Channel.
£1 Doctor Who - The Sirens of Time
£2 Doctor Who - Jubilee
£3 Dalek Empire Series 1 (75p each)
£4 Doctor Who - The Secret History
£5 Gallifrey: Intervention Earth
£6 Doctor Who - Domain of the Voord
£7 Doctor Who - Love and War
£8 Doctor Who - Short Trips Volumes 1-4 (£2 each)
£9 Jago & Litefoot Series 1
£10 The War Doctor - Only the Monstrous
£11 Doctor Who Companion Chronicles - The Second Doctor Volume 1
£12 Doctor Who - Destiny of the Doctor 
£13 Doctor Who - The Tenth Doctor Adventures Volume 1
£14 Doctor Who - The Third Doctor Adventures Volume 1
£15 Doctor Who - The First Doctor Adventures Volume 1
£16 Doctor Who - Dark Eyes
£17 UNIT - The New Series - Extinction
£18 Doctor Who - Philip Hinchcliffe Presents Volume 1
£19 Doctor Who - The Sixth Doctor - The Last Adventure
£20 Doctor Who - The Light at the End (Ltd Edition)


To take advantage of the offer visit the Big Finish Website and use access code SIRENS20 to gain access to these special offers. The discounts expire at 23:59 (UK time) on 22 July 2019.

All of these titles on special offer can also be bought in a super bundle at £200.




New portraits of all Thirteen DoctorsBookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 July 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Thirteen Doctors (Credit: BBC)New portraits of all Thirteen Doctors, from the very first incarnation played by William Hartnell through to Jodie Whittaker, the current Doctor, have been commissioned to one artist for the very first time. Launched at San Diego Comic-Con, they celebrate each of the Thirteen regenerations of the world’s most famous Time Lord.

Illustrated by Jeremey Enecio, the unique designs are inspired by the elements of the different personalities of each Doctor, displaying each iconic costume and well-loved characteristics of each Time Lord in colourful and charismatic detail.




Torchwood: SerenityBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 10 July 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Torchwood: Serenity (Credit: Big Finish)Big Finish Productions have released a new Torchwood Audio play marking ten years since the character of Ianto Jones was killed in the BBC Television series

Originally scheduled for release on 25 July, Torchwood: Serenity has been made available early as a surprise treat for fans of the show and to mark the tenth anniversary.

The story reunites John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd in a new full-cast audio drama.

Tuesday 9th marked ten years to the day since Ianto Jones, one of the most beloved characters ever in the science fiction genre, died in episode four of Russell T Davies’s Torchwood: Children of Earth. Since then, Torchwood has been revived as an international co-production for television in Miracle Day (2011), and continues to thrive in multiple audio drama ranges courtesy of Big Finish.

Fans of Torchwood and Ianto Jones were absolutely dismayed when the character was killed off as a result of gas poisoning by alien menace, the 456. The following public outcry sparked huge online campaigns, a charity fundraiser in his name (which raised more than £10,000 for Children In Need), and even a Ianto shrine in Cardiff’s Mermaid Quay.

James Moran, who co-wrote the 2009 TV mini-series with Russell T Davies and Torchwood TV episode, Sleeper, has returned to pen this new story set before the events of Children of Earth.

And, at first sight, it looks like they’ll live ‘happily ever after’

Serenity Plaza is the most exclusive gated community in South Wales. You’d kill to live there.

Jack and Ianto have gone undercover as a happily married couple. There are rumours that something’s wrong at Serenity Plaza and they’re determined to investigate. But the problem is that Serenity Plaza is just so rigidly normal.

Suddenly, Jack and Ianto have to confront the problems that normal couples face. Sharing a house together, doing the washing up, entering the residents’ baking contest, and hoping to win the Best Kept Lawn. Competition is fierce. Because this is Serenity Plaza. And you’d kill to live there.


Writer James Moran shared his thoughts on this very special release:
Surprise! Beyoncé-style surprise album drop! Me and Beyoncé, so similar in so many ways... I’m really excited that you’re getting this early, I can’t wait to see what you make of it. It’s VERY weird, VERY silly, and I’m still not sure how I got away with it!

I’ve adored jumping back into this universe – Torchiverse? Woodyverse? – and playing with its unique toybox. It’s a particular joy to release this on the tenth anniversary of Ianto’s on-screen death – how many other characters live on like this? Thank you for keeping him alive, and for always being there for absolute madness like Serenity. Now, keep off the grass, don’t use the blue towels, and DON’T mess with Ianto’s kebabs.
Director Scott Handcock added:
When we first started doing new Torchwood stories, we knew Gareth and Ianto were loved, but had no idea to what extent. Gareth was initially nervous about reprising the role, but has embraced the audio medium, both as an actor and writer. That’s the joy of Big Finish. Without compromising the power of his on-screen death, Ianto’s living as full a life as ever, and it’s a joy to be a part of.
Torchwood: Serenity was released at midday on Tuesday 9th July, priced at £7.99 on download or £9.99 on CD.




Jon Pertwee CentenaryBookmark and Share

Sunday, 7 July 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Today we mark 100 years since the birth of Jon Pertwee.

One of the greatest stars of Doctor Who and one of programmes greatest ambassadors, Jon Pertwee is remembered with as much affection today as he was when he hung up his velvet jacket and shrugged off the character of the Third Doctor at the end of his tenure in 1974. The fact that over forty-five years later the character lives on, remembered in Comic strips and Audio Books, on Blu-ray releases and in fan fiction, is a great tribute to the man who brought the incarnation to life.

Jon Pertwee was born in Chelsea in London on the 7th July 1919, less than a year after the end of the first world war. His destiny was probably fixed from birth, being born into a family immersed in show business. His father was the screenwriter and actor Roland Pertwee. His mother Avice Scholt, left when Pertwee was very young.

A natural rebel, the young Pertwee railed against what he saw as pointless rules and was expelled from several well-known schools. Perhaps the most notorious expulsion was from RADA, the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His crime, refusing to play a Greek "wind" during one of the lessons, feeling it was a waste of both his time and his father's money.

Pertwee was the age to fall right into the middle of the Second World War, serving for six years in the Royal Navy. He had a narrow escape when transferred off the HMS Hood shortly before it was sunk by the German Navy in 1941. A spell in naval intelligence saw him working with future James Bond creator Ian Fleming.

Pertwee was a great mimic and used his experiences in the war to create numerous characters when he drifted into Radio after the war. By 1948 he was appearing at theatres billed as the Most Versatile Voice in Radio. He even developed his own catchphrases. He played the old Postman from Puffney Post Office declaring "It doesn't matter what you do, as long as you tears them up". Perhaps his most memorable character was the conniving Chief Petty Officer Pertwee in The Navy Lark.

Primarily known as a vocal artist, Pertwee had small roles in a number of films, including a couple of Carry Ons. In 1953, he played Charlie Sterling in Will Any Gentleman...? alongside future Doctor Who actor William Hartnell. A main role in television eluded him until he was offered the lead role of George Mannering in the new comedy Dad's Army. It was a role he turned down. Just as well as his biggest success was just around the corner.

Jon Pertwee (Credit: BBC )In 1969 it was announced that Patrick Troughton was leaving Doctor Who and Pertwee asked his agent to apply for the role. To the agent's surprise, it was revealed that Pertwee was already on the shortlist and the producer, Derrick Sherwin's second choice for the role. The first choice was Ron Moody, who turned it down. The role belonged to Pertwee.

Having won the role that would define him Pertwee now had to decide how to play The Doctor. BBC Head of Drama Shaun Sutton advised him to play the role as himself. Trouble was he spent his life hiding behind invented characters and had no idea who the real Jon Pertwee was.

The character Pertwee eventually found gripped the imagination of the nation. When Troughton left the show it was was in danger of cancellation. Pertwee and team had one season to prove their worth and prove it they did.

A new Producer Barry Letts took over and with Terrance Dicks looking after the storylines one of the greatest creative teams on the series took form. 1971 saw Katy Manning taking on the role of the assistant Jo Grant and when Roger Delgado appeared as the Master, the team was complete. Three seasons of UNIT adventures unfolded. As success grew Pertwee became a great ambassador for the series, travelling the country making personal appearances and appearing on programmes such as Disney Time.

The death of Delgado in a road accident in Turkey slammed reality into the fictional world and when several members of the team decided their time on the series was up, Pertwee concurred. He did one more season, this time teamed up with new companion Elisabeth Sladen and in June 1974 his Doctor breathed his last. The era of Pertwee was over, the era of Baker had begun.

Jon Pertwee had completed five seasons as The Doctor, more than the two previous inhabitants of the role. He recorded 129 episodes of the series, which, if watched back to back, would take 53 hours 26 minutes to complete. It was a role he would always be linked to and a role he returned to when he appeared as the Third Doctor in the 20th Anniversary story as well as the later stage show.

Pertwee would go on to great success in another Children's role, that of the scarecrow Worzel Gummidge, based on the books written by Barbara Euphan Todd. He hosted the murder-mystery game show Whodunnit? and became a regular on such celebrity hangouts as Blankety Blank and Celebrity Squares.

Jon Pertwee was a great convention goer, revelling in the adulation he engendered. He became the first honorary president of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society. Perhaps it was fitting that he was attending a convention when he suffered a heart attack, dying in his sleep at the age of 76. His death came a week before the UK broadcast of the 1996 Doctor Who television film, which fittingly featured a dedication to the actor at its end. He was survived by his wife Ingeborg Rhoesa, and two children Sean and Dariel.

Jon Pertwee's death was a shock for fans around the world. The great man had gone, but his legacy lived on.




British Museum podcast highlights Doctor Who exhibitBookmark and Share

Saturday, 6 July 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Bank note featuring the 10th Doctor (Credit: BBC)The British Museum have recently launched a series of podcasts featuring staff discussing projects and events taking place at the museum.

A regular feature in the podcast is an "Object Of The Month", focussing on an item of interest in the museum. For June's edition, Project Curator for the Money and Medals Network, Henry Flynn, discusses an exhibit on permanent display in the Money Gallery: one of the "£10 bank notes" that originally appeared in the 2006 Christmas Special, The Runaway Bride, and featured the image of David Tennant.

You can listen to the podcast below, and see the note on display at the musuem in London (free entry).



With Thanks To: Henry Flynn