Doctor Who: Series 4 Steelbook announcedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 18 April 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Studios have announced the forthcoming release of Doctor Who's Fourth series of adventures in the 21st Century in a Blu-ray Steelbook:

Doctor Who: Series 4 Steelbook (cover) (Credit: BBC Studios)Re-live the action of David Tennant’s final season as the Doctor in Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series on Steelbook Blu-ray, with new and exclusive artwork.

Series Four marked the arrival of the award-winning actor Catherine Tate (The Catherine Tate Show) as the Doctor’s new companion, Donna Noble.

The Doctor and Donna travel back to Pompeii on the eve of the infamous eruption where people are slowly turning to stone, investigate a series of grisly murders with the help of Agatha Christie, journey to the home world of the sinister Ood and come face to face with an old enemy of the Doctor.

Series Four sees the return of previous companions – Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) plus an array of guest cast including Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley), Felicity Kendal (Inside No.9), Fenella Woolgar (Call the Midwife), Tim McInnerny (Game of Thrones), Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It, Fallen Angel, Skins - and of course as a future Doctor himself!), Phil Davis (Vera Drake) and Tracey Childs (Broadchurch).

Bonus features exclusive to the release include Doctor Who Confidential, video diaries, commentaries, Children In Need ‘Time Crash’, plus teasers, trailers and deleted scenes.

Doctor Who: Series 4 Steelbook (front cover) (Credit: BBC Studios) Doctor Who: Series 4 Steelbook (back cover) (Credit: BBC Studios)

The steelbook is due to be released on 27th May 2019, and is available to pre-order in the UK from Amazon.




The 2019 Doctor Who Fan Art CompetitionBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 17 April 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Doctor Who Fan Art Competition 2019 (Credit: BBC Studios)Calling all Doctor Who fans with an artistic flair and creative impulse! Ahead of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, BBC Studios announces the 2019 Doctor Who Fan Art Competition, giving fans an opportunity to see their own work on a Doctor Who t-shirt, with a limited quantity available for purchase at the BBC AMERICA booth at San Diego Comic-Con.

As anticipation for the next series builds, fans can channel their creative energy into an innovative rendition of the TARDIS and their favourite Doctor. Entrants can create anything from a candy mosaic of Tom Baker to a bowtie collage of Matt Smith – the possibilities are endless!

The competition closes on 15th May 2019 at 1:00pm BST (8:00am ET).


A panel of judges will select one grand prize winner and four runner-up artists. The grand prize winner and a guest will receive an exclusive Doctor Who-themed weekend trip to London, which includes:
  • Two nights accommodation
  • Special afternoon tea for two
  • Doctor Who Escape Room activity in Reading, United Kingom
  • Exclusive private screening of the fan’s favorite Doctor Who episode
  • Having their artwork printed on limited-edition Doctor Who merchandise sold at San Diego Comic-Con
  • Receiving a goody bag including iconic Doctor Who merchandise valued at approximately £520/$680
All four runners-up will each:
  • Have their artwork printed on official, limited-edition Doctor Who merchandise sold at San Diego Comic-Con
  • Receive a goody bag including iconic Doctor Who merchandise valued at approximately £520/$680


Art Specifications: Each entrant must design their own original piece of Doctor Who fan art in accordance with the following criteria:
  • Artwork must feature both the TARDIS and one Doctor *
  • The Artwork may also, at the entrant’s discretion, include a background texture, splash of colour or other abstract background design, but must not feature any other design element, including (without limit) any other Doctor, character, companion, monster, robot, prop, location, building or branding element (including third party brand names and logos), whether from the Doctor Who universe or otherwise.
  • Artwork can be created in any two-dimensional medium and any color.
  • Artwork must not include identifiers such as the entrant’s name, signature, image, likeness or any other identifier, or any reference to Comic-Con.
* Refer to the terms and conditions for more details on the criteria.

Submitting artwork: Each entrant must complete the entry form and upload their artwork in digital format on the Fan Art Competition website in accordance with the following criteria:
  • Artwork must be submitted in RGB high res formats (TIFF, JPEG, PNG, or GIF).
  • Artwork resolution must be a minimum of 300 dpi.
  • Artwork must measure at least 260mm x 260mm when printed at 100% and must not measure more than 381mm x 508mm.
  • Each entrant may submit multiple entries, as long as each separate entry consists of a different artwork. Entrants can only win one prize in the competition.


The competition is open to legal residents of the United Kingdom, the fifty United States and the District of Columbia, Canada (excluding Quebec), Australia, and New Zealand who at the time of entry are at least 18 years of age, or the legal age of majority in the jurisdiction in which they reside (whichever is higher). The grand prize winner and four finalists will be revealed at the BBC AMERICA booth during San Diego Comic-Con in July.




Candy Jar's The Lucy Wilson Mysteries Nominated For Scribe AwardsBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 17 April 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse Of The Mirror Clowns (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Welsh indie publisher Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce that The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror Clowns by Chris Lynch has been nominated for the prestigious Scribe Awards.

The Scribe Awards, from the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, acknowledge and celebrate excellence in licensed tie-in novels and audio dramas based on TV shows, movies, and games.

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries is a licensed Doctor Who spin-off novel and features the granddaughter of the Doctor’s best friend, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Based in Ogmore-by-Sea these YA sci-fi books tackle prejudice against differences and promote diversity, self-confidence and acceptance for young people.

Three books have already been published by Sue Hampton (Avatars of the Intelligence), Chris Lynch (Curse of the Mirror Clowns) and John Peel (The Midnight People), with two more on the way by Wink Taylor (The Bandril Invasion) and Tim Gambrell (The Brigadier and the Bledoe Cadets).

Curse of the Mirror Clowns by Cardiff-based film and comic writer Chris Lynch is fighting its corner against some of the biggest TV and film franchises in the world including Star Wars and Small Foot, as well the New York Times bestselling author, Jonathan Maberry. Chris says:
I was delighted to discover I’d been nominated for this award. I’m certainly in illustrious company! Hopefully my clowns are up to the challenge.

Originally created by Shaun Russell and Andy Frankham-Allen, the first Lucy Wilson novel was brought to life by YA author Sue Hampton. Shaun says:
Sue’s instinct with the first book Avatars of the Intelligence was spot-on. She got the characters straight away and delivered a book reminiscent of the popular Sarah Jane Adventures, also based on Doctor Who.

Sue really enjoyed working on the first book. She says:
Lucy is dauntless, loyal and whip-smart. She’s a modern girl with strong values and opinions, which means that she feels the injustices in the world even more strongly than most and always stands up for what’s right. I wish Chris good luck with the awards.





Doctor Who: The Collection: Season TenBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 16 April 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Doctor Who: The Collection: Season 10 (Credit: BBC Studios)BBC Studios have annnounced that the next release in their Doctor Who: The Collection will be the tenth anniversary series of advantures, starring Jon Pertwee as the Doctor:

In 1973, Doctor Who celebrated its tenth anniversary with a very special story reuniting the first two Doctors – William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton – with Jon Pertwee’s then-current Doctor. The Three Doctors kicks off an explosive, colourful series of adventures across all of time and space as the Doctor and Jo Grant (Katy Manning) encounter the rogue Time Lord Omega, the terrifying Drashigs, the noble Draconians, fearsome Ogrons, deadly Daleks and slithering giant maggots. Season 10 also includes the final appearance of Roger Delgado as the Doctor’s arch nemesis The Master, plus adventures alongside Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) and UNIT.

The six disc Blu-ray collection includes all five of the stories comprising this season, plus a bonus disc of extras. As well as features previously available on the DVD releases, the set will include:
The set will also include Death Of The Doctor, which featured Katy Manning reprising her role as Jo in The Sarah Jane Adventures.


Doctor Who: The Collection: Season Ten is due to be released on Monday 8th July 2019 (the day after what would have been Jon Pertwee's 100th birthday), and is available to pre-order in the UK from our Amazon Shop.






Doctor Who: The Runaway - trailer releasedBookmark and Share

Monday, 15 April 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
BBC Digital have released a trailer for their forthcoming virtual reality film, Doctor Who: The Runaway:


You’ve been in a collision. You wake inside the TARDIS. The Doctor introduces you to the person, or thing, you collided with. He’s a strange and magnificent ball of living energy called Volta. Part surly teenager, part bomb, Volta is very unstable. In fact, he’s primed to explode. Big time. Unless he can be returned to his home planet, sharpish. The problem is, a squad of galactic busybodies has other plans for Volta. Bad ones. Drawn into a frantic chase, you become the Doctor’s unlikely assistant as she races against time to get Volta home to his parents. Armed with a sonic screwdriver, it is down to you to help the Doctor as she faces the forces of evil, and teenage angst, in this animated 13-minute VR adventure from the team behind Doctor Who Series 11.

Doctor Who: The Runaway (Credit: BBC Digital) Doctor Who: The Runaway (Credit: BBC Digital) Doctor Who: The Runaway (Credit: BBC Digital) Doctor Who: The Runaway (Credit: BBC Digital)

The film will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next week, and will be coming to UK audiences in the near future.





Lethbridge-Stewart: Pirates of the Prime MeridianBookmark and Share

Saturday, 13 April 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced its latest free-for-download short story in its Lethbridge-Stewart series:

Lethbridge-Stewart: Pirates of the Prime Meridian (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Pirates of the Prime Meridian
Written by Roy Martin

When Spencer is on holiday with his dad in Peacehaven, he is surprised to see that the town is bursting with pirates. Most are typical tourist-friendly types, but several seem slightly more sinister. He tries to tell his dad, but is not believed. It is only when he meets Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart that he discovers that Peacehaven and the pirates have been connected throughout time.

Based on characters created by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln.

Roy Martin, author of the novel NV-66, wrote this story especially for Candy Jar. He said:

As I was part of the Doctor Who audience growing up in the ’70s, it was great to have the opportunity to write a short story featuring a fantastic character such as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. For me it was exciting to adapt my writing style to integrate with a pre-existing universe.

I chose to include pirates in the adventure, because for me, they represent enigmatic and shadowy characters from the murky past of history, epitomising working class entrepreneurs; forging fortunes in life, by their own sweat and guile, not afraid to operate outside of the establishment. Plus, when writing I like to get into character, and who doesn’t like dressing as a pirate for the day?

A word of warning for the unwary, ill prepared traveller of adventures. Never upset a pirate. A scallywag will find themselves dancing the hempen jig soon enough.

Pirates of the Prime Meridian can be downloaded from the Candy Jar website.




Big Finish - Fifth Doctor meets CiceroBookmark and Share

Friday, 5 April 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Samuel Barnett, Peter Davison (Credit: Big Finish)Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor meets Samuel Barnett’s Cicero this September in a Doctor Who audio drama from Big Finish Productions as the Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa travel back to ancient Naples and the town of Cumae by the base of Mount Vesuvius.

The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) resumes his travels in space and time this September with companions Tegan (Janet Fielding) and Nyssa (Sarah Sutton). But instead of exploring the far reaches of space he’s taking a little trip back in time to meet an icon of classical philosophy.

Cicero was a Roman politician, lawyer and orator living in a time when the Roman Empire was in a turbulent position due to the rise of Caeser. Cicero’s impact on Latin languages is immeasurable, which makes him a worthy candidate to meet the hero of space and time, the Doctor!

Samuel Barnett, the star of Cicero – a Big Finish Originals range – reprises his role to join the world of Doctor Who in Tartarus by David Llewellyn.

Peter Davison, who first played the Doctor on television in 1981, told us more about recording this new audio story
I love an adventure where we interfere with history, especially when we completely destroy the reputation of a historical character! My Doctor travelled to The Great Fire of London, then the destruction of the dinosaurs… everything in history is handed down to us.

I think all our heroes of history would be disappointments if we actually met them! Plus, I was ‘fanboying’ over Dirk Gently which Samuel starred in.
Samuel Barnett also told us more about bringing his portrayal of the classic orator to the world of science fiction
There is a precedent in Doctor Who of the Doctor visiting real life occasions, locations and people that are familiar to us in history. The Doctor meeting Cicero lets us see Cicero’s skills as an orator that will hopefully help to save the day… Peter Davison’s portrayal of the Doctor was my Doctor on television when I was growing up, so I’m absolutely thrilled.
October’s release of The Monthly Adventures is Interstitital / Feast of Fear by Carl Rowens / Martyn Waites and in November, Warzone / Conversion by Chris Chapman / Guy Adams.

All three Fifth Doctor adventures can be pre-ordered ahead of their release in September, October and November 2019 at £14.99 on CD or £12.99 on download. All CD purchases unlock a download option via the Big Finish app and the Big Finish website.




CHAS - Charity EventBookmark and Share

Thursday, 4 April 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Adam Meldrum and Peter Capaldi at CHAS Capital Sci-Fi Con 2019Children’s Hospices Across Scotland, better known as CHAS have launched a campaign asking people to ‘get your geek on’ for Geeky T-Shirt Weekend.

The event follows the success of Edinburgh’s Capital Sci-Fi Con, the not-for-profit pop culture, comic and movie convention which donates all profits to CHAS.

On Friday 3rd and Saturday, May 4th, CHAS are encouraging the public to show allegiance for their preferred science-fiction and fantasy heroes. Whether you’re into Doctor Who or maybe Star Wars or Star Trek, DC or Marvel, Harry Potter or hairy Hobbits.

All supporters need to do is don their favourite geeky t-shirt on the day and donate £2 to the charity by calling 0141 779 6180 or visiting www.chas.org.uk/donate. Schools, workplaces and community groups who would like a pack to participate can contact support@chas.org.uk.

Support has already come from Scottish actors Peter Capaldi and Billy Boyd, who have pledged to get their geek on for the occasion. Capaldi recently gave a full day of his time to meet well over 500 fans at Capital Sci-Fi Con, raising thousands of pounds for the charity by donating 100% of proceeds raised from his autographs.

Peter Capaldi said
I’ve seen at first-hand what fan communities are capable of when they get together. And the CHAS cause is one I know they will want to unite behind. Get your geeky t-shirt on to help the families this wonderful charity cares for.

Every week, three children in Scotland die from a life-shortening condition. At present, CHAS can only reach one of those three. The reality can be stark for some families and CHAS are focused on helping find light and joy in their hour of need.

The funds and awareness raised by Geeky T-Shirt Day will help them on their mission to reach every single baby, child and young person who needs them.
CHAS is the only charity in Scotland that provides hospice services for babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions. The national charity offers palliative care and family respite via its two hospices, Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch.

The CHAS at Home service supports families in their own homes across the whole of Scotland and has teams working in communities and hospitals across the country. In addition, the charity supports families and clinical teams with a network of Diana Children’s Nurses




Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 537Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 3 April 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who Magazine: Issue 537 (Credit: Panini)
This month's Doctor Who Magazine looks into the remaking of the lost Dalek story Misson to the Unknown.

This issue also includes:
  • What does it take to become a Stenza warrior? Actor Samuel Oatley explains.
  • An interview with the man behind the new version of Mission to the Unknown.
  • Colin Baker and the cast of The Ultimate Adventure look back on the Doctor Who stage play.
  • Backstage with Colin Baker at Leeds' Grand Theatre in 1989.
  • War World – an in-depth look at the script originally intended for the 1989 stage production.
  • Cyber Leader David Banks dips into the TARDIS tin.
  • Tributes to the king of Doctor Who extras Pat Gorman and visual effects designer Richard Gregory.
  • Former script editor Andrew Cartmel remembers Happiness Patrol writer Graeme Curry.
  • A preview of this year’s Record Store Day releases.
  • Part Three of Herald of Madness, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends.
  • How to dress like the First Doctor – along with his friends and foes.
  • Does the 1996 TV movie impress the Time Team?
  • The Blogs of Doom, audio reviews, previews, news, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!
DWM 537 is on sale from 4 April, priced £5.99.




The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 30 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972It’s taken more than 47 years but Doctor Who fans finally have an annual for 1972 – with stars from the show among the contributors.

Manchester-based World Distributors began publishing the official Doctor Who annuals in autumn 1965, continuing until 1985, but elected not to bring one out in 1971. This left countless fans puzzled, disappointed – and with a niggling gap in their collections and on their bookshelves.

However, Mark Worgan – a long-time fan of the series and the annuals – was determined to do something about it and this star-studded, fan-produced, non-profit- making homage is the result.

He has published The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972, which transports readers TARDIS-like back to the very early 1970s when Jon Pertwee had just finished his second series in the title role and the show was mostly Earth-bound, with the Doctor assisting the military organisation UNIT as its scientific adviser.

A whole host of star names from the show signed up for the project, including Katy Manning, who played companion Jo Grant, John Levene (Sgt Benton) and Richard Franklin (Capt Yates) – the surviving members of what became affectionately known as “the UNIT family”.

They and the large number of Doctor Who fan writers and artists have been joined by visual effects wizard, model unit supervisor and author Mike Tucker plus renowned artist Alister Pearson and Wayne Howarth – the son of Walter Howarth, who was the main illustrator on some of the original annuals.

And this is a truly bumper edition. The official annual for 1971 offered 96 pages, while the 1973 annual had 80 pages, but this one comes in at a whopping 184 pages!

The project was launched in September 2017, with people working on it in their spare time for free, and the hardback annual is packed with stories, puzzles, features and emulating and evoking the style, tone and quirkiness of the 1970s annuals, which were allowed a freer rein as regards their relationship to the programme than those later in the run.

Mark said:
It’s been hard work for everybody but I’m beyond delighted to be bringing this out, especially as 2019 is the centenary year of Jon Pertwee’s birth. The annual means a great deal to me. I was particularly thrilled to get all the surviving UNIT family on board for the annual, and I’ve been knocked out by the enthusiasm and talent of the contributors.

In 1971, when the official annual would have been published, the Doctor had been forced into exile on Earth by his people, the Time Lords, but the series’ production team still managed to take the show away from the confines of this planet and I was keen to do the same in the annual. The challenge was laid down and the contributors rose to it in style, so we’ve got a great balance of adventures in space and time.

The official 1972 annual may well have been lost in the time vortex – like the Doctor himself has been known to – but we hope fans agree that our version makes up for it and is worth the long wait.

Well, what’s 47 years to a Time Lord anyway . . . ?
So, that’s 1972 taken care of. But what of the years 1987 to 1989 for which – once again – no official annuals were forthcoming despite the show still being made, before it was cancelled until its one-off return in 1996, which was its last outing of the classic era?

There’s been a terrific amount of interest in this project, including a great many calls to complete the run of annuals for the classic era, so I’m pleased to say that I’m now going to be turning my attention to an unofficial annual for 1987. After that, who knows?!
Contributors and proofreaders, as well as an administrator for the Facebook page, are now being sought for The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1987. Please contact Mark via doctorwhoannual@aol.co.uk if you're interested in taking part.

The Unofficial Dr Who Annual 1972 is published by Terraqueous Distributors and available from Lulu at the print-on-demand price of £39.20 plus shipping costs (NB: VAT is not payable on books).

None of the money paid by purchasers goes to the publisher or to any of the contributors. Visit the website to order the annual.




Doctor Who Nominated for Must-See MomentBookmark and Share

Friday, 29 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who has been nominated for a BAFTA award as the Must See moment on television in 2018.

The episode Rosa has been nominated for its portrayal of the moment in history when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. The episode won plaudits when first shown last year.

The episode is competing against The Bodyguard, where Julia Montague was assassinated, Coronation Street and Gail’s monologue on the suicide of Aidan Connor, Killing Eve where Eve stabs Villanelle and the finale of Peter Kay’s Car Share.

The award will be presented at the Virgin Media BAFTAs on 1st May. It’s the only award voted for by the public, celebrating the massive television moments that got the whole country talking.

For more details and to vote view the Virgin Media website
Rosa Parks, the Doctor and her companions make sure historical moments remain

After paying her bus fare, the driver stops Rosa walking through the bus towards the ‘coloured’ section, telling her to use the rear door. As she’s leaving, Rosa momentarily sits in a ‘white’ seat to pick her purse. Once she’s disembarked, the bus pulls away before she’s able to re-enter.
Virgin Media's Must-See Moment Nominee: Doctor Who




Lethbridge-Stewart: The Brigadier and Lucy Wilson unitedBookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 March 2019 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the fifth book in The Laughing Gnome series, which sees the worlds of Lethbridge-Stewart and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries collide:

The Laughing Gnome: Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Laughing Gnome: Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets
Written by Tim Gambrell
Cover by Steve Beckett

Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is still lost in time, cast through his own time stream by the mysterious Gnome.

Answers are presented to him when he meets the architect of his travels, and is told he has one adventure ahead of him. A chance to make sure his legacy is secure. He will be sent to 2018, and a meeting with his granddaughter, the protector of Ogmore-by-Sea, Lucy Wilson.

In 1937, young Ali Lethbridge-Stewart and his brother James find themselves face to face with smugglers, while in 2018 Lucy and Hobo are preparing for a trip to Cornwall.

What connects 1937 and 2018? The Brigadier and Lucy Wilson are about to find out, when they are cast back in time and join the Bledoe Cadets in solving the mystery at Redgate Smithy. The price will be high for at least one of the Cadets. But for the Brigadier and Lucy, it is a chance to understand what truly binds them together, what it is to be a Lethbridge-Stewart!

Following on from The Laughing Gnome: Rise of the Dominator, books five and six sees the Brigadier team-up with his granddaughter, Lucy Wilson, in an adventure through time! The two-book special, Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets and The Brigadier & The Bledoe Cadets, finally solves a mystery that has been two years in the making, since 2017 and the novels Night of the Intelligence and Avatars of the Intelligence (the very first Lucy Wilson Mystery - how did Lucy and Hobo end up in 1937 to have a picture taken with young Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart and his brother James?

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen set the scene:
Ever since The Lucy Wilson Mysteries was devised, Shaun (Russell) and I had in a mind an adventure that would see Lucy team up with the Bledoe Cadets. We knew there was much fun to be had in having a mixed-race teenage girl interacting with children from 1937. We sowed the seeds in the very first novel in The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range by having her see a photograph of herself and her grandfather as a child, this was built upon in my own novel, Night of the Intelligence, in which it is revealed that James has memories of Lucy and Hobo. So, it’s been a lot of fun exploring those plot points and finally revealing the truth behind them.

The author for that exciting story is first-time novelist Tim Gambrell, who originally won a competition to have a character named after him, and later wrote a short story for The HAVOC Files 3: that story, The Bledoe Cadets and the Bald Man of Pengriffen, led him to being considered for Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets:
After my short story was published, I pitched another story idea which Andy asked me to develop into a novel proposal. I very much felt, from that point on, that Andy was keeping me on his reserve bench, waiting for the right position to ‘play’ me in. The creative process has been pretty fluid ever since the first writers’ meeting in Cardiff, with a strong sense of collaboration and mutual support between Andy and all of the writers. That’s certainly been appreciated by me, with this being my first published novel. Each of our slots came with a character to focus on, but otherwise we were pretty free to tell the sort of story we wanted to tell. However, my slot came with a shopping list. I was given the title, Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets, so I knew from the start it would be a cross-franchise book. Some of the book needed to take place in 2018 to mark the 50th anniversary of Lethbridge-Stewart. Added to that, the story would have to feature time travel so that Lucy, Hobo and the Bledoe Cadets could meet. And it couldn’t contradict anything already established regarding the Bledoe Cadets and alien encounters. Finally, it had to be set before the events of 1938 in The Forgotten Son, so that Sir Alistair could spend time with his brother James. That might sound like a whole lot of limitations, but I found it really liberating. It focuses the mind, being given restrictions like that.

Andy continued:
From the moment I first read that short story, I knew Tim would get it right. He has a great handle on the Bledoe Cadets, who I created for my novel, The Forgotten Son, and I’m rather protective of them. But Tim ‘got’ them. Of course, the only risk was trusting a first-time novelist with this story. I’m happy to say, it’s a risk that paid off!

Head of Publishing Shaun Russell said:
Once the story was decided, Andy and I bounced back and forth the idea of having the story told from both the Brigadier’s point of view, and Lucy’s. Telling the adventure for the more mature readers in the Lethbridge-Stewart range, and then retelling it for a younger reader as part of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries. We had hoped to release both books simultaneously, but the logistics didn’t make that feasible, especially as, for Tim, it would essentially mean writing two novels at the same time! So, it was decided that Tim would write the Lethbridge-Stewart version first, and then we would sit down to discuss how to approach The Lucy Wilson Mysteries version. Lucy’s own perspective brings with it some unique things, not least a different opening before the Brigadier turns up. Although it’s essentially the same story, both books can be read independently, however reading both version will provide a more fuller take on the story.

The Laughing Gnome: Lucy Wilson & The Bledoe Cadets will be released in late April, with The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Brigadier & The Bledoe Cadets due out in the summer. Both books are now available for pre-order from the Candy Jar website.

The Laughing Gnome series will conclude in May with book six, On His Majesty’s National Service, by David A McIntee.



Candy Jar Books are also involved in an inspiring book event at The Comic Guru (which has recently relocated to St David's Arcade, Cardiff). The comic shop is celebrating the role of women in film, TV and comics on Saturday 30th March between 11:00am and 4:30pm.

STRONG FEMALE VOICES AT THE COMIC GURU: MEET THE AUTHORS!

As we approach the end of this turbulent decade strong female characters have begun to take centre stage across all film, comics and TV drama, most especially sci-fi. Both DC and Marvel have had enormous successes with Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel respectively.

One such organisation to embrace this change is the Comic Guru, now located in the Queen Street arcade. And to celebrate this, the Comic Guru is partnering with another staple of Cardiff’s sci-fi scene, award-winning independent publisher Candy Jar Books.

To coincide with the recent release of Captain Marvel, the first woman-led instalment in Marvel’s cinematic universe, the Comic Guru is hosting its first collaborative event with Candy Jar, an author meet and greet showcasing just a few of Candy Jar’s strong female authors. Fans will get a chance to meet Alyson Leeds, an author from the Doctor Who spin-off Lethbridge-Stewart series, as well as children’s sci-fi authors Cherry Cobb and Michelle Briscombe.

Owner of the Comic Guru, Kristian Barry, says: “Both the DC and Marvel comic and film franchises have been at the catalyst of change. They have always embraced diversity and championed equal rights. Captain Marvel shows that women can be superheroes too. At the Comic Guru we want to celebrate this, and with Mother’s Day coming up we thought it was an ideal opportunity.”

Candy Jar’s range of titles spans everything from children’s fiction to war memoirs. It is perhaps best known, however, for its Lethbridge-Stewart series, a fully licensed collection of novels about the adventures of the classic Doctor Who character Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. As one of the only non-BBC official Doctor Who products out there, the series has attracted an international readership, and it is currently in its sixth series.

Alyson Leeds, whose debut novel entitled Fear of the Web is based on old Doctor Who story, The Web of Fear, states: “The one thing I always disliked about The Web of Fear was how male dominated the storyline was, and being a part of the Lethbridge-Stewart series has given me a chance to make sure the females are given their platform to speak.”

Michelle Briscombe’s novel, The House on March Lane, contains two brave female protagonists, one from the modern day and the other from the Victorian era. Both characters are free thinkers and despite being separated by one hundred years they become unlikely friends.

Cherry Cobb, author of Will’s War, a book about a boy who time travels back to World War Two London, focuses mainly on male characters. Cherry says: ”My dad was eleven when he was evacuated from Plymouth. He often used to tell me stories about how they lived and I think this is why it felt more natural to me to write about the experience of a boy. Although Will’s War has a lot of male characters, I did not aim it at boys, but as something to be enjoyed by everyone.”

Shaun Russell continues: “We’re proud of the stand sci-fi has been taking recently. We’ve tried to make our statement with our authors, as well as our Lethbridge-Stewart spinoff, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries. Sci-fi is for everyone, boys and girls, and this event has something for the whole family. Not to mention, as it takes place the day before Mother’s Day, it might be just be the perfect opportunity to pick up a last minute gift.”

Publishing Co-ordinator, Keren Williams, elaborates: “Alongside author meet and greets, there will be a chance to get your hands on some free books, and if you are interested in becoming an author yourself, Candy Jar’s team will be available to chat throughout the day.”

And just for balance, Terry Cooper, author of the sci-fi comedy Kangazang! Small Cosmos, and director of the Welsh independent film, Offworld, will also be signing at the Comic Guru. He says: “I have two daughters myself and do recognise the importance of strong role models for girls. Despite my book being a laddish adventure story, it is the female character that ultimately saves the day. Equally in Offworld it is the female spaceship Captain that takes centre stage in my story.”

Kristian Barry continues: “I’m really looking forward to welcoming this group of talented authors into my shop, it is sure to be a stupendous start to many more Comic Guru events.”




A Medley of MastersBookmark and Share

Thursday, 28 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Ravenous 4 (Credit: Big Finish)Big Finish Audio Productions have announced the finale of the latest series of Eighth Doctor adventures, and with it comes the ultimate battle. The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) and his companions face off against several iterations of the Master.

Michelle Gomez, Derek Jacobi, Geoffrey Beevers and Eric Roberts all return to the role of the Master/Missy for the finale of the collected Eighth Doctor range, Ravenous, being released in October 2019.

Mark Bonnar,  Paul McGann, Hattie Morahan (Credit: Big Finish)Paul McGann and Eric Roberts will be facing off against each other for the first time since the Doctor Who television movie was released in 1996 – 23 years ago. Nicola Walker and Derek Jacobi are also being reunited for Ravenous 4 having appeared together as daughter and father in the popular BBC One costume drama, Last Tango in Halifax.

The Eighth Doctor team – Paul McGann (the Doctor), Nicola Walker (Liv Chenka) and Hattie Morahan (Helen Sinclair) – is joined by Mark Bonnar playing the deranged murderous Time Lord, the Eleven, who retains the personalities of his previous regenerations. But against more than one Master, the Doctor will need all the help he can get.

Three stories will see Ravenous come to an epic conclusion.

The past, the present, and the future conspire against the Doctor as he fights to defeat the only creature ever to strike fear into the hearts of a Time Lord.

  • 4.1 Whisper by Matt Fitton
  • 4.2 Planet of Dust by Matt Fitton
  • 4.3 and 4.4 Day of the Master by John Dorney
The writer of the finale, John Dorney, tells us more
Day of the Master was possibly the most exciting and yet terrifying brief I’ve ever had. Finishing off the Ravenous arc was a big enough responsibility on its own... but throw in wanting to give great material to Sir Derek Jacobi... and Michelle Gomez... and that’s before we even get to the heart-stoppingly fantastic prospect of bringing Eric Roberts’ Master back face to face with the Doctor again for the first time in over twenty years.

Well, you can see why it might be intimidating! But honestly, it was one of the best times I’ve ever had writing a Doctor Who story. I really hope the audience enjoy it as much as I did!
Ravenous 4 (Credit: Big Finish)Producer, David Richardson tells us more about approaching the end of this epic four-part series
We’ve tried to do something a bit different with Ravenous. Coming out of Doom Coalition, we wanted to go a bit darker, a bit scarier – to mark the saga with a shift in tone. With all four box sets now recorded, I feel a sense of relief – it’s been such a huge logistical challenge! Ravenous 4 alone required six studio days in cities as far apart as Los Angeles, New York and London! But we did it. We told that whole, big story and we’ve brought back three Masters and Missy in a breathtaking finale.

It was a real thrill to bring Geoffrey Beevers into our Eighth Doctor Adventures, doing what he does best in Planet of Dust - subjugating an alien world, and then setting about a chain of events that will drive our Ravenous story forward.

I’m really proud of it – and yet I don’t really have much time to stop and think about it because we’re already onto the next chapter for the Eighth Doctor! And life is going to be very different for him and his companions
Plus director Ken Bentley
This seems to have been a box set for reunions. It’s going to be fascinating to hear what listeners think of the Eighth Doctor reuniting with Roberts’ Master. I’m sure those shockwaves will ripple through time. But it was a genuine delight to have Nicola Walker reunite with Derek Jacobi. The green room was filled with laughter that day.
Doctor Who Ravenous 4 is available for pre-order now ahead of its release in October 2019. And Ravenous 3, being released in April, is also available for pre-order. Both these titles are priced at £23 on CD or £20 on download each.

Previous releases, Doctor Who Ravenous 1 and 2 are both available at £35 on CD or £30 on download. All four volumes of Ravenous are available in a bundle (each available on their release), priced at £90 on CD or £80 on download.




Bedford Who Charity Con 5Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 24 March 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Bedford Who Charity Con 5, due Saturday 13th April is offering 10% off tickets for readers of Doctor Who News.

Now in their fifth year, Bedford Who Charity Cons have established a reputation for being friendly, informal, relaxed and welcoming. and huge fun Colin Baker said last year’s was “The best one day event I’ve ever done”.

Bedford Who Charity Con 5 is taking place on Saturday 13th April at the University Theatre, Bedford MK41 9EA. The event starts at 10am and finishes at 5.30pm. Bedford itself is about 50 miles north of London and transport links by road and rail are very good.

This year’s guests are Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Janet Fielding, Carole Ann Ford, Louise Jameson, Michael Jayston, and Mike Tucker.

Bedford Who Charity Con 5 is a traditional style convention, with panel interviews, signings, photo sessions and the opportunity to meet the guests and have your photo taken with them. (No charges for group photos with the actors, though the organisers ask for a donation to the charity bucket.) The actors are also going to take part in some Doctor Who related sketches. Everything made by the event, once costs are paid, goes to Bedford Foodbank; each month, they provide emergency food to some 600 adults and children in the local area.

Full details of ticket prices are on the convention’s website and Facebook page

To take up the offer of 10% off your tickets, please email the organiser Simon Danes on info@bedfordwhocharitycon.co.uk and say that you read about the convention on Doctor Who News.