Lethbridge Stewart: Scary MonstersBookmark and Share

Saturday, 11 August 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Scary Monsters (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced the next chapter in the adventures of Lethbridge-Stewart, Anne Travers, Bill Bishop and the men and women of the Fifth Operational Corps:

Lethbridge-Stewart: Scary Monsters
Written by Simon A Forward
Cover by Richard Young


1981: London, a bomb detonates in a London pub and Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is among the injured. Moscow, a hijacked plane sits on the airport runway and Major Grigoriy Bugayev leads the assault against the six gunmen holding the passengers hostage.

These are the triggers that set the two military men on an international manhunt. Their investigations converge and uncover a group of terrorists whose roots reach back to sinister Cold War experiments, and something that was unearthed in ancient ruins in the New Mexico desert by one Sophia Montilla… and Anne Travers.

Terror is a contagion. It means to spread. And humanity is set on doing everything in its power to help it...


Published at the end of August 2018, Scary Monsters opens the new Lethbridge-Stewart series of six-book celebrating fifty years of the Brigadier. And with it comes a brand-new look for the range.

The new design was the brain child of head of publishing Shaun Russell and Will Brooks, known for his work on Titan Comics’ Doctor Who range, as well merchandise for the latest series of Doctor Who. Shaun says:
Andy (Frankham-Allen, range editor) and I have been discussing rebranding the books for some time now, and it seemed the anniversary range was the perfect time. New cover design, new logo, and I knew just the man for the job. We had worked with Will previously. His covers for Philip Martin’s Gangsters and Peter George’s Pattern of Death were outstanding, and we knew he would create the right look for us. And he didn’t disappoint!

The artwork for Scary Monsters is by Lethbridge-Stewart artist Richard Young. He says:
This is my ninth cover for the Lethbridge-Stewart books, but the first one I've done as the lead book, so the stakes were raised for this. It's also the first cover to feature the Brig. I'd been pushing to feature him on a cover for years, and with this being the fiftieth anniversary of the character it felt like the time was right.

Andy Frankham-Allen explains the umbrella-title, The Laughing Gnome:
We took our cue from Life on Mars and its sequel series, Ashes to Ashes, and opted for another David Bowie title for our very first time travel series of books. But we didn’t want it just be a title – we decided that we’d make the Laughing Gnome an integral part of the story, the catalyst for our heroes’ adventures in time. I don’t wish to give away the conceit of the series, but the basic premise is thus: Sir Alistair is nearing the end of his life and has just buried another old friend. Feeling out of sorts, he is somewhat surprised to find himself in 1981. Some mysterious force has pulled him backwards in time, into his own past, an adventure he has only vague memories of! As the series progresses we discover that both Anne Travers and her husband, and popular series regular, Bill Bishop, have also been dragged through time. But why? What, or who, is behind it?”

The first book in the series, Scary Monsters, is by Simon A Forward, who penned the 2016 Lethbridge-Stewart novel, Blood of Atlantis:
To be asked once to write for the Lethbridge-Stewart range is fortunate. To be asked twice seems like - what are they thinking? Letting me loose to play with these favourite characters again. Madness. Initially, I thought, well okay, but only if the right idea struck. And the next day the right idea struck me. To make life more challenging, this time it was more than merely contributing to a range. For the Brigadier's big anniversary year, Candy Jar outlined an ambitious arc to frame these adventures.
Scary Monsters also forms something of a sequel to Blood of Atlantis, with the return of popular character Grigoriy Bugayev and Señora Sophia Montilla. But Simon is keen to stress there’s more to it than that:
This is more than your average jaunt down memory lane and it's about much more than introspection and reflection. My book sees the Brigadier and friends confronting terrorism in an international thriller that, while rooted in the past - and in the Doctor Who universe - should carry some resonance in the 21st century. And not just for the Brigadier.

Scary Monsters is now available for pre-order from Candy Jar Books. The book also forms part of any existing subscriptions to the range.




Land Of The BlindBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 July 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Land Of The Blind (Credit: Panini)The latest collection of comic-strip adventures from the pages of Doctor Who Magazine features the first five Doctors and their companions, plus a special Dalek story.

Land of the Blind also includes exclusive new material revealing how the strips were created, with contributions from the writers and artists, plus never-before-seen images.

The stories include:
Cover art by David A Roach and James Offredi.

Land of the Blind is available now in paperback, published by Panini UK.




The Women Who LivedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 24 July 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived (Credit: BBC Books)This September, BBC Books will publish Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived, an illustrated collection of inspiring tales of the women of Doctor Who. It will be the first official book published to accompany the new series, celebrating Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the Thirteenth Doctor.

Written by Christel Dee, former presenter of Doctor Who: The Fan Show, and Simon Guerrier, the book will feature more than 75 inspiring tales of remarkable women of the Whoniverse, both real and imagined. From historical figures such as Agatha Christie and Queen Victoria to fan favourites like Bill Potts and River Song, each woman has made a unique contribution to the world of Doctor Who. Whether they’re facing down Daleks or thwarting a Nestene invasion, these women don’t hang around waiting to be rescued – they roll their sleeves up and get stuck in. Scientists and soldiers, queens and canteen workers, women from outlandish science-fiction and those steeped in real history, they don’t let anything hold them back.

Illustrated throughout with specially-commissioned artwork by a team of female artists – including Gwen Burns, Valentina Mozzo, Sonia Leong, and more – the book also features new companion Yasmin, and an extended entry on the Doctor herself.

Albert DePetrillo, BBC Books Publishing Director, says
We thought long and hard about which book would start our publishing programme for Jodie Whittaker’s first series of Doctor Who – and Christel and Simon’s book is the perfect choice. It’s bold and fresh in its approach, it makes a strong statement, it’s beautifully written, and stunning in its design. It represents everything we love about Doctor Who, and we couldn’t be happier to be publishing The Women Who Lived on the BBC Books list.
Christel Dee says
With Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor arriving this autumn, we thought this would be the perfect time to reflect upon the wealth of incredible female characters from Doctor Who’s 55 year history – because there are so many! We hope the stories in this book will inspire a whole new generation of fans and existing fans too.
Simon Guerrier says
We hope this offers a fresh perspective on the history of Doctor Who, a chance to celebrate the richness of past episodes as well as looking forward to the series’ exciting future. I thought I knew Doctor Who backwards, but we discovered loads of new things in our research for the book.
Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived: Amazing Tales for Future Time Lords will be published on 27th September in hardback, priced £16.99.

Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived (Credit: BBC Books)Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived (Credit: BBC Books)Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived (Credit: BBC Books)




Lethbridge-Stewart: Short-Story competition winner announcedBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 17 July 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the winner of their recent Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition.

Lethbridge-Stewart short story competition winner Sean Alexander (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce the winner of the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition. The winning story, Boys Don’t Cry, is written by Sean Alexander from Holyhead, north Wales.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says:
Sean has written a touching and heartfelt short story. His take on the Brig was unique amongst the entries. His story is set at Brendon School where the Brig has to uncover the truth about an awful tragedy.

Andy Frankham-Allen, range editor of the Lethbridge-Stewart series of books, agrees:
Boy’s Don’t Cry is a wonderful little tale of life in Brendon, and we picked it because it showed a great understanding of the Brigadier, as well as the author displaying a knack for writing great prose. Add to that, the setting is one we’ve wanted to further explore in the main range, so as part of the winning prize, I’ll be working with Sean Alexander on developing another tale of Brendon School which will serve as a back-door pilot for a possible new range of novellas.

Sean Alexander says:
In true Doctor Who producer style, I'm surprised and delighted to be chosen as the winner of Candy Jar's short story competition! Opportunities like this are few and far between, so my heartfelt thanks to Shaun and Andy for selecting me. I look forward to our collaboration on a brand new Lethbridge-Stewart novella later in the year. Splendid fellows, both of them!


Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story Collection (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The book also features eight other exclusive short stories featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life. This is a chance for fans to see the Brigadier like they’ve never seen him before!

The eight stories are:
  • The Stranger Paradox by Thomas Firth
  • Soldier in Time by Martin Gregory
  • Burning Daylight by Paul Chase
  • The Brigadier Rides Again by Ross Hastings
  • In Machina Exspiravit by Anthony Robertson
  • Special Responsibility by Gary Tinnams
  • Shadows in the Glen by Richard Brewer
  • The Man with the Red Case by Matthew Ball
The idea for the Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition came from the company’s commitment to shedding light on fresh writing talent. Since 2015 the Lethbridge-Stewart novels have championed previously unknown authors such as Jonathan Macho and Gareth Madgwick, alongside famous writing names in the Doctor Who universe including John Peel, Nick Walters, Simon A Forward and David A McIntee.

All royalties from each book will be donated the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff. Shaun, who received chemotherapy treatment at the centre, says:
In 2015 I was diagnosed with bowel cancer, just as we were launching the first Lethbridge-Stewart series. As you can imagine, undergoing six months of treatment was physically and emotionally draining. If it wasn’t for the support of the centre I wouldn’t have got through this difficult time. This is my way of giving something back.

The book can be pre-ordered via the Candy Jar Books website.




Due to public demand, Candy Jar Books will be producing a very limited print run of The HAVOC Files 1, which can ordered via their website.




Lethbridge-Stewart: new book to celebrate 50 years of the BrigadierBookmark and Share

Monday, 16 July 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the latest addition to their Lethbridge-Stewart range of titles, and the first non-fiction instalment in the character’s expanding universe, The Brigadier: Fifty Years of Lethbridge Stewart.

The Brigadier: 50 Years of Lethbridge-Stewart (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Since acquiring the rights to the character of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in 2014, as well as other iconic Doctor Who figures such as the Great Intelligence, Candy Jar has published over twenty works of fiction in the Lethbridge-Stewart series, with more titles already in the works. Given the enthusiastic response of Doctor Who fans the world over, it would be fair to say that the series has met a long unfulfilled demand.

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, says:
The Brig is one of Doctor Who’s most beloved characters, yet over the years, he became increasingly sidelined in the Doctor Who universe. We thought the character had a lot of untapped potential, so we took a punt and started exploring his origins, with the aim of telling the story of what he was up to in the years between his introduction to Who in The Web of Fear, and the formation of UNIT in The Invasion. From the feedback we’ve received from the fans, it seems this was a story they were waiting to be told.
But as all fans of Doctor Who know, the story is just the start of the appeal; the legions of fan forums, Meet-up Groups, or a brief glance at social media in the wake of new episodes, attest to the fact that unpicking storylines – why did this character do that? What are the implications of this? How does X relate to Y? – is half the fun.

Andy Frankham-Allen, range editor of the Lethbridge-Stewart range, says:
Fan speculation, theories and fiction, is what kept Doctor Who alive in the sixteen years it was off television. And the engagement of the fans is still what makes the series special; Doctor Who isn’t just a show, it’s a community, and it’s a community that loves nothing more than to explore the Doctor Who universe together. We take our role as the custodians of the Brigadier seriously; that’s why our stories revel in the continuity of the show. But we thought there was still one thing missing from our range, and that was something exploring just who the Brigadier is. Over the years, and across the TV show, miscellaneous book series, comics, audio dramas, and our own range of titles, he’s got a lot done. We thought a book that collected his continuity into one place, that explored his motivations, his effect on the universe, and his relationship with other pivotal figures, was something that the fans would love. This has never been done, and it’s long overdue. But we couldn’t just explore our own range; we had to look at the character as a whole.”

Accordingly one of the centrepieces of the book is a collation of the Brig’s television adventures over the years, establishing the definitive chronology of the character for the first time. Put together by Simon A Forward, a Doctor Who writer for over two decades, the piece takes its place alongside a raft of pieces by established Doctor Who names, not least an exclusive interview with John Levene, who played the Brig’s long-time sidekick John Benton, giving a rare behind the scenes look at the experience of shooting Doctor Who’s golden era.

Other contributors include Darran Jordan, Philip Clarke, and a host of names still to be announced. Between them, they explore topics including the Doctor’s relationship with the Brig (and vice versa), the life of Nicholas Courtney (through thirteen objects of personal significance), as well as tackling the thorny question of whether or not the Brigadier counts as an official companion. With a comprehensive approach encompassing all BBC, Big Finish and Candy Jar media, the book looks set to become the definitive reference for this staple of the Doctor Who universe for years to come.

The book is available to pre-order direct from Candy Jar Books.






Lethbridge-Stewart: free story for downloadBookmark and Share

Saturday, 7 July 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has released the latest in its range of free-for-download short stories in their Lethbridge-Stewart series:

Lethbridge-Stewart: Piece Of Mind (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Piece Of Mind
Written by James Middelmitch


Following the end of his engagement with Sally Wright, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is ordered to the Sanctuary by his commanding officer, General Hamilton. The plan is for Lethbridge-Stewart to have “time alone if nothing else. The Sanctuary specialises in mental strength – new techniques, but they take peace and quiet to learn.” Of course, it isn’t only Lethbridge-Stewart that Hamilton sends, but Sally too.

But, naturally enough, the Sanctuary isn’t exactly what it seems and, despite their bruised feelings, Lethbridge-Stewart and Sally find themselves dragged into a new mystery…


Based on characters created and inspired by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln.

The short story is available from Candy Jar website.




Lethbridge-Stewart: additional free Kindle novels this weekendBookmark and Share

Saturday, 16 June 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have made a second set of their Lethbridge-Stewart novels available to freely download via Kindle over the next five days:

As the Doctor Who marathon on Twitch continues, Candy Jar is pleased to announce one final set of free Kindle downloads until the autumn:

Free on Kindle for five days (starting June 16th):
  • ’48 Crash: Aliens visit the Radio One Roadshow. A special edition Lethbridge-Stewart short story to celebrate the 50th anniversary of BBC Radio 1. Author, Mark Carton, has been shortlisted in the People’s Book Prize and you can vote for his book The Book Spy.
  • The HAVOC Files: A collection of short stories featuring Doctor Who legend, the Brigadier. Includes exclusive story, The Enfolded Time.
  • Mind of Stone: Doctor Who legend, the Brigadier, finds himself in Wormwood Scrubs prison after blowing up a small village. The only way to escape is to befriend the prison's most notorious prisoner!
  • The Dreamer’s Lament: The Brigadier finds himself trapped in the past in a village full of zombies.

Lethbridge-Stewart: '48 Crash (Credit: Candy Jar Books) Lethbridge-Stewart: The Havoc Files (Credit: Candy-Jar Books) Lethbridge-Stewart: Mind of Stone (Credit: Candy Jar Books) Lethbridge-Stewart: The Dreamer's Lament (Credit: Candy Jar Books)





Temporal Logbook II: Further JourneysBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 13 June 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Temporal Logbook II: Further Journeys (Credit: Pencil Tip Publishing)
Temporal Logbook II: Further Journeys from Pencil Tip Publishing, has been officially released.
“I promised you something spectacular,” the Doctor said, “and here we are.”

From Canterbury Cathedral to a space station orbiting a Dyson sphere, the Doctor has seen countless worlds throughout his many lives.

Temporal Logbook II: Further Journeys tells some of those stories — fifteen gripping tales showing the universe through the eyes of thirteen incarnations including the War Doctor.
Contributors include Hamish Crawford, Nic Ford, Russell McGee, Richard Peevers, Tony Jones, Rob Nisbet, R.P. Fox, Kate Coleman, Kevin Mason, Frank Danes, David Smith and Violet Addison, J.E. Remy, Fionna MacDonald and Nick Mellish.

All proceeds from this publication will be donated in support of the Mood Disorders Association of British Columbia (MDABC) which is a non-profit organization that provides treatment, support, education, and hope of recovery for people living with a mood disorder.

To order a copy click here




Lethbridge-Stewart: free Kindle novels this weekendBookmark and Share

Saturday, 9 June 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have made a number of their Lethbridge-Stewart novels available to freely download via Kindle this weekend:

With the success of the Doctor Who marathon on Twitch, many news fans are being introduced to 1960s Doctor Who for the first time, and with it, the Brigadier, Anne Travers and the Great Intelligence. To celebrate, Candy Jar Books is offering a special treat for these news fans, a chance to see what happens next.

Free on Kindle until Monday 12th June:
  • Top Secret Files: An introductory pack featuring new short stories and interviews about the Brigadier.
  • The Dogs of War: The Brigadier and Group Captain Gilmore team-up to deal with an unusual threat in the London Underground. Have the Yeti returned?
  • Times Squared: The Yeti have invaded New York and are lurking in the subway. The Brigadier stands ready to face them.
  • Night of the Intelligence: A kidnap. A conspiracy. And the return of a primal force from the dawn of the universe. The Brigadier fights to protect not only the UK, but the world itself!
  • Avatars of the Intelligence: Threatened by an old enemy, Lucy must step into her grandfather's shoes. But in her new hometown, who can she trust?
Lethbridge-Stewart: Times Squared (Credit: Candy Jar Books) Lethbridge-Stewart: Night of the Intelligence (Credit: Candy Jar Books) The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence (Credit: Candy Jar Books)




Black Archive #20: Face the RavenBookmark and Share

Saturday, 2 June 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Black Archive #20: Face the Raven (Credit: Obverse Books)The latest edition to the Black Archive series investigates the Twelfth Doctor story Face the Raven.

Sarah Groenewegen looks in detail at one of the key stories of the Capaldi era, the story that saw the departure of companion Clara Oswald, played by Jenna Coleman.
In a series where violent death is prevalent but the regular characters generally immune, Face the Raven is a rarity in featuring the demise of the 12th Doctor’s longstanding companion Clara Oswald. While Doctor Who’s basis as a time-travel series means that the audience will see Clara again, everything after her death here is borrowed time.

The figures reintroduced by Face the Raven all play unexpected parts: Ashildr, a Viking woman made immortal by the Doctor, is a mayor; Rigsy, a graffiti artist befriended by Clara, is a murder suspect; and numerous monsters from the series’ past have become refugees. Scripted by Sarah Dollard, an Australian living in the UK, the story uses the tropes and imagery of Doctor Who to comment on real-world issues of immigration, asylum and the penal system, its narrative leading directly to the Doctor’s own incarceration in the following episode.
This Black Archive draws on the history of London and its presentation in fantasy, on queer and feminist theory and on the mythic and folkloric symbolism of ravens to examine this haunting story. It is the first of three books dealing with the final episodes of the 2015 season of Doctor Who.

Sarah Groenewegen BEM has written numerous essays on Doctor Who, gaming, and being queer. She obtained her Master of Arts from the University of Western Sydney in 2000 by researching into Doctor Who and its fans. Her first novel, Daughters of Earth, was published in 2017 in the Lethbridge-Stewart range published by Candy Jar. In 2016 she was awarded a British Empire Medal for her services to law enforcement and LGBT+ diversity.

Obverse Website




New Thirteenth Doctor FictionBookmark and Share

Thursday, 10 May 2018 - Reported by Marcus
 Thirteen Doctors (Credit: Penguin Random House)Borrowed Time (Credit: Penguin Random House)The Triple Knife (Credit: Penguin Random House)New works by Naomi Alderman and Juno Dawson are among some of the 2018 offerings for the Doctor Who list, publishing to celebrate the arrival of Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.

Penguin Random House Children’s imprint BBC Children’s Books have today announced its acquisition of a brand-new Doctor Who short story from Alderman, author of The Power and winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017. Alderman’s tale features Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor battling to save the universe alongside her close and trusted friends.

The story will add to the existing 12 Doctors, 12 Stories anthology, which recounts tales for each of the previous twelve Doctors as they adventure through time and space. The new collection will publish on 1 November 2018 as Thirteen Doctors, 13 Stories, and will also include existing stories by Eoin Colfer, Michael Scott, Marcus Sedgwick, Philip Reeve, Patrick Ness, Richelle Mead, Malorie Blackman, Alex Scarrow, Charlie Higson, Derek Landy, Neil Gaiman and Holly Black.

Thirteen Doctors, 13 Stories marks Alderman’s return to the Doctor Who universe, after her 2011 novel, Borrowed Time, published by BBC Books. On 19 July, to celebrate the opening of this year’s San Diego ComicCon, BBC Books will reissue a new paperback edition of this novel, along with a new edition of collected Doctor Who stories by Jenny T. Colgan, The Triple Knife. Both will have new cover designs by artist David Wardle.

Multi-award winning author and activist Juno Dawson’s novel will mark her debut on the Doctor Who list. Entitled The Good Doctor, it will be one of the first novels on the BBC Books list to feature the Thirteenth Doctor, as played by Jodie Whittaker, and her friends Yasmin, Ryan and Graham. The book will publish in October along with two other Thirteenth Doctor adventures, The Molten Heart, by New York Times bestselling author Una McCormack and Combat Magicks, by bestselling Young Bond author Steve Cole.

Naomi Alderman says
I'm thrilled beyond words to be writing the first short story for the Thirteenth Doctor. Believe it or not, my first ever rejection letter, dated 1992, was from Doctor Who Magazine for a story I wrote as a teenager obsessed with the Doctor; I've loved Doctor Who since I was a child, so it's particularly meaningful and exciting for me to be adding my name to this anthology.
Juno Dawson says
My earliest memory is Bonnie Langford being spun off into space in a killer bubble in 1987, so you can only imagine how excited I was when I was asked to write for the Doctor Who range. And, as a Bradford girl, it’s an even bigger thrill to be among the first writers in the world to write for Jodie Whittaker, the first Doctor from Yorkshire. This feels like a bold new era for Doctor Who and I'm beyond delighted to be a part of it. This is a dream come true.
Ruth Knowles, Publisher at Penguin Random House Children’s, says
Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor deserves ground-breaking writing from a ground-breaking author, and we are thrilled to have someone so perfect in Naomi to bring the first female Doctor to the page. She has stunned the world with her characters, writing and ideas, and as a huge Doctor Who fan (and previous Doctor Who book writer) she was our first choice to write the Thirteenth Doctor story for this collection. This story will be, we are sure, brilliant, and the prefect addition to this stellar collection by the very best of authors.
Albert DePetrillo, BBC Books Publishing Director, says
The excitement that’s building around the new series of Doctor Who is remarkable, and Jodie Whittaker is helping usher in a whole new era of vibrant, inclusive storytelling. We’re thrilled to be a part of that with our publishing, and authors like Naomi and Juno, Jenny, Una and Steve are the perfect ambassadors for this next chapter in the Doctor Who story. We can’t wait for them to introduce a whole new generation of fans to the wonders of the Whoniverse.




Time Shadows e-booksBookmark and Share

Monday, 30 April 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Time Shadows: Anniversary Edition and Time Shadows: Second Nature are now available for a limited time in e-book format (EPUB, MOBI, PDF), with illustrations.

Time Shadows is an unofficial, unauthorized Doctor Who anthology series for charity by Pseudoscope Publishing, with stories by BBC Books, Short Trips and Seasons of War alumni, plus talented newcomers.

All sales proceeds benefit CODE, Canada’s leading international development agency uniquely focused on advancing literacy and education.

To date, sales of the anthology series have raised over CAD $2,700 for charity.

For ordering information and story teasers, visit the Pseudoscope Publishing website or Facebook page.




Lethbridge Stewart: 50th Anniversary NovelsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 22 April 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the forthcoming release of a new series of novels celebrating fifty years of the Brigadier!

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Laughing Gnome (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Laughing Gnome

December 2011, and the Lethbridge-Stewart clan are gathering. The patriarch, Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is not well. In fact, he’s dying.

He’s determined to face his end with dignity. He has lived a long life, seen a lot of strange things, saved the world more times than he can count, but he has also made a lot of mistakes.

What if he had a chance to revisit some of those mistakes?




In 1968, Doctor Who viewers were introduced to the character Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart.

Created by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln for the serial, The Web of Fear, Lethbridge-Stewart returned the following year in The Invasion, now promoted from colonel to the brigadier in command of UNIT. A legend of Doctor Who was born, and the Brigadier (as he became to be known) continued as regular fixture in Doctor Who until 1976, alongside both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. He would return to the series several times during the 1980s, and be mentioned often in the revived series from 2005, with a guest appearance in Doctor Who spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and his daughter, Kate, was introduced to the series in 2011 as a semi-regular feature. Beyond the TV series, the Brigadier has enjoyed a long life in spin-off media, including novels, short stories, audio plays, comics and, of course, his own series of novels with Candy Jar since 2015.

To celebrate this milestone, Candy Jar Books is releasing a series of six titles. The first five fall under the banner of The Laughing Gnome, and follows Sir Alistair, Brigadier Bill Bishop and Dame Anne as they adventure through time, visiting the 1930s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and the 2010s! These are followed by a novel that takes the readers right back to the start of the Brigadier’s journey and reveals the decision that changed his life forever!

The Laughing Gnome consists of Scary Monsters by Simon A Forward, The Fear of Web by Alyson Leeds, The Danger Men by Nick Walters, Day of the Matador by Robert Mammone, and Lucy Wilson and the Bledoe Cadets by Tim Gambrell. These are followed by On His Majesty’s National Service by David A McIntee & Dr Lynette Nusbacher.


Simon Forward, who previously wrote Blood of Atlantis, says:
To be invited back to contribute to the Brig's fiftieth anniversary celebrations is a huge privilege. And with that privilege, like great power, comes great responsibility. We have a duty to the character and to Nick Courtney, the actor who ensured him such a long life in our imaginations. And we have the pleasure of throwing him into new situations and adventures. For my part, I'm aiming to pit him against a terror that is very much a part of his time but one that should resonate with our present. An international thriller, a haunting episode from the past, for our very British hero, teamed up with a returning character from Blood of Atlantis. Who you could call Watson to the Brigadier's Holmes, but then he'd have to kill you.

Alyson Leeds, penning her first novel for the series after her contribution to The HAVOC Files 4, says:
Doctor Who was never part of my childhood. Born in the late ‘80s, I did not have a Doctor of my own, and by the time of the revival I was in my late teens. Though I enjoyed the show well enough it was the expanded universe of Who, the novels and audios, that made me a fan. It was here that I first met the Brigadier, and where he instantly became a favourite character. It had always been my ambition to write, and I hoped that I might eventually get a chance to write for the world of Who. Never did I imagine that my first novel would roll both ambitions into one! That I should be writing for the Brigadier, and at so significant a point in his history, was certainly beyond my wildest dreams. Fifty years on from the Brig’s first appearance, so beautifully realised by Nicholas Courtney, many have talked about what makes the Brig such an enduring and beloved character. I find his simple honesty of spirit appeals to me most. He is not a complicated man; he does what he thinks is right, in a way that does not compromise his duty or his beliefs. In a world increasingly beset by troubles, a hero who will not hesitate to step forward and do the best he can is a perpetual breath of fresh air. My part of the story takes the Brig and Anne back to their ‘beginning’, to 1969 and the Underground. Having lived her life and come to terms with the losses she has felt along the way, Dame Anne is suddenly presented with the opportunity to change the past and save someone dear to her – her father. There will be consequences, that is undeniable, but how far would any of us go to save someone we loved?

Nick Walters, author of Mutually Assured Domination and The Man from Yesterday, says:
Candy Jar is doing something rather special and unexpected to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Brigadier. When Andy [Frankham-Allen, range editor] first told me about it a few years ago it sounded bonkers. A simple ‘X Doctors’ style reunion nostalgia trip this most certainly is not! It’s a bold, interesting and challenging idea which is going to take people by surprise. I was thrilled to be asked to write a story for this series. The idea for my story originated in a striking image which came to me last August whilst sitting in a coffee shop with Andy and all the other writers. I pitched the idea to Andy and he was on board straight away! The Danger Men is on the surface quite a straightforward, fun, spy thriller, a homage to everything from Bond to Bourne, Le Carre and Mission Impossible, and even the Milk Tray Man! There’s some serious stuff behind it, though, mainly in the backgrounds and motivation of the Bond-style villains of the story, who are led by the wonderfully-named (even though I say so myself), Dieter Allegro. Nothing is quite what you expect...

Robert Mammone, who wrote this year’s Travers & Wells, says:
The Brigadier is what every authority figure should be – steadfast and loyal, with just a hint of a twinkle in the eye, indicating he gets the joke as well. It is right, then, that the inheritors of that formidable legacy, Candy Jar, celebrate the character in his fiftieth anniversary year. Thanks to Candy Jar, I’ve been given the opportunity to write a story which honours the Brigadier, and celebrates the character Nicholas Courtney. Together with Anne and Bill Bishop, the Brigadier will face off against an old foe in the London of 1973. And lurking in the cracks of history, an ancient evil threatens to re-emerge into the light of day and overthrow the human race...

Tim Gambrell, who is also writing his first novel, having contributed several short stories for the series, including The Bledoe Cadets and The Bald Man of Pengriffen, says:
Writing for an icon like the Brigadier is an honour at any time, but how much more so to be given that opportunity as part of the character’s fiftieth anniversary celebrations? He’s such a likeable, enduring and, above all else, real character. What a joy to be able to take him by the hand and immerse oneself fully in the extended world that Candy Jar has created. It lets you write big stories, with real impact, but in small worlds, and affecting real people. I get the Brig, the Bledoe Cadets and Lucy Wilson as my playmates in a story that stretches from Alistair’s childhood to his days as a grandfather.

David A McIntee teams up with Dr Lynette Nusbacher, military historian, and says:
As I've said before, for me, the Brigadier's place is all about Nick Courtney and the ideal match between character and actor, with both fitting the other so perfectly. It was said of Sean Bean than he didn't so much play Sharpe as wear the role, and this is so true of Nick and the Brig as well. It's such a rare thing to happen, and therefore particularly special that the resulting figure reaches fifty years or popularity, that it's astonishing to be involved in looking back at that half century. Astonishing too, to be taking that figure to its basics, and exploring what's really deep within this character. Every man is the sum of his memories, as the Doctor once said, but he's also a product of the world around him, both inside his perceptions and outside. Worlds are big, bigger than you'd think, and you don't need a TARDIS to have a range of experiences enough to fill anyone's imagination. We may not have Nick any more, but he's still in the Brigadier, and always will be, however big and involved the Brig's world turns out to be.

The Laughing Gnome is available from the Lethbridge-Stewart website and will also be available from the Candy Jar webstore. It also forms part of any existing subscriptions.




Black Archive #18: Marco PoloBookmark and Share

Saturday, 31 March 2018 - Reported by Marcus
Black Archive #18: Marco Polo (Credit: Obverse)The latest release from The Black Archive series of books looks at the 1964 Doctor Who story Marco Polo

Marco Polo was broadcast during an era of cultural change, reshaping television’s role as historian, and locating the reader, not the author, at the centre of interpretation. This is crucial given how the fourth serial recruits the viewer as a fellow traveller in Marco’s caravan.

The epic journey is staged through camera-treatments and mobility, adaptive and remedial interventions, public and book history, cultural assumptions and memories. Rather than the solitary authorial figure of Marco, this book celebrates the collaborators, copyists, studio personnel and fans, whose community storytelling is in the philosophical spirit of Doctor Who.

Dene October is editor of Doctor Who and History and is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts, London. He is in the possibly unique position of having seen Marco Polo not once, but twice, on broadcast.

October investigates several threads while keeping to the rhythm of the travelogue, exploiting how the exhaustive televisual experience inverts the trope of time travel. His book is itself a wayfaring reflection on how we travel through media and memory in reconstructing this most famous and earliest of missing stories.
Marco Polo is all about writing. It’s what Tegana – the Mongol warlord secretly working against Kublai Khan – complains about, drawing his sword in frustration as Marco sits about writing his journal. What Tegana means is there’s too much talk and not enough sword fights (cue episode seven spoilers!). But his comment might equally be one about the serial itself, which has an unfair reputation for discursive storytelling. Except that’s not how I remember the serial at all … and I’ve been lucky enough to see it, not once but twice.

Writing Marco Polo for the Black Archive was an opportunity to put the record straight. Except that, just like Marco’s original narrative told for a thirteenth century audience, the fourth serial is lost, leaving us with a need to reconstruct it for new audiences. But that’s okay, because what is a black archive unless it is the opportunity to reflect on the empty space before us? In this sense, the Black Archive is, like a television screen, both immersive and reflective, one we sometimes catch sight of ourselves in. This is what I wanted to assert throughout this book, which explores many critical as well as personal themes, such as how camera treatments tell stories and facilitate virtual travel, how stories are told in adaptive and remedial frameworks, and as public history, and how fan-viewers become custodians of popular culture … fans like me, a writer reconstructing, like Marco, his travels from memory.
Black Archive #18: Marco Polo is released on 7th April 2018 and can be ordered from Obverse Books.