Candy Jar online Advent CalendarBookmark and Share

Saturday, 8 December 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: The XMas Files (Credit: Candy Har)Candy Jar have announced an online advent calendar for this year's festive period.

Every day until the 25th, Candy Jar will be giving away standalone short stories, book samplers, wallpapers and more, completely free. Items so far include the Lethbridge-Stewart short story collection The Xmas Files, a Cardiff ComicCon chapter from the children’s book The Book Spy, and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries wallpaper.

Children’s Digital Assistant, Keren Williams, explained the thinking behind the advent calendar:
It’s a Christmas tradition that we give away some short stories to our loyal readers, and this year I thought, why don’t we go the whole hog and really spoil everybody? We have enough unseen material, as well as some hidden gems in our back catalogue, to fill Santa’s sack several times over. Whatever your tastes, and whether you’ve been naughty or nice, we have something just for you.
Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, added:
In our series, the Brig has gone from a beloved, but somewhat forgotten part of Doctor Who history, to an alive and kicking, vital part of the ever-expanding canon. Here at Candy Jar, we’re fans first and foremost, and we’re forever grateful to our readers for embarking on this journey with us. We wanted to give a little something back to everyone who has helped make the series possible. We hope that it will make this a Candy Jar Christmas to remember!
Subscribers to Candy Jar’s newsletter will receive daily updates containing the latest additions, but the calendar is available to everyone at from their website.




Downtime: Children of the New WorldBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 November 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the first of their standalone Lethbridge-Stewart novels to be released next year:

Downtime: Children of the New World (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Downtime: Children of the New World
Written by Andy Frankham-Allen
Cover by Adrian Salmon


Kate Lethbridge-Stewart joins her father, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, in a mission to save her son’s life!


For the last nine years Kate’s life has been a happy one. Other than a minor blip in 2003, she hasn’t had to worry about aliens bothering her or her son. Indeed, her biggest concern is Gordy’s first girlfriend. But it all changes when a face from her past appears, bringing with him a warning.

Gordy and his cousin Conall are kidnapped by a radical group calling themselves the Followers of Maitreya!

The Brigadier and Kate join forces with Douglas Cavendish and Anne Travers on a mission to save Gordy and Conall, which leads them to the ruins of Det-Sen Monastery in Tibet where deadly Yeti roam, and a prophecy is about to fulfilled!

What connects the Followers of Maitreya to a developing online school, Asteroid 4179 which is heading towards Earth, and the Brigadier’s family?

The novel is a sequel to the 1990s video film Downtime, and is published in co-ordination with producers Reeltime Pictures. The novel continues the story of a pre-UNIT Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and her son Gordon, set some nine years after the events in the original film and a little after its sequel, Dæmos Rising; it also serves to introduce Reeltime's forthcoming release in the series, Anomaly (in which Beverley Cressman reprises her role as Kate). As a Candy-Jar book, the story incorporates elements from their own Lethbridge-Stewart series, including the Brigadier's eldest son, Conall Wilson.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen, and author of the book, explains how it came to pass:
When I first heard of Reeltime’s forthcoming film, Anomaly, which would see Beverley returning to the role of Kate, I contacted Keith Barnfather. Initially it was simply to express my interest in Kate’s return, and how I’d be open to us working together to cross-pollinate our two ranges. Keith was very open to the idea, and before we knew it the conversation turned to prose and the idea of doing a sequel to Downtime. It took a while to work out when to set it, and after watching Dæmos Rising it became clear the book needed to be set after that film. The only proviso Keith gave me was that I needed to “set up” Anomaly.

All background details from Downtime will be treated the same way one treats background detail in a normal standalone novel; the reader will be told everything they need to know for the story to work. Of course, further insight can be gained by picking up Downtime, but it won’t be essential. Children of the New World is its own story. The basic idea came to me fairly quickly, but it wasn’t until I rewatched both films and had a chance to look through Marc Platt’s novelisation that the main plot point presented itself. I was determined to write a solid standalone tale, but one that was a logical continuation of Downtime, while at the same time bringing Kate and Gordy fully into the fold with the Brigadier’s extended family. The chance of having the Brigadier’s two grandsons together was too good to pass up, and that quickly became the crux of the plot.
Cover art is by popular Doctor Who artist Adrian Salmon, who said:
Great to be asked to draw a cover for the new look Lethbridge-Stewart range! Andy and I had a lot of fun with this cover; as soon as he told me what the book was like, I knew the kind of thing I wanted to do. He gave me an open brief to redesign the Yeti, to make it more of a simian creature, and less like the way they’re previous been depicted in Doctor Who. I wanted to incorporate silver into the design, initially as a kind of harness, before we settled on a fearsome face mask, to suggest the controlling intelligence and to make it clear these are not the Yeti fans have previously seen.

There will be two editions of Downtime: Children of the New World, a standard paperback limited to 500 copies, and and limited hardback edition of 50 copies. Both are avaialable for pre-order from the Candy Jar website. Please note that this novel isn't part of any subscription offer.




Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror Clowns book launchBookmark and Share

Saturday, 24 November 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse Of The Mirror Clowns (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announce the official release of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel Curse of the Mirror Clowns, which will be celebrated with a book launch on Saturday the 24th November from 11 until 3 o’clock at Heroes, Aliens and Monsters Comics in Tonypandy, featuring the book's author, Chris Lynch alongside Kangazang illustrator and author Terry Cooper.

Chris says of Curse of the Mirror Clowns:
Did you ever think you saw something, just out of the corner of your eye? It happens to me all the time and it freaks me out quite a bit. So, when I got the chance to add my own monster to the Lucy Wilson universe, I knew it had to be a monster that you couldn't always see. I also wanted it to be a clown because, if there's something that freaks me out more than things I can't see then it's something I can see – clowns. Of course, that's not all I added – there are plenty of other surprises in there that I hope people will really enjoy. It's been great fun adding my own strange and spooky elements to Lucy's world and I hope to back very, very soon.

Terry Cooper, often found impersonating Captain Jack Sparrow all over South Wales, is author of the science fiction trilogy Kangazang!, the third installment of which was recently launched at Cardiff Film and ComicCon; he will be signing copies of the book and CD (voiced by Sixth Doctor Colin Baker).

Head of publishing Shaun Russell states that:
There will be a range of books for sale on the day, but we also wanted to provide fans with a chance to ask the authors any questions they may have. Whether they’re about the writing process, the worlds they have created or what their favourite colour is!





Lethbridge-Stewart: The Laughing Gnome: The Danger MenBookmark and Share

Saturday, 10 November 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announcedd the third book in its anniversary series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, The Laughing Gnome: The Danger Men:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Laughing Gnome: The Danger Men (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Laughing Gnome: The Danger Men
Written by Nick Walters
Cover by Paul Cooke

2011 and Brigadier William Bishop visits his old commanding officer, Brigadier Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, who is a little concerned about a garden gnome he recently found. Soon both Bishop and his wife, Anne Travers, find themselves dragged through time after the Brigadier…

He’s a man on a mission. But he has no idea what the mission is. It’s 1999. Bill Bishop is plunged into a world of intrigue as he inhabits the body of Calum Bence of Department M – aka the Danger Men – on the trail of millionaire entrepreneur and suspected super-spy Dieter Allegro.

But is Allegro really the bad guy he’s made out to be? And who is the mysterious Otto Di Catania, and why is he so interested in the contents of a certain CD-ROM?

As he seeks these answers, Bill can’t help but wonder: will he ever find Anne and the Brigadier, will he even return to 2011, or is he destined to be lost in time forever?

Join Bill in his borrowed body as he travels from Johannesburg to London to Torquay and Austria on his mission impenetrable...

The Danger Men sees the return of popular novelist Nick Walters for his third Lethbridge-Stewart novel. Nick previously wrote Mutually Assured Domination in 2015 and The Man from Yesterday earlier in 2018.

Nick said:
When I was told of the story arc for this anniversary series, I immediately knew what I wanted to do: a straight spy thriller, with no sci-fi or fantasy elements other than the framing story and elements of the wider Whoniverse. At the same time, I had the idea for the opening scene, and it’s more or less exactly as you read it in the finished book! It’s rare that ideas come so fully-formed so quickly, but it’s wonderful when they do. I intended The Danger Men to be a homage to James Bond, Jason Bourne, Mission: Impossible and the works of John Le Carre, spoofing some elements yet taking the story deadly seriously. For example, women are always throwing themselves at James Bond, and the same happens to Bill Bishop in this book, but, of course, because he’s a gent and loyal to Anne he cannot reciprocate, leading to complications and comedy.

This is the first book in the range to focus primarily on Brigadier William Bishop. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen, explained the decision:
Ever since his first appearance in the first Lethbridge-Stewart novel, Bill has proven very popular with our readers. Up to now the books have been led by either the Brigadier or Anne, so the decision was made that, during this contained series of novel and under the steady hand of Nick Walters, we could take the risk of allowing one of our series-originated characters to take the lead. Bill was the only choice for that, really, easily being the most popular and the most connected to both the Brigadier and Anne – especially Anne, seeing as they got engaged during the course or the series and have been shown to be married by the 1990s. Of course, both the Brigadier and Anne make cameo appearances, and their presence is felt throughout. It is still every bit a Lethbridge-Stewart novel!

Music has a large influence on The Danger Men, with Nick explaining:
The story arc title, The Laughing Gnome, was inspired by David Bowie, of course. It’s set in 1999 so there are a lot of references to contemporary pop, rock and indie, in chapter titles for example, and the naming of operations by Department M, which subverts the conventions of naming such things after works of high culture in Le Carre and Deighton novels. There is, however, one group, one very famous group spanning the eighties and nineties, who are still going now, who inspired the majority of the character names and references. Stella Van Steiner, Dieter Allegro, Otto Di Catania – I’ll let you guess who! We plan to do a soundtrack for the book, containing all the songs referenced therein, which should be available on Spotify soon. Such things as pop music references are great fun of course but only the icing on the cake. The Danger Men is, I hope, a fast-moving, thrilling, funny and sometimes alarming spy caper with loads of twists and turns. It’s also a study of identity – Bill has to take on various aliases in his mission, and the more he takes on the further he feels isolated from his true self. So, underneath all the fun is all this existential musing on the nature of existence.

The cover is by Paul Cooke, returning for his second novel after providing the artwork for Nick Walters’ previous book, The Man from Yesterday. Paul said:
It was a very pleasant surprise to be asked back to do another cover for the series. When I read what the story was about, was thrilled - it was a perfect opportunity do a cover influenced by some of the period film posters I enjoy. I was thinking I would approach this in a slightly different style to my last one, a bit more painterly. The only problem was not to make it too pulpy in look, which is when I hit upon the idea of the computer screen type, which immediately gave the piece a sense of time.

The Laughing Gnome: The Danger Men is available for pre-order now. The book is due for release at the end of November.


The Laughing Gnome will continue in early 2019 with book four. The Day of the Matador, by Robert Mammone, sees our heroes reuniting in 1970s England dealing gangsters and Dominators! This is followed by book five, Lucy Wilson and the Bledoe Cadets by Tim Gambrell, with On His Majesty’s National Service by David A McIntee following a month later.




Lucy Wilson updateBookmark and Share

Monday, 29 October 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced the latest The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel, The Midnight People, is now available for pre-order:

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Midnight People (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Midnight People
Written by John Peel

Monknash was once home to a band of smugglers, but it is now dull and boring. Except to Greg Morton, who’s absolutely terrified something unimaginable has happened to everyone in the village.

He telephones his friend, Hobo, to ask for help. When Hobo and Lucy arrive, they discover that something odd is definitely going on – but what? People seem joyless and dull, showing no emotions at all.

Even Greg, who now insists that he was joking, seems very different. Why are people walking toward the cliffs at the stroke of midnight? Who is the lady in the wheelchair? What are the villagers trying to protect What are the villagers trying to protect in the caves? And why can't the local policeman see anything strange?

Can Lucy and Hobo take on an entire village by themselves?

The Midnight People is written by John Peel, who wrote the novel in a style reminiscent of the HTV series Children of the Stones but with a modern twist. John said:
Lucy and Hobo are lovely characters to write for. They aren't superheroes, they're just youngsters who rely on their wits and their courage, and have to fight off fears of insecurity. Are they seeing more than is there? And, if not, can two teens save the world – again? Plus, of course, I’ve introduced another of my odd aliens.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, said:
John has written two Lethbridge-Stewart books for us, The Grandfather Infestation and The Life of Evans, both of which have been very popular. I always wanted him to tackle a Lucy Wilson story. He’s very adept at focusing on character and I wanted something that was dark and moody, and John, as I expected, did not disappoint.

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


Shaun adds:
It seems that people are really embracing Lucy and Hobo. We will be launching Curse of the Mirror Clowns by Chris Lynch at the Turn Left Doctor Who Convention in Cardiff on 1st December in Cardiff. Chris will there talking about the book, as well as Simon A Forward, Alyson Leeds, Andy Frankham-Allen and myself.

Turn Left also features Louise Jameson, Matthew Waterhouse, film actress Sarah Douglas, illustrator and painter Chris Achilléos, former Doctor Who Script Editor Andrew Cartmel, and music composer Mark Ayres.
Curse of the Mirror Clowns was originally released as a fan exclusive in May, but will be on general release from the 29th November.


Lucy and her family have been featured in two recent Lethbridge-Stewart short stories: Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton (The HAVOC Files 3) and The Two Brigadiers by Jonathan Macho (The HAVOC Files 4). Added to this, she and her family will also make an appearance in the upcoming short story collection Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage.


In addition, the children at St Leonard’s Academy, Hastings have been busy writing their own Lucy Wilson stories, which can be downloaded for free via our website.




Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files: Loose Ends and new short story competitionBookmark and Share

Saturday, 29 September 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: The HAVOC Files: Loose Ends (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books has announced a brand-new short story collection, The HAVOC Files: Loose Ends, written by range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen.

Explaining the origin of the anthology, Andy said:
Once it became clear we were bringing our ongoing narrative to a close in the beginning of 2018, Shaun and I discussed what to do with the dangling plot threads, and character arcs that never got fully resolved. And answer some questions the readers don’t even know they have! We decided the best way to address some of the key moments was to release a collection of short stories. And The HAVOC Files: Loose Ends is the result!

The anthology will feature stories focusing on various regular characters seen through the original sixteen-book run of Lethbridge-Stewart, including such popular characters as Bill Bishop, Harold Chorley, Owain Lethbridge-Stewart, Dylan Lethbridge-Stewart, Rhys Rubery, Samson Ware and, of course, the lead characters Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers.

The HAVOC Files: Loose Ends will be, initially, only available in limited edition and is up for pre-order now.

Candy Jar is also reprinting a short-run of The HAVOC Files 2, which can be found via their website.

Short Story Competition


Following the success of the first Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Competition, Candy Jar is having a second round with another competition. As with the first one, it will be open to previously unpublished writers, although this time it will be open to those both in and outside the UK.

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, says:
We had a great response when we announced the Short Story Collection and because of its success I am very excited to be doing it all over again. This time we want to give other characters a chance in the spotlight. What about Anne, Bill, or even newly created characters from our Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries? With this collection we are giving fans the chance to really explore, and I can’t wait to see what response we get!
Andy adds:
This time Shaun and I will be running the competition, casting our expert eyes over the entries. And as the stories will exist outside of the canon of our ranges, we encourage all contenders to embrace their creativity and take our characters into entirely unexpected areas. As long as they are true to the characters depicted in our ranges, you can put them into almost any situation. The only true limit is the imagination!

The winning entry will receive a Kindle Fire and Lethbridge-Stewart or The Lucy Wilson Mysteries publishing deal. All shortlisted entries will be published in The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection Vol 2.

The winner of the first short story competition was announced earlier this year as Sean Alexander from Holyhead, north Wales with his story, Boys Don’t Cry. Following the competition, Sean is now working with Andy Frankham-Allen on a new Lethbridge-Stewart novel for the 2019/2020 range.

With the opportunity to secure a publishing deal through entering the brand-new writing competition, and a much wider scope for creativity, this is an exciting opportunity for any writer or fan of the Lethbridge-Stewart world.

The entry fee is £5. To enter visit the Candy Jar website.

Please include:
Your name, age, email, address and telephone number.

Submissions can be entered until the end of November 2018.

Submission guidelines for the Lethbridge-Stewart South Wales Short Story Competition:
  • Maximum of 3000 words.
  • This competition is open to anybody who has never been published before, whether you’re a fan of Doctor Who and Lethbridge-Stewart or not. We’re looking for stories that utilise any character from the Lethbridge-Stewart and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries range of books (list of Lethbridge-Stewart characters here). It is not necessary to fit within the timeline; these stories are out of the canon of the series, so feel free to let your imagination run wild!
  • A selection of free short stories will be sent to any applicant on request, should you need to see our characters in action.
  • Our license is with the Haisman Literary Estate only, therefore you CAN use any character from the Doctor Who serials The Abominable Snowmen, The Web of Fear and The Dominators, or any original character found Candy Jar Books’ Lethbridge-Stewart and The Lucy Wilson Mysteries series (except characters from Doctor Who that appeared in the ranges under express permission).
  • You can NOT use any other Doctor Who characters or monsters.
  • You can NOT use UNIT or any associated characters.
  • Any entries that feature a Doctor Who character not owned by the Haisman Literary Estate will be instantly disqualified, with no refund.




Lethbridge-Stewart: Fear of the WebBookmark and Share

Saturday, 8 September 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the second book in their The Laughing Gnome series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, this time focussing on Dame Anne Bishop (née Travers):

Lethbridge-Stewart: Fear of the Web (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Laughing Gnome: Fear of the Web
Written by Alyson Leeds
Cover by Martin Baines


Dame Anne Bishop learned a long time ago that for every fixed point in time, this a fracture point, an event that is susceptible to catastrophic changes in the timeline. And when she is catapulted back in time, she discovers first hand that February 1969 is one such point.

Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart is on manoeuvres with the Scots Guards in Libya. Only, he’s about to receive a call from his old commanding officer, Colonel Spencer Pemberton. A call that will drag him to London, and set him on a direct course for destiny!

The London Event, the trap set for the Doctor by the Great Intelligence, changed the course of human history, and for Anne Travers it set into place a series of events that would see the death of her father barely a year later.

Now, waking up in the body of a woman she barely knows, Dame Anne is faced with the idea that perhaps she can change things – not enough to damage the timeline, but enough to save her father.

Future and past are set to collide, which could have irrevocable consequences for the timeline...

The book is written by first-time novelist, Alyson Leeds, who contributed a short story to 2017’s The HAVOC Files 4; she explains being called on to contribute:
I was quite stunned to be asked if I would write a book as part of the upcoming 50th Anniversary series. It was both an exciting and fairly intimidating prospect, having never written a novel before, but I knew it was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up. The scenario that Andy gave me was too interesting to refuse.

Range Editor, Andy Frankham-Allen, explains:
Alyson’s short story needed very little work, and since then I’ve called upon her military knowledge for other books, so it was an easy call to invite her to join the line-up for The Laughing Gnome. For someone who’s done little professional prose writing, she turns in a very solid piece of work, which is every editor’s dream. As we are celebrating fifty years of the Brigadier, it was forgone conclusion that we would go back to the beginning, his first appearance in Doctor Who – The Web of Fear, as written by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln. Like all the authors for this range, I gave Alyson the basic premise; put Dame Anne into the missing two weeks mentioned in The Web of Fear – during a small briefing scene between Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, Captain Knight and the Doctor – and finally show just what did happen when the mist started spreading across London, and add to that the idea that Dame Anne will be faced with the notion that she could, theoretically, changed things to ensure her father is never possessed by the Great Intelligence! Alyson jumped at the chance, and soon had an outline ready to go.

Alyson talks about her approach to developing the idea:
The London Event, indeed The Web of Fear, was the making of Lethbridge-Stewart, but was never just his story. There’s an awful lot that goes on off camera there; the slow advance of the mist and Web, the escalation of the crisis, and the total evacuation of London – no mean feat! Introducing an older, experienced Anne who has known both joy and loss over the years into that scenario presented some interesting questions. After everything she’s been through with HAVOC, you would think Anne would know better than to try and change the past; but when faced with the chance to save a loved one from a truly horrible fate, who’s to say to what lengths she might go? It also presented a chance to explore a little further the relationship between the Travers family and the Silversteins. I always felt bad for Mr Silverstein, getting bumped off simply for being unlucky enough to own the Yeti, and revisiting this point in time allowed me to touch on the repercussions that his death would have on those closest to him.

The cover is by Martin Baines, whose work was previously featured on the covers of 2016’s Times Squared, and 2017’s The Dreamer’s Lament:
The Web of Fear is rightly regarded one of the gems of Doctor Who in the ’60s. It’s brilliantly written and well directed and has aged very well. When Candy Jar asked me to illustrate a cover depicting another story set during the same period I was really thrilled, especially when they asked me to show London deserted and covered in web (which was not seen in the original story but mentioned). It took a number of roughs to do justice to the idea, but when I saw some images of London in smog I knew the direction to take.

The Laughing Gnome: Fear of the Web is available for pre-order now from Candy Jar Books and is due to be released at the end of September.




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.




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)





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)




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.