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.




The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence + Free DownloadBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 28 March 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have released details about the history of the first book in their forthcoming spin-off series from Lethbridge-Stewart, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries

The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Independent publisher Candy Jar Books is tackling prejudice against differences and promoting diversity, self-confidence and acceptance for young people, in publishing their latest sci-fi adventure series for children.

The series begins with The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence. The action-packed adventure story is set in the sleepy Welsh town of Ogmore-by-Sea and features the young, sharp-as-a-tack Lucy Wilson, a London-bred pre-teen with mixed-race parentage, and her perennial side-kick Hobo, a highly intelligent boy with alopecia.

The book is written by author Sue Hampton, who was diagnosed with the condition alopecia universalis in 1981 and has since become an ambassador for the charity Alopecia UK. With Sue’s first book, The Waterhouse Girl, inspired by her own experience of learning to live with the sometimes overwhelming condition, Sue feels that it’s incredibly important that young people who feel “different” are positively represented in mainstream fiction, in ways that don’t portray them as “other”.

She says:
Writing The Waterhouse Girl changed my life, and changed the way I saw my alopecia. I began to feel braver, because my character was dealing with alopecia better than I was. Since then I’ve wanted to write stories where the characters are not defined by their condition, because that’s not what defines me. In Avatars of the Intelligence, Hobo does have alopecia, yes, but he is also loyal, brave and intelligent – all the qualities that Lucy needs in a friend.
Through her work with Alopecia UK, Sue visits schools across the UK offering education and support to those in need, and this experience has taught her how big a difference having friends can make to somebody living with a condition like alopecia.

A representative for Alopecia UK says:
At this time it’s very difficult to say with any certainty just how many children are affected by alopecia, however it’s likely to be thousands rather than hundreds.

The Lucy Wilson series acts as a spin-off from Candy Jar’s existing science fiction range of Lethbridge-Stewart novels starring the character from the 1960s classic era of Doctor Who Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, created by Henry Lincoln and Mervyn Haisman and portrayed by Nicholas Courtney in the television series. New protagonist Lucy Wilson is the granddaughter of the Brigadier, and carries the formidable legacy of the Lethbridge-Stewart name along with her. Sue says:
Lucy is dauntless, loyal and whip-smart. She’s a modern girl with strong values and opinions, which means that she feels the injustices in the world even more strongly than most and always stands up for what’s right.
Avatars of the Intelligence deals with themes that affect many young people, such as feeling like an outsider and being bullied, in a way that Sue hopes will empower and inspire readers. Recent statistics from Childline show that as many as one in six young people experience anxiety-related problems, and in the top five concerns raised in counselling sessions over twelve months were low self esteem, feeling sad, low or lonely and bullying.

Lucy Wilson: Avatars of the Intelligence is a celebration of characters who boldly refuse to become victims of their circumstances. Despite the fact that both Hobo and Lucy are initially viewed as outsiders, they find courage and friendship in each other and, together, take on an unseen evil force tormenting their school – the Great Intelligence.

Themes of self-acceptance and confidence are further reflected in the cover artwork, created by Beano artist Steve Beckett. Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, says:
We felt that it was really important that we didn’t have Hobo hidden in any way on the cover – no hats or hoods. This is a character who is totally unashamed, and we felt it wouldn’t be right to present him otherwise. We want this to inspire other children who might feel like they’re different, if they feel lonely or left out, that it’s our differences that make us who we are.
The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence is now available to order.

Firstly, I’m delighted that so many of you enjoyed Avatars of the Intelligence very much.

“This is one of the only books I have been interested in for a while. I used to hate reading but ever since I read this book I have loved reading.” “I don’t think it could be any better.” Most of all I’m happy that you like my characters. People said some positive and perceptive things about Lucy – “I love Lucy’s character because she is strong-willed and determined (although a bit stubborn)” – but on the whole Hobo seems to be the favourite. “Hobo is a unique and original character who teaches us loads about alopecia and people who might not look like other people but are still really interesting and do good things.” “I particularly like Hobo. He is a character that shows how you can face bullies with a smile. Instead of shying away from comments about his alopecia he faces them head-on which makes him a really strong character in the book.”

A lot of you are interested in alopecia and the way I used my own experience of hair loss. “I really like how Sue takes something that happened in her life and turns it into something great.” I never thought of it that way when I was writing it but I’m happy for anyone to see the book in that light. Here, having already written two novels in which alopecia is the story, I wanted to introduce a clever, funny and individual character who just happens to have no hair. I also wanted to show that alopecia has made him stronger, kinder and wiser. As Ambassador for Alopecia UK I’ve met many young people with alopecia and that’s what it seems to do. Like all challenges it teaches people a lot about themselves and being human. “The book demonstrates how outcasts face challenges. Hobo is an extremely interesting character because he doesn’t fit into society’s expectations.”

A few people said the book starts slowly. The beginning of a novel is always the hardest part because there’s a lot to establish, especially in the kind of book that’s driven by character. It takes a while to get to know characters well enough to care, and it’s REALLY important to me that readers do care about mine. The first mysterious, creepy action is on page 13 but there are lots of sci-fi references before that to hint at what’s to come, and the emotional action starts on page one.

Two of you added that it’s a bit confusing at first with various characters named in the first few pages. That’s because, in this book which begins a series, we start with Lucy, but being a Lethbridge-Stewart she’s really the next in line: it’s in her blood. So unusually, I was handed a central character with a family tree, ready-made. I gave Lucy a personality, interests, strengths and weaknesses, but the Lethbridge-Stewart legacy is already established. There are many novels and short story collections published by Candy Jar about her grandfather, who even has a Wikipedia page! For the fans of that legacy, I had to acknowledge her family from the start; they’ll know at once who Conall is, and Nick, and all the family members. The book is meant to appeal to existing Whovians and fans of Lethbridge-Stewart, and some of its biggest fans so far are adult, like the guys who praised my book on a podcast for Doctor Who fans. But it’s also meant to appeal to readers from Y6 up, some of whom will come to it completely fresh, with none of this background. As a reader I’m always happy to wonder and deduce for a few pages before a relationship structure firms up, and by the end of chapter one those characters should all be clear. Using close third person means that I follow Lucy’s thoughts and perspective so people can’t be identified with labels, because she would think of Conall and Dean by name, not as her eldest, gay brother and his husband. I’ve written it so that readers can work all that out pretty quickly.

The colourful cover, which is the work of a Beano artist called Steve Beckett, really does appeal to Y5/6 readers – you should see them drawn to it in primary schools when I visit – and I hear that they enjoy the story, while teenage and adult readers will be more aware of the emotional dynamics and issues of diversity that some of you mentioned. I’ve been contacted by a father and daughter and a father and son who reported that both generations thought it was great. I came across a division into hard’ and ‘soft’ science fiction, and this book is definitely soft in the sense that it’s driven by character and its ‘science’ (in this author’s head, at any rate) is psychology rather than physics. I’d say this generally applies to Doctor Who, too, but some fans might like to challenge me on that.

You may have noticed that there’s plenty of imagery. It’s a playfulness with words and can give energy to a story, be fun or funny, crank up the excitement – sometimes in a horrifying way – and create an atmosphere. Sci-fi has its own vocabulary, of course, and like the action the language can be highly dramatic. It’s my thirty-first book but my first venture into this genre.



The Lucy Wilson Collection (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar has produced a 95-page free ebook The Lucy Wilson Collection. This contains The Two Brigadiers by Jonathan Macho, Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton, an extract of Avatars of the Intelligence by Sue Hampton, an extract of Curse of the Mirror Clowns by Chris Lynch, and a non-fiction chapter about the Brigadier written by Andy Frankham-Allen.

The e-book is available to download via our website.





Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story CollectionBookmark and Share

Saturday, 24 March 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Lethbridge-Stewart: Short Story Collection (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce an exciting new collection of stories featuring Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart. The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection comes off the back of the publisher’s mission to find new writing talent in south Wales and beyond.

In August 2017 Candy Jar offered aspiring writers and fans of the Lethbridge-Stewart series the opportunity to pen their own chapter in the Lethbridge-Stewart universe.

The results are in, and Candy Jar has collected the best and brightest writers in this short story anthology. Head of publishing, Shaun Russell, says:
With The Havoc Files coming to an end, and the Brig celebrating his fiftieth anniversary this year, I am very excited to be presenting a new take on this iconic character. We’ve had such high quality stories and we feel the fans will enjoy taking an alternative journey alongside the Haisman characters.

The book features eight exclusive short stories featuring Lethbridge-Stewart at various stages in his life. This is a chance for fans to see the Brigadier like never seen him before!

The eight stories are:
  • Shadows in the Glen by Richard Brewer
  • The Friendship Paradox by Thomas Firth
  • Special Responsibility by Gary Tinnams
  • Soldier in Time by Martin Gregory
  • The Man with the Red Case by Matthew Ball
  • The Brigadier Rides Again by Ross Hastings
  • In Machina Exspiravit by Anthony Robertson
  • Burning Daylight by Paul Chase


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.

Lauren Thomas, publishing co-ordinator at Candy Jar Books, says:
It’s been a real eye-opener to witness the abundance of creativity and passion held for the Brigadier by Doctor Who fans. We always knew that the submissions wouldn’t disappoint, but we’ve truly been delighted by the quality of writing.

Range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen, says:
As we move into our planned second phase for the Brig, we feel it’s time to explore all aspects of his life across the decades. This new approach will be seen first in Lineage (available to pre-order here) and will be followed by our six anniversary novels (due to be released later this year). As an alternative take on the character The Lethbridge-Stewart Short Story Collection fits perfectly within this new mindset.

Candy Jar will announce the top story in this collection later in the spring, and will reveal which author will get to work with Andy Frankham-Allen, Lethbridge-Stewart range editor and author of The Forgotten Son, Beast of Fang Rock and Night of the Intelligence, on a new Lethbridge-Stewart novel.

Andy continues:
It takes something special to get into the mind of the Brigadier and I’m anticipating great things from all of these talented new writers. You never know we may be launching a new Chris Chibnall or Terrance Dicks at the beginning of their career.

£1.50 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.

As well as many other stories, the book features young Alistair in World War Two, the 1970s Brig in action, and retired Alistair as he discovers the real nightmare of commuting. Customers are advised that this book will be a limited edition release, only available to purchase directly from Candy Jar Books for £8.99 and with limited copies available.

The short story collection is in part a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Brigadier, and comes alongside Candy Jar releasing another limited edition release, Lineage:

The Lethbridge-Stewart name carries with it stories of integrity, honour and courage. But was it always so? From its earliest origins with the Clan Stewart in Scotland, and the Lethbridges in Devon, England, the name has a storied past. Historical figures, history makers, military heroes… Lineage presents seven brand new tales from some of the most popular authors previously published in The HAVOC Files collection.




Lethbridge-Stewart: The Man From YesterdayBookmark and Share

Monday, 5 March 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
After fourteen novels, Candy Jar Books have announces the conclusion to their Lethbridge-Stewart ongoing storyline that began with The Forgotten Son:

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Man From Yesterday (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Man From Yesterday
Written by Nick Walters
Cover by Paul Cooke


Gordon's alive?

The English Channel, May 1945. Leading his squadron of Hawker Typhoons back to base from a traumatic mission in the Baltic, Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart goes missing – one of the unsolved mysteries of the Second World War.

Cromer, 1970. Doctor Anne Travers and Lieutenant Bill Bishop are investigating a mysterious phenomenon after hearing reports of ‘pink lightning’ seen over the Norfolk coast, while strange elfin creatures are glimpsed by the locals. And in the Red Fort, his new base of operations deep below Norwich, General James Gore is making his plans.

Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart receives a phone call that will change his life. Could it be, after all this time, that his father has come back from yesterday?

Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, said:
We decided some time ago to wrap up the novels as a continuing storyline, although it’s not the end of the Lethbridge-Stewart range. They will merely continue in a different vein. We have one more standalone novel, The New Unusual, set just before The Man from Yesterday coming in late spring, and then in the summer we begin to release our special anniversary series of books (six new novels that dip into various points within Lethbridge-Stewart’s timeline).

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen said:
It’s been great fun developing and guiding the ongoing story, with plots and themes continuing from The Forgotten Son through to The Man from Yesterday, but Shaun and I decided it’s time for something a little different. The Man from Yesterday is the perfect finale, taking the series full circle, wrapping up themes set up with that first novel, and bringing the whole thing into sharp focus with Lethbridge-Stewart’s family at the centre. Just as it began! And who better than Nick Walters, who was there at the beginning of the series, to wrap it all up for us? What’s also great about Nick’s return, is that he is the only author to pen a second novel in the series (other than me). Up to now each book has been written by a different author, which is, I feel, something we can all be proud of.

The Man from Yesterday sees the return of Lethbridge-Stewart’s missing father, Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Nick observed:
After Mutually Assured Domination, which was a knockabout, fun romp, it was great to write something with more depth. We’d been kicking about the idea of the Brigadier’s father returning for some time, but hadn’t found a suitable plot. The Man From Yesterday started life in early 2016 as something quite different, a tale of alien map-makers called The Cartographers of Oberos (after a potential sequel to The Turing Test, also bringing Gordon back, just didn’t click for us). This initial version had too much focus on the aliens, and once this was scaled back, the story really began to take shape. Especially when the title came to me out of the blue one afternoon. The idea of setting it (mostly) within the county of Norfolk was quite deliberate – firstly, there is, obviously, the Cromer connection, and, secondly, I thought it rather fun to have a story set in one small geographic location, for a change. It doesn’t mean the story is small – not by any means – it’s big in terms of themes and ideas, and of course that alien element still remains.

Wing Commander Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was created by Andy Frankham-Allen for The Forgotten Son in 2014, and has appeared in a couple of short stories since, but this is his first full-novel role. Talking about developing him further, Nick commented:
I was given free rein with Gordon and decided to imbue him with the core Lethbridge-Stewart values of integrity, bravery, duty, responsibility etc, but also introduce a slightly odd side to him (because of what’s happened to him). In appearance I struggled to visualise him until I put him in a suit and hey presto, Sean Connery in The Rock! I also gave him some action scenes to demonstrate that he’s still a badass despite his advanced years. He’s a man out of time, and there’s an element of that about him too, especially in one scene where he wanders the streets of Norwich. And despite the emotional heft of the story, I found him a fun character to write, and some of his scenes with his son are hilarious.

The book features a forward by Paul Leonard, author of the ever-popular Doctor Who novel, The Turing Test, among many others. Of Nick he said:
He’s achieved a writing career through sheer determination and hard work, keeping going through a third of a lifetime, learning as he went, earning very little, working till the small hours to get the stories finished on time. Perhaps as a result of his other [writing] work, he brings a clarity of style and depth of characterisation still too rare in genre fiction to his Who-related material, taking even occasional followers like myself into the world of the Doctor and making it a reality.

The cover is provided by Paul Cooke, who previously provided the artwork for the free short story, Eve of the Fomorians:
I've been a fan of the Lethbridge-Stewart books from the start. In fact I loved the first one that much I drew a fan art cover in the style of the old Target books, and cheekily asked Andy if there was any chance of doing one. Flash forward to September 2016, I had the opportunity to do a cover illo for a free digital story they sent out to subscribers. I had hoped to be able to contribute another, but when you have artists of the calibre of Adrian Salmon, Richard Young and Colin Howard working on them, I'd sort of given up hope. Then one day out of the blue, only weeks ago really, Andy asked me if I fancied doing one!

(The inspiration) was to be an image based on, and mirroring, the layout of the first book. One of the nice things I had to do was come up with a portrait of the Brig's dad, and a new race of aliens (who doesn't want to draw aliens?). Once Andy told me what he wanted from the cover, I set about doing some design sketches of the dad and the alien for both Andy and Nick Walters to approve – it's easier to get it wrong and change it at this stage than spending hours painting and then have to change it! Once the sketches had been approved, I then went to sketches of the cover, to get the placings correct. At this stage, I realised one of the suggestions to the cover didn't work within the layout (Cromer), so Andy suggested a replacement (the Hawker Typhoon plane) which was perfect. A few little revisions, and it was on to the painting. I work mostly digitally now, in a program called Manga Studio, so it was onto the computer and putting the time in to do the best job I could.


This edition of The Man from Yesterday is limited to 400 copies and is due out early March. All pre-orders of series five will receive a free digital short story called The Comrades by Brian Gallagher by the summer. It is available to pre-order from Candy Jar individually, part of the discounted UK/International bundle, or as part of the yearly subscription offer.

NB. the special anniversary series is covered by the annual subscription.




Fifty Years of the BrigadierBookmark and Share

Saturday, 17 February 2018 - Written by Peter Nolan
Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Credit: BBC)Moments in Time
17th of February 1968. Fifty years ago today The Web of Fear Part Three is transmitted for the one and only time; never to be seen again save for a brief sighting of a film tin in a far-flung relay station. A tin which, itself, would vanish into thin air. It would be handy to describe this as a particularly tragic loss – the moment the Doctor meets (then) Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart. But strangely even if we had the episode to include in our collections alongside the five recovered episodes, we still wouldn’t have that magical moment to see – it occurs inconveniently offscreen, with the Doctor simply showing up with the Colonel in tow, describing how they’d bumped into each other in the tunnel.

The throwaway nature with which the character debuts is an earmark of how unplanned and organic his growth into a Doctor Who legend is. It’s par for the course with this show, of course, with possibly the Master the only time a production team has set out to create the Next Big Thing and succeeded – the likes of the Krotons and the Mechanoids and the Zarbi litter the battlefield of intended recurring elements that didn’t take off, while ever since the Daleks the most in-demand characters always seem to take the creators by surprise. Yet even considering that, the Brigadier’s has been an astonishing evolution from shifty looking suspect in the mole hunt for a traitor to a character that’s such a universal totem of Doctor Who that when Steven Moffat wanted to bring the First Doctor face to face with the future life he was destined to live, it was Lethbridge-Stewart’s WWI era grandfather that he brought in to symbolize it.

In part, this evolution from guest star to icon is down to good fortune. Had it not been for the bright idea to cut costs by leaving the Doctor Earthbound then there would have been no need for UNIT to become such fixtures of the early to mid-1970s. But the lion’s share of glory must go to that magnificent gentleman Nicholas Courtney.  Circumstance promoted the Brigadier from one-off guest to regular fixture, but it was Courtney that elevated him to a legend almost as beloved by fans as the Doctor himself. His combination of warm charm, unflappable dignity, and self-knowing irony made him the perfect straight man to Jon Pertwee’s caustic egoist and Tom Baker’s mercurial oddball.

Perhaps the Brig’s best quality as a character was his attitude to “the odd, the unexplained, anything on Earth, or even beyond.” However bizarre or strange the threat, he faced it all with the same matter of fact acceptance that the world was plainly a jolly rum old place and that pondering the deep metaphysical questions that raised was less important than figuring out which bits of it he needed to shoot in the face. Sometimes, yes, as time went by that will slip over the line into giving him a kind of literal-minded stupidity instead for the sake of a quick gag but the equilibrium would always be restored. When people think of their favourite Brigadier moments, it’s his response to being confronted with a living statue animated by dark magic from beyond the dawn of the human race (“Chap with wings there. Five rounds rapid,”) his giving the best ever response to discovering the TARDIS is bigger on the inside (complaining as he finally realizes how much of his UNIT budget has obviously gone into the Doctor’s work on it), or his deep sighs at discovering he’s been transported halfway across the galaxy to a ‘Death Zone’ populated by Yeti, Cybermen, and other beasties as if he’d expected nothing less.

If anything underlines this perfect combination of actor and character it’s how forgettable every substitute for the Brigadier has proven to be. In The Android Invasion, we even get Patrick Newell’s Colonel Faraday as such a direct, and late, substitution for the unavailable Nicholas Courtney that his dialogue was practically unchanged yet Faraday is never more than a bit of plot machinery to represent the authorities in the final couple of episodes. While it’s not until the introduction of Alistair’s own daughter, Kate Stewart, forty-four years after his own, that we again get a UNIT leader worth re-visiting and not just the one-off guest that Lethbridge-Stewart himself could have been.

Such was his cache as a Doctor Who institution that for decades after he was no longer a regularly recurring character, meeting the Brig was still a box every Doctor need to tick. Not only did he reunite with the Fifth and Seventh Doctors on television, but clearly one of Big Finish’s earliest priorities on getting their license was to finally give the Sixth and Eighth proper outings alongside him. Even David Tennant’s incarnation was all set to have one last hurrah with the Brig until Courtney’s worsening health tragically robbed us of the brilliance such a team up offered.

It’s this, more than anything that has solidified the Brigadier as the Doctor’s unlikely best friend of all. While fans can’t even agree whether he qualifies as a companion or not, the fact remains that so many of those the Doctor has traveled with have been left in his past with nary a backward glance, yet it’s the Brig that he’s returned to time and again.

Since Nicholas Courtney’s death in 2011, Doctor Who has tried more than once to provide him a final salute. But none of them, whether a final phone call, Kate’s name-checking of him, one last act of heroism by the controversial ‘Cyberbrig’, or Mark Gatiss’ aforementioned Captain, has really stuck. None of them have felt like a final word that sums up the Brig’s contribution to the series.

In truth, probably nothing ever can. But what we can do tonight is raise a glass of good scotch, or ginger ale, or whatever you're having yourself, and give a nod to Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, fifty years on from that business with the Yeti. Cheers, Brig!

Nicholas Courtney: (Credit:BBC)Nicholas Courtney, Jon Pertwee: (Credit:BBC)Nicholas Courtney, Tom Baker: (Credit:BBC)Nicholas Courtney, Patrick Troughton: (Credit:BBC)Nicholas Courtney, Peter Davison: (Credit:BBC)Nicholas Courtney, Sylvester McCoy: (Credit:BBC)Nicholas Courtney: (Credit:BBC)




The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror ClownsBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 February 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books have announced the latest novel in their Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off series, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries:

Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse Of The Mirror Clowns (Credit: Candy Jar Books)The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror Clowns
Written by Chris Lynch
Cover by Steve Beckett


The circus is coming to town – and it may never leave.

Lucy Wilson is just about getting used to life in Ogmore-by-Sea. School, homework, friends, and the occasional alien... It’s not easy being the new girl in town but, with the help of her steadfast companion Hobo, she’s making it work.

But when a mysterious circus opens for one night only, the town suddenly finds itself overrun with invisible clowns and the gang are faced with their biggest mystery yet – the disappearance of Lucy Wilson herself.

Thankfully, they’ve got help – a mysterious stranger from another world with a special box that moves in time and space.

Curse of the Mirror Clowns is written by Cardiff-based film and comic writer Chris Lynch who commented that t writing the book gave him the opportunity to tackle a personal fear:
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 be back very, very soon.

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



The 29th March sees Candy Jar officially release The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Avatars of the Intelligence by Sue Hampton. The book was previously available exclusively to fans since September, but will now be made available to the wider public.

Head of publishing at Candy Jar, Shaun Russell, says:

We’ve had such good feedback for this book. Reviews have been encouraging and fans seemed to have embraced Lucy and Hobo. Moreover, we’ve also had a positive response from the general public. We’ve been trialling Avatars of the Intelligence with 1300 school children and the initial feedback has been very promising. In particular, we’ve had high praise for Steve Beckett’s cover design and, consequently, Curse of the Mirror Clowns has another fantastic piece of artwork by the talented Beano artist.

Lucy and her family have 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, they will also make an appearance in the upcoming short story collection Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage in two further stories.




Lethbridge-Stewart: LineageBookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 January 2018 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Candy Jar Books has announced a new collection of short stories. Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage is a series of tales about the Lethbridge-Stewart family from the early 1600s right up to the present day (including three brand new adventures featuring the Brigadier himself).

Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Lineage
Stories by Andrew Allen, Harry Draper, Richard Dinnick, Gareth Madgwick, Wink Taylor, Chris Lynch, David A McIntee and Andy Frankham-Allen
Edited by Andy Frankham-Allen


The Lethbridge-Stewart name carries with it stories of integrity, honour and courage. But was it always so?

From its earliest origins with the Clan Stewart in Scotland, and the Lethbridges in Devon, England, the name has a storied past. Historical figures, history makers, miitary heroes…

Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage presents six brand-new tales from some of the most popular authors previously published in The HAVOC Files collection, as well as one from the creative mind of writer and film maker Chris Lynch.


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

The stories take place during the 1600s, 1800s, 1940s, 1970s, and 2010, and explore the ancestors and descendents of Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell says:
We’ve been pondering doing a collection like this for some time, but it never seemed to be the right time. But with the impending fiftieth anniversary of the first appearance of the Brig in Doctor Who, combined with the recent appearance of the Brigadier’s grandfather in Twice Upon a Time, and the positive response that garnered, it seemed that the time was, finally, now.

Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:
I love exploring the Brigadier’s lineage, be it his immediate family in the shape of his mother and father, or his descendents, in the shape of his son and grandchildren. But I’ve always wanted to go deeper, to look at some other Lethbridge-Stewarts, or indeed Stewarts and Lethbridges, to find out what kind of impact they had on the world. Sometimes that impact can be huge, and sometimes it can be the smallest thing that has the biggest repercussions. With this collection, we get to explore some of the lesser known ancestors, and introduce some never even mentioned before. And, of course, we get to visit the rising star that is Lucy Wilson, the Brigader’s adventuring grandaughter!

Authors include Richard Dinnick, with Shaun observing:
We are delighted popular Doctor Who author Richard Dinnick is contributing a story to the Lethbridge-Stewart Lineage collection, tentatively called The Soothsayer and set in 1603. Richard's first piece of professional fiction was produced by Big Finish in 2005, a short story called Neptune, the first of a two-part story, the second of which was written by our range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen. This was followed by a co-authored audio script, also with Andy, for the Space 1889 series, The Lunar Inheritance. He has since gone on to write countless Doctor Who stories for Big Finish, BBC Books and Titan comics. And plenty of non-Doctor Who stuff too!

Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage will be available as a hardback for a strictly limited time, and is available for pre-order now. This volume does not form part of any bundle offer.



There are also two free Lethbridge-Stewart stories currently available for download via the Candy Jar website.

What’s Past is Prologue by David A McIntee, and The Note by Andy Frankham-Allen were released over the festive period to subscribers of the Lethbridge-Stewart series, and are now available to the general public.

The two stories are connected by a Lethbridge-Stewart family secret which has its origins in 1902 and is not revealed until 1945. Both stories focus on the relationship between the original Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, the British Intelligence operative from the early twentieth century, after whom the Brigadier was named, and his brother, Archie. Not only do the stories feature the Brigadier’s namesake, but also takes a deeper look into the life of his father, Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart.

Range Editor and author, Andy Frankham-Allen explains:
This story plays with family secrets, adding further depth to the Lethbridge-Stewart legacy. So, now we have a story set in 1917 that sets up the secret from 1902, and a story set in 1945 which reveals what really did, or did not, happen.

Both stories can be found via the Candy Jar website.

Lethbridge-Stewart: What's Past Is Prologue (Credit: Candy Jar Books) Lethbridge-Stewart: The Note (Credit: Candy Jar Books)