A thrilling new adventure for the Tenth Doctor (as played by fan-favorite David Tennant) that sees the shocking return of his deadliest enemies: the Daleks! But things aren’t what they seem – time is all wrong, and something is coming that terrifies even the Daleks… The first of two oversized issues kicking off the BBC’s highly anticipated multi-platform Doctor Who epic, Time Lord Victorious!
The Big Finish Torchwood range is always advertised with “This release contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners” never has that statement been truer, than with this release. One of the many things James Goss excels at, is bleak. After giving us all nightmares with Corpse Day. He’s back with The Hope.
Megwyn Jones is one of the most hated women in Britain. She used to run a home for troubled children in an isolated part of Snowdonia called The Hope. For a long time there were rumours about what was happening there, and then one day it was realised that the children had gone missing.
Ever since, Megwyn’s kept her peace. Is she innocent? Is she guilty? Where are the bodies?
An audio play about a convicted child-murderer is never going to be an easy listen. However, James Goss has carved something of a masterpiece here. This is an audio that definitely rewards repeat listening.
Burn Gorman and Tom Price had such brilliant chemistry, in Corpse Day that I’ve been waiting impatiently for a follow up, ever since. Their chemistry is still present and their scenes together are pure gold. Andy’s eternal optimism is a perfect foil for Owen’s eternal pessimism. They also get a chance to shine separately, in scenes that are up there with the most horrific in Torchwood’s history. Siân Phillips is mesmerising as Megwyn Jones, you instantly dislike Megwyn-but you’re also fascinated by her.
The Hope couldn’t be any further away in tone, than last month’s ‘Serenity’. But that’s what makes this series so great. I enjoyed Torchwood on TV. But Big Finish Torchwood, is Torchwood at its absolute best.
It’s sometimes strange to think that Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been off the air, longer than it was ever on. Yet it continues to capture the imagination of the original audience, as well as picking up a new generation of fans a long the way.
Buffy began life as film, then became TV series-launching a successful spin-off, Angel. There have been variations of Buffy comics over the years, but they mostly carried on the adventures seen on TV. Boom! Studios have bravely decided to reboot the entire story, it’s still the Scooby gang. But with subtle differences, they’re teenagers in 2019-Willow is more confident than she ever was in the show and she’s gay from the get go, Robin Wood is a teenager and not the school principal, Joyce has a boyfriend, Cordillera is nice, Drusilla isn’t crazy, Xander is a tad geekier and to an extent, so is Buffy.
There’s no big introduction to Giles, he’s just there. Willow and Xander meet Buffy in a very different way, all of which allows for less exposition.
Jordie Bellaire has successfully captured the uniqueness of Sunnydale, the personalities of the characters, the shorthand in which Buffy, Willow, and Xander speak to each other. All whilst crafting a new story. That’s no easy task.
If you’re a fan of the Buffy TV show, you’re sure to find this entertaining. It can however, take a while to forget everything you know about the series. I’ve read this twice, because my first read had me stopping every page saying “Well, that’s different”. But, Boom! Studios has hit the ground running, with this reboot. This first issue is exhilarating.
Roughly 40 years ago, one Thomas Stewart Baker sat in the pub with his Doctor Who co-star, Ian Marter and started writing a Doctor Who movie, Doctor Who meets the Scratchman.
Ultimately, it never secured the required funding and the un-produced film became the stuff of legend. Tom Baker later had to apologise, after kids started sending their pocket money to the BBC. After he joked that fans could fund it.
Over the years, you’d hear a rumour here and there at fan gatherings and meet ups. Some people even claimed they’d read it. It sounded bonkers, the fourth Doctor going up against the devil and at some point, pinball would be involved..
Now, after years of speculation and “what ifs” Tom Baker- with the help of James Goss, has adapted the screenplay into a novel.
The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane Smith arrive at a remote Scottish island, when their holiday is cut short by the appearance of strange creatures – hideous scarecrows, who are preying on the local population. The islanders are living in fear, and the Doctor vows to save them all. But it doesn’t go to plan – the time travellers have fallen into a trap, and Scratchman is coming for them.
With the fate of the universe hanging in the balance, the Doctor must battle an ancient force from another dimension, one who claims to be the Devil. Scratchman wants to know what the Doctor is most afraid of. And the Doctor’s worst nightmares are coming out to play…
Baker and Goss have taken full advantage of the novel medium. There’s a sense of freedom here, that a film probably wouldn’t allow. The story takes its time and feels like the fourth Doctor era, but it’s also clearly influenced by the big sci-fi/horror films from the 70’s. Mostly John Carpenter’s work, but I also got hints of Wicker man and the Omen. This blend makes for an intriguing read.
The first half reads very much like a standard Doctor Who story, it’s the second half that gets whacky, outlandish and high-concept. I don’t want to spoil it. It’s a bit far-out and some may feel it makes the book a bit disjointed. But it worked for me.
This is the most fun I’ve had with a book for years. Tom Baker claims this will be his last time writing a Doctor Who book, if that’s true then he’s left us with an entertaining read. However, I’m hoping he can be talked into another.
Doctor Who legend Tom Baker, has written his first Doctor Who novel. Based on his original idea for a film Doctor Who: Scratchman sees The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane Smith arrive on remote Scottish island, when their holiday is cut short by the appearance of strange creatures – hideous scarecrows, preying on the local population. The islanders are living in fear, and the Doctor vows to save them all. But it doesn’t go to plan – the time travellers have fallen into a trap, and Scratchman is coming for them.
Tom Baker said:
“I love the improbability of Doctor Who. Reason plays no part at all. As in religion, the overriding thing is faith. It may be improbable, but just believe in it and it’ll all come right.”“When I was approached about the book, I thought, ‘Why not?’ I’m always on the lookout for a novelty. I’m very enthusiastic as I get close to darkness.”
Doctor Who Meets Scratchman began out of boredom somewhere in the 1970s, an idea for a story formed by Tom Baker and Ian Marter between set takes and pauses in filming during the Fourth Doctor era.
Despite great enthusiasm and valiant attempts, funding Scratchman proved difficult (Baker accidentally made a newspaper appeal to the British public for help, and found himself deluged with children’s pocket money – which he had to return.)
For a long time, Scratchman was forgotten, until a script was found in 2006. It was donated to the British Film Institute by former Doctor Who producer John Nathan-Turner before his death in 2002.
The Women Who Lived is a A 224 page hardcover book that features profiles of 75 women from the history of Doctor Who.
From Sarah Jane Smith to Bill Potts, from Susan Foreman to Agatha Christie, to the Thirteenth Doctor. Doctor Who has featured many heroic women, who have helped prevent alien invasions or thwarted maniacal plans. Pick a female character from Doctor Who’s rich history, she’s in here.
This book explores their adventures and celebrates their legacy.
Each profile is written by Christel Dee and Simon Guerrier and accompanied by beautiful full page art pieces. A team of female artists, at various stages in their careers were especially assembled for the project. The book includes artwork from Sophie Cowdrey, Emma Price and Rachel Smith to name a few.
The profile pieces are written with genuine affection, Dee and Guerrier have put a lot of love into this and it shows. The decision to have a team of artists work on the book, is an inspired choice. Each artist brings their own unique talent. Which brings out the uniqueness of the characters, whilst also clearly defining their era.
All of this is collected under a stunning new cover by Doctor Who artist Lee Binding.
This is a must buy for the Doctor Who fan in your life.
This September, BBC Books will publish Doctor Who: The Women Who Lived, a beautifully illustrated collection of inspiring tales of the women of Doctor Who. It will be the first official book published to accompany the new series, celebrating Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the Thirteenth Doctor.
Written by Christel Dee, former presenter of Doctor Who: The Fan Show, and Simon Guerrier, the book will feature more than 75 inspiring tales of remarkable women of the Whoniverse, both real and imagined. From historical figures such as Agatha Christie and Queen Victoria to fan favourites like Bill Potts and River Song, each woman has made a unique contribution to the world of Doctor Who. Whether they’re facing down Daleks or thwarting a Nestene invasion, these women don’t hang around waiting to be rescued – they roll their sleeves up and get stuck in. Scientists and soldiers, queens and canteen workers, women from outlandish science-fiction and those steeped in real history, they don’t let anything hold them back.
Illustrated throughout with specially-commissioned artwork by a team of female artists – including Gwen Burns, Valentina Mozzo, Sonia Leong, and more – the book also features new companion Yasmin, and an extended entry on the Doctor herself.
Albert DePetrillo, BBC Books Publishing Director said: ‘We thought long and hard about which book would start our publishing programme for Jodie Whittaker’s first series of Doctor Who – and Christel and Simon’s book is the perfect choice. It’s bold and fresh in its approach, it makes a strong statement, it’s beautifully written, and stunning in its design. It represents everything we love about Doctor Who, and we couldn’t be happier to be publishing The Women Who Lived on the BBC Books list.’
Christel Dee said‘With Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor arriving this autumn, we thought this would be the perfect time to reflect upon the wealth of incredible female characters from Doctor Who’s 55 year history – because there are so many! We hope the stories in this book will inspire a whole new generation of fans and existing fans too.’
Simon Guerrier added ‘We hope this offers a fresh perspective on the history of Doctor Who, a chance to celebrate the richness of past episodes as well as looking forward to the series’ exciting future. I thought I knew Doctor Who backwards, but we discovered loads of new things in our research for the book.’
HOW DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU WERE TOLD OF PLANS TO NOVELISE NEW SERIES DOCTOR WHO EPISODES?
RTD: I was very excited! I’d collected Target books as a kid, so it felt like closing a circle. And I wanted to test myself too, I was interested to find out what the process would be like. And to look back on an old piece of work after 13 years was fascinating.
SM: Well, surprised – I knew nothing of the plans, because this all started around the time I was leaving. The biggest surprise, though, was that I actually wanted to novelise The Day Of The Doctor. I had a hell of a time on that script, I had no idea I wanted to revisit it!
WHAT DID THE ORIGINAL TARGET DOCTOR WHO BOOKS MEAN TO YOU, GROWING UP?
RTD: I loved them. I’ve still got them all, on a shelf here in my office! In the days before DVD or streaming, they were the only official records of an adventure. And they were so mysterious, detailing stories we thought we’d never see again. Some we still won’t, because they’re missing from the archive. I can probably tell you where I was, which shop I was in when I bought it, for every single one of my Target originals.
SM: Every time I’d go to a bookshop – and I was a keen reader, so I went a lot – I’d head straight to the Doctor Who book section. Because I’d stared at all the book covers I already owned with such manic intensity, they were carved into my brain like wounds – so I could tell from right across the shop, by the tiniest variation in colour or artwork, if there was a new one on the shelf, and if there was my heart would leap. Then, sometimes, I’d wake up. So you could say I was – y’know – over invested. I think that’s the polite way of putting it.
WHAT ELSE DID YOU READ AS A CHILD? DID THE ORIGINAL TARGETS LEAD YOU INTO OTHER SERIES OR AUTHORS?
RTD: I read anything and everything. Enid Blyton! Tolkien. C.S. Lewis. Agatha Christie. Dune. Jaws. I was a voracious reader, I still am, I was trying D.H. Lawrence by the time I was 11. A lot of young readers will tell you that Targets led them onto many other books, which is brilliant, but frankly, I was there already!
SM: I’m very old, so I was already a voracious reader before the Target series got started – I loved the Narnia books, and The Hobbit, and especially Tom’s Midnight Garden. Reading and Doctor Who were my two favourite things. But the thing I wanted more than anything was to combine my enthusiasms. I longed for there to be Doctor Who books! There were Star Trek books, so it didn’t seem fair there weren’t any Doctor Who ones. And then, suddenly there they were. I was on holiday in Cornwall, in a little town called Mevagissey, and in a shop called Dunns there was a solitary rack of books which I’d always walk round and round, looking for something to read – then one day my Dad grabbed and my arm and pointed to the bottom row of paperbacks: Doctor Who And The Daleks, Doctor Who And The Zarbi and Doctor Who And The Crusaders. I was so happy!
HOW DID YOU APPROACH THE TASK OF NOVELISING YOUR OWN SCRIPT?
RTD: It was tricky, I wanted to capture the essence of the TV episode, but I didn’t want to repeat it. I’d long since lost the scripts! I’m always asked to give away Doctor Who stuff for raffles and prizes, so everything has gone. I found a transcript online, and someone found me a copy of the very first draft. But I didn’t always look at them. I was a bit more freefalling. Or rather, I wanted to add stuff to most of the dialogue because I knew fans would know a lot of it off by heart already, so there had to be new things to discover.
SM: I just sort of started. I had a few ideas about how it might translate, but really, as with any writing, I just dived in. I found the shooting script on my hard drive, and was shocked to see how much I’d altered it during filming. Quite often, I’d have to watch the DVD and transcribe useful bits of dialogue, because I found I had no written record of really quite important scenes. Then, of course, you find the parts that don’t quite work in prose. The shock of seeing David and Matt together, John Hurt as the Doctor, surprise appearances by Tom Baker and Peter Capaldi – you have to find a way to make those moments work in a book, without surprise guest stars, which can be a challenge.
HOW DID THE EXPERIENCE OF WRITING A NOVEL COMPARE TO WRITING A TV SCRIPT?
RTD: It’s all hard work! But it’s a different focus. That became clear with the character of Mickey, Rose’s long-suffering boyfriend. On screen, played brilliantly by Noel Clarke, he flies past, he’s wonderful, he’s fast and fun and furious, but when a novel goes inside someone’s head, I had to give him more focus. Also, bear in mind, on TV, I knew I had 13 episodes to tell Mickey’s story, but in a one-off book, I had to complete him a bit more.
SM: When you write a screenplay, you make the audience a witness to events. When you write a book, you make the reader experience them. You go from the grandeur of spectacle to the intimacy of inside someone’s head. I don’t think either is better than the other, but they are different. Twists and turns, suspense, humour – they all work in different ways. You’re aiming for the same effects, but by other means.
IN A WORLD WHERE THE ORIGINAL SHOW CAN BE ACCESSED IN A DOZEN WAYS ON DEMAND, WHAT PLACE DOES A NOVELISATION HAVE?
RTD: New stuff! Newness. Sheer newness. New action, new dialogue and new insights. A fan might have seen something a dozen times, so I felt honour-bound to add things that could only be found inside the pages of the book. And I know what fandom feels like, there’s nothing we love more than discovering something new about something old.
SM: Well, we’ll find out, won’t we? Back when the Targets started, those books were our only permanent record. The shows were on your telly exactly once, and then disappeared forever, like smoke up the chimney. Back then, Terrance Dicks would give us perfect, prose replicas of the originals, scene for scene, line for line, and very brilliantly done. He’d also do sly little fixes on the plotting when he felt inclined. But a few years later – from about Peter Davison on, I think – we all had VCRs, and we could keep the originals exactly as they were so we didn’t need the prose replicas. So the Target books changed – more of the original writers got involved, and they became more like alternative versions. Perhaps that’s how it will go now? As I say, we’ll find out.
WERE YOU TEMPTED TO ‘GO BIGGER’ WITH THE ACTION, UNFETTERED BY BUDGET?
RTD: Oh, a bit. A lot! Bear in mind, there’s a great big invasion of London by shop-window dummies at the end, so I’d paved the way for some epic action. On screen, the London Eye just sits there in the background. In this version, it’s a lot more involved! I loved writing that stuff.
And writing action is hard – seeing a bullet fly on screen is easy, describing it in prose is much harder, so that was a good test.
SM: Sometimes, yes. I don’t think it’s the big difference. In a way, many of the finest creative decisions in Doctor Who are direct responses to budgetary limitations – there’s a reason the Doctor’s space ship looks like a phone box, and he spends a lot of time in dark tunnels – so its good to go epic, so long as you don’t lose the signature style. I’m not the first person to say it, but the clash of the epic and domestic is a big part of what makes the show what it is.
REVISITING AND RE-PRESENTING PAST WORK – DID YOU FEEL NOSTALGIC?
RTD: I just felt old! But I felt mighty proud. Rose was the first episode in 2005, and for all the changes to the show, it’s fundamentally still the same show.
SM: Too soon for me. Day was only five years ago, and I’ve barely finished as showrunner. I don’t think I’ll ever feel nostalgia for Doctor Who, exactly – I think it will just carry on being my favourite show on TV, and I’ll have fond memories of having worked on it once.
WITH THESE NOVELISATIONS UNDER YOUR BELT WOULD YOU CONSIDER WRITING FURTHER BOOKS – EITHER FOR WHO OR SOMETHING ELSE ENTIRELY?
RTD: I think it’s more exciting to consider something new, now. I really loved writing this, and I think the chance to write brand new stories with brand new characters would be exhilarating. One day!
SM: Hugely enjoyed writing the book. Very much indeed. So yes, I hope I get another go at prose, in whatever form.
Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Children’s (DW’s global publisher) , will publish these stories in the UK. Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House is master publisher and will release twelve titles, one for each Doctor.
These storybook mash-ups, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves, combine the iconic storytelling of Doctor Who with the whimsical humor and design made famous by his father, Roger Hargreaves. The first four books will be available in Spring 2017.
Francesca Dow, MD of Penguin Random House Children’s Books, said, “As the global publisher of Doctor Who and champions of books which push creative boundaries, we are delighted to be publishing such unique and fun stories. We’re confident and excited they will appeal to the thousands of Doctor Who and Mr Men fans around the world”
Jan Paterson, Head of Book and Audio Publishing, BBC Worldwide commented, “We are thrilled to be teaming up with Sanrio on this fantastic project and think that fans will love these creative incarnations of the Doctor reimagined in the ‘Hargreaves’ style. We’re always looking for innovative ways to engage our fans so this is the perfect partnership for us.”
Alastair McHarrie, Licensing Director of Sanrio Global Ltd added, “There is a wealth of unofficial fan-created content online. We wanted to give something back to these supporters so we’ve created the first official Hargreaves mash-up. Who better to partner with than another classic British property, Doctor Who. We couldn’t be more excited.”
Francesco Sedita, President and Publisher of Price Stern Sloan, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, added, “It is such a special moment for us to unite these two great properties. Our books bring Hargreaves’ wonderful, fun style to the mysterious, magical world of Doctor Who. I know we’re going to delight fans of all ages!”
Following last year’s successful five-part mini-series. Titan Comics and writer Cavan Scott have brought back the ninth Doctor for an ongoing series.
Eccleston’s Doctor is easily the most tragic incarnation in Doctor Who’s history. War-torn and holding the belief that he wiped out his entire species, he finds comfort and solace in the friendship with an Earth-woman, Rose Tyler and, another mysterious time traveller named Captain Jack Harkness. I’ve always felt there’s a romantic aspect to Eccleston’s portrayal, as he was “one and done”.
The story takes place some time after Jack joined the team.
After escaping a giant worm, the TARDIS trio soon pick up a transmission from a past version of Capatain Jack-sent before he had his memories erased. They then land on a planet where the Doctor is hailed as a celebrity, on this planet he is the star of a show called ‘Doctor Who’ (No, really) as soon as the trio step out the TARDIS, the Doctor is mobbed by people wanting selfies-much like Eccleston would have been at a Doctor Who convention in 2005.
“Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor” #1 could easily fit in the 2005 series. The story is fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled and filled with humour. It’s as if Cavan Scott spent an entire week watching and re-watching series 1. He gets the characterisation of 9, Rose, and Jack down so well. You’ll wish even more, that Eccleston had done another series.
This is essential reading for fans of the ninth Doctor.
Ninth Doctor #1 is out tomorrow, from Titan comics.