New Star Trek: Picard prequel book on the way

As a Star Trek fan, I loved seeing Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis appear as William Riker and Deanna Troi in Star Trek: Picard. In the series, we saw the two former Starfleet officers living a peaceful life on the planet of Nepenthe.

In a prequel book titled Star Trek: Picard: The Dark Veil, written by veteran Star Trek author James Swallow. We learn how they came to be on Nepenthe.

This is the second Star Trek: Picard prequel book. The first was Star Trek: Picard: The Last Best Hope.

The synopsis reads:

The Alpha Quadrant is mired in crisis. Within the United Federation of Planets, a terrorist strike on the shipyards of Mars has led to the shutdown of all relief efforts for millions of Romulans facing certain doom from an impending super­nova. But when the USS Titan is drawn into a catastrophic incident on the Romulan-Federation border, Captain William Riker, his family, and his crew find themselves caught between the shocking secrets of an enigmatic alien species and the deadly agenda of a ruthless Tal Shiar operative. Forced into a wary alliance with a Romulan starship commander, Riker and the Titan crew must uncover the truth to stop a dev­astating attack—but one wrong move could plunge the entire sector into open conflict!

Star Trek: Picard: The Dark Veil goes on sale in January 2021.

New Trailer! Doctor Who Time Lord Victorious #1! Tenth Doctor! Daleks!

Time Lord victorious, is a thrilling new multi-platform 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!

Artwork revealed for Titan’s Time lord victorious

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!

Pre-order now from your local comic shop, Forbidden Planet
and ComiXology.

Big Finish review-Torchwood: The Hope

If you’re a fan of the Big Finish Torchwood range, be prepared for their latest release, “The Hope”. As always, the warning “This release contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners” is not just a formality – this audio play by James Goss delves into some dark, unsettling territory.

The story revolves around Megwyn Jones, a notorious figure in Britain due to her role in a scandal involving a home for troubled children in Snowdonia called The Hope. The children disappeared, and Megwyn’s silence about their fate has only fueled speculation about her guilt.

The audio play explores this mystery and raises disturbing questions about what really happened at The Hope.

While the topic of a convicted child-murderer is not an easy one to tackle, James Goss has crafted a masterpiece here. The audio play is deeply unsettling, but also compelling and rewarding. Burn Gorman and Tom Price, who previously showed their chemistry in Corpse Day, are back and deliver stunning performances that are both powerful and chilling.

Siân Phillips is also mesmerising as Megwyn Jones, making the character both detestable and fascinating at the same time.

The Hope stands in stark contrast to last month’s “Serenity”, but that’s what makes the Big Finish Torchwood range so great. This audio play is an example of Torchwood at its absolute best – daring, thought-provoking, and not afraid to delve into the darkest corners of the human psyche.


Review-Buffy #1

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.

Book review-Doctor Who:Scratchman

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.

Tom Baker writes Doctor Who novel

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.




Review-The women who lived: Amazing tales for future timelords

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.

Interview-Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat


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!


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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. The 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.


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.

Book review-Doctor Who: The Day of The Doctor

The Target Novelisations are a cherished medium in the world of Doctor Who fandom that have endured the test of time. In an era before VHS, DVDs or streaming, these novels offered fans a chance to experience missed episodes or relive their favorite moments. Although they may have been particularly popular among older fans, this is the first time newer enthusiasts are getting to enjoy these unique works of storytelling.

They offer an in-depth look into the Doctor Who universe with extended scenes, character development, and insights into the Doctor’s thought processes that might not have been possible to convey on screen. Moreover, they provide a nostalgic view into the show’s past and present a distinctive opportunity for fans to experience classic episodes in a fresh way.

Steven Moffat’s novelisation of The Day of the Doctor is a remarkable expansion of the source material. Created for the show’s fiftieth anniversary, Moffat takes advantage of the opportunity to add new scenes and a structural gimmick, which enhances the story and makes it even more enjoyable.

The narration in the novelisation smoothly switches between using “I and me” to “him and he,” emphasizing the Doctor as an idea, a significant theme throughout Moffat’s tenure as showrunner. However, Moffat’s inclination to show off his cleverness can be distracting.

The numbered chapters in a non-sequential order feel unnecessary, but the framing device between each chapter is a highlight. The narration shifts again, gradually revealing that the person whose voice we are reading is also the Doctor. The final reveal that it is the Curator, played by Tom Baker, is a satisfying conclusion to the novelisation.

Overall, Moffat’s novelisation of The Day of the Doctor is a valuable addition to the Doctor Who universe, expanding on the original episode in creative and innovative ways. the novelisation delves deeper into the Time War and the impact it had on the Doctor’s psyche, which was only briefly touched upon in the original episode.

Moffat also explores the relationship between the Doctor and his companions, particularly Clara, and how it evolves over the course of the story. These additional insights offer a more nuanced and complex view of the Doctor Who universe, making the novelisation a valuable addition to the canon.