Friday, October 16, 2020

Doctor Who Magazine 557

The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine is full of excitements old and new, from interviews with the cast and crew of 1964's Marco Polo to a look at the forthcoming YouTube mini-series Daleks! 

I'm in it, too, talking to Dan Tostevin about my forthcoming audio trilogy, Wicked Sisters. And I'm busy on a fun thing for next issue...

Saturday, October 03, 2020

Threading the Labyrinth, by Tiffani Angus

Toni Hammond is in her office in New Mexico when she's called by a lawyer in England and told she's inherited an estate. Two weeks later, she arrives at the house and gardens known as The Remains. The property dates back more than 500 years but is in a sorry state, the result of neglect and a plane crashing into it during the Second World War. Toni has obligations back in Santa Fe but is drawn to the house and its history, and the garden crowded with ghosts...

Threading the Labyrinth is the debut novel by my friend Tiffani Angus, published by Unsung Stories whose books I've followed closely. It's a strange and compelling story, as Toni - and we - learns the story of the house and gardens through the lives of the people who've tended them. We cut away to four stories from the past - in the 1770s, the early 1600s, the Second World War and then the 1860s. There are mysteries to unpick - the identity of spectres, the links between different generations - and it's never quite as simple as first appears. It's rich and vivid, full of characters who feel rounded and real.

Toni is an American in England for the first time, a little out of her depth and overwhelmed by the cultural differences. But Tiffani the author feels utterly at home in the English past, her characters and their worldviews all utterly convincing. Many of them share a love of the gardens, of grubbing in the soil, and that work compensating somehow for frustrated hopes and desires. It's a strange, unsettling ghost story, less about what is lost in the remains but how the past threads through us.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

DWM special on production design

The latest special edition of Doctor Who Magazine is devoted to production design. Among the delights are some things by me:

Dr Who and the Daleks (1965)

Bill Constable was responsible for the look of the original Peter Cushing movie. I spoke to Bill's daughter Dee - who shared some previously unseen artwork from the film - and biographer Olga Sedneva, as well as Dr Fiona Subotsky, whose late husband Milton produced the movie. (Fiona also wrote Dracula for Doctors, which I read last year.)

The Evil of the Daleks (1967)

With the help of original production designer Chris Thompson, Gav Rymill and I have attempted to recreate the sets from the missing first episode of this classic Dalek story.

Michael Pickwoad (2010-2017)

To accompany a "new" interview with the late, great Michael Pickwoad, Sophie Iles and I interviewed his daughter Amy, who worked with him in the art department on Doctor Who.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Wicked Sisters cover

Big Finish have put up Tom Newsom's amazing cover art for Doctor Who - Wicked Sisters, the trilogy of audio stories I've written that is out in November.

Wicked Sisters stars Peter Davison as the Doctor, Louise Jameson as Leela, Ciara Janson as Abby and Laura Doddington as Zara, with Anjli Mohindra as Captain Riya Nehru and Dan Starkey as the Sontarans. It's directed by Lisa Bowerman and produced by Mark Wright.

ETA The Big Finish website has added a trailer for Wicked Sisters, blurbs for the three stories and a full cast list.

The Doctor is recruited by Leela for a vital mission on behalf of the Time Lords.

Together, they must track down and destroy two god-like beings whose extraordinary powers now threaten all of space and time. These beings are already known to the Doctor.

Their names are Abby and Zara...

1. The Garden of Storms

In pursuit of Abby and Zara, Leela pilots the TARDIS to the eye of a violent storm in time. Yet she and the Doctor find themselves in an idyllic garden city, the people contented and happy. They soon discover that this bliss comes at a terrible cost, and that Abby and Zara are determined to put things right… so how can Leela and the Doctor stop them?

2. The Moonrakers

Life is hard for the early pioneers building the first settlements on the Moon. The laws of Earth don’t apply here, and there are tussles over limited resources vital to survival. Arriving on the Moon, the Doctor and Zara discover that an aggressive alien species lies in wait. Yet there’s something very strange about these particular Sontarans: they refuse to fight.

3. The People Made of Smoke

Abby and Zara strive to use their powers for good but it’s clear they are damaging reality - and allowing monstrous creatures to bleed through from beyond. The Doctor knows he can only save the universe by destroying his friends. But just how much might he be willing to sacrifice if there’s a chance to save them?


Peter Davison (The Doctor)

Louise Jameson (Leela)

Ciara Janson (Abby)

Laura Doddington (Zara)

Lisa Bowerman (Smoke Creatures)

Pandora Clifford (Zeeb / Zeet)

Paul Courtenay Hyu (Wei)

Nicky Goldie (Polk)

Tom Mahy (Brody)

Anjli Mohindra (Captain Riya Nehru)

Dan Starkey (Stent / Sontarans) 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Edy Hurst's War of the Worlds

Edy Hurst's War of the Worlds podcast
I'm a guest on a special episode of comedian Edy Hurst's podcast devoted to The War of the Worlds, nattering about the life of HG Wells, his influence on George Orwell and on Doctor Who, and some other stuff.

Interlude 3: Justice for Wells w/ Simon Guerrier

Apple: Spotify:

You can still listen to the BBC radio documentary I produced on HG Wells and the H-Bomb, while "Alls Wells That Ends Wells" is an extra on the DVD of 1966 Doctor Who story The Ark:

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Cinema Limbo: Ryan's Daughter

I'm a guest on the latest Cinema Limbo podcast, talking in detail with host Jeremy Philips about Ryan's Daughter (1970). I'm a big fan of director David Lean and there's a lot of admire about this one, and yet it doesn't quite work. But I think that's what make its interesting.

As preparation, back in March I read The Painted Banquet by costume designer Jocelyn Rickards. But sadly I didn't know about (because it hadn't been released) Paul Benedict Rowan's making of, which details the troubles I had only suspected...

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Doctor Who Magazine 556

The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine features a cardboard TARDIS set to build, a detailed look at 1964 story Marco Polo and an exhaustive look at the new multi-platform jamboree Time Lord Victorious

The latter includes a brief word from me, as I've written a short story, Lesser Evils, and edited Master Thief by Sophie Iles. There's also stuff from me in the preview for Shadow of the Daleks. These audio adventures are all out next month.