Saturday, January 16, 2021


That splendid lot at the Doctor Who Appreciation Society are unleashing TARDIS magazine vol 17 issue 2, sold in aid of the mental health charity Mind. I'm particularly keen to see what editor Robbie Dunlop has unearthed about 1966 story The Celestial Toymaker...

Among the treats, there's me on the writing of my 2007 Doctor Who novel The Pirate Loop.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Cinema Limbo: Highlander II

I'm again a guest on the Cinema Limbo podcast, in which Jeremy Phillips looks anew at neglected old films. This time, he inflicted on me Highlander II

We've previously discussed Ryan's Daughter and the 1976 version of King Kong.

And here's me in more positive form on some of amazing non-Bond films starring Sean Connery.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

FREE - Santa Benny at the Bottom of the Sea

That splendid lot at Big Finish have a special Christmas present for you all - a free download of Dame Lisa Bowerman reading my new short story, "Santa Benny at the Bottom of the Sea". Merry Christmas!

Blurb as follows:

'It will, I admit, be something of a challenge. But you thrive on challenges. And you have experience in communing with psychic populations.'
'So have you, Brax.' 
'A little, yes. Bernice, this is important. And very regrettably, I don't fit the suit.'

Deep under the sea, Nessa, Freng and Strong are trying very hard to be nice. Because if they are naughty, then Santa won’t come and give them presents. And they do want presents very much. But what does Santa really want from them? And what does being nice *really* involve..?

This story comes from Bernice Summerfield: The Christmas Collection, and is offered free for a limited time only, December 2020.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Happy Times and Places

Image of Maxtible from The Evil of the Daleks
I'm Toby Hadoke's guest on the Happy Times and Places podcast this week. At my bidding, Toby watches / listens to the 1967 Doctor Who story The Evil of the Daleks and shares the ideas inside his brain. These include which actors dated who, and how good director Derek Martinus was in his casting. Toby also has to guess my favourite things from each of the seven episodes.

You may like to now that I wrote a book about The Evil of the Daleks, and we recreated the sets of episode 1 for Doctor Who Magazine's recent production design special.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Doctor Who Magazine 559

The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine is full of festive treats. Rhys Williams, Gavin Rymill and I have attempted to recreate the studio sets of missing 1965 Christmas special The Feast of Steven by exhaustively picking over photographs and production paperwork, and interviewing production assistant Michael E Briant and fans Jeremy Bentham, Ian McLachlan and Marc Platt who watched it go out. Some archive interviews and Ian Levine's diaries also came into play. It has been quite the endeavour...

(Inevitably, the day the issue is released, a new photograph turns up with some additional clues, including traces of fake snow. But anyway...)

There's also the second part of my feature on David Whitaker's contributions to the early history of the Daleks.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

World-Building: How Science Sculpts Science Fiction

It me
Last week, I was on an online panel organised by IPAC and and the Keck Institute for Space Studies, discussing the ways that science-fiction writers create fantastical worlds. A little intimidatingly, the other panelists were Becky Chambers, Mary Robinette Kowal and John Scalzi, all under the eye of moderator Phil Plait. Here's the full thing:

The time difference meant that the panel started at 1 am for me - so, rather fittingly, I was calling in from the future.

Thanks to Dr. Jessie Christiansen for inviting me and the expert team who put it all together.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Doctor Who Magazine 558

The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine includes my feature on the role of David Whitaker in developing early Dalek mythology and helping to make them a cultural phenomenon. As story editor on the first year of Doctor Who, Whitaker commissioned the first Dalek story from writer Terry Nation, defended it from BBC management who didn't approve, and then - when the Daleks proved a huge success - worked with Nation to exploit them across various media.

The article coincides with a beautiful new edition of the Dalek comic strips from the mid-1960s that Whitaker probably wrote most of, and the brand new Daleks! animated series that takes many of its cues from that strip.