Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Three magazines

In shops this week are three magazines what I did some writing for.

'Oliver Cromwell's forgotten queen' says the top of BBC History Magazine. Elizabeth Cromwell (1598-1665) was arguably the most powerful woman in the country in the 1650s, but today we know almost nothing about her.

The three-page article investigates her life, as a foretaste of the documentary brother Tom and I have made with Samira Ahmed to be broadcast on Radio 3 on 7 December. (More of which to come.)

'The space traveller's guide to the Doctor's universe' boasts Doctor Who Magazine's latest The Essential Doctor Who - Alien Worlds. As well as a great feature by Dr Marek Kukula on the scientific basis (or, er, not) of the Doctor's visits to other worlds, I've written entries on the following planets: Demon's Run, Ember, New Earth, Terra Alpha, Thoros Beta, Titan III and Traken. I've also written about the unnamed planets seen in The Stolen Earth, The End of Time part 2 and Death of the Doctor.

In fact, it was fascinating to watch The Twin Dilemma the same week as the broadcast of Deep Breath. Both introduce a brash, grumpy Doctor who the companion isn't sure about - and neither are we. But the script of The Twin Dilemma gives the new Doctor no moments to shine, or be heroic, or woo us. The end of Deep Breath is a plea to give the new guy a chance. The end of The Twin Dilemma is - on the page at least - almost 'Don't like it? Tough.' (And, weirdly, the two worlds we visit in The Twin Dilemma - Titan III and Jaconda - look almost identical.)

Lastly you can read my review of The Imitation Game - the new Alan Turing biopic starring Benedict Cumberbatch - for the Lancet Psychiatry. I've previously blogged about my family connection to the code-breakers at Bletchley Park and I've wrote some Blake's 7 plays that might be of interest: The Dust Run and The Trial star Cumberbatch as a space pilot; The Turing Test is about Avon trying to pass as a human being.

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