Tag Archives: Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart

News Update

2015-05-04 13.53.28
Nash Point Lighthouse

It’s been a little while since my last post, so a quick update.

I have just finished watching season seven of Doctor Who, so I’ll be adding new entries for both seasons six and seven soon. The entries have been delayed by work on my next Lethbridge-Stewart novel, Beast of Fang Rock, which, much like Horror of Fang Rock back in the ’70s, has come about due a lost (manu)script and is, thus, a last minute replacement. All this means a shift of focus for me, and a quick turnaround.

As such I’ve been heavily involved in the writing of Beast, with 17,978 words written in the first week. Which is not bad going, considering the amount of research needed to get this book right. Research which includes reading up a lot on lighthouses, visiting them, and watching all kinds of documentaries.  All this plus the usual research for a book that takes place in the late ’60s.

Brig FangI can’t tell you too much about it at the moment, except that it is not only a sequel to Horror of Fang Rock, but also serves as a prequel, revolving as it does around the legend of Fang Rock as told by Reuben in the Doctor Who serial. The mysterious Beast that prowled the rocks in the 1820s, claiming the lives of two keepers and driving a third out of his mind.  I can also tell you that I have the ear of Terrance Dicks during the writing, with him passing comment on its development. His role in the book is not as big as we’d hoped, however, due to his other commitments. We also have the cover all ready to go, which Terrance has called ‘powerful stuff’. The cover is by a Doctor Who artist of some repute, and we look forward to sharing it with you very soon. (A very minor piece of it is displayed above, and the ‘title card’ is below. Hints are always fun!) And as I like to do, I can share with you the names of the cast (as it currently stands):

  • Colonel Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart
  • Anne Travers
  • Lance Corporal William Bishop
  • Daren Woodward
  • Mr Slant
  • Corporal Sally Wright
  • Harold Chorley
  • Stephen Worman
  • Owain Vine
  • Dr Gautum Jhaveri
  • Jim Saunders
  • Mark Powell
  • Jennie Rudge
  • Reuben Whormby
  • Vince Hawkins
  • Lord Henry Palmerdale
  • Ivan Richards
  • Tim Gambrell
  • Archibald Goff
  • Jacob Travers
  • Charlie Crane
  • Alfred Scott

For now I’ll leave those names with you, let you make of them what you will…

Fang Title

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DOCTOR WHO RE-WATCH – SEASON FIVE

secondbannerWe are so very lucky to have so much of season five available to us on DVD. There was a time when all we had was The Tomb of the Cybermen, and over twenty years ago we didn’t even have that! In late-2012, early-2013 I had to re-watch the entire series for my book Companions, and during that re-watch the only way I could research season five was with audio soundtracks and reconstructions online! Two years on…?

Victoria_in_Tomb_of_the_Cybermen

Thanks to some wonderful animation we have The Ice Warriors complete, and with the discovery of The Enemy of the World and most of The Web of Fear in late 2013, we now have over half of that season on DVD! Yay? Oh god, yes!

What with the huge gap of missing stories through season three and, especially, season four, we don’t really get to see the development of the series, only snapshots here and there. As such re-watching season five is almost like watching a completely different show. Yes, it’s still features the Doctor and the TARDIS, but in every way that counts it feels different. The performances are more polished, the scripts more coherent and layered, the direction is smart with some really fantastic location work peppered throughout. And then there’s Jamie… In the small amount of material we have from season four we don’t get to see a lot of Jamie. In The Moonbase, the only full Troughton story available on DVD (completed with animated episodes) Jamie is not in it a great deal, and when he is he’s mostly been given lines originally written for Ben and Polly. But in season five his full character hits you in the face — the humour, the loyalty, the protectiveness… For the Second Doctor there is no doubt that Jamie is the companion (and hardly surprising as he was in all but one Second Doctor adventure).

It is so very difficult to choose a favourite story from season five. I thought adding the orphaned Moonbase might help, but it really doesn’t as the quality of that story only adds to the superiority of the fifth season. I can honestly say that, as of now, season five is right up there among my favourite season of Who, sitting alongside such greats as seasons one, seven, thirteen, and twenty-six. Which is new, as season six used to be my favourite of Troughton — mostly by default as that season almost exists in its entirety.  So, to my favourite story… I feel an obligation to pick The Web of Fear out of fealty to the Haismans and my connection with them, and of course the historical first appearance of Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, but I have to be honest in my re-watch and consider what else is around that story. With The Moonbase included I have five extremely good productions to pick from…

And this is my, very difficulty chosen, run down of season five (a list of all brilliant stories!):

  • The Tomb of the Cybermen
  • The Moonbase
  • The Ice Warriors
  • The Web of Fear

… which makes the winner David Whitaker’s tour-de-force

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