Simply follow this LINK to download the (almost) entire series for absolutely nothing!
Following on from The Laughing Gnome: Fear of the Web, book three sees the focus shift to Brigadier William Bishop, who, after several astral jumps through time, is beginning to wonder if he’ll ever return to his life in 2011!
The Danger Men sees the return of popular novelist Nick Walters for his third Lethbridge-Stewart novel. Nick previously wrote Mutually Assured Domination in 2015 and The Man from Yesterday earlier in 2018.
Nick says: “When I was told of the story arc for this anniversary series, I immediately knew what I wanted to do: a straight spy thriller, with no sci-fi or fantasy elements other than the framing story and elements of the wider Whoniverse. At the same time, I had the idea for the opening scene, and it’s more or less exactly as you read it in the finished book! It’s rare that ideas come so fully-formed so quickly, but it’s wonderful when they do. I intended The Danger Men to be a homage to James Bond, Jason Bourne, Mission: Impossible and the works of John Le Carre, spoofing some elements yet taking the story deadly seriously. For example, women are always throwing themselves at James Bond, and the same happens to Bill in this book, but, of course, because he’s a gent and loyal to Anne he cannot reciprocate, leading to complications and comedy.”
This is the first book in the range to focus primarily on Bill Bishop. Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explains that decision: “Ever since his first appearance in the first Lethbridge-Stewart novel, Bill has proven very popular with our readers. Up to now the books have been led by either the Brigadier or Anne, so the decision was made that, during this contained series of novels and under the steady hand of Nick Walters, we could take the risk of allowing one of our series-originated characters to take the lead. Bill was the only choice for that, really, easily being the most popular and the most connected to both the Brigadier and Anne – especially Anne, seeing as they got engaged during the course or the series and have been shown to be married by the 1990s. Of course, both the Brigadier and Anne make cameo appearances, and their presence is felt throughout. It is still every bit a Lethbridge-Stewart novel!”
Music has a large influence on The Danger Men, and Nick explains more: “The story arc title, The Laughing Gnome, was inspired by David Bowie, of course. It’s set in 1999 so there are a lot of references to contemporary pop, rock and indie, in chapter titles for example, and the naming of operations by Department M, which subverts the conventions of naming such things after works of high culture in Le Carre and Deighton novels. There is, however, one group, one very famous group spanning the ’80s and ’90s, who are still going now, who inspired the majority of the character names and references. Stella Van Steiner, Dieter Allegro, Otto Di Catania – I’ll let you guess who! We plan to do a soundtrack for the book, containing all the songs referenced therein, which should be available on Spotify soon. Such things as pop music references are great fun, of course, but only the icing on the cake. The Danger Men is, I hope, a fast-moving, thrilling, funny and sometimes alarming spy caper with loads of twists and turns. It’s also a study of identity – Bill has to take on various aliases in his mission, and the more he takes on the further he feels isolated from his true self. So, underneath all the fun is all this existential musing on the nature of existence.”
The cover is by Paul Cooke, returning for his second novel after providing the artwork for Nick Walters’ previous book, The Man from Yesterday. Paul says: “It was a very pleasant surprise to be asked back to do another cover for the series. When I read what the story was about, I was thrilled – it was a perfect opportunity do a cover influenced by some of the period film posters I enjoy. I was thinking I would approach this in a slightly different style to my last one, a bit more painterly. The only problem was not to make it too pulpy in look, which is when I hit upon the idea of the computer screen type, which immediately gave the piece a sense of time.”
2011 and Brigadier William Bishop visits his old commanding officer, Brigadier Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, who is a little concerned about a garden gnome he recently found. Soon both Bishop and his wife, Anne Travers, find themselves dragged through time after the Brigadier…
He’s a man on a mission. But he has no idea what the mission is. It’s 1999. Bill Bishop is plunged into a world of intrigue as he inhabits the body of Calum Bence of Department M – aka the Danger Men – on the trail of millionaire entrepreneur and suspected super-spy Dieter Allegro.
But is Allegro really the bad guy he’s made out to be? And who is the mysterious Otto Di Catania, and why is he so interested in the contents of a certain CD-ROM?
As he seeks these answers, Bill can’t help but wonder: will he ever find Anne and the Brigadier, will he even return to 2011, or is he destined to be lost in time forever?
Join Bill in his borrowed body as he travels from Johannesburg to London to Torquay and Austria on his mission impenetrable…
The Laughing Gnome will continue in early 2019 with book four. The Day of the Matador, by Robert Mammone, sees our heroes reuniting in 1970s England dealing with gangsters and Dominators! This is followed by book five, Lucy Wilson and the Bledoe Cadets by Tim Gambrell, with On His Majesty’s National Service by David A McIntee following a month later.
NB: IF YOU HAVE A SUBSCRIPTION THE LAUGHING GNOME SERIES IS COVERED BY THIS.
The Laughing Gnome: The Danger Men is available for pre-order now for £8.99 (+ p&p). The book is due for release at the end of November.
The Brigadier, Benton and Liz Shaw Return!
When Tim Treloar and Katy Manning return as the Third Doctor and Jo Grant in The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five, they’ll be joining forces with three other iconic characters from 1970s Doctor Who.
In this new audio box set from Big Finish Productions made in association with BBC Studios, several friends of the Third Doctor will be returning for more Doctor Who adventures in this iconic science-fiction franchise.
Jon Culshaw takes on the role of UNIT commanding officer Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, a character appearing under licence from the Haisman Literary Estate.
After an extensive casting process, senior producer David Richardson and executive producer Nick Briggs finally remembered a conversation they’d had with Jon, when he told them the thing he’d most like to do for Big Finish would be to play the Brigadier.
‘After checking his rendition of the character in the BBC Audiobook of The Five Doctors, we just gave him the job!’ explains Nick. ‘It was a very tricky thing casting someone to do justice to Nicholas Courtney’s brilliant, original performance. Jon has done this with honour and love for what the splendid Mr Courtney did all those years ago.’
The Haisman Estate told us about bringing back the Brigadier for the Third Doctor Adventures. “We thrilled at the choice Big Finish have made. We’ve always admired Culshaw’s voice work, and in particular enjoyed his rendition of the Brigadier in The Five Doctors audiobook. We look forward to hearing the Brigadier returning to Big Finish in such a substantial way!”
Tim Treloar, who has portrayed the Third Doctor on audio since 2015, has been at the forefront of a new era of 70s audio Who treats.
“It’s been so rewarding to see how Doctor Who fans have embraced these new Third Doctor stories,” says David Richardson, producer of The Third Doctor Adventures. “We knew Tim’s performance (and it is a performance, not a mere impersonation) as the Third Doctor was extraordinary – and it’s clear that listeners feel the same way too.”
The two adventures in The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five will require the Third Doctor, all his companions AND the full might of UNIT to save planet Earth.
Primord by John Dorney
The Scream of Ghosts by Guy Adams
The Primords (from the Doctor Who TV story Inferno) interrupt the Doctor and Liz Shaw’s reunion, and become one of the fiercest tests of UNIT and the Doctor to date. And in the second, ‘ghostly’ adventure, the population of a village are apparently being spirited away in the oddest of manners.
Katy Manning (who plays Jo Grant) told us during recording what it was like to bring back these beloved characters: “It was a joy working with Jon Culshaw, and working with Tim has been so much fun, watching him become the Doctor more and more. But Jon came in and in an instant (and I won’t tell him how!) caught the Brigadier immediately!”
Doctor Who: The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five will be released in May 2019, available for pre-order now at £25 on CD and £20 on download.
The Doctor Who Short Trips range will continue to be released every month during 2019 and 2020 at £2.99 on download from Big Finish Productions. Featuring new writing talent and a new producer, Alfie Shaw, these quick journeys in the TARDIS are a perfect introduction to Doctor Who on audio.
Also for the first time at Big Finish these new Short Trips will include adventures told from the perspective of the Twelfth Doctor, plus there are first time encounters for classic companions as we continue exploring the Doctor Who universe.
In the first Short Trips coming out in 2019, Leela will be meeting Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in a Fourth Doctor story. Then there’s a Twelfth Doctor (a first for Big Finish) historical tale that sees him meeting a female pioneer of literature, plus the Seventh Doctor – master strategist that he is – will be playing the most deadly game of all of his lives, and finally we’ll find out how the Doctor learnt Venusian Aikido!
The first Short Trips for release next year is:
The Revisionists by Andy Frankham-Allen
Guests at the Hôtel des Rois are being haunted by ancestors that never existed. The Brigadier was only in Geneva to finalise his retirement, but how could he resist? Investigating, the Brigadier quickly finds something unusual. A warrior in leathers. A warrior called Leela…
History is about to catch up with both of them. History that neither of them thinks is real.
Andy says: “Originally I wrote Leela’s sections in first person, knowing Louise Jameson would be narrating, but Alfie rightly suggested jumping from first to third person would confuse things with only one voice actor involved. I have spoken to Louise a few times in the past, and was aware of the kind of things she liked to explore with Leela, so I deliberately picked an aspect of Leela that would greatly appear to her. And it was, of course, a forgone conclusion that the story would explore the differences between the Doctor’s two warrior friends. And, for Lethbridge-Stewart fans, there’s a direct connection between the final chapters of The Laughing Gnome: Scary Monsters and this story.”
Short Trips is one of the many Doctor Who audio ranges produced by Big Finish. After four superb years of being produced by Ian Atkins, the reigns are now being handed over to a new producer, Alfie Shaw.
Alfies tells us more, “Joining Big Finish has been a dream come true. Growing up between the end of the classic series and the beginning of the new one, Doctor Who has always been, to me, a show on audio as much as it was a TV one. Not only did Big Finish provide new stories for a show I love, but introduced me to new favourites, such as The Prisoner, Jago & Litefoot and Survivors.
“It’s a privilege to be producing new Doctor Who adventures for Big Finish and David, Ian and Nick have all been so supportive and made me feel very welcome.”
“Doctor Who on audio is Doctor Who unchained. As a TV show, its storytelling ambitions have, at times, exceeded its budget or the technology available. On audio, there’s none of that. The walls don’t wobble unless you want them to! The sound designers and composers are uniformly fantastic and do such wonderful, evocative work that really highlights how a show like Doctor Who naturally lends itself to audio.”
“Short Trips is a range that succinctly showcases the inherent flexibility of the format of Doctor Who. From comedic stories to heart-breaking character studies to more action orientated pieces, and from the First Doctor to the Twelfth, there really is something for everyone! All of writers, whether returning or new, have created beautiful scripts and I’m looking forward to getting them out to the listeners.
Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce that the third The Lucy Wilson Mysteries novel, The Midnight People, is now up for pre-order, exclusively from the Candy Jar and Lethbridge-Stewart websites.
The Midnight People is written by John Peel. John Peel has a long affiliation with Doctor Who prose fiction. In the late 1980s he was personally picked by Dalek creator Terry Nation to novelise the remaining 1960s Dalek serials, including the epic twelve-part story The Daleks’ Masterplan and Patrick Troughton’s debut, The Power of the Daleks. He was also the author chosen to launch the very first original Doctor Who prose novel, Timewrym: Genesys, in 1991.
Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says: “John has written two Lethbridge-Stewart books for us, The Grandfather Infestation and The Life of Evans, both of which have been very popular. I always wanted him to tackle a Lucy Wilson story. He’s very adept at focusing on character and I wanted something that was dark and moody, and John, as I expected, did not disappoint.”
The Midnight People is reminiscent of the HTV series Children of the Stones but with a modern twist. John says: “Lucy and Hobo are lovely characters to write for. They aren’t superheroes, they’re just youngsters who rely on their wits and their courage, and have to fight off fears and insecurity. Are they seeing more than is there? And, if not, can two teens save the world – again? Plus, of course, I’ve introduced another of my odd aliens.”
On November 29th 2018 Candy Jar officially releases the second The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: Curse of the Mirror Clowns by Chris Lynch. This spin-off from Candy Jar’s Lethbridge-Stewart range (featuring the Brigadier’s granddaughter) has been available exclusively to fans of Doctor Who since May, but now it will be made available to the wider public.
Head of publishing at Candy Jar, Shaun Russell, says: “It seems that people are really embracing Lucy and Hobo. We will be launching Curse of the Mirror Clowns at the Turn Left Doctor Who Convention in Cardiff on 1st December in Cardiff. Chris will there talking about the book, as well as Simon A Forward, Alyson Leeds, Andy Frankham-Allen and myself.”
Turn Left also features Louise Jameson, Matthew Waterhouse, film actress Sarah Douglas, illustrator and painter Chris Achilléos, former Doctor Who Script Editor Andrew Cartmel, and music composer Mark Ayres.
Blurb for The Midnight People:
Monknash was once home to a band of smugglers, but it is now dull and boring. Except to Greg Morton, who’s absolutely terrified something unimaginable has happened to everyone in the village.
He telephones his friend, Hobo, to ask for help. When Hobo and Lucy arrive, they discover that something odd is definitely going on – but what? People seem joyless and dull, showing no emotions at all.
Even Greg, who now insists that he was joking, seems very different. Why are people walking toward the cliffs at the stroke of midnight? Who is the lady in the wheelchair? What are the villagers trying to protect What are the villagers trying to protect in the caves? And why can’t the local policeman see anything strange?
Can Lucy and Hobo take on an entire village by themselves? And why can’t the local policeman see anything strange? Can Lucy and Hobo take on an entire village by themselves? And why can’t the local policeman see anything strange?
Can Lucy and Hobo take on an entire village by themselves?
Lucy and her family have been featured in two recent Lethbridge-Stewart short stories: Lucy Wilson by Sue Hampton (The HAVOC Files 3) and The Two Brigadiers by Jonathan Macho (The HAVOC Files 4). Added to this, she and her family will also make an appearance in the upcoming releases Lethbridge-Stewart: Lineage and The Laughing Gnome: Lucy Wilson and the Bledoe Cadets.