In co-ordination with Reeltime Pictures, Downtime: Children of the New World is a sequel to their straight-to-video film, Downtime, which introduced the Doctor Who world to the Brigadier’s daughter, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart. Both are reunited in this new novel, appearing together in a full novel for the first time in over twenty years!
Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, as played by Jemma Redgrave, became a semi-regular feature in Doctor Who following her appearance in 2012s The Power of Three by current-series showrunner, Chris Chibnall. She continued to appear throughout Peter Capaldi’s time as the Doctor, and currently enjoys her own series of UNIT adventures with Big Finish. But she first appeared in Downtime in 1995, played by Beverley Cressman, which was produced under licence from Mervyn Haisman by Reeltime Pictures Ltd, and was written by Marc Platt. Kate went on to make a few minor cameo appearances in Doctor Who novels and short stories through the remainder of the 1990s. Cressman returned to the role in 2003 for another Reeltime Pictures straight-to-video film, Dæmos Rising. Downtime: Children of the New World will be her first starring role in a novel since Marc Platt’s own novelisation of Downtime in 1995.
It’s not only Kate who is returning. Downtime: Children of the New World also features the return of her son, Gordy, who was first introduced in Downtime. Along for the adventure are other alumni from both Downtime and Dæmos Rising, including ex-UNIT captain, Douglas Cavendish. Picking up the story nine years after the defeat of the Great Intelligence in Downtime, Kate, Gordy and the Brigadier will be joined by further members of the Brigadier’s family, including his eldest grandson Conall Wilson, who first appeared in Candy Jar’s Lethbridge-Stewart series.
Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen, and author of the book, explains how it came to pass: “When I first heard of Reeltime’s forthcoming film, Anomaly, which would see Beverley returning to the role of Kate, I contacted Keith Barnfather. Initially it was simply to express my interest in Kate’s return, and how I’d be open to us working together to cross-pollinate our two ranges. Keith was very open to the idea, and before we knew it the conversation turned to prose and the idea of doing a sequel to Downtime. It took a while to work out when to set it, and after watching Dæmos Rising it became clear the book needed to be set after that film. The only proviso Keith gave me was that I needed to “set up” Anomaly.”
Set in September 2004, Downtime: Children of the New World picks up the story told in Downtime, which saw the Brigadier and his daughter join forces with Doctor Who companions Sarah Jane Smith and Victoria Waterfield to defeat the Great Intelligence’s plan of world domination through New World University. Although a sequel, the novel is intentionally written to stand on its own.
Andy explains: “All background details from Downtime will be treated the same way one treats background detail in a normal standalone novel; the reader will be told everything they need to know for the story to work. Of course, further insight can be gained by picking up Downtime, but it won’t be essential. Children of the New World is its own story. The basic idea came to me fairly quickly, but it wasn’t until I rewatched both films and had a chance to look through Marc Platt’s novelisation that the main plot point presented itself. I was determined to write a solid standalone tale, but one that was a logical continuation of Downtime, while at the same time bringing Kate and Gordy fully into the fold with the Brigadier’s extended family. The chance of having the Brigadier’s two grandsons together was too good to pass up, and that quickly became the crux of the plot.”
The striking cover art is by popular Doctor Who artist Adrian Salmon, who has done work for Doctor Who Magazine, Big Finish, the Doctor Who animated DVDs, and Candy Jar previously. He says: “Great to be asked to draw a cover for the new look Lethbridge-Stewart range! Andy and I had a lot of fun with this cover; as soon as he told me what the book was about, I knew the kind of thing I wanted to do. He gave me an open brief to redesign the Yeti, to make it more of a simian creature, and less like the way they’ve previous been depicted in Doctor Who. I wanted to incorporate silver into the design, initially as a kind of harness, before we settled on a fearsome face mask, to suggest the controlling intelligence and to make it clear these are not the Yeti fans have previously seen.”
Kate Lethbridge-Stewart joins her father, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, in a mission to save her son’s life!
For the last nine years Kate’s life has been a happy one. Other than a minor blip in 2003, she hasn’t had to worry about aliens bothering her or her son. Indeed, her biggest concern is Gordy’s first girlfriend. But it all changes when a face from her past appears, bringing with him a warning.
Gordy and his cousin Conall are kidnapped by a radical group calling themselves the Followers of Maitreya!
The Brigadier and Kate join forces with Douglas Cavendish and Anne Travers on a mission to save Gordy and Conall, which leads them to the ruins of Det-Sen Monastery in Tibet where deadly Yeti roam, and a prophecy is about to fulfilled!
What connects the Followers of Maitreya to a developing online school, Asteroid 4179 which is heading towards Earth, and the Brigadier’s family?
NB: DOWNTIME: CHILDREN OF THE NEW WORLD IS NOT COVERED BY ANY SUBSCRIPTION OFFER.
Downtime and Dæmos Rising are available directly from Reeltime Pictures Ltd.
There will two editions of Downtime: Children of the New World, both now available for pre-order:
Standard paperback edition (limited to 500 copies) for £10.00 (+ p&p).
Limited hardback edition (FIFTY COPIES ONLY) for £25 (+ p&p). This edition will be signed by Andy Frankham-Allen and feature an exclusive forward by original Kate Lethbridge-Stewart actor, Beverley Cressman.
Also coming soon, three Lethbridge-Stewart books get reprinted, revised and updated: