The New Counter-Measures follows a team of investigators looking into unexplained events in the UK. The team was first introduced in the 1988 Doctor Who serial Remembrance of the Daleks by Ben Aaronovitch. The team has been referenced several times in the Lethbridge-Stewart books, with Ian Gilmore, the military man in the team, appearing in the short story, The Dogs of War.
Andy Frankham-Allen says: “I’m no stranger to the team, Gilmore in particular, having written for him once before. I’ve watched Remembrance of the Daleks more times than I count, and listened to the majority of the Counter-Measures series, so it was a great pleasure to write for these characters properly. Finding their voices was scarily easy, even Sir Toby, who was created especially for the series.”
Producer David Richardson tells us what it was like to bring back the Yeti: “We were delighted to reach agreement with the Haisman Estate to use the Yeti in our productions, with the hope to make a special production to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first appearance in Doctor Who, in 1967’s The Abominable Snowmen. This time it’s not the Brigadier and his troops facing the Great Intelligence, but the crack team of Counter-Measures – but once again the Yeti are on the loose in Central London, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.”
On bringing the Great Intelligence to Big Finish, Andy says: “I had literally just finished writing Night of the Intelligence when the call came asking me to come up with a story for The New Counter-Measures. Time was an issue, and David was keen we echo the tone of The Web of Fear. Knowing I had only a limited cast enabled me to keep the story smaller and, hopefully, more immediate than I would with my novels. Having created the official backstory of the Intelligence for the Haisman Estate, it was important to me to incorporate some that history into the story.”
Along with the Great Intelligence, Professor Travers makes his Big Finish debut. Which, due to the fact that the actor who originated the character passed away in 2001, meant recasting was a necessity.
David continues: “I was very keen to cast Tim Bentinck as Travers – Tim is a terrific actor, and I knew he would pay great homage to the late, great Jack Watling. In fact, he’s spent recent weeks watching the DVD of The Web of Fear, getting under the skin of this iconic character.”
Script editor, John Dorney, told us more, “It’s amazing to think that the Yeti only appeared in two Doctor Who serials on tv (well, three if you count The Five Doctors), and for decades only two of their episodes could even be seen – and yet they’ve always held a special place in the heart of fandom. The first Doctor Who novelisation I ever bought was The Abominable Snowmen, so it’s an honour to help bring them back to the worlds of Doctor Who!”
You can pre-order this release, out in December 2017, at £30 on CD or £25 on download.
You can now buy The Dogs of War, which sees Counter-Measures’ Ian Gilmore team up with the Brigadier, on Amazon Kindle for only £1.29.
The New Counter-Measures series two:
1. The Splintered Man by Roland Moore
When a Spanish scientist kills himself in an explosion at a secret test facility, Counter-Measures are called in to salvage anything they can from the wreckage. But someone else is stalking the scene – and they’re determined that whatever is lost will stay lost.
2. The Ship of the Sleepwalkers by Christopher Hatherall
The Counter-Measures team wake on a luxury cruise, with no knowledge of how and when they got onboard. Who has brought them here, and why?
3. My Enemy’s Enemy by Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky
Glamorous international arms dealer, Lady Suzanne Clare, has come to town and is offering herself into the hands of Counter-Measures. But can their former nemesis ever really be trusted?
4. Time of the Intelligence by Andy Frankham-Allen
A strange voice is interrupting TV broadcasts across the capital, and bear like creatures are raiding factories, stealing equipment and killing guards. An old enemy of London has returned. And there’s only one team that can stop it.
Written By: Roland Moore, Christopher Hatherall, Robert Khan, Tom Salinsky, Andy Frankham-Allen
Directed By: Ken Bentley
Simon Williams (Group Captain Gilmore), Pamela Salem (Rachel Jensen), Karen Gledhill (Allison Williams), Hugh Ross (Sir Toby Kinsella), Tim Bentinck (Professor Edward Travers), Tam Williams (Doctor Javier Santos), Dan Starkey (Doctor Henry Cording), Beatriz Romilly (Mariana Lopez), Cory English (Ted Hunter), Caroline Harker (Dr Jayne Smythe), Carolyn Seymour (Lady Suzanne Clare), Leighton Pugh (Bernard/ Freddie), Lisa Diveney (Doctor Norma Vine), Tim Bentinck (Professor Edward Travers/ The Great Intelligence), Charlie Anson (Reece Goff/ Jacob)
Other parts played by members of the cast.
Producer: David Richardson
Script Editor: John Dorney
Executive Producers: Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
Creative Director of the Haisman Literary Estate: Andy Frankham-Allen
Candy Jar Books is pleased to announce the second free Lethbridge-Stewart short story of 2017.
Nick Walters is no stranger to the worlds of Doctor Who, having written for BBC Books in the 1990s, and penning two spin-off novels, one for the Bernice Summerfield series, and one for Lethbridge-Stewart back in 2015.
It was a hanging thread from Nick’s Lethbridge-Stewart novel that inspired The Runaway Bomb, as Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explains: “At the end of Mutually Assured Domination, Lethbridge-Stewart considered two soldiers for the Fifth – both helped him fight the Dominators in that book – but we’ve not heard from them since. So, this short story shows us a little of how Lethbridge-Stewart recruits new troops for the Corps. Only one of the two will make the grade, and the winner has a guest spot in Night of the Intelligence, the novel for which this short story is the companion.”
Nick says: “Sergeant Bell and (especially) Corporal Stevens originally had bigger roles in Mutually Assured Domination, so I leapt at the chance of fleshing out the characters a bit more. Stevens is a bit of a loose cannon and quite an intimidating character, whilst Bell is quieter and more reserved, so the two make a good pairing. I wanted to put them in a combat situation to see what happens. Bell, especially, went through the wringer in Mutually Assured Domination, so this story, if you like, is his ‘reward’ for all that he suffered – being tied to that chair for hours on end couldn’t have been nice! As for the titular Bomb of the story, it is based on a fondly-remembered episode of The Six Million Dollar Man entitled Death Probe, which really captured my six-year-old imagination. Older readers (?) may remember this!”
The Runaway Bomb will be sent out free to everybody who purchases (includes any bundles or subscription featuring…) this month’s release, Night of the Intelligence by Andy Frankham-Allen.
Night of the Intelligence not only opens seires four of the range, but also begins the year-long celebration of the Great Intelligence and Professor Travers, characters who first appeared in Doctor Who on September 30 1967 in The Abominable Snowmen by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln. The celebration continues with a special anniverary bundle – all of which act as prequels to Night of the Intelligence. Buy Candy Jar’s three Great Intelligence novels (The Forgotten Son by Andy Frankham-Allen, Times Squared by Rick Cross, and Night of the Intelligence) and get The Schizoid Earth by David A McIntee for free. So that’s four books for the price of three!
Hannah Haisman, Executor of the Haisman Estate, says: “It’s been wonderful seeing the resurgence of respect for my grandfather’s creations in the last few years, and celebrating two of his greatest characters is a moment of pride for me. Grandad would adore what’s happening now, and especially the way Andy (Frankham-Allen) has tied his characters’ histories together. It’s a wonderful time to be a fan of the Great Intelligence and Professor Travers!”
Throughout 2017 a further three non-Lethbridge-Stewart titles featuring the Great Intelligence will be released. Shaun Russell, head of publishing, says: “We’re very proud to work alongside some great people during the celebration year, and look forward to sharing further titles and information with you as the year goes on. Great things are coming!”
The foreword is written by United in Blood’s Mark Jones. Mark Jones was co-creator of the Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton TV project Starwatch.
Night of the Intelligence is available for pre-order now, for £8.99 (+ p&p). You can pre-order it individually or as part of the discounted UK bundle for only £26.25 (including postage), saving £9.72, or an international bundle for only £37.00 (excluding postage), saving £5.97.
The Anniversary Intelligence bundle can be ordered now, for £26.25 (including postage), saving £21.71, or an international bundle for only £47.00 (excluding postage), saving £12.96.
Candy Jar Books is pleased to release the cover art for the second Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off novella, The Flaming Soldier, designed by Richard Young.
Richard says: “For this second cover I wanted to create a full colour image rather than my usual mix of colour and black and white. I had also backed myself into a corner with The Life of Evans. I found it quite difficult to fade the hand-drawn train explosion into the background, so here for the first time I decided to create the fire effects digitally, though Travers and Eileen are still pencil drawings.”
Written by Christopher Bryant, the book features a younger Travers, alongside real-life World War 2 heroine Eileen Younghusband, who passed away in September 2016. Christopher says: “In The Last Duty Eileen was only a cameo. Her inclusion came quite late to the mix, and despite her character hinting at a past fighting aliens, we didn’t fully explore this, so when the opportunity came along to delve deeper, I jumped at the chance.”
Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says: “Eileen worked in the Filter Room, the top secret hub of Britain’s air defence, and tracked the first V2 rocket into the country! Before she died, I had a brief conversation with her about our Lethbridge-Stewart series. We joked about her being the first person to track an alien rocket into the country and this sparked an idea. Her sad death prompted us to include her in The Last Duty, but now we feel the time is right to discover more about Eileen’s alien fighting exploits during WW2.”
Eileen made an appearance in The Last Duty alongside her fictional cousin, Captain Younghusand. Quentin Younghusband, Eileen’s real-life nephew, is really pleased that Eileen’s legacy will live on. He says: “My aunt would have been tickled pink at the fact that she is a central character in this the latest book in the Lethbridge-Stewart series.”
Richard Young continues: “I was aware of Eileen from seeing her on the TV, but I never knew just how famous she was until I did my preliminary research. It turns out that she lived quite a life, so there was no pressure to get her portrait right… not! I’m pleased to say that the feedback I received from the family totally blew me away. I just hope that I have done her justice for all her fans.”
Eileen’s numerous television appearances included the BBC series, Britain’s Greatest Generation, Channel 4’s WW2: The Last Heroes, and the ITV Wales programme Welsh Heroes of World War Two, as well as BBC’s Breakfast, The One Show and Eggheads. Her book One Woman’s War won a People’s Book Prize. Her final book Eileen’s War was written for children and was completed and published only weeks before her death.
Bringing in a younger Edward Travers is all part of range editor Andy Frankham-Allen’s grand plan. He says: “Travers’ life between The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear is still pretty much unexplored, bar a few hints here and there. It has already been established that he worked for a previous version of the Home-Army Operational Corps during World War 2, but this is our first look at what his work entailed. It’s all part of a much larger canvas, as we slowly unveil the hidden mysteries and secrets of Professor Travers’ remarkable life.”
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is investigating a series of cases of spontaneous combustion. How can an inferno start inside a brick wall? Who or what are the ghost-like creatures spotted in the area around Imber base? Does it have anything to do with Eileen Younghusband, hotel proprietor, whose ordinary day is about to be interrupted by secrets from her past? Traumatic events from the Second World War impact upon the present day and a mysterious aircraft could hold the key to the identity of the flaming soldier.
The Flaming Soldier is available for pre-order now, for £12.99 (+ p&p), and will be which published in hardback, with a strict print-run of only 400 copies. You can pre-order individually or as part of the discounted novella UK bundle for only £38.40, saving £9.57, or an international bundle for only £55.59, saving £7.40. Order early to avoid disappointment.
With the launch of series ten of Doctor Who starting on Saturday, Candy Jar is making the third series of Lethbridge-Stewart (Times Squared, Blood of Atlantis, Mind of Stone) and Connecting Who: Artificial Beings available for free via Kindle across the Easter weekend.
Only available directly from Candy Jar Books at: http://www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/theflamingsoldier.html
Blood of Atlantis is the ninth novel in the Lethbridge-Stewart series, which began February 2015, and sees the return of author Simon A Forward to the Doctor Who fictional-verse.
Simon was born in Penzance in 1967, and has, over the years, written a couple of Doctor Who novels for BBC Books, a novella for Telos Publishing, an audio drama or two for Big Finish, plus various short stories. Outside of Doctor Who he written three novelisations of the BBC’s popular Merlin series, and had created his own series of novels, Evil Unlimited.
Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says: “I was feilding around for new authors to bring to the range; authors familiar with Doctor Who but who haven’t written in that universe for a while. A couple of people, including Gary Russell, suggested Simon as someone who would ‘get’ the series and is very reliable. So, never one to ignore advice of those I (sometimes) admire, I contacted Simon.”
Simon says: “As Al Pacino says in The Godfather Part III, ‘Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.’ When I was asked to write for the Lethbridge-Stewart range, I was a little hesitant. I wasn’t sure I wanted to return to writing anything Doctor Who-related. I’d moved on in my writing and – much as this may horrify some – I’d grown a little tired of Doctor Who. It was originally quite a different proposition to the finished book that has since emerged, but that process of development and working with Andy was part of the appeal that drew me in and cemented my commitment to the project. Add to that the fact that my (still ongoing) rewatch of Doctor Who took me through The Web Of Fear and The Invasion while I was right in the heart of writing this early Brigadier adventure, and the whole thing seemed like providence. And here I was, with the opportunity to write Anne Travers too. Bonus!”
As well as dealing with the series regulars, including Lieutenant Bishop and RSM Ware, Simon has created some unique characters, including a previous creation of his. Simon continues: “Captain Bugayev is already part of the Doctor Who book universe and it was a fascinating process to explore and contrast the two different approaches and attitudes of the leading military officers, especially two I knew so well. One (Lethbridge-Stewart) courtesy of having grown up with him as such a presence in my Saturday teatime viewing, one through having created him for my Doctor Who novel, Emotional Chemistry.”
The book also revolves around the mystery of Atlantis. An theme that is no stranger to Doctor Who fiction, having appeared in two separate Doctor Who television adventures (The Underwater Menace and The Time Monster) and having been mentioned in another (The Daemons).
Andy says: “When Simon first suggested Atlantis I wasn entirely convinced, knowing that its fate had been mentioned three times in Doctor Who (which fans often view as contradictory, but aren’t really), and in the latter Lethbridge-Stewart was present – if not at the event, then he certainly heard about it. But Simon set my fears at ease and presented a unique idea about how his Atlantis would fit perfectly, without contradiction or any need to have seen the television stories.”
Simon adds: “The story was initially going to be something else and developed over time and discussions with the editor. One of the things I wanted to do was to take the Fifth Operational Corps somewhere international, as a precursor to UNIT (even though UNIT operated in the UK on our TV screens, they ranged much further in my young imagination) and place them on a wider stage. The Atlantean connection suggested itself from a combination of that aim and from an old story idea of mine that fit the bill well. There was also a sense of, if I was going to write something Who-related, then Atlantis has been as recurring a feature of the show as some returning guest actors. Readers will be sure to spot a liberal sprinkling of homage within the novel and that’s born of the same desire.”
The cover is by Richard Young. Richard says: “Blood Of Atlantis – the difficult second album! I’d had a lot of positive feedback on my first cover, The Showstoppers, but the more I looked at it the less I liked it, and the more I looked at the covers produced by my stable mates, I knew I had to up my game. I was chatting with Simon via Facebook one evening about his ideas for the cover, and he kept coming back to The Sea Devils novelisation cover by Chris Achilleos. I was getting quite excited by the prospect of doing something along those lines.”
Blurb: Could Atlantis really have arisen in the Aegean Sea?
Lethbridge-Stewart’s nephew, Owain Vine, and a group of eco-protestor friends, are attempting to oppose an operation undertaken by Rolph Vorster, a ruthless South African mining magnate with his own private army, who is out to harvest as much Atlantean riches as he can.
Lethbridge-Stewart, along with Anne Travers, is called in to investigate a missing Russian submarine that appears to be connected to Atlantis, recruiting the colourful eccentric archaeologist, Sonia Montilla, along the way. All the while, Captain Bugayev and an undercover Spetsnaz team are investigating the fate of their government’s missing submarine. A complication that could light a major fuse on the Cold War.
Out there somewhere, Atlantis is growing, and its reach is utterly inimical to human life.
Blood of Atlantis can be pre-ordered individually, or as part of the Series 3 Bundle (both UK and overseas), which includes the novels, Times Squared by Rick Cross (available now), and Mind of Stone by Iain McLaughlin (coming December), or the subscription deal for those wishing to get six books for the price of five (UK only, covering the series three titles, plus the series four titles released early 2017)!
Pre-order directly from http://www.candy-jar.co.uk; Blood of Atlantis is due for release at the end of November.
Simon talks about writing Blood of Atlantis:
As Al Pacino says in The Godfather Part III, ‘Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.’ When I was asked to write for the Lethbridge-Stewart range, I was a little hesitant. I wasn’t sure I wanted to return to writing anything Doctor Who-related. I’d moved on in my writing and – much as this may horrify some – I’d grown a little tired of Doctor Who. Further, I wondered what more I could offer such an established character whose enduring popularity was so rooted in Nicholas Courtney’s excellent performance. But, by curious coincidence, I was asked by someone else at around the same time to write something else for Who and there’s simply no denying some forces. So I agreed to do it. It was originally quite a different proposition to the finished book that has since emerged, but that process of development and working with range editor, Andy Frankham-Allen, was part of the appeal that drew me in and cemented my commitment to the project. Add to that the fact that my (still ongoing) rewatch of Doctor Who took me through The Web of Fear and The Invasion while I was right in the heart of writing this early Brigadier adventure and the whole thing seemed like providence. And here I was, with the opportunity to write Anne Travers too. Bonus!
Ultimately, characters make the story, and this evolved into something whereby I could combine three approaches to character: writing for a well-known favourite, the Brigadier, and doing him justice; writing for existing characters, who were part of the range, hitherto unknown to me and doing my best to be true to them; and creating my own characters, which is one of my favourite things to do. Well, I say creating, but one of the characters, Bugayev, is already part of the Doctor Who book universe and it was a fascinating process to explore and contrast the two different approaches and attitudes of two military officers, especially two I knew so well – one courtesy of having grown up with him as such a presence in my Saturday teatime viewing, one through having created him for my Doctor Who novel, Emotional Chemistry. (Although that, again, isn’t strictly true, since he was created for an unpublished Doctor Who novel called Equilibrium.) My main made-for-this-story character contribution then is Sophia Montilla, crazy cat-lady archaeologist, who was inspired by a lady I met while feeding stray cats in Rhodes. She wasn’t an archaeologist and she was Greek, but Sophia was one of those characters who springs to mind fully formed. So I knew she was Spanish and I knew a great many other things about her that aren’t in the book.
Some of my favourite scenes to write are the ones shared by the Brigadier and these characters of my own invention, where the dialogue flowed so naturally it was like I just happened to be listening in on the conversations. At that point, you’re not so much working as just typing while in the company of friends.
Of course, while characters make the story, you still have to hand them a situation to deal with. So why Atlantis? Well, as I say, the story was initially going to be something else and developed over time and discussions with the editor. One of the things I wanted to do was to take HAVOC somewhere international, as a precursor to UNIT (even though UNIT operated in the UK on our TV screens, they ranged much further in my young imagination) and place them on a wider stage. The Atlantean connection suggested itself from a combination of that aim and from an old story idea of mine that fit the bill well. There was also a sense of, if I was going to write something Who-related, wanting that tie-in to Doctor Who, and Atlantis has been as recurring a feature of the show as some returning guest actors. Readers will be sure to spot a liberal sprinkling of homage within the novel and that’s born of the same desire. A salute or several, if you will, to the reason why we have such things as a Lethbridge-Stewart range of books.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue has always been a guiding principle of mine when writing anything for Doctor Who. In this, a certain blue box is absent, but hopefully I’ve mixed in enough of a hint of Doctor Who to the recipe. This is the Brigadier’s own series, of course, but much as I kid myself I have moved on, the associations with that singular SF adventure series are always there. It’s the natural order of things and, whether you’re a soldier or an author, there’s no sense in fighting that.
Written by Peter Grehan, this authoritative book is a perfect read for those who want to delve deeper into the hidden mysteries and secrets of the Doctor Who universe.
Peter says: “Imagine Doctor Who as a tree trunk that keeps growing taller and taller, fed by roots that reach down into history, mythology, psychology, folktales, religion, science and the wealth of science fiction that exists in the world. It’s not surprising therefore to find that Doctor Who connects with a lot of other stuff. “
Connecting Who: Artificial Beings examines some of these connections; specifically in regards to those artificial beings (clever computers, robots, androids and cyborgs) we find in Doctor Who.
The book investigates artificial beings such as the Cybermen, Daleks, Autons, Weeping Angels, Gangers, Morbius, Xoanon and the Yeti, making connections to literary and scientific sources.
Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books, feels that Connecting Who: Artificial Beings offers a fresh perspective on the Doctor’s travels through space and time. He says: “Peter has been a fan of Doctor Who since day one and his take on the Whoniverse offers a personal outlook on growing up with the series. His childhood love of robots coincided with the introduction of the Daleks and, despite the Daleks not really being robots, their cries of exterminate cemented his love for all things Doctor Who.”
Peter is no stranger to Doctor Who, having worked as a host at the Doctor Who Experience and penning the audio drama Sontarans: Silent Warrior for BBV. He says: “In my book I have enjoyed making the connections between Doctor Who and real-life computers, robots and cyborgs. These connections run deep into culture, history and science. It is my hope that fans will not only enjoy reading my book, but begin to connect the dots themselves.”
Connecting Who: Artificial Beings is exclusively available to pre-order from www.candyjarbooks.co.uk. All pre-orders come with a free copy of Lethbridge-Stewart: Beast of Fang Rock.
Candy Jar Books have announced that the release of Beast of Fang Rock had been delayed by a week. Publishing co-ordinator Hayley Cox says, “The books arrived on time, but unfortunately there was a problem with the printing and so we had to send them all back. Only the best produced product is sent out by Candy Jar Books, and so a small delay is unavoidable. Our apologies to all waiting on this new title, but be assured we hope to have the books sent out by October 29th!”
Beast of Fang Rock can still be pre-ordered direct from Candy Jar Books for the reduced price of £7.99 (plus p+p). Pre-orders will receive a free pdf-only short story, The Cult of the Grinning Man.
“The one with the lighthouse…” That’s how most people remember Horror of Fang Rock, the Doctor Who story first transmitted in 1977. It has gone on to be a classic, a fondly remembered story not only for fans, but for the general public as well. Including lighthouse keepers themselves!
Candy Jar’s Lethbridge-Stewart novel Beast of Fang Rock is the official prequel to the original television story, fully authorised by author Terrance Dicks. Eighty years prior to Horror of Fang Rock a beast is said to prowl the crags of Fang Rock, killing two keepers and driving one quite mad. What is the Beast? Where did it come from? Just was did happen in 1822? Finally the answers will be revealed.
Just as Horror of Fang Rock was a replacement script, so too is Beast of Fang Rock a replacement novel. But that is not the only way in which the two stories mirror each other. Author Andy Frankham-Allen explains: “Originally we had Terrance Dicks pegged to write this one later in the series, but when we lost a book in our first year a replacement was quickly needed; and so with Terrance’s approval I jumped on Beast of Fang Rock. The period setting of Beast is a deliberate echo of Horror. Three keepers stranded on the rock, hunted by something unknown and deadly. It was essential that I recreated that sense of claustrophobia, and so I developed a very similar dynamic, taking my cues from Terrance Dicks’ original script. Terrance is such an important part of Doctor Who’s history, indeed he’s had his hand in almost every piece of Doctor Who lore modern fans get to enjoy in the current series, that it was imperative his vision and ideals be honoured in this book.”
Not only is Beast of Fang Rock a prequel to Horror of Fang Rock, it is also a sequel, dealing with the fallout surrounding the mysterious happenings of 1902. It is set almost seventy years later, in the late 1960s, featuring hauntings, time travel, and the return of Anne Travers, last seen on television in 1968s The Web of Fear, who takes her place as co-lead in the novel series. “One of the main goals of this book,” says Candy Jar Books head of publishing Shaun Russell, “was to establish Anne Travers as a key player in the series. She had a cameo in the first book, The Forgotten Son, and a timey-wimey role in The Schizoid Earth, but this is the first book in which her part is essential to the plot. Indeed, in every way that matters, Beast of Fang Rock is Anne’s story. Doctor Who has a large female fan base, and it has always been our plan that our series has a strong female lead to whom all those fans can relate.”
Another key aspect of Beast of Fang Rock is the lighthouse. Hayley Cox, senior publishing coordinator at Candy Jar Books, says: “For centuries lighthouse have protected and saved many lives all over the world, keeping safe those who dare to battle against the ferocious elements of our world. Lighthouses feature so little in literature, and are often relegated to stories told by the older generation, but this book will hopefully remind today’s generation of the importance of the lighthouse. Not only in the past, but in today’s world. Andy has done a wonderful job of paying testament to these bastions of hope for the unwary traveller.”
Horror of Fang Rock was the opening story in Tom Baker’s fourth season as the Doctor, watched by 9.9 million viewers. It came about after author Terrance Dicks was asked for a new story to replace his script, The Vampire Mutations, which conflicted with the BBC’s prestigious dramatization of Dracula. Script editor Robert Holmes suggested Dicks write a story set on a lighthouse, even though, by his own admission, Dicks knew nothing about lighthouses. A veteran of television, with almost ten years involvement with Doctor Who under his belt, Dicks rose to the challenge and produced one of the most taught and claustrophobic scripts in Doctor Who’s history. Says Terrance Dicks, “I knew nothing about lighthouses. ‘Go and find out!’ said Bob. So I did. I soon became reconciled to the idea. A lighthouse is an isolated environment where your characters can be confined with no escape from danger. It was obvious that the menace had to come from the sea. I imagined a sort of giant jellyfish which made me think of the Rutans — the never before seen enemies of the Sontarans. The show was eventually produced and we all breathed a sigh of relief. Curiously, Horror of Fang Rock, a hastily contrived stop-gap in response to a crisis, has grown in prestige through the years. Some fans consider it my best work. Certainly it’s grimmer and darker than most Doctor Who, more akin to today’s Scandinavian dramas. The interest seems to have continued and perhaps some readers would like a further instalment. I’m sure this exciting book will fill the need.”
The making of the story was under threat by industrial action at BBC Television Centre, and the whole production had to move to the Pebble Mill Studios at Birmingham, turning the whole affair into something akin to a touring theatre troupe. Commuting was out of the question, and for weeks the cast and crew lived in each other’s pockets. These unexpected conditions led to the smoothing of relations between the series’ stars, Tom Baker and Louise Jameson, who had something of an initially fractious relationship. But with no escape, and tempers fraying, the two stars finally found a mutual respect and a very happy crew returned to London.
“Horror of Fang Rock has always been a favourite with the fans,” says Louise Jameson in her foreword to Beast of Fang Rock. “Part of the ‘recipe’ for a frightening yarn is to create something claustrophobic. And that feeling of climbing the stairs at night taps in to almost everyone’s personal childhood terror. Add the fog, the fear of being ‘jumped’ and you’re left with the stuff of nightmares. This book is hard to put down, and it’s marvellous, and very touching, that so many people are still connected to the classic series in a way I could never have predicted, even though I had the privilege of travelling through time.”
Horror of Fang Rock has maintained a healthy reputation among Doctor Who fandom for almost forty years, often being regarded as the best story of the fifteenth season, and one of the last great Tom Baker adventures. It was dark, moody, claustrophobic, helped no end by the period setting – period dramas being something the BBC has always excelled at. It is also one of those very rare Doctor Who stories in which nobody but the Doctor and companion survive. Seven supporting characters take part in the story, and all of them die by the end, through the gruesome altercation with the alien Rutan, the mortal enemy of popular Doctor Who monster the Sontarans.
That a sequel was never commissioned could be considered something of a surprise. Until now, thanks to Candy Jar Books and their Lethbridge-Stewart series of books.
Reveals the truth behind the Beast of Fang Rock (as mentioned in Horror of Fang Rock)!
Features the Rutans!
Brand new Doctor Who-inspired cover art by Colin Howard!
If you liked Day of the Daleks and Before the Flood, you’ll love this!
Sees the return of Lethbridge-Stewart’s nephew Owain!
Lethbridge-Stewart: Beast of Fang Rock by Andy Frankham-Allen, due to be released on 23rd October. The book can be pre-ordered from Candy Jar Books.