Award-winning independent publisher Candy Jar Books is publishing a new series of novels, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries. A spin-off from Candy Jar’s Lethbridge-Stewart range, Lucy Wilson will likewise feature fully licensed characters and concepts from the BBC’s beloved Doctor Who.
Twelve-year-old Lucy Wilson doesn’t want to move from London to sleepy Ogmore-by-Sea in south Wales. But when she arrives in her new seaside home, it isn’t as boring as she expected. The village is under the control of a mysterious alien force, and it falls to Lucy and her new friend, Hobo, to stop it.
Lucy is a new character in the Doctor Who universe, but she has illustrious heritage. She is the granddaughter of the iconic Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, one of Doctor Who’s longest running characters. The Brigadier, as he is known to fans, was played by the late Nicholas Courtney, whose death in 2011 prompted the show to pay tribute to him in the series finale, The Wedding of River Song.
So far Candy Jar Books Lethbridge-Stewart series has continued on from the BBC’s Web of Fear, taking place in the 1970s period known as Doctor Who’s “classic era”.
But three years into the series, Shaun Russell, head of publishing, thought the time was right to broaden the Brig’s horizons. He says: “The great thing about Doctor Who is that it appeals to adults and children alike. There’s something for everybody to explore, from The Sarah Jane Adventures for the very young, to Torchwood for those a bit older. Lethbridge-Stewart’s last appearance in any Doctor Who media was, in fact, in The Sarah Jane Adventures. I’m sure that sent a lot of kids back to the classic series to see what all the fuss about. And once you’re a fan of that, you’re generally a fan for life.
“The Brig is such a fundamental part of classic Doctor Who, but after Nicholas Courtney’s death, he’s naturally become less a part of the ongoing programme. We thought that, with the Lucy Wilson series, we could ensure his legacy continues into the modern day – at the same time hopefully sending young fans back to the classics! This is why we have decided to pit Lucy up against the iconic Great Intelligence.”
Not only is the Great Intelligence making a guest appearance, but also the Brigadier and a couple of other characters well-known to fans of the Lethbridge-Stewart range of books, and The Web of Fear.
Not that Lucy needs much help. A modern girl with strong values and opinions, she’s dauntless, loyal and whip smart – qualities long embodied by the Doctor himself. Jodie Whittaker’s recent casting as the first ever female Doctor has spotlighted the positive example the character provides young viewers. It is a tradition Candy Jar wanted to continue with its own contributions to the Who universe.
Sue Hampton, author of two previous Lethbridge-Stewart stories, says: “I’m sure that the new Doctor will defeat her enemies with courage and ingenuity – and with the help of her friends. It’s great for kids to have someone like this as their role model. They’re the values of the show. And while she’s very much her own girl, we see Lucy as embodying similar traits. We hope young readers will find her just as inspiring.”
The book has been endorsed by Eggheads presenter and Radio 2 DJ Jeremy Vine. He says: “A great read – brilliant characters and a plot that keeps surprising you. Sue Hampton writes in three dimensions! Avatars of the Intelligence draws you in from the very first page.”
The cover art is by Steve Beckett, a freelance writer and illustrator who has contributed artwork for the UK’s longest running children’s weekly comic The Beano, including The Bash Street Kids, General Jumbo and Bully Beef and Chips. He says: “I am very excited to have contributed to the expanding Lethbridge-Stewart universe. Shaun contacted me because he was familiar with my work for The Beano. He wanted something that could appeal to the young and adults alike. Hopefully I have achieved this. Drawing the Intelligence in my cartoon style was great fun, and I have certainly grown quite fond of the characters. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Lucy’s adventures develop.”
Avatars of the Intelligence by Sue Hampton is available for pre-order exclusively for fans until the end of September, with dispatch shortly thereafter. The commercial release of the book will be early next year.
Lucy Wilson doesn’t want to move from London to sleepy south Wales. But when she arrives at her new seaside home, it doesn’t appear to be as boring as she expected.
Ogmore-by-Sea seems to be under the control of a mysterious and powerful force. But why is Lucy its target? And why, when students at her new school start to disappear, does no one seem to care?
With the help of her new friend Hobo, Lucy Wilson must assume the mantle of her grandfather, the legendary Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, and defeat an invisible enemy before it’s too late.
The Lucy Wilson Mysteries is a Lethbridge-Stewart spin-off adventure and features licensed characters created for Doctor Who by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln.
Please visit http://www.candy-jar.co.uk/books/bumpersummersale.html to pre-order the book.