Archive for ‘Interviews’
September 5th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

This week has seen the release of The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller, a new and original e-book by bestselling author Joanne Harris.

In the short story, which forms part of the ongoing Time Trips series, the Third Doctor finds himself in an isolated time paradox which is being ruled by an unknown psychic force.

We recently caught up with Joanne who gave us an exclusive insight into the creation of her very own Doctor Who adventure.

Q. Hi there, Joanne! So, how did your involvement with the Time Trips range come about, and were you already a fan of the series?
A. I was already a Doctor Who fan and I was approached by the BBC to write for the Time Trips series. It was at the same time a terrific challenge and a childhood dream come true…

Q. In your story, the Third Doctor finds himself in an isolated time paradox ruled by an unknown psychic force. Without giving too much away, what was the inspiration behind this?
A. I’ve been fascinated by the idea of psychic control since I first read Jerome Bixby as a young child. Rather than write about alien intelligence in this story, I wanted to look at the power and potential of the human mind and its subconscious imagery.

Q. And how did you approach the story at the beginning of the writing process, in terms of your research into the life and times of the Third Doctor?
A. I took the opportunity to re-watch a number of Third Doctor adventures. I had a pretty good idea of when I wanted to set my story, but I needed to be sure it would fit. Thought processes, memories, artefacts, references to previous adventures, clothing… I needed to be certain of all those things before climbing inside the Doctor’s mind.

Q. Of course, the Third Doctor was well known for being suave yet authoritative. How easy was it to convey his personal and mannerisms on page?
A. Surprisingly easy, actually. The Third Doctor was “my” Doctor as a child, and I found I remembered him in quite vivid detail. To me, he’s the eccentric uncle who taught me Venusian karate, gave me my taste for velvet jackets and made me want to visit the stars. I’m still very fond of him so I’m glad to have had the chance to bring him back to life in this way.

Q. If you hadn’t written for the Third Doctor, which other classic incarnation would you have liked to have revisited and why?
A. I’m very fond of the Fourth Doctor, although when he first took over from Jon Pertwee, I was more than a little hostile. Then I was drawn in by Tom Baker’s personality, which was so different to the Doctor’s previous incarnation. I’d like to write him a story too, just to redress the balance…

Q. What did you set out to achieve with your story?
A. My intention was to write something that would at the same time fit with the Doctor Who of the Pertwee years – the Seventies episodes had a unique vibe, which I wanted to try and recapture – and explore some part of the Doctor that had never been explored. In this case, it’s his changing attitude to mortality – his own, and that of others – and it makes for a quite contemplative story and quite a wistful, nostalgic mood.

Q. Finally have you got any upcoming projects you can tell us a little about?
A. I’m working on a book of new fairytales, to be illustrated by Charles Vess. As to the rest, just watch this space!

A huge thanks to Joanne for answering our questions. Don’t forget to download your copy of The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller which is out now priced £1.99.

May 20th, 2014

WhovianNet recently caught up with the team behind Doctor Who Legacy to discover more about the app’s past, present and future!

If you didn’t know already, the popular RPG has been taking the Whoniverse by storm since its launch last November.

The free to play game allows players to build up an army of allies to face off with the Doctor’s most notorious foes – you can check out our Q&A with its developers below!

Keep ‘em peeled as we will be giving away some exclusive codes for the game shortly…

Q. Hi there! So, how did the idea for the Doctor Who Legacy game originally come about?
Lee and I have been playing puzzle games for years and in fact worked on a game called Puzzle Kingdoms with Steve Fawkner, a wonderful friend of ours who created Puzzle Quest, some years back. It was a genre we really have wanted to revisit for some time now. When we decided to make our first jump into mobile, we knew we wanted it to be with a beloved property – beloved by us and beloved by a core audience of fans. Doctor Who was our first and only choice and we felt that the puzzle mechanic was the perfect way to extrapolate conflict, both mental and physical, into a game which would be accessible by an audience as wide and diverse as the 75 million people who watch Doctor Who.

Q. And for anyone who hasn’t yet played it, how would you sell Doctor Who Legacy n a nutshell?
Doctor Who Legacy is a free to play mobile game which lets you select your favorite Doctor and companions. It pits them against the most notorious enemies in the Doctor Who universe through a family friendly, accessible puzzle game.

Q. How closely do you work with the BBC in terms of the new characters and content that you launch?
Lee: We work very closely with the BBC at all times. When you’re working in someone else’s world, your choices are either full transparency at all times, or you’re hiding something which could come back to bite you later. From the very start we worked closely with the BBC – episode choices, art style, look and feel, characters, gameplay, everything was discussed with the BBC. This very close collaboration continued post launch and, if anything, has just become closer. We talk to our producer at the BBC, Peter Hickman, on an almost daily basis, keeping him up to date with all plans we have on the table, and anything we’re discussing internally. This game wouldn’t be the game it is – not even remotely – without the amazing support we’ve had from Peter, the BBC and the Doctor Who brand team.

Q.  Has Legacy in its current form changed much from its original pitch?
Lee: The game has changed very little since the original pitch. There were some unknowns when we first pitched which we nailed down in pre-production (such as – how long is a season? How many seasons do we launch with? How many/which characters can we use?), but the core of the game is 99% the same, and our core goals – an accessible, fair, free to play game for all ages, by fans for fans – haven’t changed at all.

Susan: One of the most important pillars of design for us has been embracing and empowering our fan community to influence the game. We regularly engage our fans regarding characters, abilities, favorite episodes, etc. And our fans have influenced the form of the game for the better. Through their feedback, they have helped us to refine and enhance the game in wonderful ways.

Q. When did initial development on the game begin?
Lee: Early development, just Susan and I discussing what we may want to make next, started in January 2013. In early March we had our first meetings with BBCW, and by May we and our partners at Seed were hard at work on the game. During June/July/August, the tech guys built the core engine, editor, server side components and so on, while the design and art teams were nailing down the art style, look and feel, story, music, SFX, and other things we had to do. We laid out Season 7 during September/early October, then season 6 in late October and up through launch in late November.

Q. It has proven to be extremely popular amongst fans. Are you happy with the response it’s had so far?
Susan: Yes, very much so. We’ve been making games for over 15 years and have never been able to have a relationship this close and immediate with our fans. It’s incredibly intense and fun. It’s been particularly rewarding to see how quickly our players have picked up on the subtle things that we wondered if anyone would notice or care about, such as the choice of name for an ability, enemy ability decisions, even decisions made in writing the ally bios. Our most avid fans don’t miss a thing!

Q. What would you say is the most original feature that Doctor Who Legacy offers to its players?
I think the scale is utterly unique in gaming. Attempting to make a game in someone else’s universe is nothing new, however trying to build an infinitely extendable platform where you can potentially create gameplay around 50 years of shows, hundreds of characters, hundreds of enemies, and running it as a live service hand in hand with the community is very unique and, when you add the Doctor, something I doubt you’ll see ever again.

Q. Finally, what new features and content can Legacy players look forward to over the coming months?
Lee: We have a few big things we’re working on right now. The Facebook version is nearly complete and we’re frantically trying to get that live as soon as possible. Dual color characters are a big thing which is coming, along with an increase in level cap. Also imminent is a revamp of the user interface. And we’re about to add a big fan favorite classic ally, Ace!

A huge thanks to Lee and Susan for answering our questions! Begin your Legacy HERE.

April 8th, 2014

This week marks the eighth anniversary since the release of the first ever issue of Doctor Who Adventures.

To celebrate this milestone, we caught up with editor, Moray Laing, to discover more about the process of producing each edition, its recent record sales and what the future holds for the magazine.

Thanks to Moray for answering our questions – read the full Q&A below and follow him on Twitter @moraylaing_DWA!

The latest issue of Doctor Who Adventures, featuring lots of Ood facts, is on sale now.

Q. Hey, Moray. Firstly, how did your involvement with DWA originally come about?
A. Hello! I was working in children’s magazines as a writer at BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, at the time. After the success of the rebooted Doctor Who series in 2005, we decided to publish a magazine about Doctor Who for the pre-teen market. My initial involvement was coming up with loads of ideas along with the publisher and marketing team about what a young Doctor Who magazine could be about. I’ve always loved Doctor Who – I grew up and practically learned to read with Doctor Who Weekly and the Target books, so I had a clear idea of what we could do with it. Eight years on, I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve done.

Q. What’s a ‘typical’ day at the office like for you in your role as DWA Editor?
A. It varies, but there’s never a dull moment. There’s a lot of reading and planning – and being inspired by what the team constantly produce! It’s great fun putting a magazine together containing monsters! The production of the magazine – like any magazine – has to run like clockwork otherwise we’d never publish a magazine. We have writing deadlines, design deadlines, and the final press day deadlines – that final deadline is the day when the whole issue has to be sent to the printers. We talk about Doctor Who a lot too, because we all love it!

Q. What do you set out to achieve with each new issue?
A. Every issue of Doctor Who Adventures has to be exciting, entertaining and fun. One big adventure for the reader. You want the reader to lose themselves in the facts about the programme, enjoy the comic strip, learn loads of secrets and gain something new from it. Something interactive on the page too – maybe a quiz or something to tick off. Our readers like to make their mark on the page! We get loads of drawings every week – and loads of pictures of their collections of magazines and posters on their walls. We basically want to inspire and entertain children with facts about Doctor Who.

Q. As DWA is aimed at the show’s younger viewers, are there any “guidelines” you have to follow to ensure you achieve these aims?
A. We always follow BBC editorial policy, but like any publisher of children’s magazines, we are obviously very careful about the content we produce. The tone of the magazine has to be pitch perfect for the market, otherwise you’d alienate your audience (no pun intended). There can be some sad concepts in Doctor Who, particularly with regard to loss, so I am always mindful of this when, say, featuring a story about River or Rose. But basically, we like to celebrate the monsters and the adventures and marvel at them, along with the reader.

Q. How many people contribute to the process of putting one issue of the magazine together?
A. You might be surprised to learn we’re a relatively small editorial team – two of us write the magazine, one person designs it and we have a production editor who works on the more technical bits of putting a magazine together! There’s also a publisher and editorial director that I work closely with and beyond that we have production, marketing and advertising departments. We also commission a comic strip – this is brilliant because these are exciting unseen adventures for the Doctor and Clara! And then of course there’s the Alien Babies too, which always makes us laugh and it is very popular.

Q. How much say do the production team and ‘the powers that be’ have in what makes it into each issue?
A. The production team are across everything we publish – we’re dealing with their characters, after all. They’ve always been incredibly supportive of everything we’ve done with the magazine since the launch in 2006. Their biggest involvement every issue is with the comic strip. The BBC like to see what we’re going with the Doctor and Clara, and rightly so! It’s really helpful so that we avoid duplicating upcoming stories.

Q. As DWA is released fortnightly, how far in advance are you planning and creating the forthcoming issues?
A. I love to plan so I have plans across the whole year. We have a Doctor Who gift with each issue and we have them booked up quite far in advance. It makes planning easier, so we can tie it in with the editorial if appropriate.

Q. As DWA turns 8 years old, what factors would you say have contributed to its ongoing popularity?
A. We have all the characters and monsters from a visually strong and exciting series to play with. It’s an exciting brand with a lead character who can evolve and change and take you somewhere different all the time. We stand out in the market and there’s nothing like it.

Q. In recent months you’ve experimented with interactive issues and content. Are there any plans for similiar features in the future?
A. Yes, indeed! We’ve worked with Blippar – a free app that you can download – to create some really great interactive material, which has been great to work with. Want to turn yourself into an Ood and get extra monster pictures? Then Blipp the magazine! We were having this content every issue to start with, but we’ve moved it to every other issue for now. We also did a 3D issue around the 50th anniversary episode which tied in nicely with the story.

Q. DWA achieved record sales last year. How are you planning on maintaining this success?
A. We’ll maintain this by providing readers with great Doctor Who content! We share exclusive secrets from the set – it’s the place for young fans to get all the info they want to know about the series. Obviously, with a new Doctor arriving on our screens soon there will be loads of excitement around this later in the year too. We’re an official magazine and readers know they can rely on us for all the best facts about the show.

Q. Finally, what does the future, and beyond, hold for DWA?
A. We’ll continue to publish a magazine about Doctor Who while there’s demand for it! We’re planning loads of fun and exciting new features for the return of the series later in the year and have got some amazing gifts coming up. We’ve also got a digital version of the magazine (available to download from HERE and HERE), which is great. I would like to think that Doctor Who Adventures will run forever. If only we had a TARDIS – we could pop forward and see for ourselves!

See the latest Doctor Who products on sale now via our merchandise section!

March 3rd, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Today Silva Screen’s released their official soundtrack to An Adventure in Space and Time and we’re thrilled to bring you an exclusive interview with its composer, Edmunt Butt!

The one-off docudrama aired to critical acclaim in November as part of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

To mark the arrival of its accompanying score we caught up with the man behind the music for his fascinating insight into how the musical story of the Doctor’s origins was realised.

A huge thank you to Edmund for answering our questions, which you can see below. The soundtrack is now available to buy here and keep an eye on our Twitter (@WhovianNet) as we’ll be giving away a copy of the CD everyday this week courtesy of Silva Screen!

Q. It’s great to speak to you, Edmund. When did you first release you were interested in composing?
A. I come from a very musical family so I started playing the violin and piano at the age of 4, and I started composing in my early teens. The idea of scoring came to me when I was about 18. I was playing on a Jerry Goldsmith movie session and just the power of the orchestra and image together blew my mind. From that day I knew that this is what I wanted to do.

Q. Are there any composers or aspects of life that particularly inspire you and/in your work?
A. There are many composers who inspire me. Richard Strauss, Beethoven, John Taverner, John Lennon, Thomas Newman, Pink Floyd, to name but a few. Nature is always a great inspirer for me. I scored a beautiful documentary a few years ago called “Yellowstone”, which won the RTS award for Best Score. I found the music flowed so easily as I reacted to the awesome power of nature, which is so honest and unpretentious. I feel at one with the elements and find enormous inspiration which I can store for months.

Q. How did your involvement with Space and Time come about and were you already a fan of Doctor Who?
A. I got a call from Terry McDonough, the director, who had heard a showreel of mine. There was a particular track on that showreel that he felt really encapsulated the show. We had a meeting and immediately connected. I think we both knew straight away that I was the right person to score “Space and Time”. I was a fan of Doctor Who as a young boy. Who wasn’t?

Q. Where did you begin with the process of writing the score when you initially got the job?
A. Where do you ever begin? Somehow you have to find the essence of a film quite quickly. After long chats with Terry, his brief was to tell the story through a child’s viewpoint. Therefore, fantasy, emotion and magic were my key notes for starters.

Q. When you first watched the unscored cut of Space and Time, what were the main factors you took into consideration when you began writing its soundtrack?
A. I was seriously inspired by the emotional performances from the cast. I also loved the period authenticity. It was a huge privilege to be working on this project, even in the early stages.

Q. What was the first piece of music you wrote for Space and Time and how did the rest follow?
A. The Dalek sequence, which was dark and predominantly electronic, was the first piece of music I composed. I started composing a very different type of score to the final one. This is not uncommon in scoring a film. I always say that nothing is wasted, even if it does not appear in the final edit of the film. It is all part of the process. I started darker and moodier but Terry steered me towards more positivity, hope and fantasy.

Q. How much time were you given to compose the soundtrack and how did it feel to see – or, more appropriately, hear – everything come together?
A. I had about 9 weeks to score and 10 days to orchestrate and prepare for the sessions in Abbey Road. Hearing it all come together is always slightly daunting, but such a pleasure. This project was extra special and the day we recorded the orchestra I really found it hard to keep my emotions in check on occasions! The team on this show made me feel very proud and privileged and I think we all knew that we were part of something very very good.

Q. How much were director Terry McDonough and writer Mark Gatiss involved in the process of making the score?
A. Both of them were immensely pro-active. Terry more so at the beginning, and then Mark towards the end. Both were wonderfully supportive and encouraging, which always makes me want to deliver the very best I can. The title music “Waltz” was a steer from Mark.

Q. What did you set out to achieve with the score and do you think you’ve achieved your aims?
A. I set out to support this picture, as I always do. However, I am most proud of how the score charted the emotional journey of William Hartnell’s career. The extreme high of success and then the passing over of the mantle to Patrick Troughton at the end. I do believe that my music did the film justice.

Q. Were there any scenes in Space and Time which were particularly challenging to score?
A. Yes, the last 4 minutes were a major challenge due to the extraordinary emotions on screen. I wanted to be appropriate but not hold back. It took 3 weeks to nail this scene. I think I will always be moved watching the closing of this film.

Q. Do you have a track or piece of music from the soundtrack that you are especially proud of?
A. The cue called “New Doctor” at the end of the film.

Q. Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to any aspiring composers?
A. Without sounding too hippy, I hope, I think you must always “keep the faith”. You can learn so much by writing to picture, whether it’s a commission or you are just starting out. Keep your individuality because, in the end, that is why people will hire you. You can always learn from other people’s music and be influenced by it. If you can, don’t be afraid to be yourself. The film world is crying out for composers with a voice – especially a unique one.

Q. Finally, have you got any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
A. I have a show starting on Sky One called “The Smoke” which is an 8-parter about firemen starting at the end of February. In April the second series of “In the Flesh”, a 6-parter for BBC America and BBC Three, is to be aired. It’s a fantastic show about zombies with a lot of heart! And then there is more due to be released towards the end of the year.

See the latest Doctor Who products on sale now via our merchandise section!

February 27th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

All this week we’ve been building up to the release of Tales of Trenzalore and the day has finally arrived!

You can download it here and we’re thrilled to bring you the fourth and final interview in our Trenzalore countdown.

George Mann has contributed the short tale ‘An Apple a Day’ to the anthology but let’s all hope it doesn’t keep the Doctor away as he faces off with a terrifying Krynoid – just another day in the office for our Time Lord!

Check out our full interview with George below and follow his Twitter, @George_Mann.

Q. Hi, George. So when did you first realise you were interested in writing?
A. Oh, from a very early age. When I was a kid I used to write ‘books’ about a caveman called ‘Noof’. I’d write the stories and illustrate them, then get my Dad to photocopy them at work so I could give them out to my friends. I was about 19 or 20 before I decided it was something I wanted to do professionally, though. For a long while I wanted to write an epic, sprawling space opera, but I could never make it stick. In the end I decided to write something just for me, and that’s when I wrote my first novel, The Affinity Bridge.

Q. And are there any writers who have particularly inspired you?
A. Both Conan Doyle and HG Wells had a huge impact on me as a young man, and I think their influence is still felt in my work. Latterly, I find myself returning time and again to the work of M. John Harrison, and in particular Signs of Life, which is a triumph of a book.

Q. What was your first contribution to the Doctor Who universe and were you already a fan of the series?
A. I’ve been a fan of the series since I was very young and I remember watching the 80s Doctors as their stories aired. Later, I discovered the Tom Baker serials when they were repeated every Sunday on UK Gold, and went back to the Target books, too. Now I own all the available stories on DVD. So yes – I’ve been a fan of the show all my life. My first contribution to Doctor Who was a short story for one of the Big Finish Short Trips anthologies, Transmissions. It was called ‘Methuselah’ and featured the Fifth Doctor and Peri in ancient Constantinople. It’s recently been released as an audio, actually.

Q. How did your involvement with this Tales of Trenzalore anthology come about?
A. It came out of the blue, just at the moment that I was feeling like I needed to write some more Doctor Who, actually. I suppose it’s a case of serendipity. Justin Richards dropped me a line and asked if I’d be interested, and of course, I leapt at the chance.

Q. How does it feel to be entrusted with the task of writing a brand new adventure for the Doctor?
A. I suppose it can be a bit daunting if you stop to think about it. But it’s also a great deal of fun, and hugely rewarding. That feeling that you’re able to add something new to the show that’s been a part of your life for so many years – it doesn’t seem to wear off, no matter how many times you revisit it. There’s a certain frisson when you describe the sound of the TARDIS dematerialising, for example, and it gets me every time.

Q. Without giving too much away, what can fans expect from An Apple a Day?
A. Hopefully fun! I wanted to write a story that was very clearly rooted (see what I did there?) in the Siege of Trenzalore, that had a tone and feel that was consistent with what we see in The Time of the Doctor. This is that slightly older Eleventh Doctor with the limp, who’s been on Trenzalore for some time. He’s a little slower, but he’s still recognisable as the Doctor we see gadding about in the earlier episodes. At the same time, though, I wanted it to be a rip-roaring adventure story, too, as told from the perspective of Theol, a ten-year-old boy who’s helping the Doctor. Not to mention trying to do justice to the Krynoids. The Seeds of Death is one of my favourite classic serials, and I was very keen to try to capture the spirit of those later episodes, with the house under siege from this giant plant. There are no rockets or helicopters or UNIT on Trenzalore, though – so how will the Doctor and the townsfolk deal with such a terrifying threat?

Q. You mentioned the return of the Krynoid in your story. Does it include any other ‘Classic’ references that readers can look out for?
A. I think I mention a few other classic monsters, including the Squall from my Eleventh Doctor novel, Paradox Lost. And of course, there are plenty of references to The Time of the Doctor and The Seeds of Death. Mostly, though, the Doctor and Theol are pretty much focused on the here and now, and the massive Krynoid that’s threatening to consume Trenzalore!

Q. How much did you know about The Time of the Doctor and the Siege of Trenzalore before you began writing?
A. A little. I was aware of the basic premise of the story, or at least enough to be able to plan the broad beats of my own tale in advance. I didn’t actually start writing it until I’d watched the episode a couple of times though, as I think it’s important to capture the tone and get the details right. Certain elements of my story evolved quite a lot after watching the episode and talking to the other authors involved.

Q. Drawing (or writing!) from your own personal experiences, what one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
A. Just write. Don’t chase perfection, which is a myth that will keep you going round in circles forever. Write every day, finish your first draft, and then go back and polish it. Personally, I’m finding more and more that I prefer to work out a detailed outline in advance, too – although I also find that pretty challenging and time consuming!

Q. Finally, have you got any upcoming projects you can tell us about, Doctor Who related or otherwise?
A. I’ve got lots of stuff in the pipeline! There’s the fifth novel in my ongoing Newbury & Hobbes series, The Revenant Express, and new Sherlock Holmes novel, The Spirit Box. Hopefully there’ll be more Doctor Who in due course, too. Watch this space!

See the latest Doctor Who products on sale now via our merchandise section!

February 26th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

The e-book Tales of Trenzalore is released tomorrow and to build up to its arrival we’ve been chatting to the writers who made it happen.

Next up is Mark Morris whose contribution to the collection is The Dreaming, which features the return of the Mara.

We caught up with Mark to find out more about his short tale plus how he got involved with this project. You can read our Q&A with him below and follow his Twitter @MarkMorris10.

Tales of Trenzalore is out tomorrow (Thursday) and you can pre-order your copy HERE.

Q. Hi, Mark. When did you first realise you were interested in writing?
A. From a very early age. In fact, my mum has a school report from when I was about 6 or 7, which says something like: “Mark’s usual response to a maths lesson is ‘Can’t I write a story instead?’” Certainly from the age of 9 or 10, I was writing stories for fun. I wrote two full-length Doctor Who novels, ‘Doctor Who and the Lizards’ and ‘Doctor Who and the Return of the Cybermen’ in ring-binder notepads when I was 12. I made the covers for them and everything, and I’ve still got them. I take them into schools to show the kids when I do school writing workshops.

Q. Would you say there any writers who have particularly inspired you?
A. Oh, many. Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke, of course, and then later people like Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker, Stephen King and Peter Straub. Also TV writers like Nigel Kneale and Brian Clemens have been a big influence. But good writing still inspires me, and there are many writers whose work I’ve read in recent years that I hugely admire: Donna Tartt, Sarah Waters, Magnus Mills, Rupert Thomson, Graham Joyce, Jonathan Coe, Ian McEwan… I could go on and on.

Q. What was your first contribution to the Doctor Who universe and were you already a fan of the series?
A. Apart from the books I wrote when I was 12, my first official contribution to the Who universe was my eighth Doctor novel, ‘The Bodysnatchers’, which was published, I think, in 1997. But yes, I’d been a huge fan for as long as I could remember. I had all the Target books and read them over and over from the age of 11. My first clear memory of the show is watching ‘The Abominable Snowmen’ in 1967 when I was 4. Needless to say, the story terrified me, but in a way that made me desperate to go back for more.

Q. Does your history of writing horror novels help when you put pen to paper for a new Doctor Who adventure?
A. Yes, because I tend to veer naturally towards the darker, more Gothic Doctor Who tales. I love all of Doctor Who, but overall I prefer the scary ones, which are set in creepy old houses or shadowy locations, than the ones set in big, bright space stations. I still regard Tom Baker’s second and third seasons, with their barely-veiled homages to ‘The Mummy’, ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Phantom of the Opera’, Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes et al, as the show’s absolute pinnacle. Those two seasons, in particular, I found massively influential.

Q. How did your involvement with this Tales of Trenzalore anthology come about?
A. I got an email from project editor Justin Richards a few days before Christmas, asking me if I’d be interested. Simple as that.

Q. Without giving too much away (spoilers!), what can fans expect from The Dreaming?
A. Hmm. I’m not sure I can really say, really. It takes place towards the end of the Doctor’s tenure on Trenzalore, when he’s an old man, and features an attack on the town of Christmas by the Mara. I’d better leave it there.

Q. How much did you know about The Time of the Doctor and the Siege of Trenzalore before you began writing?
A. Not very much at all – and to be honest I didn’t want to know, because I didn’t want it to spoil the surprise of watching the episode on Christmas Day. Justin gave us a few basic facts about the town of Christmas and the overall situation (ie that the story takes place over many hundreds of years and involves the Doctor defending Christmas against multiple alien invasions) in order for us to write brief synopses of the kinds of stories we wanted to tell, but after that it was just a case of watching the episode three or four times and then fleshing out our stories accordingly.

Q. What was the inspiration behind featuring the Mara in your story?
A. I love the Mara and chose it/them for a few reasons. The most practical was because the Papal Mainframe are able to detect alien technology and therefore we needed our aliens to sneak through the detection barriers in a non-technological way, and the Mara, a race who ‘live in the dark places of the inside’, seemed perfect for that. Secondly the fact that the Mara are a gestalt entity/mind parasite, and can adopt different forms, meant that they didn’t have set parameters like a lot of alien races, and therefore the potential existed to explore new and different aspects of them. And thirdly, I’ve always been a huge fan of the Hammer movie ‘The Reptile’, and the possibility of getting a human/snake hybrid (like Jacqueline Pearce’s character in the film) into a Doctor Who story seemed too good to miss.

Q. Drawing (or writing!) from your own personal experiences, what one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
A. Read a lot and write a lot – it’s as simple as that. And don’t stick to one thing. Read a wide range of books and authors, and be prepared to adapt and expand your writing, and to try different things. I meet a lot of people who want to be ‘Doctor Who writers’ and don’t really have any ambitions beyond that. But the thing is, to be a Doctor Who writer you have to prove yourself in other areas first. You have to build up your reputation, and show that you’re capable of producing good quality work, often to very tight deadlines. Another thing I’d say is that as a writer you need to develop a very thick skin. Unless you’re incredibly lucky, you’re going to face a lot of rejection and a lot of constructive criticism throughout your career, and you have to be tough enough to take all that on the chin and keep bouncing back.

Q. Finally, have you got any upcoming projects you can tell us about, Doctor Who related or otherwise?
A. I’ve written the official movie tie-in novelization to the new Darren Aronofsky film NOAH, which will be out in March, and I have a new 4-part 5th Doctor audio drama called ‘Moonflesh’ out from Big Finish in April. Later in the year I have three more novels coming out, a standalone horror/sf/mystery called THE BLACK, a franchise tie-in novel called ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! HORROR HOSPITAL (I think the title is pretty self-explanatory there) and the first book in a new dark fantasy trilogy I’m writing for Titan called OBSIDIAN HEART: THE WOLVES OF LONDON. Additionally I’m editing THE FIRST SPECTRAL BOOK OF HORROR STORIES, which will be out in September, and which I’m hoping will be the initial volume of an ongoing annual series. I grew up reading the Pan and Fontana books of Horror and Ghost Stories, and this is my homage to them.

See the latest Doctor Who products on sale now via our merchandise section!

February 25th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Our countdown to the release of the new e-book epic Tales of Trenzalore continues today as we bring you the second of our interviews with one of its contribuing authors.

Paul Finch has penned the short adventure ‘Strangers in the Outland’ which forms part of the original anthology. The tale features the return of the audacious Autons and we spoke to him to find out more about his decision to include the classic villains, his inspirations as a writer, plus the advice he would give to any aspiring authors.

Read our Q&A with Paul below. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter @paulfinchauthor!

Q. Hi, Paul. When did you first realise you were interested in writing?
A. From my earliest days. My late father was a professional writer too, so I had the best example ever in that regard. I probably first realised I was a chip off the old block when I actually started looking forward to English lessons at school, especially if we were doing creative writing.

Q. Are there any writers or authors who have particularly inspired you?
A. To many to mention here, but as I said before, ultimately it was my dad, Brian Finch, a very fine and very accomplished television playwright.

Q. What was your first contribution to the Doctor Who universe and were you already a fan of the series?
A. My first contribution came in 2007. It was a short story entitled SPOILSPORT, and it features in the Big Finish anthology, DESTINATION PRAGUE. It was an opportunity I grasped with both hands, as it gave me an opportunity to write for the Third Doctor – who was really my Doctor, as in the one I was most affected by because I was at just the right age when he was on screen. Ironically, though these weren’t Who projects, I’d actually written for Jon Pertwee – along with two other Doctors, Peter Davison and Colin Baker – several years earlier, in the early 1990s, when they’d read horror and sci-fi stories of mine on a series of spoken-word anthologies from Telstar Records. I could be wrong on this, but I’ve long suspected that A GLITCH IN TIME, which Jon read, was his his last piece of work.

Q. How did your involvement with this Tales of Trenzalore anthology come about?
A. I was simply approached and asked, and I said ‘yes’ without hesitation. I think this stemmed from my Who novel of 2011, HUNTER’S MOON, rather than my Big Finish dramas, as that involved the Matt Smith Doctor, plus it was very action-heavy, which I suspect was what they were looking for with TALES OF TRENZALORE.

Q. Without giving too much away, what can fans expect from Strangers in the Outland?
A. Well, I really don’t want to say too much about this, as I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to reveal. Suffice to say – and maybe this is detectable from the title – we spend a lot of time outside the town of Christmas, in the wilderness called the Outland, where conditions are hard and the temperatures are very, very low.

Q. What was the inspiration behind featuring the Autons in your story?
A. I’ve always thought them the best monsters in Dr Who. A bunch of solid plastic mannequins, almost invulnerable to normal weapons – who feel no pain, never get tired, can’t be bargained with or bought off, never sleep etc – under the relentless control of a malicious and incomprehensible alien intelligence, which is nothing less than totally hostile. You really can’t better that. They would grace any horror or sci-fi movie or novel.

Q. Did you participate in any research before you put pen to paper?
A. There wasn’t much I could do. I looked up everything I could about Trenzalore, but really there was nothing in cyberspace that those of us who watch the show don’t already know. We were given a few pointers by the BBC, but not much really. Ultimately, all I could really do was watch the Christmas Day episode, swap a few notes and ideas with the editor and the other writers, and then get stuck into it pronto.

Q. How much did you know about The Time of the Doctor and the Siege of Trenzalore before you began writing?
A. I think I may have covered that in my previous answer, but really no more than anyone else. We did have one advantage, of course. While outlining our novellas, we were able to send questions in. “Would this happen, would that happen? Are we allowed to have this? What’s the status of that?” All that kind of stuff, and we got quick, detailed responses, which was great.

Q. Drawing (or writing!) from your own personal experiences, what one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?
A. Just what I’ve always said when people as me this: Don’t get upset by rejection. If an editor or publisher has gone to the trouble of giving you reasons why they don’t like your work, even if you don’t agree with them, at least take note of what they say. Make rejection work for you by learning from it – that could be the difference between getting rejected again next time or making a breakthrough.

Q. Finally, have you got any upcoming projects you can tell us about, Doctor Who related or otherwise?
A. Nothing new in Who at present, but my next thriller novel – THE KILLING CLUB (part three in the DS Heckenburg series) will be out from Avon Books (HarperCollins) in May, with the fourth, as yet untitled, to follow next winter. I’m currently writing a movie for Amber Entertainment, a historical horror called WAR WOLF, though we’re only at a very early stage of development with that. In addition, this year there’ll be two more volumes in the regional UK horror anthology series I edit for Gray Friar Press – TERROR TALES OF WALES and TERROR TALES OF YORKSHIRE. So there are a few bits and bobs there that folk can look out for. For anyone interested, you can easily keep up with my various projects by checking my blog from time to time:

Tales of Trenzalore is available to download from Thursday. Pre-order yours now HERE.

February 24th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

It’s Tales of Trenzalore Week on WhovianNet as we build up to the release of the brand new anthology this Thursday!

The e-book is billed as “the Eleventh Doctor’s final stand” as it debuts four original short stories which reveal the tests he faced when he vowed to protect the planet and all its people from a host of the universe’s deadliest foes.

To celebrate its arrival, we’re thrilled to bring you the first of our exclusive interviews with its contributing authors.

Justin Richards will be no stranger to long-term followers of the Doctor Who tie-in novels and for this e-book escapade he has written Let it Snow, which features the return of the dreaded Ice Warriors. We caught up with Justin to find out more about his involvement…

Q. Hi, Justin. So when did you first realise you were interested in writing?
A. Well, I’ve always been a writer, scribbling stories and telling jokes. Because jokes are a sort of short story really – they need a structure, a beginning, a middle and an end. But I don’t think I really believed that it was possible to be a writer as a job and career until I was quite old – probably at university. By then I also had an understanding of how difficult it would be, so it wasn’t where I looked to start a career.  But writing is something I’ve just always done.

Q. And are there any authors who have particularly inspired you?

A. Oh loads, I should think! When I was a child, I always loved mysteries. So Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five were favourites of mine, and I enjoyed her stories about the Five Find-Outers and Dog even more. The first of those is The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage. They all start ‘The Mystery of…‘ and I loved them! I suppose my absolute favourite, though, was ‘Doctor Who in an exciting adventure with the Daleks’ - of course!  I had the original Armada paperback edition. These days, I read a lot. Children’s books and adult fiction, as well as a lot of non-fiction, for pleasure and research (or both)!.  But there are writers that I greatly admire – be it children’s writers like Philip Pullman and Anthony Horowitz, or adult authors like Robert Goddard and Jasper Fforde.

Q. What was your first Doctor Who novel and were you already a fan of the series?

A. I was a huge fan, from as far back as I can remember. I don’t remember much of the Hartnell era from the time, though I know I watched a lot of it. But I have quite extensive memories of Patrick Troughton. By the time I wrote my first Doctor Who novel, which was ‘Theatre of War’, I had already done a lot of Doctor Who related writing. Then, in 1993, I sent a proposal for a Doctor Who book to Virgin Publishing, who published the Doctor Who New Adventures series. As I say, I’d done quite a bit of writing already, including articles for Doctor Who Monthly, as it was then, as well as lots of fanzine stuff, and I was working as a technical writer for IBM. So I guess I knew how to write.  Peter Darvill-Evans at Virgin, who gave so many writers their first break into fiction and novels, liked the proposal and my sample chapters and commissioned me to write the book.  So that was my first Doctor Who novel, Theatre of War, and it was published in 1994.

Q. Over the years you’ve had the opportunity to write for several of the Doctors. Do you have a personal favourite?

A. I guess the answer to that is a sort of ‘Splendid fellows, all of them’! Though, actually, my favourite Doctors to watch aren’t necessarly my favourite to write for, if that makes sense. I’m a big fan of the Second Doctor, but because Troughton’s perfomance was so complex and detailed, he’s actually very hard to write for. I guess the Doctor that comes off best in both watching and writing is the Tenth. His characterisation relies a lot on dialogue and that can work well in prose. But they all present challenges and pleasures of their own, whether you’re enjoying an episode or writing a novel.

Q. Is there an incarnation you haven’t written for which you’d like to explore?
A. I think I’ve written for them all to some extent.  My short story ‘The Glass Princess’ includes the ones I’ve missed in the novels – though that’s only the First and Third, in fact!

Q. Your contribution to this Tales of Trenzalore anthology features the return of the Ice Warriors. What was your inspiration behind bringing back the iconic monsters?
A. Trenzalore is a snowy planet, so they seemed a good fit. Plus I’ve never written for the Ice Warriors in prose fiction, so that was an added incentive. I did the Big Finish ‘Red Dawn’, so I have written an Ice Warrior story before, but this was a bit different, and great fun, of course!

Q. How much did you know about The Time of the Doctor and the Siege of Trenzalore before you began writing Let It Snow?
A. I was the lucky one, as I usually get to see the scripts ahead of broadcast, usually ahead of shooting. That’s so we can plan the upcoming novels and fiction sensibly and don’t end up doing something very similar or contradictory to what’s going to be in the next series. Even so, it was a short turnaround between deciding to do the Tales of Trenzalore and having to deliver the finished stories. I don’t think I saw this script until about 3 weeks ahead of transmission. Also, you do need to see the episode if posible. There were things in the script that got changed or cut, so you can’t always rely on it absolutely. And none of the other authors saw anything until the episode was shown on Christmas Day. I gave them the basic set-up as we had to have proposals for the stories worked out and approved before that! But for all of us it was a very quick turnaround.

Q. The Doctor Who novel range is as popular as ever. Why do you think the Doctor’s off-screen adventures continue to be such a hit with the fans?

A. I think part of it is that there are just so many good Doctor Who stories waiting to be told. I’ve said before that the format of the series is really an excuse to tell the best possible stories in any genre, and also across any media. Because the TV series has always been so well written, it tends to appeal to intelligent viewers, and I guess they’re the ones who are more likely to be readers anyway. As long as the books are also well written and don’t disappoint those intelligent readers, of all ages, then Doctor Who fans will want as much Doctor Who as they can get, be it broadcast, recorded, written, or drawn!

Q. Drawing (or writing!) from your own personal experiences, what one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A. Writing is a craft that you need to work at and practice. It’s like training for a sport – the more you do it, the better you get. So there are two things you really have to do. You have to write a lot – that’s the ‘training’ part. Try to write something every day. It doesn’t have to be pages of a huge novel. It could be a letter, an email, whatever. Keep a diary. Just writing every day helps you to know what works and what doesn’t, to develop your own style, to find out about words and how they work. The second thing you need to do is to read a lot – see what other people are writing. Don’t analyse it in detail, but pay attention to the words and the story. The more you read, the more you will come to understand what works and what doesn’t, how books and stories are put together. And above all, enjoy it. If you really enjoy it, you’ll just get better and better.

Q. Finally, have you got any upcoming projects you can tell us about, Doctor Who related or otherwise?

A. There’s always more Doctor Who to be written, but sadly I can’t tell you much about it until it’s propoerly announced. But rest assured there will be some Twelfth Doctor fiction before too long, and of course I’m involved in that one way or another. We’ve got some other rather special projects lined up too! Away from Doctor Who, I’m currently finishing the second novel in a series called ‘The Never War’.  The first book is called ‘The Suicide Exhibition’ and is out in hardback (in the UK – it’ll come to the US soon!), with the paperback edition out in May. The series is set in World War II, so there’s a lot of historical research involved, even though it’s a sort of science fiction action adventure about a secret alien invasion and the military personnel who try to combat it, or to exploit it, on all sides in the war. It plays to my own interests of course, so if you like Doctor Who you should enjoy The Never War series too. You can buy the first book on Amazon.

Big thanks to Justin for answering our questions – follow him on Twitter, @JCCRichards!

February 11th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Tickets for the brand new production titled The Science of Doctor Who are now on sale!

The show will soon be touring Australia as it takes fans on a journey to discover all the scientific facts that lie behind the timey-wimey fiction of the Doctor’s adventures.

We recently caught up with its presenter Rob Lloyd who told us about the inspiration behind the show, what its attendees can expect and why he can’t wait to get it on the road…

Thanks to Rob for answering our Q&As! Be sure to follow him on Twitter @futurerobby, and check out his official site HERE. Tickets for the events can now be purchased HERE.

Q. Hey, Rob! So how did your involvement with The Science of Doctor Who come about?‬
A. I had worked with RiAus, the company who is working in association with BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand, on a project called Mind Matters in 2010 and 2011. The show toured around remote areas of country Victoria and New South Wales, Australia. I hosted the free event where neuroscientist Anthony Hannan presented a talk on the latest advancements in neuroscience. I was basically the comic relief before the heavy, yet fascinating, lecture. So I must’ve made a good impression because the next time I heard from RiAus they were asking me about getting involved in The Science of Doctor Who.

Q. What can you tell us about the show?
A. Basically, I host with three scientists. We rotate between Dr Martin White, Dr Allie Ford, Dr Alan Duffy and David Jennens to explore the scientific theories and ideas presented in Doctor Who over the last fifty years. I introduce these theories in the context to the Doctor Who universe with a corresponding clip from the show and then the scientists discuss these theories in the context of the ‘real world’ and just how possible they really are.

Q. Have you always been a fan of Doctor Who?
A. I came quite late into Doctor Who, when I was 17, but don’t worry because I am now most definitely a full-fledged, hand-on-my-hearts, card-carrying Doctor Who fan! It was 1996, my first year of University, and it was actually a huge year for Doctor Who with the Paul McGann TV movie coming out and the passing away of Third Doctor Jon Pertwee. One of my closest friends at Uni, Alexander Jones, was dealing with quite a messy break-up so I thought the best way to take his mind off things was to get him to tell me the entire history of his favourite show, Doctor Who. After that five-hour late night chat I knew everything about Doctor Who and I was hooked, and I’ve been hooked ever since!

Q. How much were you involved with the writing and producing of the show?
A. I was lucky enough to be co-devisor and co-writer. When we were first developing the show, I wrote a list of as many of the science-type ideas in Doctor Who. This list was then presented to our scientists who chose the ones they’d like to talk about In the show. While the scientists started working out what they wanted to say, I had the ‘hard’ task of finding what particular episodes these theories were in and then pick an appropriate clip with one of our producers and co-devisors, Ben Lewis, from RiAus. So The Science of Doctor Who is really a group effort. Everyone connected with the show has some significant involvement in the development and writing of ours. The most enjoyable part of the preparation/’research’ for the show was having all of the scientists around at my house having a Doctor Who marathon. During every episode the scientists would be asking me specific continuity and ‘canon’ questions and at the end of each story they would sit around and discuss whether the ideas shown in that story were possible.

Q. What do you think makes the scientific aspects of Doctor Who so appealing?
A. You can’t help but get caught up in the endless possibilities presented in Doctor Who. The show has had so many talented, intelligent people connected to the writing and overall shaping of the show, who were basically allowed to let their imaginations run wild and free. So anything is possible. Star Trek is kind of limited by it’s rigid moral and scientific code. Star Wars sadly lost a lot of its magic when George Lucas attempted to introduce quasi-scientist reasoning behind the force. Doctor Who, however, is always changing the rules, breaking the rules, re-writing the rules, or even creating entirely new ones. That’s what’s appealing, from a science point of view, when watching Doctor Who. It may not make sense or be plausible or even be taken completely seriously, but it may actually be possible.

Q. What can fans attending The Science of Doctor Who expect from the show?
A. Fans can expect to be educated as well as entertained. That’s a difficult balance to get right but I think we’ve managed it perfectly with The Science of Doctor Who. Let’s not forget that originally Doctor Who was meant to be an educational program as well as an entertaining one, teaching kids and their families about history, different cultures and even the odd scientific theory in a very basic form. The Science of Doctor will also be dedicating equal time to both the classic and modern era of the show so no fan will be left out. The show is also appropriate for the entire family and people of all ages.

Q. Will there be any interactive aspects to the show?
A. There will most definitely be interactive aspects to the show. As Peter Capaldi said, “Doctor Who belongs to all of us”, so who are we to deny the audience getting involved? The most exciting interactive aspect of The Science of Doctor Who is that, at the start of the show, audience members will be invited to use their smart phones to visit a specially set-up webpage on which they can vote in real time on certain polls and activities that we’ll be running throughout the show.

Q. What are you most looking forward to about taking the show on the road to venues across Australia?
A. I can’t wait to meet all the Australian fans of Doctor Who to share our mutual love of the greatest show in the galaxy. The most exciting part of touring this show is that this type of show has never been done in Australia before. It’s going to be entertaining and a heck of a lot of fun, but the most important thing is that the audience will walk away with a little bit of extra knowledge that they didn’t have before. That is by far the best part of being involved in The Science of Doctor Who.

Q. Will there be any surprises in store for audiences?
A. Spoilers! All I can say is that we will be exploring time travel, parallel dimensions, regeneration and life on other planets, plus many other things. We will also be giving the audience the opportunity to decide once and for all which Doctor Who monster should rule the universe.

Q. Finally, if you could pick one fictional scientific aspect from Doctor Who to bring into reality, what would it be and why?
A. Ooh, that’s a hard one! Off the top of my head, it would have to be time travel. I mean who wouldn’t want to be able to travel back to the Middle Ages or forward to the 35th century and be back just in time for tea? However, if I really think about it, I would love to be able to regenerate. I mean, I know if was created merely as a plot device to explain changing the lead actor back in the 60’s, but it has evolved into this myth and legend. It’s such a fascinating concept too. Same person only a different appearance and a different personality. It’s kind of like immortality. I love it. So I’d love to be able to regenerate!

Have you got your tickets for The Science of Doctor Who? Let us know in the comments!

January 17th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

A brand new Doctor Who novel, Into the Nowhere, has been released this week and we recently caught up with its author Jenny Colgan to find out what’s in store within its pages!

This is Jenny’s second contribution to the Doctor’s universe after the success of her debut tie-in novel Dark Horizons.

In Into the Nowhere, part of a new ‘Time Trips’ series, the Eleventh Doctor and Clara land on an alien planet which has been mysteriously erased from existence.

See our Q&A with Jenny below and keep up to date with her on Twitter, @jennycolgan!

Q. Hi again, Jenny! So, the last time we spoke (2012) you were releasing your first Doctor Who novel, Dark Horizons. Have you been happy with the response it’s had from fans?
A. Yes, very happy! The biggest thing for me for me was getting the Doctor’s voice right. To me you should be able to read all the books without knowing which Doctor it is, and know straightaway from the way he speaks. So I was absolutely thrilled when people said I got him. I love writing for Matt.

Q. How did Into the Nowhere come to light?
A. The usual. Pitching, begging, mild blackmail, and generally making a nuisance of myself!

Q. Into the Nowhere is a brand new escapade for the Eleventh Doctor and Clara Oswald. Without giving too much away, what can fans expect from the adventure and which three words would you use to describe it?
A. Hmm. Dark, dangerous, surreal? I think people have been a bit shocked about how full-on it is compared to my normal work. We had to edit down the violence about three times!

Q. The Doctor was travelling alone in Dark Horizons. What’s it been like to write a story that features him alongside his companion?
A. When you write a little bit in advance, sometimes you have to make character decisions. The Doctor doesn’t change his essential personality, but it’s trickier with the assistants. I wrote this after The Name of the Doctor, when Clara’s purpose was revealed, and decided that she would be a bit conflicted by this, that it would run deep, everything she’d had to sacrifice and do, so that’s the angle I took. Then of course I saw The Day of the Doctor and she was as merry as ever. But still, it’s fun to try on on a different take on characters. I think companions can and should be upset and scared sometimes, especially on the Nowhere planet.

Q. You’ve said that you write about things that scare you in the hope that it will scare your readers, too. To prepare them for their potential nightmares, how terrifying did you find the writing process?
A. Well, writing isn’t scary, but I have a terrible phobia in real life, and I think you’ll guess what it is pretty soon into it…

Q. What are your favourite memories of attending last year’s 50th anniversary event at Heathrow Airport (pictured above)?
A. All of it! I loved meeting the BBC Worldwide team. They were great fun. But we were in a terrible rush to get everything done and I was wearing this insanely uncomfortable frock and we ran past the boy band Blue waiting on a plane and they were all like ‘woah’. But my absolute favourite bit was the Cyberman – who was amazing, didn’t break character all day – going up to a little kid waiting in a line and putting his hand on his shoulder. That kid screamed all the way across the departure hall. I’ve never heard anything like it! I think there were a few wet pants that day.

Q. Would you ever be interested in writing an episode of the series?
A. Well, here’s the thing, and I know other fans will understand this completely, I adore just being associated with the show. Nearly everyone who works with it does. I have sold a few scripts in my time, but none of them have been made, and there is hardly a professional writer in this country who wouldn’t jump at the chance to do it, so I’m about 31,415th on the list. But I love watching a Paul Cornell or a Gareth Roberts or a Rob Shearman, so that’s all good. One day I’d like to write something so compelling for the DocTOR they couldn’t not make it somehow. So we all have our dreams.

Q. And what are your thoughts on our incoming Time Lord, Peter Capaldi?
A. I LOVE him. We’re actually second cousins or something. Our grandparents are related. There’s a vibrant Scots/ Italian community, but it isn’t huge. Check out our identical noses. Anyway, he can play absolutely anything, so they have a blank slate. My only worry is that when Chris, David and Matt all came in they had no expectations at all. Matt was like some snotty nosed kid, even David Tennant wasn’t that famous then, which is hard to imagine now. Whereas everyone has already anointed Peter as being brilliant. Bu you just need to look at Twitter to see how snarky the internet is. So that troubles me a bit. Then I remember how great an actor he is and I relax!

Q. Finally, what projects have you got in the pipeline, Doctor Who related or otherwise?
A. The Little Beach Street Bakery is coming out in March. It’s a novel about baking bread and fishermen, and reclaiming your life with less. Then I’d love to write a Peter Capaldi novel or novella. I’m going to call it HOOTS MON THAT’S A BIG BRAW BONNIE DALEK YOUSE HAVE GOT THAYRE.

Instalments of the Time Trips series also include The Death Pit and Salt of the Earth.

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