Lethbridge-Stewart: The Runaway Bomb

Lethbridge-Stewart: The Runaway Bomb (Credit: Candy Jar Books)Candy Jar Books have announced the second free Lethbridge-Stewart short story of 2017, The Runaway Bomb, which accompanies this month's release of Night of the Intelligence.

Range Editor Andy Frankham-Allen explains the story's origins:
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.
Author of both the original inspiration and this followup short story is Nick Walters, who 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 series 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.

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!


Night of the Intelligence is available for pre-order now, either individually or as part of a discounted UK bundle.

In addition, as part of the celebration Candy Jar are offering a special anniverary bundle – buy the three Great Intelligence novels The Forgotten Son (Andy Frankham-Allen), Times Squared (Rick Cross), and Night of the Intelligence and get The Schizoid Earth (David A McIntee) for free.

See the Candy Jar website for full details.

Extremis – Press Reaction

Extremis: Bill (Pearl Mackie), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide (Simon Ridgway))Ingenious, breath-taking television is how Radio Times described this weeks episode of Doctor Who, Extremis. "Once in a while a Doctor Who story comes along like no other you’ve seen before. One that keeps surprising, and amusing, and tantalising from start to finish. Extremis is one of those stories"

The Telegraph felt this week's monsters were suitably scary "In a classic case of keeping the monster unseen for as long as possible, we didn’t get to meet this story’s antagonists until past the episode’s halfway point. When we eventually did, they were suitably terrifying: clad in blood-red robes, with creepy claw-hands and zombie-esque faces which recalled The Mummy film franchise."

While The Mirror enjoyed the episode, it found the script to complicated. "The problem with Extremis isn’t in the watching of the episode. The problem with Extremis is afterwards, when you stop and think about the episode. Yes, I’ve got a case of Moffatitis"

Digital Spy agreed the plot was to difficult to follow. "This week's outing feels like a step backwards. Starting and ending in two totally different places, and leaving the audience baffled in between, It's anything but straightforward, going against the back-to-basics ethos that previous episodes have adhered to."

The script was not a problem for IGN, which enjoyed the complex nature of the story. "Moffat jumps around quite a bit with “Extremis,” aligning a variety of elements to get this first part of the story off the ground, but of course the return of Michelle Gomez as Missy -- and the revelation that, yes, it’s her in the vault -- is of particular note."

Den of Geek also enjoyed the story as a prelude to a multi-episode tale. "Extremis isn’t action-packed, isn’t jammed with effects, and doesn’t need extensive explanations. Its idea is in fact beautifully simple: it’s a dry run for something very big, and very nasty."

AV Club called the episode a great, experimental Doctor Who and in particular praised the lead actor. "Peter Capaldi is perilously close to becoming my unqualified pick for favorite Doctor, and the overriding reason is on display as he gently breaks it to Bill that neither of them nor anything else in this world is real. He underplays the moment, making small choices to signal both his compassion and his heartbreak."

Screen Rant admired the premise of the story, "The hour has fun with its exploration of the Truth and in slowly pulling the rug out from under both audience and character. The reveal that the Doctor, Bill, and Nardole are in a massive computer simulation meant to test possible outcomes for an imminent alien invasion gives Moffat the chance to deliver a handful of delightfully unnerving scenes, culminating with a mass suicide at CERN"

Finally Games Radar thought the Doctor Who deosn't get much better than this. "When you realise that nothing you’ve seen is ‘real’, you see how fooled you were from the very beginning like the Doctor, Bill, and Nardole. You see that the suicides, initially looking like a bit of cheap intrigue, were a clue all along. The book Veritas isn’t just a plot device used to introduce the monsters, it’s the key to the entire episode."

Extremis: Overnight Viewing Figures

Extremis: The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) (Credit: BBC/BBC Worldwide (Simon Ridgway))Doctor Who - Extremis achieved an overnight viewing audience of 4.16 million viewers, a share of 22.7% of the total TV audience, according to unofficial figures. This figure is up on last week's, where Oxygen achieved 3.57m(20%).

The episode was third most watched show of the day, with ITV's Britain's Got Talent as usual taking the top spot with 9.13m viewers and a whopping 44.7% share of the total television audience! Second place went to Pointless Celebrities, which was watched by 4.52m viewers (28.9% share).

Consolidated viewing figures are expected to be released by BARB on 29th May, which should see Doctor Who's figure increase.

Now We Are Six Hundred

BBC Books have announced a new hardback book for the summer to tie in with National Poetry Day:

Now We Are Six Hundred (Credit: BBC Books)BBC Books Publishing Director Albert DePetrillo has acquired Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred, the very first collection of Time Lord verse. BBC Books have world rights, with North American rights sold to HarperCollins.

A gentle and humorous riff on the classic Now We Are Six, this is a collection of charming, funny and whimsical poems that celebrate the joys, sorrows and wonders of Time Lord life. Written by author James Goss, the book features illustrations by former Doctor Who Executive Producer Russell T Davies – his first role as an illustrator, using the comic artist skills he developed in his youth.

Albert DePetrillo says:
This is a book I’ve long wanted to publish, and James and Russell have realised the idea brilliantly, well beyond anything I’d hoped. It’s something very special, a unique gift for every Doctor Who fan. For full effect, please be sure to read these poems aloud to your friends, preferably more than once.
James Goss says:
BBC Books have carefully baited an irresistible trap to lure people into reading poetry. Russell's beautiful illustrations make this the most charming Doctor Who book there's ever been (and I'm including that magical first Doctor Who book you discovered as a child). The poems have been a delight to work on. Who could resist retelling the fiendish Daleks’ Masterplan in verse, or finding bizarre and ludicrous rhymes for monster names?
Russell T Davies says:
I’ve been drawing for Doctor Who long before I was writing it, so it was like time-travel for me, voyaging back to that young scribbler who used to cover his school desk with Daleks!

Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred will be published in hardback on 14th September, two weeks before National Poetry Day on 28th September.

10.6: Extremis – DWO Spoiler-Free Preview

As we approach the halfway marker of Series 10, it's clear we've had a very strong season so far, but it's a point where we start to wonder how long the momentum can last. With the return of Missy, and an episode written by Steven Moffat, however, you may just have to wait a little longer as this series continues to deliver with Extremis.

From the off, Moffat is on fine form; the episode starts 'A long time ago' as we spiral in on an unknown planet that specialises in executions. To name either the executioner or the condemned would be giving too much away, but typical of Moffat's style, this little narrative which fades in and out of the main story is a pleasant distraction, and you keep wanting to know its resolution.

Ok..we can hear you asking... and YES - we do get to find out who or what is inside the vault, but as we read our checklist of what we can and can't mention in our preview, alas, the identity is something we cannot reveal - although the more astute among you will have probably guessed by now.

The episode is centred around a book called The Veritas - something that anyone who has read has soon after died. The way in which The Doctor is involved is straight out of a Dan Brown novel. In fact, The Doctor can very easily be compared to Robert Langdon (the central character in Brown's books); a smart man, called in by the Catholic church to solve a chilling mystery at its heart. There are scenes that appear to be straight out of Angels And Demons, and the adventure is all the richer for it. Previewing an episode like this is incredibly difficult without giving anything away, but, as you can expect, there is something much larger going on behind the scenes here, and you'll be left with way more questions before the titles roll.

There are so many elements that pull together to form a truly amazing episode of Doctor Who; you have the central season arc referenced, there are truly, TRULY terrifying villains, some amazing sets and locations and a terrific score that makes the adventure way larger than the sum of its parts. In many ways, Extremis feels more like a movie than it does an episode, and by the time the 48-minute timeframe is up, you are desperate for more. For the second time this season there are echoes of Silence In The Library; helped, in part, that there are several scenes set inside the Vatican library, and the re-emergence of a certain...ahem...diary.

We mentioned a couple of episodes back how the horror element has been ramped this season, something that is reminiscent of the Hinchcliffe years of Doctor Who, and as far as villains go, we think that the hooded monks are quite possibly the most frightening and chilling monsters the show has had to date. The look and feel of the monks, coupled with the way in which they talk will creep you out to the max.

Not sure if it is deliberate, but look out for the familiar melody from the opening bars of Thunderball that repeat themeslves throughout Murray Gold's score for Extremis. The similarities to Bond don't end there either, as there's something very Thomas Newman-esque about it, and at one point near the end, there's another familiar Bond riff. Comparisons aside, Gold's music once again takes centre stage and accompanies the adventure with audible precision.

Extremis, although a slower episode than we're used to this season (which isn't a bad thing), is a wonderful reminder of just how good Steven Moffat is as a writer, and why we've been so lucky to have him at the heart of Doctor Who for the past 7 years. This feels like the beginning of his swan song and he is going out in a blaze of glory. But before all that, The Pyramid At The End Of The World beckons...



5 Things To Look Out For:

1) ”Prydonian Chapter”
2)  CERN
3)  Shhhh! Spoilers!
4)  Someone has the authority to "kick The Doctor's ass"!
5)  The return of a location The Doctor last visited in Series 6.

+  10.6: Extremis airs This Saturday at 7:25pm on BBC One.

[Source: DWO]

Review: The Infinity Engines [Book 1]: Anachronist: A Time Travel Adventure

Publisher: Amazon Media

Written By: Andrew Hastie

RRP: £9.99 (Paperback) / £2.99 (Kindle)

Release Date: January 2015

Reviewed by: Doctor Who Online

Review Posted: 12th May 2017

DWO regularly receives a wide range of products to review; some Doctor Who related and some indirectly related to the Doctor Who universe. Whilst Andrew Hastie's The Infinity Engines series isn't a Doctor Who title, we couldn't help but feel that there were several strands that connected to the whoniverse, and the first book in the series 'Anachronist' is one many who fans will love and find it hard to put down.

Anachronist is the perfect blend of History and Science Fiction with intelligent plot devices, rich characters and more time travel than you can shake a stick at. In fact, this is a story that will give any Doctor Who fan that warm, Mr Kipling-esque feeling of familiarity. The first chapter even feels like a pre-titles sequence set-up that literally launches you right into the action. There's a slight feeling of John Green in Hastie's style, and at its heart (and much like a John Green title) this is a coming of age story.

The time travel element is set up pretty quickly, and without giving to much away, Josh (the main character), quickly finds himself in the past in historical Prussia in 1944. Hastie's ability to weave in actual historical elements, whilst carving out his own unique story is seamless and refreshing, and you go to so many places and points in time that the book never tires or stagnates.

Anachronist has something for everyone, and for those of you who are a sucker for a romance, Hastie has that covered for you, too! Nothing is shoe-horned in for effect, everything has its place and a meaning and the reader genuinely cares for Josh and the people he meets along the way.

The book ends on a cliffhanger, and you will be climbing the walls desperate for a resolution. We just wish we could time travel into the future to read it!

 

+  Anachronist: A Time Travel Adventure is Out Now, priced £9.99 / $12.99.
+  Buy this book on Amazon!
+  Follow Infinity Engines on Twitter.