Doctor Who

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Doctor Who Trump Card Game Redux

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 11/06/2021 - 8:08am in

Back in the late 70s, the British toy firm Jotastar produced a set of trump cards based on Doctor Who. I had a set. I seem to recall I purchased it at a gift shop at Butlin's Holiday Camp in Weston-super-Mare. Now, the quality of Doctor Who merchandise at the time wasn't exactly at its peak. But this pack of forty cards were something else. The instructions gave the game a more verbose title "Doctor Who and the Legendary Legion Trump Card Game" (Note the absence of the word 'Top'). The so-called legion turned out to be a selection of heroes and heroines from history that included four cowboys, Sherlock Holmes and Thor. Not too sure if they consulted a historian for their "legionnaires"! In amongst their number was the eponymous Doctor Who and, predating its sentience in the much later 'The Doctor's Wife', the TARDIS. 

It was in the selection of villains that the set really started cooking with gas. Culled from all of the first four Doctors' eras. these included: Sensorites, Cybermen, Gellguards, Davros, Mechanoids and the Wirrn amongst others. There were also Ogrons and Sea Devils but confusingly, their names had got mixed up.

 The illustrations were somewhat perfunctory. I can only assume the uncredited artist had been told to concentrate on making them colourful as opposed to accurate. The Ogron/Sea Devil was turquoise and looked more like a balding dog whilst the Sensorites were resplendent in their bright orange jump suits. Some of the artwork seemed familiar too... (Where's my Weetabix cards?) I remember noticing that the drawing of Sherlock Holmes heralded from a US Marvel Comics adaptation of 'Hound of the Baskervilles'.

Game play was the same as the branded Top Trumps game. The major difference being that you had three choices of attack instead of four. "Mental Ability", "Weapons" and "Special Powers" - the latter meant that many of the historical figures were a little low in that area. 

You can tell that, despite having a veritable archival smorgasbord of old monster, I was disappointed by the set. Compared to the actual official Top Trumps, they looked pretty shit to be honest. No snazzy plastic keep case to store them in. Jotastar pushed the boat out with a flimsy cardboard box decorated with a doodle of a seemingly blind Tom Baker. 

Fast forward to the present day... A bit bored last weekend so I delved into my file of unfinished projects and ideas. I had wanted to produce a new Doctor Who Monster Book - visually based on the old 1976 one but updated to feature series 11 and 12 of the current run. That would take too much time and involve the fag of writing which I usually abhor. Then the Jotastar trump card game came to mind... Brilliant. I can do that... and maybe even make the illustrations a bit better with new series stuff. So that's what I did over the past few days. Here is a new set of cards in the style of the 70s originals. It would be nice to be able to actually produced a genuine set but costs would no doubt prohibit that. You'll just have to settle for these images. 

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Candy Jar Books: Return to Fang Rock

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/06/2021 - 5:27am in


Doctor Who

Candy Jar Books has announced a very special release for 2021:

The Beast of Fang Rock
By Andy Frankham-Allen
Illustrated by Martin Baines


There’s always death on the rock when the Beast’s about.”


Fang Rock has always had a bad reputation. Since 1955 the lighthouse has been out of commission,

 shut down because of fire that gutted the entire tower. But now, finally updated and fully renovated, the island and lighthouse is once again about to be brought back into service.

Students have gathered on Fang Rock to celebrate the opening of the ‘most haunted lighthouse of the British Isles’, but they get more than they bargained for when the ghosts of long-dead men return, accompanied by a falling star.


Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart is brought in to investigate what he believes to be signs of alien involvement. But it is not only Lethbridge-Stewart who has an interest in Fang Rock. Anne Travers is called to her family solicitor’s, who have in their possession a letter from Archibald Goff, the paranormal investigator who once visited Fang Rock back in the 1820s, and along with it a piece of alien technology.


What connects a shooting star, ghosts of men killed in 1902 and the beast that roamed Fang Rock in 1823? Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers are about to discover the answer first hand...


A new hardback, illustated edition of the novel from 2015.



The new edition was inspired by the illustrated Doctor Who Target books from the early 1970s. Head of Publishing at Candy Jar, Shaun Russell, said:

Beast of Fang Rock has always been one our most popular novels and like Mutually Assured Domination and Times Squared we always planned to reissue it. While I was working on Kklak!: The Doctor Who Art of Chris Achilléos last year I revisited many old Target books, and was struck by the captivating artwork seen in titles such as Doctor Who and The Cave-Monsters. I thought it would be nice to replicate this.

Almost forty-five years after that last Target book Doctor Who and the Planet of the Spiders was issued with illustrations, Shaun approached Martin Baines, who he'd recently worked with on 100 Objects of Dr Who, and thought him ideal to undertake this task. Martin said:

Shaun wanted me to read the book and choose my own sequences to illustrate. In my opinion the TV version of Horror of Fang Rock is a tightly written atmospheric story, but due to television budgets it’s not as visual interesting as it could have been. I wanted to evoke a similar kind of atmosphere as the brilliant Ridley Scott TV series, The Terror.


 Candy Jar Books)<\/a>  Candy Jar Books)<\/a>

Andy Frankham-Allen was also pleased to revisiting Beast of Fang Rock. He said:

It’s been great to return the book over five years later, as there were a few things I wanted to fix. I especially took the chance to get rid of the god-awful prologue (which I've hated since the book was released), and tidied up a few others things that never quite worked for me. Martin has created some wonderful illustrations of some of his favourite scenes, which really elevates the book even more. Coupled with his splendid cover, I can’t wait to see what the fans make of it.

Martin drew his inspiration for the cover on 1960s iconography. He continued:

I wanted to evoke look of an old Hammer Horror movie poster and particularly enjoyed redesigning the Rutan with this in mind. I hope fans embrace my take on this classic monster as much as I enjoyed drawing it.”
Actress Louise Jameson provided the foreword for the story:

Horror of Fang Rock has always been a favourite with the fans. 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.


Beast of Fang Rock: The Illustrated Edition comes with a free postcard, as well as a brand new Lucy Wilson Mysteries book, The Keeper of Fang Rock written by Andy Frankham-Allen:

I’ve written bits of Lucy Wilson before, even started writing one, but time got away with me and Tim Gambrell finished it for me. So, when Shaun and I discussed the companion book to Beast of Fang Rock, we both latched on the idea of doing a sequel with Lucy. The basic idea was simple enough; Lucy goes to Fang Rock and gets caught up in an adventure with a ghost. What’s been really great about this one, is that usually I’m writing about the past (with the LS books it normally the 1970s), but with this one I got to write a story set in the (almost) present. (In this case 2019.) Which meant I could deal with some modern issues and bring in some real diversity. And, of course, Lucy is a great window into today’s world, being so young and receptive to the ever-changing culture we currently live in.


Beast of Fang Rock can be ordered from the Candy Jar website<\/a> - please note that neither this nor The Keeper of Fang Rock are covered by any subscription offfer.


Lucy is taken to Fang Rock by her cousin, Kat. The location of one of her grandad’s greatest adventures. Only the adventure isn’t over yet. It looks like Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart might have left something behind...

 Candy Jar Books)<\/a>

Doctor Who Series 13 Rumours That Probably Aren't True (But Could Be?)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 06/06/2021 - 10:38pm in

We look at the rumours surrounding the upcoming 13th series of Doctor Who and how most of them are almost certainly not going to come true.

Doctor Who: David Tennant Praises "Hugely Creative" Billie Piper

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 05/06/2021 - 2:09am in

Doctor Who star David Tennant had nothing but praise for his "hugely creative and brilliant" one-time co-star Billie Piper.

Doctor Who: The Age of Chaos (and get 50% off ‘Seasons of Fear’!)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 02/06/2021 - 7:03pm in


Doctor Who

Welcome to my Wednesday Blog. Which has gone all Doctor Who all of a sudden.

Doctor Who: The Age of Chaos

Doctor Who: The Age of Chaos is (the last of?) Panini’s collected editions of the Who comic strips from Doctor Who Magazine.  This one rounds up all the remaining uncollected odds and ends, including a lead story by Colin Baker which was originally published as a graphic novel.  And it’s got a strip by me in it, with Lee Sullivan on art, ‘Metamorphosis’, which was originally published in one of the Yearbooks.  There are all the usual lovely extras, including notes from the creative teams, and I was even given the chance to fix the placing of a rogue speech balloon!  It’s out on July 1st, and you can pre-order here.  

Cover by John M. Burns.

Seasons of Fear is On Sale!

In the most recent of the Radio Times polls of Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas, this one for the Eighth Doctor, it was delightful to find that Seasons of Fear, co-written by myself and my wife, Caroline Symcox, came fifth! You can see what made places one to four, and get 50% off a download of the play (until midnight BST on June 7th), here.

Cover by Clayton Hickman.

The Modern Frankenstein #2-#5

#2 of my twisted horror romance comic with artist Emma Vieceli, colour artist Pippa Bowland and letterer Simon Bowland is out now, #3 will be in your comic stores on June 23rd, and you can pre-order #5 from your local comic shop (using Previews code JUN211575) until June 24th.  Here’s the newly-released cover to #5.  

Cover by Vieceli and Bowland.

New I Walk With Monsters Interview

With the series finished, artist Sally Cantirino and I sat down for a chat at CBR.  It was good to be able to talk about the whole sweep of the thing.  


Rosebud is my forthcoming (on April 26th 2022!) gonzo hard SF novella from Publishing. It’s a spaceship book with lots of comedy, lots of science and a bit of wallop. Here’s the blurb:

“The crew of the Rosebud are, currently, and by force of law, a balloon, a goth with a swagger stick, some sort of science aristocrat possibly, a ball of hands, and a swarm of insects. Digitally speaking, that is. The ship has assembled its crew of sentient artificial intelligences to discuss an unusual object picked up by its sensors. They have no idea what this encounter will mean for the fate of all existence. Nor will they remember. The story is a humorous tale in the vein of Douglas Adams with lots to say about choice, reality, programming, and what it means to be a person.”

You can find many more details, including how to order from several US bookstores, here. And if you want to pre-order from Amazon UK, you can do that here.

Here’s the lovely cover.

Cover by Jim Tierney. (The Seanan McGuire blurb is a placeholder from Witches of Lychford.)

I’m Back at Star Trek

#25 of IDW’s Star Trek Year Five comic is the Epilogue to this wonderful series, and for this 36 page special, they’ve invited me back, alongside all the other creators on the run, to contribute a tiny bit to the end. It’ll be out on 28th July and you can pre-order it from your local comic shop until 5th July.

Cover A by Stephen Thompson.

Vote for I Walk With Monsters!

The Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards is an annual celebration of the creativity, skill and fun of comics. The nomination ballot is determined by fans and pros alike. If you’ve been enjoying I Walk With Monsters, the fifth issue of which is out next week, please consider voting for us. You can read more about the awards here, and nominate here. Voting is open until 24th June. Thank you!

Digital Comics Always Updated

Since ComiXology change their offers every week, I’ve gathered all my back catalogue of comics into one place, in UK and US versions of ComiXology, letting you see what’s going cheap this week. Right now there are long-term discounts on my DC and Doctor Who work.

Newsletter Sign-Up

If you’d like to hear about all of my doings before this blog comes out, then you need my Friday Newsletter, which has all the news and its own exclusives. You can sign up here.

See you next Wednesday!

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Doctor Who: Barrowman Thanks Fans for "Countless Messages of Support"

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 01/06/2021 - 2:45am in

With his Dancing on Ice future "in doubt," Doctor Who star John Barrowman posted a video thanking fans for "countless messages of support."

Doctor Who Star Jo Martin Talks "Time Fracture", Takes Quickfire Quiz

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 31/05/2021 - 1:07am in

Doctor Who star Jo Martin explains how Time Fracture will make audiences "feel very alive," and then takes a Quickfire Quiz about the show.

Doctor Who Star Tom Baker's The Curator Returns for UNIT: Nemesis

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 30/05/2021 - 5:57am in

Doctor Who star Tom Baker is set to return at The Curator this November for Big Finish Productions' upcoming UNIT: Nemesis audio dramas.

Walking/Running Around Doctor Who: Time Fracture in London (Video)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 28/05/2021 - 1:44am in


TV, BBC, Doctor Who

Doctor Who: Time Fracture is an interactive live-action immersive theatre that has just launched in London. Originally intended to tie in with last year's

Doctor Who's Paradise Towers Gets A Sequel As A Comic Book

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 23/05/2021 - 8:58pm in

Paradise Towers is not the most loved Doctor Who story of all time. An attempt by Doctor Who to be all political and relevant, it saw mystical being, and