Thursday, January 15, 2009


Doctor Who 45th Anniversary – Why Was 2000 Brilliant?

Big Finish really hit their stride with some thrilling audio dramas: Sylv’s The Fires of Vulcan, The Genocide Machine and brilliant, New Adventuresish The Fearmonger and The Shadow of the Scourge; Colin’s The Marian Conspiracy and, most captivatingly, Rob Shearman’s darkly comic The Holy Terror. The Web of Fear is grippingly recreated on stage at The Portsmouth Arts Centre. The books include Colin’s Grave Matter and Tom’s Festival of Death, reaching their pinnacle in Paul Cornell’s most wonderful story…

Doctor Who – The Shadows of Avalon
“Stories are about endings. They don’t mean anything unless they come to an end.”
The first Doctor Who to make me cry brilliantly explores the Doctor’s loss through the Brigadier’s – and tells of hopeless bravery, Faerie Silurians, Time Lord swearing, Armando Iannucci and The Proper Use for Chandeliers. The Doctor and his friends rediscover themselves, and at the end…
“From across the blackened turret, the sound came again… The Doctor closed his eyes and luxuriated in it. Could it really be? To him that sound meant home, safety, freedom –
“And adventures in time and space.”

Any time now we might hit novels that are still in print. But not yet, sadly, so do search it out second-hand. Fortunately, you can still get all the Big Finish plays on CD and download. Most of all, though, find this marvellous, marvellous book – even just flicking through it looking for quotes this evening, I’m a sufficiently soft old thing that I worried Richard by bursting into tears.

In real time, Paul’s signing his new Captain Britain graphic novel at Forbidden Planet in London this evening. I’m intrigued; I’ve read no Captain Britain for about two and a half decades, but I remember it being quite Arthurian, and that’s a favourite theme of Paul’s – The Shadows of Avalon itself is a mixture of love letter and literary criticism for Battlefield. I’m tempted to go, but am concerned that, in my present mood, I may blub.

“The Brigadier’s lips managed to form the word. ‘Doctor?’
“All around him, the UNIT men had started to cheer.
“‘About time and all,’ said Joe Boyce.”

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