A podcast exploring the written worlds of Doctor Who...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

For January: A Device of Death

Episode 12, in which we review Atom Bomb Blues by Andrew Cartmel is now available here.  As the new year breezes in, we go back in time to savor something a little more vintage from the Virgin Missing Adventures line.

Assuming you haven't notice the image planted to the left of this text, our next review will be A Device of Death by Christopher Bulis.  From the back cover:

'As a member of an inferior race, you either work to serve the cause of Averon, or die.'

Sarah is marooned on a slave world where the only escape is death.  Harry is caught in the middle of an interplanetary invasion, and has to combine medicine with a desperate mission.  And the Doctor lands on a world so secret it does not even have a name.
Why have the TARDIS crew been scattered across the stars?  What terrible accident could have wiped the Doctor's memory?  And what could interest the Time Lords in this war-torn sector of space?

At the heart of a star-spanning conspiracy lies an ancient quest: people have been making weapons since the dawn of time -- but perhaps someone has finally discovered the ultimate device of death.

A Device of Death is slotted nicely in between the television stories "Genesis of the Daleks" and "Revenge of the Cybermen," so presumably something goes haywire with the time ring provided to the Doctor and his friends.  (Fun fact: this is Erik's favorite period of the show, so he is particularly looking forward to this one.)

This episode will be the first in which we have a "repeat author"; we previously read Christopher Bulis' The Sorcerer's Apprentice for our first episode back in January of 2011, so in a way we've come full circle (yes, we've been doing this for a year, and we can hardly believe it ourselves).  Although The Sorcerer's Apprentice is perhaps Bulis' best-known work, he also penned four other Virgin Missing Adventures, one for BBC's Eighth Doctor range, and five for BBC's past Doctors range.

Thank you to those of you that have dedicated a year to listening to us, and we are looking forward to providing you with many more reviews in the year(s) to come.  In the meantime, grab a cup of tea, sit back in your easy chair, and immerse yourself in A Device of Death.

Fun links:

"A Device of Death" on Amazon  (Yes, it's expensive!)

Please "like" us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter via @dwbcpodcast, Erik via @sjcaustenite, and Sean via @tardistavern.  Happy reading and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

For December: Atom Bomb Blues

If you still haven't listened to Erik & Sean's rousing discussion of Alien Bodies, you can download the episode here.

Before Sean switched on his randomizer to pick this month's selection from the proverbial hat, he had to think back about whether or not the BBC provided any past Doctor novels involving Christmas.  Answer: They didn't.  So, for December we present Atom Bomb Blues by Andrew Cartmel.  From the back cover:

Los Alamos, New Mexico, 1945.  The Second World War is coming to its bloody conclusion, and in the American desert the race is on to build an atomic bomb.

The fate of the world is at stake -- in more ways than one.  Someone, or something, is trying to alter the course of history at this most delicate point.  And destroy the human race.  Posing as a nuclear scientist with Ace as his research assistant, the Doctor plays detective among the Manhattan Project scientists, while desperately trying to avoid falling under suspicion himself.

As the minutes tick away to the world's first atom bomb blast, the Doctor and Ace find themselves up to their necks in spies, aliens of the flying-saucer variety, and some very nasty saboteurs from another dimension...

Published in November, 2005, this novel is the final installment of the BBC's Past Doctor Adventures.  They had already begun releasing the New Series Adventures featuring the Ninth Doctor and Rose months earlier, something of a death toll for the Past Doctor and Eighth Doctor series.

Author Andrew Cartmel is best known as the shows script editor from seasons 24 through 26 and for spearheading the "Cartmel Master Plan," which would have come to fruition in season 27, had the show not been cancelled.  This would have involved peeling away much of the Doctor's mysterious persona and revealing much of his back story.  They had barely touched the tip of the iceberg in "Silver Nemesis" by dropping hints that the Doctor harbored some deep, dark secret.  This was continued in the Virgin New Series Adventures, particularly in the final Seventh Doctor installment, Marc Platt's Lungbarrow.

The BBC Past Doctor Adventures which feature the Seventh Doctor and Ace differ quite a lot from the Virgin New Adventures not just in the way they exclude characters like Roz and Chris (if one were to be a continuity hound, all of the Past Doctor Adventures would take place before all of the Virgin New Adventures), but they feature a Doctor and Ace who are less riddled with angst than we saw in a novel like Conundrum.

Fun links:

The Doctor Who Reference Guide BEWARE: SPOILERS!
Andrew Cartmel's Wikipedia Page

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter via @dwbcpodcast, or email us at dwbcpodcast@gmail.com.  You can also follow Erik on Twitter via @sjcaustenite and Sean via @tardistavern.