The Doctor Who Book Club Podcast
Episode 35: Happy Endings

First of all, we profusely apologize for the delay in this month’s release, but what with family visiting at the holidays, influenza, and whatnot we really couldn’t hammer this one out by the end of November.  This is ironic, because it may be our shortest episode ever.

This time around we discuss Paul Cornell’s Happy Endings, the celebratory 50th Virgin New Adventure perhaps also known as “The One in Which Benny Gets Married and Every Major Character from Every New Adventure is Invited to the Wedding”.

From the back cover:

‘Doctor, this is my fiancé.  Please don’t kill him.’

You are cordially invited to the wedding of Mr Jason Kane and Professor Bernice S. Summerfield, to be held in the village of Cheldon Bonniface in the year 2010.

If everything works out, that is.  Between rows, fights and pre-emptive divorce proceedings, there may not be a wedding at all.  Especially if there really is someone who wants to prevent it happening.

Everybody’s coming: from Ice Warriors to UNIT veterans, a flirtatious Ace to a suspicious Hamlet Macbeth – and a very confused trio of Isley Brothers.  The Doctor has to organize a buffet, Roz has a mystery to solve, and Chris has a girlfriend who used to be the Timewyrm.

Paul Cornell, of course, is known for introducing Benny Summerfield in Love and War and has also written Human Nature, for which he penned the teleplay for the television series.

Sit back, pour yourself a glass of champagne, and listen in as we review Happy Endings.

Feel free to email us at, follow the podcast on Twitter via @dwbcpodcast, Erik via @sjcaustenite, and Sean via @tardistavern.  Also, a very big THANK YOU to those of you who approached us at L.I. Who and DFW Whofest!

Direct download: Episode_35_Happy_Endings.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:43pm CST

Episode 34: Scream of the Shalka

This month we take a detour from our usual schedule and, instead of reviewing a Virgin New Adventure (which would naturally come after a Virgin Missing Adventure), we elected to talk about Paul Cornell’s Scream of the Shalka, which was recently released on DVD and seemed like a timely novel to discuss.  From the back cover:

When the Doctor lands his TARDIS in the Lancaster town of Lannet, in the present day, he finds that something is terribly wrong. The people are scared. They don't like going out onto the streets at night, they don't like making too much noise, and they certainly don't like strangers asking too many questions.

What alien force has invaded the town? Why is it watching barmaid Alison Cheney? And what plans does it have for the future of the planet Earth?

The Doctor is helped (and hindered) by his new military liaison Major Kennet and his Royal Green Jacket troops. His old enemy the Master also plays a small part. During the course of this adventure he encounters a brand new race of ferocious alien monsters, and strikes up a friendship with his latest companion, Alison.

While starting with a small community under threat, this old-fashioned, very traditional but very up-to-date Doctor Who adventure takes in the entire world, from New Zealand to India, Siberia to the USA, and cosmic expanses beyond.

Scream of the Shalka originally appeared as an animated six-part web series in 2003 featuring Richard E. Grant as the Ninth Doctor, and more stories may have been produced had the release of the new series not been announced soon thereafter.  In 2004, Paul Cornell published this novelization of the series, which included 50 pages of production notes on the web series.  Cornell also penned Timewyrm: Revelation, Love and War, No Future, Human Nature, and Happy Endings, all Virgin New Adventures.

Please “Like” us on Facebook, email us at, and follow us on Twitter via @dwbcpodcast.  You can also follow Erik via @sjcaustenite and Sean via @tardistavern.

Direct download: Episode_34_Scream_of_the_Shalka.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:35pm CST

Episode 33: Downtime

It’s Virgin Missing Adventure time at The Doctor Who Book Club, but this month’s adventure wasn’t really missing in the first place and, well, it doesn’t really prominently feature a Doctor, either.  This month we bring you Downtime, based on the independently written screenplay by Marc Platt which was filmed in the early 1990’s and released a year or so before the novelization was published.  From the back cover:

Across the room, in a high-backed leather chair Victoria saw the old man from the reading room.  His face was curiously young for someone so long dead.

In 1966 the Doctor defeated the Great Intelligence, but he knew it wasn’t a final victory.  And his companion Victoria, whose mind had once hosted the evil entity, might still fall prey to its power.

Now it seems that his fears are justified.  In a Tibetan monastery, the monks display unearthly powers – UNIT are investigating.  A new university has opened in London with a secret agenda that may threaten the whole country.  Victoria, abandoned in an age very different from her own, and haunted by visions of a father she refuses to believe is dead, is slipping into despair and madness.  But are the visions which plague her really hallucinations?  Or has the Great Intelligence once again made Earth its target for invasion?

If you enjoy irony, it’s worth noting that Platt intended Downtime to be the last installment in a trilogy (after “The Abominable Snowmen” and “The Web of Fear”) and to resolve the conflict of the Great Intelligence.  One wonders if he did a bit of air-punching this last Christmas day.

Be sure to “like” us on Facebook, email us at, and follow us on Twitter via @dwbcpodcast.  You can also follow Erik via @sjcaustenite and Sean via @tardistavern.

Direct download: Episode_33_Downtime.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:35pm CST

Episode 32: Fear of the Dark

Just one day late, we bring you August’s episode, our recap and discussion of Trevor Baxendale’s Fear of the Dark, featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, and a bunch of miners.  From the back cover:

On the very edge of the galaxy lies Akoshemon: a putrefied world of legendary evil.

In the year 2382 archaeologists land on Akoshemon’s only moon, searching for evidence of the planet’s infamous past.  But when the Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa are drawn into the lunar caverns they find more than a team of academics – and help uncover more than ancient history.

Something is lying in wait, deep inside the labyrinth of caves: something that remembers the spiral of war, pestilence and deprivation that ruined Akoshemon.  Something that rejoiced in every kind of horror and destruction.

An age-old terror is about to be reborn.  But what is the hideous secret of the Bloodhunter?  And why does Nyssa feel that her thoughts are no longer her own?  Forced to confront his own worse fears, even the Doctor will be pushed to breaking point – and beyond.

Fear of the Doctor is one of eleven novels recently republished by the BBC, each one featuring a different Doctor for the 50th anniversary.  Thus, we are happy to tell you that it is readily available (and affordable!).

Catch us on Facebook, email us at, and follow us on Twitter via @dwpcpodcast.  You can also follow Erik via @sjcaustenite and Sean via @tardistavern.

Direct download: Episode_32_Fear_of_the_Dark.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:49pm CST

Episode 31: The Tomorrow Windows

What happens when you add 12 to this month’s episode number?  You get 42.  Thus, we present our discussion of Jonathan Morris’ The Tomorrow Windows, one author’s take of Douglas Adams possible take of an Eighth Doctor adventure.

Although Morris may be best known for his Big Finish work such as Bloodtide and Flip Flop, this is his third novel in the BBC range, preceded by Festival of Death and Anachrophobia.  He is still actively turning out audio stories, and can be heard narrating the mini-documentary “Paris in Springtime” on the “City of Death” DVD release.  Do we predict a call from Steven Moffat in the future?

From the back cover:

There’s a new exhibition at Tate Modern – ‘The Tomorrow Windows’.

The concept is simple: look through a Tomorrow Window and you’ll see into the future.  You’ll get ‘The Gist of Things to Come’.  According to the press pack, the Tomorrow Windows exhibition will bring about an end to war and suffering.

Which is why someone decides to blow it up.

Investigating this act of wanton vandalism, the Doctor, Fitz, and Trix visit an Astral Flower, the show-world of Utopia and Gadrahadradon – the most haunted planet in the galaxy.  They face the sinister Ceccecs, the gratuitously violent Vorshagg, the miniscule Micron and the enigmatic Poozle.  And they encounter the doomsday monks of Shardybarn, the warmongers of Valuensis, the politicians on Minuea and the killer cars of Estebol.

They also spend about half an hour in Lewisham.

Pour yourself a cup of Earl Grey and sit back and relax as we discuss The Tomorrow Windows.

Don’t forget to look for us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter via @dwbcpodcast.  Also follow Erik via @sjcaustenite and Sean via @tardistavern.

Direct download: Episode_31_The_Tomorrow_Windows.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:40pm CST

Episode 30: Lungbarrow

It took us 30 episodes, but we finally got around to it: this month we present our discussion of possibility the most iconic novel in the Virgin New Adventures, Lungbarrow by Marc Platt.  You may fondly recall when we reviewed Platt’s Cat’s Cradle: Time’s Crucible back in Episode 10.  Platt also wrote “Ghost Light” as well as a number of stories in the Big Finish range.  Needless to say, despite the limited amount of stories he’s contributed to the Doctor Who canon, his work is influential if not controversial.  From the back cover of Lungbarrow:

‘Nonsense, child,’ retorted the Doctor.  ‘Grandfather indeed!  I’ve never seen you before in my life!’

All is not well on Gallifrey.  Chris Cwej is having someone else’s nightmares.  Ace is talking to herself.  So is K-9.  Leela has stumbled on a murderous family conspiracy.  And the beleaguered Lord President, Romanadvoratrelundar, foresees one of the most tumultuous events in her plant’s history.

At the root of all is an ancient and terrible place, the House of Lungbarrow in the southern mountains of Gallifrey.  Something momentous is happening there.  But the House has inexplicably gone missing.

673 years ago the Doctor left his family in that forgotten House.  Abandoned, disgraced and resentful, they have waited.  And now he’s home at last.

In this, the seventh Doctor’s final New Adventure, he faces a threat that could uncover the greatest secret of them all.

Pour yourself a nice tall glass of Gallifreyan ale and sit back and enjoy as we try to pick apart Marc Platt’s Lungbarrow!

Remember to look for us on Facebook, email us at, and follow us on Twitter via @dwbcpodcast.  You can also follow Erik via @sjcaustenite and Sean via @tardistavern.

Direct download: Episode_30_Lungbarrow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:49pm CST

Episode 29: State of Change

We bring you May’s episode in mid-June, as real life gave both of us a swift kick in the pants last month.  Next up is State of Change by Christopher Bulis, a Virgin Missing Adventure featuring the Sixth Doctor and Peri.  From the back cover:

‘In less than 25 years the Romans have invented electricity generation, airships, radio and who knows what else.  Is that reasonable?’

Ancient Egypt, 41BC.  The Doctor and Peri watch as Cleopatra’s pleasure barge glides up the Nile in preparation for her fateful meeting with Mark Anthony.  And an alien presence observes the TARDIS, waits for it to dematerialize, then pounces.

When the time ship lands, the Doctor and Peri find themselves in ancient Rome, in the tomb of Cleopatra.  But something is very wrong.  The tomb walls depict steam-driven galleys and other disturbing anachronisms.  The Roman Empire is preparing for a devastating war – using weapons from the future capable of destroying the entire world.

Bulis has written a number of Doctor Who novels, some for the Missing Adventures range, including The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Eye of the Giant, Twilight of the Gods, and A Device of Death.  This marks his first book in the series.

Don’t forget that, at the time of this release, Mad Norwegian Press’ Queers Dig Time Lords will be available for sale, with an article written on podcasting by none other than our own humble co-host Erik!  Buy your copy today!  (We already did.)

Go ahead and send us feedback to and also be sure to “like” us on Facebook!  Follow Erik on Twitter via @sjcaustenite and Sean via @tardistavern.

Direct download: Episode_29_State_of_Change.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:48pm CST

Episode 28: Independence Day

It’s July in April, because this month we bring you an honest and sometimes hilarious review of Independence Day by Peter Darvill-Evans (and we must insist that this book has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the film of the same name).  From the back cover:

‘Danger is my middle name,’ Ace said, ‘or it would be if I had more than one.  I can look after myself these days, you know.’

Freedom.  Liberty.  Free will.  Independence.  Choice.  Everyone wants to be free.  But at what point does freedom become irresponsibility?  What happens when one person’s choice causes another’s oppression?

The Doctor’s on a simple mission to return a communications device he borrowed years previously.  Being a Time Lord, he can return it before anyone misses it.

But events in the Mendeb system have moved more quickly than the Doctor estimated, and he lands in the ruins of a civilisation devastated by mysterious intruders.

That sounds so prophetic and mysterious, doesn’t it?  If you’ve read the book, maybe you can shoot us an email explaining what the front cover is all about.

Peter Darvill-Evans was an editor at W.H. Allen, Ltd., the company that published the Target novelizations of the televised stories, and he later became an editor for Virgin.  Much of the content for the Virgin New Adventures crossed his desk, and he even wrote an entry in the series himself, entitled Deceit.  Independence Day is his second Who book, and a year later he published another BBC Past Doctor Adventure, Asylum.

Look for us on Facebook or send us email at  Also, follow Erik on Twitter via @sjcaustenite and Sean via @tardistavern.  Happy reading!

Direct download: Episode_28_Independence_Day.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:51pm CST

Episode 27: The Scarlet Empress

This March it’s all about Paul Magrs (pronounced “mars”, by the way).  That means we’re serving up a whopping dose of gin and tonics with The Scarlet Empress, the novel that introduced the world to Iris Wildthyme.  From the back cover:

Arriving on the almost impossibly ancient planet of Hyspero, a world where magic and danger walk hand in hand, the Doctor and Sam are caught up in a bizarre struggle for survival.

Hyspero has been ruled for thousands of years by the Scarlet Empresses, creatures of dangerous powers – powers that a member of the Doctor’s own race is keen to possess herself: the eccentric time traveller and philanderer known only as Iris Wildthyme.

As the real reason for Iris’s obsession becomes clear, the Doctor and Sam must embark on a perilous journey across deserts, mountains, forests and oceans.  Both friends and foes are found among spirts, djinns, alligator men and golden bears – but in a land where the magical is possible, is anything really as it seems?

Feel free to email us at and follow us Twitter via @dwbcpodcast.  Also, follow Erik via @sjcaustenite and Sean via @tardistavern.

Direct download: Episode_27_The_Scarlet_Empress.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:36pm CST

Episode 26: White Darkness

February means Valentine’s Day, Gallifrey One, and, of course, zombies.  Without further ado, we’re proud as peaches to present our release for this month, White Darkness by David A. McIntee.  From the back cover:

‘We believe that death should always be a part of life.’

The Doctor’s last three visits to the scattered human colonies of the third millennium have not been entirely successful.  And now that Ace has rejoined him and Bernice, life on board the TARDIS is getting pretty stressful.  The Doctor yearns for a simpler time and place: Earth, the tropics, the early twentieth century.

The TARDIS lands in Haiti in the early years of the First World War.  And the Doctor, Bernice and Ace land in a murderous plot involving voodoo, violent death, Zombies and German spies.  And perhaps something else – something far, far worse.

In what has now become an annual tradition, this episode was recorded “live” at Gallifrey in Los Angeles with a special guest: longtime listener and co-host of The Doctor Who Podcast, Michele.

White Darkness is the first Doctor Who novel by David A. McIntee, who went on to write ten other novels, all in the different ranges of the series, including The Dark Path, which we reviewed back in Episode 8.  He also authored some Big Finish stories as well a few stories in the range of Star Trek novels.

And finally, thank you to Siobhan Gallichan of The DWO Whocast and The Flashing Blade podcast for providing this month’s reading.

You can email us at and follow us on Twitter via @dwbcpodcast.  Also follow Erik via @sjcaustenite and Sean via @tardistavern.

Direct download: Episode_26_White_Darkness.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:25pm CST