The Doctor Who Book Club Podcast

And thanks for all the fish!

Direct download: Episode_61_The_End.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:36pm CDT

Episode 60: Invasion of the Cat-People

With Erik back, we turn once again to a book penned by Gary Russell, author of the Virgin Missing Adventure The Scales of Injustice and the BBC Past Doctor Adventure Business Unusual.  This month, it's the Virgin Missing Adventure Invasion of the Cat-People, featuring the Second Doctor, Ben, and Polly.  From the back cover:

'Explode the buoys?  But that will destroy the earth!'  'Oh dear, so it will.  Pass on my apologies to the humans, won't you?'

Earth has been invade.  Twice.  Thousands of years ago by a race searching for a new power source.  More recently by the galactic marauders known as the Cat-People, who intend to continue the work done by the earlier visitors, with devastating results.

The recently regenerated Doctor, along with companions Ben and Polly, teams up with a group of amateur ghost-hunters and a mysterious white witch on a journey that takes them from twentieth-century Cumbria to the Arabian deserts of folklore and Australia 40,000 years in the past.  Can the Doctor stop the invaders and disarm the bombs left buried beneath the planet's surface - or have the ancient Aborigines of Australia sung the seeds of their own destruction?

Is this book the cat's meow?  Or does this story belong in the litter box?  Listen in and find out as we retrace and review Invasion of the Cat-People!

Email us questions or comments at and follow us on Twitter via @DWBCPodcast.  You can also follow Erik on Twitter via @sjcaustenite and Sean via @tardistavern.

Direct download: DWBC_Episode_60_-_Invasion_of_the_Cat-People.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:05pm CDT

Episode 59: The Wages of Sin

As Erik will be rejoining us next month, this month we are again joined by our friend Felicity Brown as we discuss the BBC Books Past Doctor Adventure The Wages of Sin by David A. McIntee, featuring the Third Doctor, Liz, and Jo.  From the back cover:

The Doctor has always been wary of meddling with established history.  But what happens when the history books lie?

With the secrets of time travel restored to him after his long exile on Earth, the Doctor has made a test flight into the past.  Accompanying him are his assistant, Jo, and an old friend, scientist Liz Shaw.  The travellers realise they are visiting one of the most significant times in Earth's history - and one of the most dangerous...

It is Russia, 1916, and Europe is in the grip of the Great War.  With the TARDIS missing, its crew find themselves trapped in a country on the brink of revolution.

The Doctor and Liz are soon caught up in the deadly machinations of Tsar Nicholas's court, while Jo appears to fall under the sinister spell of the infamous Mad Monk, Rasputin...

David A. McIntee also wrote The Lords of the StormThe Shadow of Weng-ChiangWhite Darkness, and The Dark Path, all of which we've discussed previously.  The Wages of Sin stands out as one of the few (if not the only) historical novels in the Third Doctor's range of stories.

Feel free to email us at, follow us on Twitter via @dwbcpodcast, and look for our page on Facebook.  You can also follow Sean via @tardistavern, Felicity via @feliopolis, and Erik via @sjcaustenite.

Direct download: DWBC_Episode_59_-_The_Wages_of_Sin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm CDT

Episode 58: The Last Resort

WE'RE BACK!  After a short hiatus, during which we read a book and ditched all efforts at trying to record our discussion of it, we decided a change is as good as a rest and tackled a new selection, The Last Resort by Paul Leonard.  As is our annual tradition, we recorded "live" from Gallifrey One in Los Angeles, but due to circumstances beyond our control, Erik (for the first time ever in The Doctor Who Book Club history) was unable to join us.  Instead, Sean is joined by our friends Felicity Brown and Jeff Elston as we discuss the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventure The Last Resort.  From the back cover:

'I think time and space just fell apart.'

Anji isn't sure, but then it's hard to be sure of anything now.  Good Times Inc. promised a new tourist experience, with hotels in every major period of human history - but that kind of arrogance comes with a price, and it's a price the Doctor doesn't want to pay.

As aliens conquer an alternative Earth, Anji and Fitz race to find out how to stop Good Times without stopping time itself.  But they find that events are out of control - they can't even save each other.  And when the Doctor tries to help, it gets far worse.  At the Last Resort, only Sabbath can save the day.  And then the price gets higher...

You may remember Paul Leonard from the Virgin Missing Adventure Dancing the Code, which we reviewed back in Episode 44.  He also brought us Speed of Flight, Toy Soldiers, and Genocide.

Have a question or comment for the hosts?  Email us at, follow us on Twitter via @dwbcpodcast, and "like" us on Facebook.  You can also follow Erik on Twitter via @sjcaustenite and Sean via @tardistavern.

Direct download: DWBC_Episode_58_-_The_Last_Resort.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:18pm CDT

Episode 57: Millennial Rites

Better late than never, we bring you our discussion of Millennial Rites by Craig Hinton, a Virgin Missing Adventure featuring the Sixth Doctor and Mel.  From the back cover:

'The millennium, Mel: the last New Year's Eve of the Twentieth Century.  But it's definitely not party time.'

England, 1999: the Doctor and Mel have come to London to celebrate the new year with old friends - and to heal old wounds.  But others are making more sinister preparation to usher in the new millennium.  A software house is about to run a program that will change the fabric of reality.  And an entity older than the universe is soon to be reborn.

When Anne Travers' fear of the Great Intelligence and millionaire philanthropist Ashley Chapel's secret researches combine, London is transformed into a dark and twisted mirror image populated by demons and sorcerers.  Only the Doctor can put things right, but his friends have also been shockingly changed and he cannot trust anybody - least of all himself.

Hinton has written a small handful of books for three different ranges of Doctor Who novels, and this is the first time we've read any of his work.  Fun Fact: he was the person to originally coin the term "fanwank", which he proudly used to describe his own work.

Pour yourself some very old scotch from a very old decanter and sit back and relax as we review Craig Hinton's Millennial Rites.

You can send us questions or comments to, follow Erik on Twitter @sjcaustenite and Sean @tardistavern.

Direct download: DWBC_Episode_57_-_Millenial_Rites.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:23pm CDT

Episode 56: Relative Dementias

In this month's episode, we examine a BBC Past Adventure featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace, Relative Dementias, by Mark Michalowski.  From the back cover:

'Do Time Lords get Alzheimer's disease?' asked Ace.  'Oh, we get far worse things than that, Ace.  The dementias that plague us are much, much older.'

Collecting his mail in the London of 2012, the Doctor and Ace are called through time to south-east Scotland to help out an old friend - an old friend who's vanished.  They find themselves at Graystairs, an Alzheimer's clinic and a place of healing, where the patients seem to be gaining a new lease of life.  But whose life is it?

Why is the Doctor so reluctant to reveal what happened in the TARDIS before their arrival?  Why are cats and dogs - not to mention people - disappearing?  Who is the shadowy figure stalking the Doctor and Ace?  And what is the secret of the mysterious Miss Chambers, whom no-one remembers meeting?

Soon the Doctor and Ace find out the hard way that actions have consequences - and that there's more than one kind of dementia.

Relative Dementias is set squarely between "Battlefield" and "Ghost Light".  Mark Michalowski, aside from a number of short stories for the Short Trips series and scripts for Big Finish in the Iris Wildthyme series, also wrote the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventure Halflife.

Grab a pint, sit back, and relax as we discuss Relative Dementias.

Have a question or comment for Erik or Sean?  You can email them at, follow them on Twitter @sjcaustenite and @tardistavern, as well as @dwbcpodcast.

Direct download: DWBC_Episode_56_-_Relative_Dementias.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:04pm CDT

Episode 55: Vampire Science

After a month-long hiatus, we have returned with a discussion of Jonathan Blum and Kate Orman's Vampire Science, the second in the BBC series featuring the Eighth Doctor and Sam.  From the back cover:

In the days when the Time Lords were young, their war with the Vampires cost trillions of lives on countless worlds.  Now the Vampires have been sighted again, in San Francisco.

Some want to coexist with humans, using genetic engineering in a macabre experiment to find a new source of blood.  But some would rather go out in a blaze of glory - and UNIT's attempts to contain them could provoke another devestating war.

The Doctor strikes a dangerous bargain, but even he might not be able to keep the city from getting caught in the crossfire.  While he finds himself caught in a web of old feuds and high-tech scheme, his new companion Sam finds out just how deadly traveling with the Doctor can be.

Kate Orman wrote the Virgin New Adventure The Room with No Doors (for which her co-author and future husband Jonathan Blum was a contributor), and that's a tough act to follow based on our review.

Without further ado, sit back, relax, pour yourself a glass of synthetic blood, and listen in as we talk about Vampire Science.

You can "like" us on Facebook, email us at, and follow us on Twitter @dwbcpodcast.  You can also follow Erik @sjcaustenite and Sean @tardistavern.

Direct download: DWBC_Episode_55_-_Vampire_Science.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:33pm CDT

Episode 54: Shakedown

Following up our discussion of Lords of the Storm, we read its sequel Shakedown by Terrance Dicks.  Shakedown was originally conceived as a short fan film featuring the Sontarans, a solar sailing crew, and one very evil Rutan.  Dicks eventually adapted it into this Virgin New Adventure, but faced the challenge of working with a Doctor Who-inspired script which actually doesn't feature the Doctor at all.  The result is a three-part novel with the original story sandwiched between two parts featuring the Doctor and his companions.  From the back cover:

'The Sontarans can never defeat us.  It is we who will win.'

For thousands of years the Sontaran clone-warriors and the Rustan gestalt have fought each other across the galaxy.  Now the Sontarans have a plan to strike at the heart of the Rutan Empire, and utterly defeat the Rutan race.

The Doctor has his suspicions, but only one Rutan spy knows the Sontarans' secret.  He is being pursued from planet to planet by Cwej and Forrester and by a Sontaran hit squad.  After a confrontation about the racing space-yacht  Tiger Moth, the chase culimates on the library planet Sentarion - where Professor Bernice Summerfield's researches into the history of the Sontaran/Rutan war turn into explosive reality.

Although Terrance Dicks is known primarily as the show's script editor and author of the Target novelizations, he has written a handful of novels for the different ranges, including The Eight Doctors and World Game, both of which we have discussed on earlier episodes.

So sit back and relax with a glass of rekkar (with a beer chaser) and listen in as we talk about Shakedown.

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

Direct download: DWBC_Episode_54_-_Shakedown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:55pm CDT

Episode 53: Lords of the Storm

2015 should be labeled "Two McIntees for the Price of One"; after our discussion of The Shadow of Weng-Chiang a few months ago, we set our sights on another Virgin Missing Adventure written by McIntee, Lords of the Storm, featuring the Fifth Doctor, Turlough, and the Sontarans.  From the back cover:

'They've been fighting this war for longer than man has been walking upright, and they don't take prisoners.'

The war between the Sontarans and the Rutans has been raging for millennia.  Billions have died and whole star systems have been obliterated in the conflict.  Now, finally, one side may have victory within its grasp.

The human colony world of Raghi is crucial to that victory.  When the Doctor and Turlough arrive there, they find a seemingly stable society ruled by a strict caste system.  But all is not as it seems.  Members of the lower caste are being struck down by a mysterious illness.  People are vanishing in their hundreds.  And strange objects have been observed oribiting the sun.

Why is Raghi so important to the feuding alien empires?  And how high a price will the galaxy pay if the conflict comes to an end?

Lords of the Storm is remarkable in that not only is it one of the few books to feature the Sontarans or Turlough, but is a prequel to the Virgin New Adventure Shakedown.  As part of a short arc, we will discussing Shakedown in Episode 54 next month.

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

Direct download: DWBC_Episode_53_-_Lords_of_the_Storm.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:14pm CDT

Episode 52: The Witch Hunters

This month we take another look at the work of Steve Lyons; specifically, The Witch Hunters, a BBC Past Doctor Adventure featuring the First Doctor, Susan, Ian, and Barbara.  From the back cover:

The Reverend Samuel Parris, Minister of Salem, follows three strangers in the forest beyond the village - a forest which is traditionally believed to be the source of much evil.  He hears movement through the trees, steps forward and makes a terrible discovery.  It is one which will change life in Salem forever.

The TARDIS arrives in Salem Village, Massachusetts, 1692.  The Doctor wishes to effect repairs to his ship in peace and privacy, and so his companions - Ian, Barbara and Susan - decide to 'live history' for a week or so.  But the friendships they make are abruptly broken when the Doctor ushers them away, wary of being overtaken by the tragic events he knows will occur.

Upon learning the terrible truth of the Salem witch trials, Susan is desperate to return - at any price.  Her actions lead the TARDIS crew into terrinle jeopardy, and her latent telepathy threatens to help the tragedy escalate way out of control...

The Witch Hunters is one of only two purely historical adventures that we know of in any of the ranges (The Roundheads by Mark Gatiss being the other).  Although it was not his first published Doctor Who book, it was the first that Lyons wrote, and he kept it "on ice" until its publication in 1998.

Sit back with a nice pail of filthy prison drinking water and relax as we talk about The Witch Hunters!

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

Direct download: DWBC_Episode_52_-_The_Witch_Hunters.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:08pm CDT

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