The Doctor Who Book Club Podcast
Episode 51: Longest Day

This month it's back to the BBC's Eighth Doctor Adventures range with Longest Day, written by Michael Collier.  From the back cover:

Its surface is ravaged by colliding time-fields, the planet Hirath is a patchwork of habitable areas separated by impenetrable zones of wild temporal fluctuation.

The planet's unique biosphere is being exploited by an uncaring company happy to rent out temporally isolated chunks of the planet to the highest bidder - no questions asked.  But the controlling computer seems to be malfunctioning, and the viability of the whole planet hangs in the balance - along with countless thousands of lives.

Arriving at Hirath's control base, the Doctor and Sam are soon separated and trapped on the dying planet.  While Sam becomes the focus of attention in a barren penal settlement, the Doctor discovers the secret of Hirath's unique condition - just as a race of hideous bloodthirsty alien creatures arrive in force to reclaim it.

Caught up in a desperate struggle for survival, it seems time has run out for every living creature on Hirath - not least Sam and the Doctor...

We've never read a novel by Collier before, more than likely because he's only penned one other book, the Eighth Doctor Adventure The Taint, which introduces Fitz.  To our knowledge, these are the only two novels that he has written.

So pour yourself a glass of narcomilk and sit back and relax as we review Michael Collier's Longest Day.

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

Direct download: DWBC_Episode_51_-_Longest_Day.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:59pm CDT

Episode 50: Just War

For us it's hard to believe that we've made it to the big 50: that's 50 books we've read over the course of of about four years.  Coincidentally, our 50th episode occurred just at the perfect moment for an annual "live recording" at Gallifrey One and, per tradition, we asked a friend along to cohost.  This year we're happy to be joined by Felicity Kusinitz, who selected Lance Parkin's Just War, a Virgin New Adventure featuring the Seventh Doctor, Benny, Roz, and Chris.  From the back cover:

'Tomorrow belongs to us, not you.  If you were really from the future, Miss Summerfield, you would be a Nazi.'

March 1941: Britain's darkest hour.  The Nazis occupy British soil and British citizens are being deported to European concentration camps.  Six thousand people a month are dying in air raids on London.  The United States show no sign of entering the war.

According to the Doctor, this isn't a parallel universe, it isn't an alternate timeline, and everything is running according to schedule.  But now something, somewhere, has gone wrong.  The Nazis are building a secret weapon, one that will have a decisive effect on the outcome of the war.  Chris thinks it's a UFO, while Roz believes that the Luftwaffe have developed the largest bomber ever built.  Only Benny may have seen the mysterious craft - but she's disappeared off the face of the Earth.

Just War is Parkin's first novel, and he wrote it while studying for his MA in Post-War English Fiction.  This is his fourth novel that we've read by Parkin, the others being The Infinity Doctors, Cold Fusion, and The Dying Days.

Kick back, pour yourself a tall glass of German beer, and listen in as we discuss Lance Parkin's Just War.

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

Direct download: DWBC_Episode_50_-_Just_War.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:37pm CDT

We've dipped our toes into the works of David A. McIntee previously with White Darkness and The Dark Path, and we've returned to the pool with The Shadow of Weng-Chiang which, as one would guess, is a sequel to the televized story "The Talons of Weng-Chiang".  From the back cover:

'They say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step.  If I'm right, then a journey of a thousand miles will take but a single step.'

The search for the fourth segment of the Key to Time brings the TARDIS to 1930s Shanghai: a dark and shadowy world, riven by conflict and threatened by the expansion of the Japanese Empire.  Meanwhile, the savage Tongs pursue their own mysterious agenda in the city's illegal clubs and opium dens.

Manipulated by an elusive foe, the Doctor is obliged to follow the Dragon Path - the side-effect of a disastrous experiment in the far future.

But would two segments of the Key be on the same planet?  Is the Black Guardian behind the dark schemes of the beautiful Hsien-Ko?  And who is the small child who always accompanies her?

As the bck cover suggests, this story is sandwiched between "The Stones of Blood" and "The Androids of Tara" and, to our knowledge, is the only book in the four series that we cover featuring Romana I.  The facts that it's a sequel to a popular story and that it takes place during the Key to Time quest make this an intriguing entry in our little library.  So sit back, pour yourself some tea, and listen in as we discuss The Shadow of Weng-Chiang.

Look for us on Facebook, send us email 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_49_-_The_Shadow_of_Weng-Chiang.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 4:48pm CDT

Episode 48: The Murder Game

We generally take on a Steve Lyons book every once in a while and, perhaps to clear the air after the controversy that was stirred with Time of Your Life, we've taken another look at a Lyons novel, and this time it's The Murder Game, a BBC Past Doctor adventure featuring the Second Doctor, Ben, and Polly.  From the back cover:

The faded glamour of a hotel in space, spinning in an all-but-forgotten orbit round the Earth, is host to some unusual visitors this weekend - including a party that claim to travel in a battered blue police box...

It is the year 2146.  Answering a distress call from the dilapitated Hotel Galaxian, the TARDIS crew discover a games enthusiast is using the hotel to host a murder-mystery weekend.  But it seems someone from his motley group of guests is taking things a little too seriously.

While the Doctor, Ben, and Polly find themselves joining in the shadowplay, it becomes clear that a real-life murderer is stalking the dark, disused corridors of the Galaxian.  But worse than this: there's a sinister force waiting silently in space for events to unfold.  A terrible secret is hidden on board the Galaxian, and if it is discovered nothing - least of all murder - will ever be the same again.  If this is a game, the stakes just got higher.

Set between "The Power of the Daleks" and "The Highlanders", The Murder Game was the second in the BBC Past Doctors series.  It's also the unofficial first appearance of the sonic screwdriver (or rather its prototype).

Sit back, pour yourself some bitter beer, and listen in as we discuss Steve Lyons' The Murder Game.

Direct download: DWBC_Episode_48_-_The_Murder_Game.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:51pm CDT

We apologize for the lateness of November's episode, it being December and all, but real life and the holidays have just seemed to get the better of us last month.  Nevertheless, we're here to present our discussion on Lawrence Miles' Interference, Book Two.  From the back cover:

They call it the Dead Frontier.  It's as far from home as the human race ever went, the planet where mankind dumped the waste of its thousand year empire and left its culture out in the sun to rot.

But while one Doctor faces both his past and his future on the Frontier, another finds himself on Earth in 1996, where the seeds of the empire are only just being sown.  The past is meeting the present, cause is meeting effect, and the TARDIS crew is about to be caught in the crossfire.

The Third Doctor.  The Eighth Doctor.  Sam.  Fitz.  Sarah Jane Smith.  Soon, one of them will be dead; one of them will belong to the enemy; and one of them will be something less than human...

Clean up the dust, load your shotgun, and sit back and relax as we discuss Interference, Book Two

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

Direct download: DWBC_Episode_47_-_Interference_Book_Two.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:35pm CDT

Episode 46: Interference: Book One

We first read Lawrence Miles’ some time ago with Alien Bodies, then paid him a brief return visit with The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, and now we’re going to crack open the two-book story that became a turning point for many readers of the Eighth Doctor series: Interference, Books One and Two.

To keep things simple, we’re dedicating a single episode of the podcast to each book, so naturally this one will be about Interference: Book One.  From the back cover:

Five years ago, Sam Jones was just a schoolgirl from Shoreditch.  Of course, that was before she met up with the Doctor and discovered that her entire life had been stage-managed by a time-travelling voodoo cult.  Funny how things turn out, isn’t it?

Now Sam’s back in her own time, fighting the good fight in a world of political treachery, international subterfuge and good old-fashioned depravity.  But she’s about to learn the first great truth of the universe: that however corrupt and amoral your own race may be, there’s always someone in the galaxy who can make you look like a beginner.

Ms Jones has just become a minor player in a million-year-old power struggle…and, as it happens, so has the Doctor.

Both of him, actually.

The story features the Eighth Doctor, Sam, and Fitz, of course, but also brings back Sarah Jane Smith, 20 years old from when the Doctor dropped her off at the end of “The Hand of Fear”.  And, as the cover of the book promises, the Third Doctor will be making an appearance with his (younger) Sarah Jane Smith.

If all of this sounds a bit confusing, then buckle your seatbelts because, love it or hate it, Interference is one of the most polarizing stories in all of Doctor Who history.  So sit back, open the hotel room wet bar, and listen in as we discuss Interference: Book One by Lawrence Miles!

Feel free to 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_46_-_Interference_Book_One.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:56pm CDT

This month we dip our toes back into the proverbial Gareth Roberts pool with the New Adventure The Highest Science, featuring the Seventh Doctor and Professor Bernice Summerfield.  From the back cover:


Many legends speak of this world, home of an ancient empire destroyed by its own greatest achievement.  The Highest Science, the pinnacle of technological discovery.

When the TARDIS alerts the Doctor and Bernice to the presence of an enormous temporal fluctuation on a large, green, unremarkable planet, they are not to know of any connection with the legend.

But the connection is there, and it will lead them into conflict with the monstrous Chelonians, with their contempt for human parasites; into adventure with a group of youngsters whose musical taste has suddenly become dangerously significant; and will force them to face Sheldukher, the most wanted criminal in the galaxy.

You may remember Gareth Roberts from our review of the Missing Adventure The Well-Mannered War (also featuring the Chelonians, who made their first appearance here) and television episodes such as “The Lodger”, “Closing Time”, and the very recent “The Caretaker”.

So…without further ado, sit back, relax, grab a can of bubbleshake, and listen in as we discuss Gareth Roberts’ The Highest Science.

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_45_The_Highest_Science.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 7:32pm CDT

This month we discuss a book by prolific Doctor Who author Paul Leonard, Dancing the Code.  From the back cover:

‘The Brigadier’s going to shoot you, Jo,’ the Doctor said grimly, ‘and then he’s going to shoot me.  Both of us are going to die.’

The Doctor builds a machine designed to predict the future.  It shows the Brigadier murdering him and Jo in cold blood.  Unable to tell where or when this event is destined to occur, the Doctor and Jo decide that they must stay apart.

Jo is sent on a top-secret mission to the war-torn Arab nation of Kebiria.  But upon arrival, she is immediately arrested and consigned to a brutal political prison.  The Kebirians have something to hide: deep in the North African desert, an alien infestation is rapidly growing.  And the Doctor and UNIT soon discover that unless stopped, the alien presence will spread to overrun the entire world.

You may know Paul Leonard from such books as Venusian Lullaby, Speed of Flight, and the Bernice Summerfield Virgin novel Dry Pilgrimage (co-authored with The Fall of Yquatine author Nick Walters).  After 44 episodes, it was inevitable that we covered a book written by Leonard, since he has penned so many.

So, pull up a cup of honey wine, and relax, as we discuss Paul Leonard’s Dancing the Code.

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_44_Dancing_the_Code.mp3
Category: -- posted at: 10:16pm CDT

Episode 43: The Roundheads

First off, we apologize for the lateness of “July’s” episode, but as it happens sometimes, real life got in our way.  This episode we’re happy to bring you one of two Who books penned by Mark Gatiss, The Roundheads.  From the back cover:

'I tell you — we will cut off this King's head.  Aye, with the crown on it!'

It is December 1648.  Although victorious over the Cavaliers in the Civil Wars, the Roundheads are struggling to retain power.  Plans are afoot to spirit King Charles from his prison, and the Doctor and his companions become embroiled in the intrigue...

Ben finds himself press-ganged and on board a mysterious ship to Amsterdam.  Polly is an unwitting accomplice in the plot to rescue the King, and the Doctor and Jamie find themselves arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London under suspicion of conspiracy.

Can the Doctor and Jamie escape, managed to find Ben and Polly and still ensure that history remains on its proper course?

Of course, Mark Gatiss is well known for writing such televised episodes as “The Unquiet Dead”, “Cold War”, “The Crimson Horror”, and (gulp!) “Victory of the Daleks”.  After Russell T. Davies, he’s probably the author with the highest profile whose work we have read.  Before The Roundheads, Gatiss wrote the Virgin New Adventure Nightshade.  The Roundheads remains one of the very few (two, by our count) pure historical adventures published in the four main ranges of books.

Pull up a mug of ale and sit back and relax as we discuss The Roundheads!

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

Direct download: Episode_43_The_Roundheads.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:13pm CDT

Episode 42: The Face-Eater

This month we present our first discussion of a novel by veteran Doctor Who author Simon Messingham, it’s The Face-Eater, a BBC Eighth Doctor Adventure featuring Sam and…well, the Eighth Doctor.  From the back cover:

The Doctor and Sam arrive on Proxima II, one of the earliest planets colonised in humanity’s first big push into space.  But instead of a brave new world, they find a settlement rife with superstition and unrest.

The native Proximans are inexplicably dying out.  Humans too are being killed in horrific ways, with each face being stripped bare.

Posing as investigators from Earth, the Doctor and Sam must track down the force moving through the dark catacombs beneath Proxima City.  It seems that the superstitious whisperings of the colonists may be well founded – that the sinister Face-Eater from Proximan mythology has awakened from its long sleep, to drive out all those who would defile its world…

(Note: Despite the title of the book and what it says on the back, no faces were eaten in this story.  Yeah, we were kind of disappointed, too.)

You may know Simon Messingham from his New Series Adventure The Doctor Trap, as well as Zeta Major, Tomb of Valdemar, The Indestructible Man, and The Infinity Race.  So…sit back, heat up a cube of non-alcoholic bourbon, and listen in as we discuss The Face-Eater.

Direct download: Episode_42_The_Face-Eater.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:54pm CDT