For the third series of their Lethbridge-Stewart books, Candy Jar Books is welcoming back a major enemy of the Brigadier and the Docotr: the Great Intelligence and his Yeti!
And this time, the Intelligence is going stateside…
First introduced in 1967’s The Abominable Snowmen, the GI and his robotic soldiers returned the following year for The Web of Fear – both stories written by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln – and which also featured the first appearance of Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart! Set 8 months after The Web of Fear, Times Squared is written by first-time novelist, Rick Cross, who says:
“I had this brilliant idea about the rats in the sewers of New York, and their connection to various plagues throughout the years. What if one such plague was the result of the Intelligence? Coupled with that was my desire to explore the origins of the Yeti. Who made them? How did so many of them get to be in the London Underground in The Web of Fear? Remember, in that story it is revealed that Travers only brought one of them back from Tibet with him. Hopefully Times Squared will provide fans with an interesting take on that, as well as expanding the mythology surrounding the Intelligence and Yeti.”
Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar, says:
“I had the idea of the Yeti roaming through Times Square, plaguing the immense underground of New York. And by throwing in a bit of time travelling shenanigans, the title was an obvious one.”
Range Editor, Andy Frankham-Allen adds:
“After Shaun came to me with the basic idea, it was quickly decided we wanted, ideally, an American author to write it. I turned to Rick Cross, an aspiring US author I knew via social media. We talked and he jumped at the chance. We spent a short while discussing story ideas, telling him the elements I wanted, and he came to me with a few ideas of his own. And it has turned out rather brilliantly; the first bona-fide sequel to The Web of Fear, dealing with the Intelligence from that story, as well as a story that brings back Owain, Lethbridge-Stewart’s nephew, last seen in Beast of Fang Rock. A character with a very special relationship to the Intelligence.”
“It’s been an exciting opportunity. Hard work, trying to remember the British rules of grammar, but I’ve enjoyed telling my story and delving into the relationship between Lethbridge-Stewart, his fiancée, Sally, and his nephew, Owain. Owain in particular has been fun, exploring his freedom of spirit, and his destiny – which is, one day, to be reincarnated into the person who will ascend to be the Intelligence.”
If you’ve been following the novel series (and you should be because they’re superb), you’ll know that this certainly isn’t the first time the Great Intelligence has popped up in the range. Indeed, the first book, The Forgotten Son revealed a previously unknown link between the Intelligence and the Lethbridge-Stewarts.
The alien menace has had something of a renaissance of late, having been reintroduced in 2012’s The Snowmen, and returning for Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary year in The Bells of Saint John and The Name of the Doctor.
“For The Forgotten Son I was interested in wrapping up the story of the Great Intelligence as seen in [Steven] Moffat’s trilogy, and exploring something of its origins. So now it’s time to go back to the Intelligence as depicted in the original Haisman/Lincoln stories. Ever wondered what happened to it in those long years between The Web of Fear and The Snowmen, and how the 1995 straight-to-video film, Downtime, fits in? Well, now it’s time to start finding out.”
In addition to this, Times Squared also brings back Adrienne Kramer, future brigadier-general of the American arm of UNIT, who made her official Doctor Who debut in the 1997 Eighth Doctor Adventure, Vampire Science by Jonathan Blum and Kate Orman. However, she first appeared in a fan-made video, also written by Blum, Time Rift. Andy adds:
“Ever since first reading about this character in 1997 I’ve wanted to use her; indeed, she featured in an unpublished Doctor Who novel I wrote in 1998. Her connection to UNIT, and consequently the Brigadier, has been something I’ve wanted to explore since day one of this series. In particular to show the origins of how she came to know Lethbridge-Stewart and what piqued her interest in all things alien.”
“It was a wonderful opportunity. Andy set it all up, put me in touch with Jon, who compiled a detailed background document for the character. I had never heard of Kramer, but did my research, and it has been brilliant writing for her, exploring the young woman she was in 1969, long before she became the tough soldier in Vampire Science. I’ve been very blessed to play with all these wonderful much-loved Doctor Who characters in my book, and add one of my own creations to the mythos of Doctor Who.”
The brilliant cover art is by Martin Baines (Commando Comics; Thunderbirds Are Go), who says:
“As soon I was briefed on the key scene in the book, Yeti robots covered in rats coming out of the New York underground, I was onto a winner with the cover. This horrific, stark image along with the brilliant writing by Rick Cross makes this a worthy continuation to the classic Web of Fear.”
The novel also comes with a foreword by Terry Molloy, best known to fans as Davros throughout the Daleks’ 1980s tales and Big Finish audios, who worked with Nicholas Courtney on The Scarifyers CD series, and has also narrated the first series of Lethbridge-Stewart audiobooks.
Times Squared can be pre-ordered individually, or as part of the Series 3 Bundle (both UK and overseas), which includes forthcoming novels, Blood of Atlantis by Simon A Forward, and Mind of Stone by Iain McLaughlin, or the subscription deal for those wishing to get six books for the price of five (UK only, covering the Series 3 titles, plus the Series 4 titles released early 2017)!
Times Squared is released at the end of October, priced £8.99.
A free digital-only short story, The Wishing Bazaar by Sharon Bidwell, will be given out to all pre-order/subscription customers next month.