As Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart hits his 50th anniversary in Doctor Who, Candy Jar Book celebrates the milestone with a very special book that’s also the first non-fiction instalment in the character’s expanding universe.
The Brigadier: Fifty Years of Lethbridge Stewart is comprised of a series of essays that evaluate the life of one of the Doctor’s most important friends.
Head of Publishing, Shaun Russell, says:
“The Brig is one of Doctor Who’s most beloved characters, yet over the years, he became increasingly sidelined in the Doctor Who universe. We thought the character had a lot of untapped potential, so we took a punt and started exploring his origins, with the aim of telling the story of what he was up to in the years between his introduction to Who in The Web of Fear, and the formation of UNIT in The Invasion. From the feedback we’ve received from the fans, it seems this was a story they were waiting to be told.”
Since acquiring the rights to the character of the Brigadier in 2014, as well as other iconic Doctor Who figures such as the Great Intelligence, Candy Jar has published over 20 fictional works in the Lethbridge-Stewart series, with more titles already in the works. But as all fans know, the story is just the start of the appeal; the legions of fan forums, Meet-up Groups, or a brief glance at social media in the wake of new episodes, attest to the fact that unpicking storylines – why did this character do that? What are the implications of this? How does X relate to Y? – is half the fun.
Andy Frankham-Allen, range editor of the Lethbridge-Stewart range, says:
“Fan speculation, theories and fiction, is what kept Doctor Who alive in the 16 years it was off television. And the engagement of the fans is still what makes the series special; Doctor Who isn’t just a show, it’s a community, and it’s a community that loves nothing more than to explore the Doctor Who universe together. We take our role as the custodians of the Brigadier seriously; that’s why our stories revel in the continuity of the show. But we thought there was still one thing missing from our range, and that was something exploring just who the Brigadier is. Over the years, and across the TV show, miscellaneous book series, comics, audio dramas, and our own range of titles, he’s got a lot done. We thought a book that collected his continuity into one place, that explored his motivations, his effect on the universe, and his relationship with other pivotal figures, was something that the fans would love. This has never been done, and it’s long overdue. But we couldn’t just explore our own range; we had to look at the character as a whole.”
One of the centrepieces of the book is a collation of the Brig’s television adventures over the years, establishing the definitive chronology of the character for the first time ever. Put together by Simon A Forward, a Doctor Who writer for over two decades, the piece takes its place alongside a raft of pieces by established Doctor Who names, not least an exclusive interview with John Levene, who played the Brig’s long-time sidekick John Benton. The actor gives a rare behind the scenes look at the experience of shooting a golden era of Doctor Who.
Other contributors include Darran Jordan, Philip Clarke, and a host of names still to be announced. Between them, they explore topics including the Doctor’s relationship with the Brig (and vice versa), and the life of Nicholas Courtney (through 13 – lucky for some! – objects of personal significance), as well as tackling the thorny question of whether or not the Brigadier counts as an official companion (and in doing so assess his relationship with the Time Lord’s other friends). With a comprehensive approach encompassing all BBC, Big Finish, and Candy Jar media, the book looks set to become the definitive reference for this staple of the Doctor Who universe for years to come.
Suffice to say, the DWC will be covering this in a fair amount of detail, so do stay tuned to find out more…
The Brigadier: Fifty Years of Lethbridge-Stewart is only available to pre-order from Candy Jar. Be quick because this is a limited edition release and is bound to sell out soon!