The Bandrils Are Back in Spin-Off, The Lucy Wilson Mysteries

In the latest novel from Candy Jar Books, the Brigadier’s granddaughter comes up against the Bandrils, from the 1985 Doctor Who serial, Timelash. The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril Invasion takes us behind the scenes on a children’s TV series – penned by one of the writers behind Sooty!

Wink Taylor has worked on the show alongside the DWC’s very own Alex Skerratt, as well as on Basil Brush and the successful Theo the Mouse Show which tours the country and is a real family favourite.

This background informs The Bandril Invasion, in which a maverick children’s TV character becomes an overnight sensation. Unlike Sooty and Basil, however, Billy Bandril’s antics are not all in good fun. Wink explains:

“I spent a lot of happy years writing for children’s television and theatre, the bond that kids form with the characters is one of the most rewarding aspects. I was always determined to honour that bond, and make certain that the magic was never broken. It was a privilege to write for such household names and it always fascinated me that the puppeteers at all times remained firmly hidden. This got me thinking: what if the motivations behind this were not benign and were in fact… thoroughly evil!!”

Popular Beano artist, Steve Beckett continues at the helm of the series’ artwork, providing a front cover both classic and fresh in style. He says:

“This bold, bright cover was a blast to do. Developing a Doctor Who monster, a Bandril, into children’s TV’s hottest new star was great fun. It still has a slight air of menace about it though – poor Hobo!”

For the uninitiated, Lucy Wilson is the granddaughter of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who features in Candy Jar Books’ fully licensed Lethbridge-Stewart series.

Now in its fifth year, this series explores the further adventures of multiple characters from the classic era of Doctor Who, including the iconic baddie, the Great Intelligence. The Bandrils previously cropped up in the short story, Time and Again for Candy Jar. And yes, that Bandril is wearing a bow tie, thanks for asking.

Range Editor of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries, Shaun Russell, says:

“Timelash is probably one of the most Marmite Doctor Who stories ever made, either you love or hate it! In my opinion it does have some of best and worst monsters ever featured in the series. The Borad, for example, is wonderful. Others are not so good. The Bandrils, however, are quite puppet-like, and this was my inspiration for this Lucy Wilson story. And that’s when we thought of Wink Taylor. His television and theatre background really helped in creating this slightly oddball Bandril story, which draws upon Doctor Who’s past in many exciting ways.”

Here’s the blurb for The Bandril Invasion:

Billy Bandril is the TV sensation sweeping the nation! The hilarious antics of this anarchic puppet have kids and their parents waiting all week for another episode of mayhem.

Fresh from her latest adventure, Lucy Wilson could use some time relaxing in front of the box. But Hobo isn’t too sure… There’s something sinister about Billy and his influence over the viewing public.

When Lucy finds herself live on air with Billy, it’s up to Hobo to interrupt the broadcast, before the curtains close… forever.

At the crossroads of Who,old and new, with the heart of Jacqueline Wilson, the comedy of David Walliams, and drawing on the creativity behind some of children’s entertainment’s most enduring hits, there’s something for readers of all ages in The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Bandril Invasion.

You can pre-order the book now from Candy Jar, priced £7.99 plus postage.