John Peel Takes Over Lethbridge-Stewart Book, On His Majesty’s National Service

Sadly, David A McIntee and Lynette Nusbacher have had to step back from the upcoming Lethbridge-Stewart novel, The Laughing Gnome: On His Majesty’s National Service – but fortunately, the Doctor Who legend, John Peel, is taking over!

Acting as a coda to The Laughing Gnome series of books, On His Majesty’s National Service was originally scheduled for a June 2019 release, but was delayed so that Peel could step in. He’s the author of many previous Doctor Who titles, including the Lethbridge-Stewart novel, The Grandfather Infestation, and The Midnight People, part of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries. His BBC Books work includes Target novelisations of The Chase, The Power of the Daleks, and The Evil of the Daleks.

Editor Andy Frankham-Allen says:

“After David’s previous book with us The Schizoid Earth was received well – as I expected it would be – we were excited to see what he would come up with next. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, David has been unable to deliver this book.”

Head of Publishing Shaun Russell says:

“I have always been a big fan of David’s outstanding Doctor Who work, and I truly regret having to engage a new author. It is unfortunate that, in David’s own words, he was ‘over committed’, but we’re lucky to have found such a wonderful replacement in John Peel.”

The new version of On His Majesty’s National Service is set during the same period of Lethbridge-Stewart’s life, but will be telling a different story.

Andy explains:

“John promptly came up with some ideas and a basic outline that fit the shopping list of elements I gave to him – certain story beats needed to be hit, to fit continuity from other books. I did give David the option of allowing John to use elements from his story, should they fit, which David was quite happy to do. However, beyond a few background details, John has opted to go his own way. It’s going to be an exciting adventure story set during the Korean War, in which we see the events that turned Lethbridge-Stewart into the hero we all know and love.”

Here’s the new blurb:

There was always one question that bugged Bill Bishop, what turned Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart from a man interested in teaching to a career military hero? Using the power of the Laughing Gnome, Bill travels back to the 1950s to find out…

As a young man Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart never wanted to follow in his illustrious family military history, he just wanted to be a maths teacher. But then the Korean War broke out and he was called up for National Service. He soon met Spencer Pemberton – and his life was changed forever!

This book is available to pre-order from Candy Jar Books.