Lance Parkin has just made a return to the BBC Books Doctor Who stable – after a long and frankly undeserved break – and his novel The Eyeless is the focus of an interview on the Death Ray website.
First things first – as much as I admire Lance Parkin’s work, I want to say something about Death Ray first of all. Buy it. If you think SFX is the creative peak of sci-fi/cult/fantasy magazines, then you haven’t seen anything yet. Death Ray is by far and away the best genre magazine available on newsstands, and deserves the total support of a usually discerning and intelligent audience. I’ve been buying it since issue 1 and haven’t been disappointed yet..
So, onto Lance Parkin, author of such classics as The Dying Days, Father Time and The Infinity Doctors. While writing The Eyeless, Lance started a blog charting the book’s development, which is certainly worth a read for anyone interested in writing for any tie-in brand
His own summary of The Eyeless is as follows:
15 years ago, a giant alien fortress arrived on an alien planet, killed everyone there. The Doctor arrives, determined to deactivate the Fortress, a sort of Guns of Navarone-type mission. The Doctor’s all on his own. It’s the sort of plot that would work on telly… But then, it’s a novel, so it ends up being quite introspective. There’s stuff beneath the surface. I’m hoping it works on two levels: action-adventure stuff, and plenty of it, but also if you’re looking, you’ll find plenty of stuff you’ve not been told directly.
I’ll be honest – it’s a long interview, but it is by far and away the best thing you’ll read this week, without going off to WH Smith’s and buying Death Ray.
We’ll close on this, Lance’s opinion on modern Doctor Who and it’s roots.
I need to make it clear that Russell Davies is a brilliant writer of modern television, and he’d have come to most of the decisions he did quite independently of The New Adventures. But the thing is… he didn’t have to. The New Adventures stretched out a lot of the things you could do with the format, they killed the idea ‘you can’t do that in Doctor Who’ and I guess you can learn a lot from the mistakes of the books, too.
It’s an interview that takes in so much about current sci-fi and Lance’s career as a writer, and for such a prolific writer in the Doctor Who canon, it deserves a read.
The Eyeless is available now (I’ve got a copy!) for £6.99 – or a smashing £4.54 if you purchase from Amazon!