Bernice Summerfield: The Inside Story

Bernice Summerfield: The Inside Story is available from August 2009, and tells the story of the genesis and development of the first successful Doctor Who spinoff – the continuing adventures of Professor Bernice Summerfield.

Bernice Summerfield Inside Story from Big FinishEven before Big Finish began making Doctor Who adventures, one woman was already making her mark: Bernice Summerfield. Created by Paul Cornell, the space archaeologist first appeared in the Virgin New Adventures novels alongside the Seventh Doctor, and it was from these novels that her first few audio adventures were culled, helping to fill the gap when there was no Doctor Who on TV. The success of these opening instalments has led to nine subsequent series and regular Bernice Summerfield books. As her latest, 10th, series of audio adventures gets underway, Big Finish proudly presents a book detailing Ms Summerfield’s rise from companion to fully-fledged lead.

Bernice Summerfield: The Inside Story, written by Simon Guerrier and comprising 320 illustrated pages and more than 300,000 words, is a chronicle of Doctor Who while it was off the air. It picks up the story after David Howe’s The Target Book, which covered the range of novelisations of original series episodes, and examines over 150 adventures for Benny in book, comic and audio form – some of which were never made. Many of those who wrote for The New Adventures and Benny have gone on to be involved with the new series of Doctor Who – Cornell himself, Russell T Davies, Mark Gatiss, Matt Jones, Gary Russell, Simon Winstone, Steven Moffat and Joseph Lidster.

Since 1992, Benny has endured a long and successful publishing life, with many of Big Finish’s regular writers, including Mark Michalowski, Eddie Robson, Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, all cutting their teeth on her adventures. These people and many others are interviewed in the book, alongside New Who supremo Russell T Davies, SF author Iain Banks and frequent Big Finish star and acting legend David Warner.

Bernice Summerfield: The Inside Story will be released in August priced £29.99 and can be pre-ordered now from

All pre-ordered copies will be signed by author Simon Guerrier and the voice of Benny, Lisa Bowerman.

Incidentally, Bernice fans will be pleased to know that Paul Cornell has given his creative “shaping” to next years run of audio adventures starring Lisa Bowerman.

Christian Cawley

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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