Charlie Higson’s new Ninth Doctor story, Beast of Babylon, is the latest in a series of eBooks that the BBC and Puffin Publishing have released to celebrate Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary.
Higson, also well-known as an actor and comedian (The Fast Show), recently did an interview for theguardian.com wherein he discusses his long-term love of all thing Who and how Babylon came about. And if a person can get past The Guardian’s writer, Patrick, misspelling “EcclesTON” as “Eccle-STONE” and “the Doctor” as “the doctor” (neither error will be repeated here) about a million times during the article, Higson’s thoughts are an interesting read!
After missing out on being able to write the First (whom he watched as a small child) and Fourth Doctor eBooks, Higson tells why he wanted to write the Ninth:
I was actually really pleased to be allowed to do him in the end. In many ways, after William Hartnell, Eccleston was the most important of the doctors. Coming back after a hiatus of several years was a big challenge and a big risk, but the combination of a well respected writer in Russell T Davies and a well respected actor in Christopher Eccleston worked brilliantly. I think Eccleston was an inspired choice and he gave the series enormous authority. For most modern kids he would have been their first experience of the Doctor and their introduction to this amazing world. So it needed to be good.
And he goes on to show his admiration of the RTD era:
There were two reasons that Russell had to set the series largely on earth. One is obviously budget. It’s much cheaper to film in Wales than on the moon. But the other was that, as I said, he wanted to make the series accessible and not scare people off. He wanted to say – ‘Look, if you enjoy the likes of (for want of a better example) Coronation Street, you will also enjoy this. It’s not weird and scary. It’s about real people with real human emotions.’
Higson also touches on time travel, Tom Baker, and his teenage lust for Elisabeth Sladen’s Sarah Jane Smith in the lengthy interview.
And he thinks the show’s future is in good hands with Peter Capaldi:
I think it’s a stroke of genius…Moffat has gone right back to basics and chosen us an older, wiser, more serious Doctor Who with that stern Godlike quality that William Hartnell had. He might even get scary again.
Beast of Babylon runs about 49 pages and is available now on Amazon for Kindle and is priced £1.99 – Kasterborous editor Christian Cawley will be reviewing it soon!