My Doctor Who story has been reissued.
Many thanks to all at IDW Comics for their lovely reissue of my Doctor Who story, Train Flight which was reprinted at the end of last year in Doctor Who Classics #5.
The 21 page adventure was originally published in the UK’s Doctor Who Monthly and reunites the Seventh Doctor with former companion, Sarah Jane Smith. It was written by myself and Graham S. Brand and drawn by UK comics maestro, John Ridgeway way back when. It pits the Doctor and Sarah Jane against the Kalik – a merciless race of hungry insectoids who have just arrived at a certain Time Lord’s favourite planet. Lovely to see it back in print, especially as it was out in time for the 50th anniversary last November.
Train Flight first appeared years ago when it was very unusual (almost unheard of?) to have old companions return. So how did Sarah Jane get to suddenly appear in the comic strip? The great team at Marvel UK who were publishing Doctor Who Monthly at the time had built up good relationships with many of the Who actors. One of them was the late Elizabeth Sladen. Editor John Freeman recalls “Luckily, bridges had been built with many actors thanks to the small payments for photograph use they were getting and Elizabeth Sladen kindly agreed to allow her appearance for the princely sum of £40 an issue!” John added “Using Sarah Jane seemed a no-brainer to me – she was clearly a popular companion.”
“I remember that I wanted the writers to bring a sense of wonder to the story. That London bus reappearing in a spaceship has to be a classic image,” said Freeman, adding that he chose British artist John Ridgeway to draw the Train Flight because he knew of his fondness for truly alien creatures and his love for the original British spaceman, Dan Dare from The Eagle.
The new colouring is by IDW regular Charlie Kirchoff. I say new, because the story originally ran across three issues of Doctor Who Monthly (#159 – 161) in glorious black and white. The new colouring is absolutely lovely with Charlie commenting that he’d “especially enjoyed reworking the pages as the story had always been a favourite.” Thank you, the feeling is mutual.
If you missed that issue of Doctor Who Classics, you can still find it on eBay and in specialist comic shops. TRAIN FLIGHT is also reprinted in the Panini Comics Doctor Who collection Nemesis of the Daleks available from amazon.co.uk.
Nemesis of the Daleks collects together no fewer than 14 Doctor Who stories from across various eras of Doctor Who Monthly/Weekly. Writers include TV scribe, Paul Cornell, as well as the late, great, Steve Moore whose featured work is the early, classic Abslom Daak… Dalek-Killer and the follow up series, Star Tigers.
The collection is a huge meaty black and white volume full of tasty Time Lord treats. As well as all the comic strips there’s also a brilliant 20 page Behind the Scenes section that tells how the stories were put together including script pages, as well as concept art and designs from Lee ‘El Supremo’ Sullivan, noted as the best Dalek artist of the modern era. (And yep, that’s the same Lee Sullivan that worked with me on the graphic novel adaptation of The Amulet of Samarkand.)
Thanks to all at IDW for the reissue and to the original editor, John Freeman at Marvel UK.
FIND OUT MORE:
As well as Doctor Who Classic Comics IDW publish much more, which you can find out about here: http://www.idwpublishing.com
Find more of Charlie Kirchoff’s colour work here: http://charliekirchoff.com