Lunar Landing Archive, Cap Interview, Benny News

We wandered over to Cardiff for a lovely party at Doctor Who script editor Gary Russell's new house last weekend. It was a very relaxed do, with so many old friends from fandom, many of whom work on the series now. John Ainsworth (who these days is in charge of all matters Bernice Summerfield at Big Finish) and I went outside and sat on a step, and in about five minutes, over ginger ale and probably a nice glass of lady petrol, I forget, we sorted out the shape of the next season of Bernice plays, start to finish. John and Lisa Bowerman were kind enough to ask me to return and take a creative role in the coming year, and once John's finished up the current plots (and they're coming to a vast climax, with all the running threads heading for the payoff) you'll hear about me chipping in from time to time. I can't reveal anything about where we're going to go, but it's a whole new format. And, once I've got my act together and provided one last photo, in time for the conclusion of Simon Guerrier's final edit, Bernice Summerfield: The Inside Story will shortly be on the way too! Yes, my people, the long wait is finally over! And if you thought Big Finish's book about their Doctor Who audios had blood on the carpet (I have heard it referred to as Big Finish Babylon) then, well, the Benny version's got quite a lot of forthright opinion and creative disagreement within its pages also. It's going to be worth the wait.

At the same do, Jim Sangster (who was very flattered that I think he looks like Derek out of The Sarah Connor Chronicles) advised me that the BBC Archive, where he works, has just put online a small mountain of stuff about the Apollo moon landings in 1969. If you're a spaceflight fan like I am, dive in and nom nom nom away:

The site includes coverage from the time, editions of The Sky at Night, many other documentaries and extended versions of the interviews James May conducted with the astronauts for his recent BBC2 programme. It's an ideal anniversary treat.

And finally, Esther, the last issue of Captain Britain and MI-13 approaches, and here's an interview in which I try terribly hard to give nothing away, and there are some lovely pages of Leonard Kirk art from the final issue:

And a heads up for next month, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood and Doctor Who writer of quality Phil Ford will be appearing at the Faringdon Arts Festival (which I'm MCing), on Saturday 11th July. More news on that as the date approaches. Until next time, Cheerio!

Young Avengers Preview and Cap Art

This coming Wednesday/Thursday, depending on which side of the pond you live, Captain Britain and MI-13 #14 and Dark Reign: Young Avengers #2 will be out. (And this blog will, as always, serve as letters page for both titles.) I asked that there not be an online preview of the Cap, to preserve the spoiler content, which is colossal, but there is a preview the YA, which showcases Mighty Mark Brooks' lovely artwork, and yes, does include a Harry Hill reference, and here it is:

Meanwhile, over at Millarworld, they've been holding an art contest involving the characters from MI-13. The votes are all in, and the winner is Keith Chan with this gorgeous group shot:

Well done, Keith. If you want to see the other entries, here's the thread in question:

My life at the moment consists of finishing the novel and writing various comics, while obsessing about the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup and the status of my fantasy cricket team within it. It's become something we get together about in my little town, muttering to each other arcane things like 'isn't it horrible when one of your bowlers gets out one of your batsmen?' And at least its some compensation, as when England lost to South Africa, that one can at least know that Kallis has earned you a mountain of points. I'm also in a groove of eating current buns from the bun shop at the bottom of the lane (seriously, I have a bun shop at the bottom of the lane) and drinking that Old Jamaican Ginger Beer, which is complicated enough to satisfy while I'm making this year teetotal (apart from two glasses of red wine with Moffat). Now they've made a diet version of Old Jamaican, I might as well just plug an IV of it into my brain. I've told my agent the novel will be ready for the end of July, and I'm telling you lot now so you'll nag me about it. The comics stuff is all very exciting. Oh, and I finally finished that short story for Lou Anders, apart from, you know, a couple of bits of tinkering here and there... I've got until the end of the month, okay? I hope to get a proper holiday after the end of the book. We're looking for forests, water for adventurous boating activities, very few people, rocks to climb. Any ideas?

Until next time, Cheerio.

The Word Magazine Interview

A little while back, I was pleased to be grilled for The Word Magazine by top journo Andrew Harrison (who seemed pleasantly surprised that I was aware of the goings on of him and his colleagues via their excellent podcast).  The issue is out today.  I talked mostly about Captain Britain, but we covered all sorts of stuff.  And I can report that there is definitely a geek contingent at work in the bowels of this august organ.  (Including, recently, Lawrence Miles writing the odd article.)  Do pick it up.

In other news, England's smashing victory over Pakistan in the Twenty20 Cricket World Cup smoothed things over between Dad and myself.  My Dad, you see (you may know him better as Pete Tyler), is aware that I'm always positive about the England team, that I go on about how the British public always do down what's going on in the cricket without knowing much about it.  (And indeed, this morning, reports of a great victory are again much more muted than those of the defeat against Holland. It's like the public only enjoy us losing, because winning might mean they have to endure hope.  To which my response would be: grow a spine.) So he tends to call me when we've lost, and go a bit Bob Willis on me.  That is, he blames me personally for the defeat, and lists all the ways in which we were rubbish, and argues when I try to find some small hope.  So when he called me at the end of last night's match and said there had been some minor improvements I was very pleased indeed.  It's going to be a long two weeks.  

And, of course, speaking of the uselessness of the British public, I wake to find that part of my country is now represnted by fascists.  To me, that feels like my Dad and his generation, who made such a great sacrifice, are being mocked.  That their enemy's been voted in.  The standard fan response to the BNP, alongside an admirable call to get the vote out, is to joke about their spelling and picture research, to try and rise above them.  Or to pooh pooh their chances of getting anywhere.  I understand the need to obtain that distance from such a terrible thing, and I'm proud that my subculture is set so against it (Doctor Who fans, while being conservative of nature, having been taught from the cradle to recognise a Dalek when they see one) but I think next time out a bit of engagement with the causes behind this, a bit more know your enemy and a bit less marking their homework might not be a bad idea.  

The second collected volume of Captain Britain and MI-13, Hell Comes to Birmingham, is out in its UK edition from Panini on Wednesday, by the way.  Do check it out.  Until next time, Cheerio.

Leonard's SAS Spacesuit

Do please remember that the Cap Annual is out today in the USA, tomorrow in the UK, and that this blog will, as always, serve as the letters page.  Leonard 'Captain' Kirk just delivered his final pages of (gorgeous) Captain Britain and MI-13 art, and with them, this design for something that shows up in #15, the spacesuit worn by members of the SAS for, ahem, use on the lunar surface...

Those of you who recall Scale Guy will appreciate as I do the little asides Leonard always adds to his designs.  

Also, I answer reader questions about Marvel stuff over at X-Position:

My life at the moment is pretty groovy, all told.  Editing the novel at high speed, following some big sorting out thoughts at the Wychwood Festival, and writing Namor/Norman Osborn confrontations, with Word Cup Twenty20 warm up matches on in the background, and lovely summer to wander about in when I want to take a break.  We're off to the opening ceremony and first match of the World Cup proper on Friday.  I'm in my 'get into shorts and out into sunshine as soon as possible, what do you mean I look like I fell out of a hedge?' phase, which will now last until September.  Until next time, Cheerio.