Hauling Like A Brooligan

Stephen Gallagher

Warriors’ Gate and Beyond

None of this was supposed to happen; it was a two-season gig nearly four decades ago, on a show that didn’t get a lot of love from the organisation that was making it.

On the other hand, the show was DoctorWho.

So here we are.

For someone who’s never gone back and banged on the Time Lord’s door I seem to have a pretty active ongoing association with the world on the other side of it. The latest example being a return to the Target Books range with something a bit unusual, if not unique. During the pandemic I took on the job of reconstructing my original take on a Warriors’ Gate novelisation for BBC Audio. This was the version signed off by editor Christine Donougher before the production office read the text and called for one that more closely followed what you’d see on the screen.

(Christine went on to become a leading translator of French and Italian fiction. Her work on Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is rated as “the best translation of the novel available in English”)

The differences were small in some places, significant in others. Those were pre-digital days, so the job of reconstruction was rather like going down to the butchers’ and reassembling the pig. But everything was there and it all fell together. When an invitation then came to create an original novella for the same range, it made sense to keep the ball rolling and look into what happened next. Not a sequel, more a spinoff.

Even then it was in my mind to see the two stories combined in a single volume at some point. Both are prose pieces, both were written for a reader of one kind or another.

Late in 2021 I pitched the notion to BBC Books. The response was positive. More than positive; the request was for more, for some new material that would expand the story further and tie everything together.

So here, as I say, we are. Revised and extended, Warriors’ Gate redux joins four new titles all releasing in July 2023, each of them authored by their original writers. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Target range, as well as the 60th of Doctor Who itself.

Painting of a ruined monsastery by Caspar David Friedrich
CD cover art for BBC Audio The Kairos Ring