Under Three Hundred

The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Instant Karma!

A couple more Big Finish projects I’ve worked on have just been announced. They are:

Torchwood: Instant Karma

In the words of my co-writer James Goss: “Toshiko discovers a group with superpowers. Because it's Torchwood, they're operating out of a community centre, and they're not using their powers for good. Imagine if you could make the heads explode of people who annoy you. Would you use that power? Well, would you?”

Why did I want to write a Torchwood story? Well, mainly to see if I could. My feeling has always been that Torchwood’s format, for its first couple of years, was like a car that had been built in a rush. The whole show was put together so quickly there wasn’t time to go back and re-think things, there was only time to patch things up. I wanted to see if I could fix it, if I could make the format work. So why not pre-order it and find out?

The other project I’ve worked on is 

Jeremiah Bourne in Time

“Jeremiah Bourne is a boy with a remarkable gift. He can travel in time. Not by using a time machine, or stepping through a dimensional portal. It just happens to him, as though by accident. One minute he’s in the present day, the next, he’s a hundred years in the past, standing in the London of 1910.

Jeremiah has two questions; how did he get there – and how can he get back? On his quest for the answers, he enlists the help of Phyllis Stokes of The Society for Theosophical Research and her equally eccentric brother, Roger Allcot Standish, magistrate, spiritualist and dedicated nudist. He encounters the sadistic Mr and Mrs Grout and the ruthless Ed Viney, thief, gang member and slitter of throats. And he arouses the disapproval of Clementina Quentinbloom, the head of a home for ‘Fallen Girls’, by befriending Daisy Wallace, a girl ahead of her time.

Can Jeremiah get home? What is the connection between Clementina’s establishment and Doctor Henry Davenant Hythe, the humanitarian and eugenicist? And does Jeremiah’s gift of time travel have something to do with his mother’s sudden disappearance, all those years ago...”

With this project, I had the great pleasure of working with Nigel Planer on his story as script-editor. It’s a really interesting, original, idiosyncratic adventure with loads of interesting ideas and themes bubbling away, and some fabulously larger-than-life characters. Nigel has written lots of great parts for his fellow actors – and what actors they are, the cast list is like a who’s-who of British television! If you could go back and tell my teenage self that one day I’d work on a script performed by two of The Young Ones, Lord Percy, Miss Babs, Lydia the Bride, Shona Spurtle and Charlotte from the Le Bureau des Étrangers my head would probably have exploded. It exploded a little bit now.

You can find out more about it here and pre-order it here.

In addition, while I have you, don’t forget to pick up the latest Doctor Who Magazine, it has another of my Blogs of Doom by me. I think it’s slowly winning people over. Slowly but surely!

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

You're So Static

December will be plug time again!

Today saw the release of my latest Doctor Who audio adventure from Big Finish, Static. I’ve talked about it in the press release here, in issue 104 of Vortex here, and in Doctor Who Magazine, so I won’t go into detail here. Suffice it to say, the brief was to write a story as scary as The Chimes of Midnight, and having listened to the finished production, I’m very proud of my attempt. The cast are excellent – including the legendary David Graham, adding to my collection of City of Death actors, and the no less legendary Brian Prothero – it’s expertly directed by Jamie Anderson with excellent sound design and music by Joe Kraemer and Josh Arakelian. I am indebted to them all.

So please rush out and buy it here. The early notices have been extremely encouraging.

This Thursday, meanwhile, will see the release of the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine. I have two bits in it – a second Blog of Doom which will hopefully tickle readers’ funny-bones, plus the Christmas Quiz. It was quite a challenge to put the quiz together – trying to come up with questions that are fun as well as taxing, that are hopefully gettable with a little lateral thinking and perseverance. As you might expect, every few hours I have been having little panics that I have got the questions or the answers wrong, going back and checking what I wrote to make sure I haven’t.

Anyway, it’s (inevitably) going to be different to the ones done by the guy before, I have a tough act to follow, but in the great Christmas words of the late John Lennon, I hope you have fun.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

(There Goes) The Forgotten Man

Hooray! The new issue of Doctor Who Magazine has a thing by me in it! They’ve given me my own page!

The idea behind it (for which I cannot take credit) is to do blogs/diary entries/interviews with overlooked characters from Doctor Who. The guard who is knocked out, the bystander who says “They went that way”. They might be villains or monsters, or just a tramp who cycles into a ditch in surprise.

Basically, it’s doing the same sort of thing I did for the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Master in previous issues, which all proved fairly popular.

I hope people enjoy it. If they do, I’m happy to keep writing them. Of course, given that it is replacing a long-running feature which was curtailed prematurely (nothing to do with me and I’m not going to talk about it) I know that some people may come to it with their arms folded and an air of “What the hell is this, then? Is this trying to be funny?” I completely understand and appreciate that. I can only ask that people bear with it for a few months, because everything needs a little time to get into its groove. And it is only one page!