The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

We Are Golden

What’s this, another plug? So soon after the last one? Will this blog ever escape the swirling vortex of Jonny’s ego? No.

Latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, the one with Sylvester McCoy on the front, is something of a Jonny Morris special. Not only does it include news of my second Jago & Litefoot: The Theatre Of Dreams and not only does include a very lovely review of Cobwebs (‘Pick of the month!’) but I have taken over a fair proportion of the rest of the magazine with my comic strip and a feature on the brilliant Doctor Who story, ‘The Shakespeare Code’.

The feature basically points out all the clever historical and literary references in the episode, including a dozen or so subtle ones that to my knowledge no-one has pointed out before. It also includes at least one glaring inaccuracy, so Shakespeare scholars will be able to read it with a warm sense of intellectual superiority. (Cross-dressing only leading to sexual attraction between women in Shakespeare and never between men? What about The Merry Wives Of Windsor, you fool!)

Anyway, it’s intended as a tribute to the marvellousness of the episode, so hopefully any glaring errors will be forgiven in the general spirit of positivity.

The comic strip is called ‘The Golden Ones’ part one of a four-part story (my first true epic!). At the time of writing, I’ve written the first three parts – schedules and availability of artists meaning I’ve written the story after it, and half the story after that, before finishing this one. It’s also possibly my very first comic strip to not feature a flashback sequence three-quarters of the way through. Must stop doing that.

The artwork is by Martin Geraghty, who has done a superb job, particularly on the last couple of pages which include some absolutely terrifying images. I just write down what I’d like the pictures to show, I can take no credit for the end results. In fact, I think I may just pause to admire it again...


Not wanting to spoil any surprises, I won’t go into too much detail, except to say the ‘influences’ for the story are clearly ‘Oh! You Pretty Things’ by David Bowie (hence the title), ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’, a recent single by Mika, ‘The Ring’, and ‘Bad Science’ by Ben Goldacre. I can tell you what the story is not; it was originally pitched as a story set in a comprehensive school in Leicester, a sort of sci-fi parody of the government’s current witless policy to allow private organisations to take over or set up state schools. That was the starting point; the story then went on a journey as it became clear that any Doctor Who story set in a comprehensive school is going feel like it’s re-treading ‘School Reunion’ and it was felt that, lovely as a Doctor Who story set in Leicester would be, that’s the sort of thing they do on telly, while in the comic strip we can afford to go to more exotic and visually-interesting locations. And it’s always good for stories to change and grow – writing down the first thing you think of tends to lead to quite predictable stuff, but throwing some other ideas into the mix, and writing down the fourth thing you think of results in something, hopefully, more surprising and imaginative.

The magazine also includes news, reviews, a charming interview with Sylvester McCoy, a feature about a range of Tom Baker audios that I have nothing to do with (envy!), a feature on the Doctor Who prom, and an extremely mind-boggling article about how time travel works in the Doctor Who universe (pity the poor sod who wrote that, I’d go out of my mind).

Available from all good newsagents and supermarkets from Monday, a bargain at £4.20