Candy Jar Books have revealed Martin Baines’ cover for their Illustrated Edition of the Beast of Fang Rock by Andy Frankham-Allen, featuring Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, the character created by writers Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln and played on television by Nicholas Courtney in Doctor Who.
Based on a short story by Terrance Dicks, who wrote, among many other things, the Doctor Who story The Horror of Fang Rock, in this modern adventure we learn that mystery and terror still haunt the island.
Fang Rock has, of course, always had a bad reputation. Its infamous lighthouse has been out of commission, shut down because of fire that gutted the entire tower in 1955. But now, finally updated and fully renovated, the island and lighthouse is once again about to be brought back into service.
Students have gathered on Fang Rock to celebrate the opening of the “most haunted lighthouse of the British Isles”, but they get more than they bargained for when the ghosts of long-dead men return, accompanied by a falling star.
Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart is brought in to investigate what he believes to be signs of alien involvement. But it is not only Lethbridge-Stewart who has an interest in Fang Rock. Anne Travers is called to her family solicitor’s, who have in their possession a letter from Archibald Goff, the paranormal investigator who once visited Fang Rock back in the 1820s, and along with it, a piece of alien technology.
What connects a shooting star, ghosts of men killed in 1902 and the beast that roamed Fang Rock in 1823? Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers are about to discover the answer first hand…
Previously released, the format for Beast of Fang Rock Illustrated Edition is inspired by the illustrated Doctor Who Target Books from the early 1970s, combined with the popularity of the recent Lethbridge-Stewart Colouring Book, prompting Candy Jar to asked Martin Baines to undertake the task.
“Beast of Fang Rock has always been one our most popular novels, says Head of Publishing at Candy Jar, Shaun Russell, “and like Mutually Assured Domination and Times Squared, we always planned to reissue it.
“While I was working on Kklak!: The Doctor Who Art of Chris Achilléos last year, I revisited many old Target books, and was struck by the captivating artwork seen in titles such as Doctor Who and The Cave-Monsters. I thought it would be nice to replicate this.
“I had recently worked with Martin Baines on 100 Objects of Dr Who and thought he would be ideal for the task.”
Almost 45 years after that last Target book Doctor Who and the Planet of the Spiders was issued with illustrations, Martin welcomed the opportunity to illustrate Beast of Fang Rock.
“Shaun wanted me to read the book and choose my own sequences to illustrate. In my opinion, the TV version of Horror of Fang Rock is a tightly written atmospheric story, but due to television budgets, it‟s not as visual interesting as it could have been. I wanted to evoke a similar kind of atmosphere as the brilliant Ridley Scott TV series, The Terror.
“If you like 1960s Doctor Who and wondered what other adventures The Brigadier got up to when not working with the second and third Doctors this series of novels are worth getting.”
Andy Frankham-Allen was also pleased to revisiting Beast of Fang Rock.“It‟s been great to return the book over five years later, as there were a few things I wanted to fix,” he says. “I especially took the chance to get rid of the god-awful prologue, which I’ve hated since the book was released, and tidied up a few others things that never quite worked for me.
“Martin has created some wonderful illustrations of some of his favourite scenes, which really elevates the book even more. Coupled with his splendid cover, I can‟t wait to see what the fans make of it.”
Martin reveals he drew his inspiration for the cover from 1960s iconography.
“I wanted to evoke look of an old Hammer Horror movie poster,” he says, “and particularly enjoyed redesigning the Rutan with this in mind. I hope fans embrace my take on this classic monster as much as I enjoyed drawing it.”
“Horror of Fang Rock has always been a favourite with the fans,” says Louise Jameson in her reprinted foreword to Beast of’ Fang Rock. “Part of the ‘recipe’ for a frightening yarn is to create something claustrophobic. And that feeling of climbing the stairs at night taps in to almost everyone‟s personal childhood terror.”
Beast of Fang Rock: The Illustrated Edition comes with a free postcard, as well as a brand new Lucy Wilson Mysteries book, The Keeper of Fang Rock written by Andy Frankham-Allen.
In this tale, Lucy is taken to Fang Rock by her cousin, Kat. The location of one of her grandad‟s greatest adventures. Only the adventure isn‟t over yet. It looks like Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart might have left something behind…
“I‟ve written bits of Lucy Wilson before, even started writing one,” says Andy, “but time got away with me and Tim Gambrell finished it for me. So, when Shaun and I discussed the companion book to Beast of Fang Rock, we both latched on the idea of doing a sequel with Lucy.
“The basic idea was simple enough; Lucy goes to Fang Rock and gets caught up in an adventure with a ghost.
What‟s been really great about this one, is that usually I‟m writing about the past (with the Lethbridge-Stewart books, it’s normally the 1970s), but with this one I got to write a story set in the (almost) present. In this case, 2019, which meant I could deal with some modern issues and bring in some real diversity. And, of course, Lucy is a great window into today’s world, being so young and receptive to the ever-changing culture we currently live in.”
The Beast of Fang Rock limited hardback ilustrated edition costs £25 (+ p&p) and is currently only available to pre-order, including a postcard and a free copy of The Lucy Wilson Mysteries: The Keeper of Fang Rock
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.