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This series contains many of my favourite things.

Iíve always been most fond of the Fourth Doctor with his wit, his brio, his chafing at convention and his fury at the oppressors of mankind. When I was invited by BBC Audiobooks to write the five scripts for this series it was like all my Christmases had come at once.

This is an intricate and macabre series of interlinking tales perhaps best listened to on winter evenings. This creepy epic leads us step by spooky step towards the darkest nights of Christmas as the Doctor tells tales of his most recent escapades to his old friend and colleague Mike Yates and together they prepare to fend back the deadly and bizarre forces of darkness.

Weirdest of all was the way in which I felt that I already knew these stories. I immediately knew the series of steps back in time that the Doctor would have to make, as he pursued the clues to the mystery of his new insect enemies.

Here we have a familiar Doctor - whose story we thought was long over - dashing into action in some unfamiliar settings. We witness him in peril on the tightrope under the canvas of the Circus of Delights. We hear him in the depths of despair in Venice, and at the heart of the TARDIS itself as the evil hornets seek to possess his very soul. And we see him in splendid semi-retirement in his Sussex cottage, with the peculiar housekeeper Mrs Wibbsey keeping him surly company.

Iíve had a blast writing this series of adventures.

All you have to do is imagine a quiet English village in the heart of winter. The snow is sifting down already as the light fades from the day after the shortest day of the year. A lone traveller gets off the train at the tiny station. He looks puzzled as he makes his way to Nest Cottage. Heís here to keep an appointment with someone with no name. Someone whose identity he has secretly guessed. A person he hasnít seen for a very long time.

But thereís a buzzing in the frosty hedgerows. There is unseasonable insect noise. Very strange.

And things are about to become very strange indeed for Mike Yates, the Doctor, Mrs Wibbsey and all of us, as the saga of the Hornetsí Nest at last unfolds.
Pre-Order The Circus of Doom for only £6.25

There are four more Audiobook CDs in the Hornets' Nest
range, click here for more information.

Q: Have you enjoyed reprising your role as The Doctor?

A: Yes, yes! Oh yes.

Q: The excitement amongst fans is building by the day in the run up to the release. What can they look forward to in the Hornetsí Nest first instalment ĎThe Stuff of Nightmaresí?

A: These Hornets are not just any old Hornets; oh no! They are PRIME BBC Hornets, the likes of which have never been seen or heard of before. And of course BBC Hornets are the stuff of nightmares! And as lovers of nightmares, the fans will not be disappointed.

Q: Doctor Who has a tremendously loyal fan base, what do you think sets fans of the show apart?

A: Their unswerving loyalty. Their good taste. Their BLIND LOVE.

Q: Youíve often described yourself as a performer rather than an actor, where do you think the difference lies and how has this affected your choice of roles?

A: Is that a quote? Whatís the difference? I think of myself as an entertainer.

Q: The Brits hold a particular affection for Doctor Who, what do you think is the key to the showís appeal?

A: The formula is so good. Benevolent alien, a being with secrets. A sonic screwdriver, but Iím sworn to secrecy by the BBC. They pay me 30 pieces of silver every month to be discreet.

Q: What was the appeal of recording a new series of audio dramas?

A: The scripts arrived at a good moment. Iím a bit capricious about what I accept. I asked some hard questions and made some impossible demands. The BBC agreed to everything I asked on condition the details would be locked in a strongbox in the Bank of England. They will be revealed on the BBC website on January 20th 2034 at 6.12 AM Ė the hundredth anniversary of my birth.

Q: Are you a fan of audio books? Which titles have you enjoyed?

A: Iím a great fan of anything that Michael Jayston records. Heís a magnificent teller of the tale. What a guy! What an actor, and a very tricky bowler at cricket.

I swear that the seven answers given are the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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