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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 513 > Coming Soon…

Coming Soon…

We talk to the creative talents behind the upcoming Doctor Who releases…

Myths & Legends


Doctor Who is no stranger to Greek mythology. The Horns of Nimon (1979-80) riffed upon Theseus and the Minotaur; Underworld (1978) took elements from Jason and the Argonauts; and of course, there was The Myth Makers (1965), which had the First Doctor inventing the wooden horse of Troy. But Myths & Legends, a new book from Richard Dinnick, takes a more direct approach – taking tales of Greek legend, and retelling them as stories set in the Doctor Who universe.

“The idea,” explains Richard, “is that this is a book that could sit on the shelves of a Gallifrey library. These are Time Lord myths but they just so happen to be similar to Earth myths. The themes of mythology are so universal that they are literally universal! This is what Doctor Who has always done: cast about for different stories, different genres that can be told through Doctor Who. It comes as no surprise to me that the classical myths fit so well.”

Spread across 14 stories, and featuring illustrations from Adrian Salmon, Myths & Legends turns the Midas touch into The Mondas Touch – swapping gold for Cyber-technology. The quest of Perseus and his battle with Medusa is now that of the Time Lady Persis, and her mission to stop the dreaded Mara; meanwhile the wooden horse of Troy, itself from The Iliad, finds itself recast as the psychic trickery of the Xeraphin (from 1982’s Time-Flight), deployed during their ancient war with the Vardon.

“The themes of mythology are so universal that they are literally universal!” RICHARD DINNICK, WRITER

“Because the conceit of the book is that these are Time Lord myths, I wanted to delve back into history as presented by the show,” says Richard. “There are lots of villains and events from the old times: the Great Vampires, the Racnoss, the Jagaroth. So I wanted to use as many of those as I could while throwing in a few curve balls.” Those curve balls take the form of some surprisingly recent faces. Richard’s take on Daedalus and Icarus, for example – the superbly named The Jeopardy of Solar Proximity – fleshes out the backstory of Skaldak, the legendary Ice Warrior from 2013’s Cold War. Meanwhile The Unwanted Gift of Prophecy, a retelling of the story of the Cumaean Sibyl, features an unnamed, but familiar-sounding menace.

“I love the Master,” says Richard. “Always have. In every incarnation, every gender. So when I was researching the myth of the Cumaean Sibyl, who tried to sell the King of Rome nine books of prophecy, he/she sprang to mind. It allowed me to twist the tale to fit his Machiavellian scheming. I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.”

Yet there does seem to be someone missing – someone whose name is not mentioned once throughout Myths & Legends

“Going back to the idea that this book could sit on the shelves of a Gallifreyan library, we couldn’t have the stories revolving around a time-traveller called the Doctor who arrives in a blue box and starts sonicking things! Otherwise the Doctor (who surely would have read – and enjoyed? – this book himself) would recognise himself. Indeed, I may even suggest that it was by reading this book that he learned certain things that he spouts in the TV series!”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: • Exclusive previews of the next four episodes of the 2017 series of Doctor Who – The Lie of the Land, Empress of Mars, The Eaters of Light, and World Enough and Time. Plus, interviews writers Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Toby Whithouse and Rona Munro. • Showrunner Steven Moffat answers reader's questions. • A look into how one of the original Ice Warrior helmets from the1960s has survived to the present day. • An in-depth interview with Jamie Mathieson, who reveals the secrets behind the writing of episode 5, Oxygen. • Part Two of the new comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill: The Soul Garden, by Scott Gray, with art by Martin Geraghty. • Reviews of the latest episodes, Knock Knock, Oxygen, Extremis and The Pyramid at the End of the World. • The Fact of Fiction delves into the 1967 story The Macra Terror. • Previews, book and audio reviews, news, the Watcher's column, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!