by Telos Perhaps sensing the Doctor's deepening mood of introspective melancholy, the TARDIS lands in the most haunted place on Earth, the luxury ocean liner the Queen Mary on its way from Southampton to New York in the year 1963.
But why do ghosts from the past, the present and, perhaps even the future, seek out the Doctor?
What appalling secret is hidden in Cabin 672?
And will the Doctor be able to preserve his sanity as he struggles to save the lives of the passengers against mighty forces which even he does not fully understand?
Telos Publishing presents the fourth in our series of original Doctor Who Novellas, Ghost Ship, a chilling ghost story featuring the fourth Doctor, written by popular Doctor Who author and journalist Keith Topping.
Ghost Ship takes Doctor Who fiction into a realm rarely, if ever, explored. Author Keith Topping has taken the bold step of telling his story from the point of view of the fourth Doctor, wracked with remorse and self-doubt and travelling alone for the first time following a battle against the Master on the Doctor's own planet of Gallifrey.
"I really wanted to do a Doctor Who ghost story," explains Topping. "It's always a style of writing that's fascinated me. How to scare people with the written word. Some of my favourite novels are ghost stories - M. R. James and the Victorian Gothic movement. On TV, the series flirted with the form a couple of times - Warriors' Gate has the feel of a ghost story, so does the first episode of The Mind Robber - but I thought it was something that the length of the novella fitted perfectly."
"The setting came from a visit to the Queen Mary in Los Angeles in early 2001 - interestingly enough, my publisher David Howe was also in the group that I went with. As we were walking around the lower decks I remember mentioning to David that there was a good story in this place. When I got home, I developed the idea of the Doctor facing a primal fear in the dark."
"With the setting established, there was only one Doctor it could be, and only one way to write it. I've always wanted to have a go at first person narrative. One of my favourite Doctor Who books of all time is David Whitaker's original novelisation of the first television Dalek story which is all told in the first person by Ian, one of the Doctor's companions. I decided to write from the point of view of the Doctor. I realise there are limitations to this in that the central character must be centre-stage for the entire book, but I thought this story was concentrated and compact enough to carry that off. I like to think I've captured the essential 'voice' of the Doctor - particularly this Doctor."
"Writing Ghost Ship was a joy. It just flowed out, the first draft was completed in something like six weeks. David and Stephen liked the ideas and made a few suggestions to flesh out a couple of points where the prose had been painted a little thin and requested clarification on some minor plot points. They were sensible suggestions and I was happy to incorporate them into the second draft. I love working with creative editors. David and Stephen are writers themselves and can look at a work with a critical eye whilst still being sympathetic to the original ideas."
"I think Ghost Ship includes some of my best writing. I still believe The Hollow Men is the best sustained piece that I've (co)-written, but Ghost Ship has some wonderfully scary moments in it that surprised even me. That's normally a sign you're working on something good - when you surprise yourself."
The book was originally available in two superb first editions: a standard hardback with cloth-effect cover and foil-stamped logo and title; and a signed and numbered limited edition deluxe hardback. The deluxe edition features a full colour frontispiece by accomplished Polish artist Dariusz Jasiczak who has been providing covers for science fiction and fantasy titles in his native country for man