This page is one of several on this site about my novel Frontier Worlds. They are all linked from this main blog post here.
This is a contemporary interview with Doctor Who Magazine to accompany the publication of my second novel.
There is another interview on this site here.
Conducted by Vanessa Bishop
Vanessa Bishop: Are you obsessed with body horror?
Peter Anghelides: The inexorable personal mutation into decay, madness and despair—critic Pete Boss calls it “the intimate apocalypse”. But I’ve cheered up enormously since I stopped looking in the bathroom mirror.
As a writer, what is, for you, the most influential period of Doctor Who?
It’s what Philip Hinchcliffe told me: Bob Holmes’ scare-the-buggers devilment plus Barry Letts’ popular ecological seriousness. (Did I mention that Nelson Mandela told me never to drop names?)
How did you chance upon the idea of the new mechanical companion?
My joke on an internet group has spawned a canary-sized monster I cannot control. With luck, subsequent writers will forget all about it. That worked for Kamelion, didn’t it?
How do you find writing for Compassion, a companion who’s completely emotionless?
Compassion’s emotions aren’t expressed conventionally. I disliked her initially, but decided against reinventing her. Eventually I warmed to her—though she’s not a warm person.
Your creation of Temm Sempiter indicates a love of the larger-than-life villain. What were your inspirations?
Big villains make the Doctor more impressive when he defeats them. I imagine commissioning editor Steve Cole glaring at me and demanding my overdue manuscript. My nightmare is being trapped in a lift with him and former Doctor Who Magazine columnist Jackie Jenkins.
Do you prefer ‘stand alone’ stories rather than developing old ideas from the series’ past? If so, why?
Writing a genre novel isn’t terribly original of me, so I try to innovate within the constraints of the existing franchise. I prefer Eighth Doctor stuff—developing him, his companions, and other new elements. Frontier Worlds is part of a developing story, but you can read it as a one-off.