Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Master Switches - An Interview with Jon Arnold

In the latest in our series of Master Switches author interviews, Jon Arnold gives us the lowdown on his poignant two-hander Time War story 'The Battlements'.,,

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

By day a humble civil servant, by night a masked vigilante author, mainly for the Black Archive range but frankly also for anyone who'll take me. I was fried by a dragon once, but got better.

What made you want to write a story for Master Switches?

The chance to remix Doctor Who’s rich history – why should the same Doctors and Masters always be paired off bar the limiting factor of availability of actors? That’s the beauty of prose and comics – your playground becomes limited only by your imagination. It’s not rewriting history, but it’s a chance to at least have fun remixing it and see the chemistry

How would you describe your story in a nutshell?

It’s loosely inspired by the Game of Thrones episode A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms - a character piece with the Doctor meeting the Master on the eve of the Time War – well, as much as Time Wars could be said to have an eve!

What made you decide which Master and Doctor combo to go with?

At the time I pitched it, it was a little odd that this combination of Doctor and Master hadn’t met, so I wanted to see how they sparked off each other. Big Finish have announced a box set with them since, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ve imagined it.

How did you find the writing process?

Given this was written with the pandemic as backdrop, slower and stranger than usual – I could relate to Steven Moffat’s guilt at having all the time in the world but little headspace with what’s going on around us. The real key was working out why such a relatively quiet story might matter, and hopefully I’ve come up with a satisfying reason.

What aspect of your story are you most proud of?

I like to think it’s capturing the voices of this particular Master and Doctor, finding why they’re still friends and where they’re similar despite some profound philosophical differences.

What’s your favourite line from the story?

‘All that power over time and you still couldn’t stop night falling.’ As a summary of the impotence of even the Time Lords. And the last line, which might indicate the Master scores a kind of small victory…


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