Sunday, July 4, 2021

Master Switches - An Interview with Nathan Mullins


We talk to returning author Nathan Mullins about his page-turning, action-packed Master Switches story 'The Deadly Alliance'. 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m 28 years old, and I live in London. I’ve previously written for Doctor Who Charity Anthologies and Fanzines including Nine Lives, Inferno Fiction, The Terrible Zodin, Unbound: Adventures in Time and Space, The Tides of Time, Cosmic Masque, Whoblique Strategies, Twice upon a Time Scope, and Master Pieces.

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

I had such a great time writing for ‘Master Pieces’ that I really wanted to come up with a story for Altrix Books’ next project. I read the guidelines and thought hard about the story I wanted to tell. I’d hoped to do something on a much bigger scale compared to my last contribution. Hopefully, it’ll have you flicking through the pages to find out what happens next! 

How would you describe your story in a nutshell?

A whirlwind that whips you up in a flurry of adventure! Fast paced, exciting, with additional behind-the-sofa moments thrown in for good measure!

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

I went with Peter Pratt’s version of the Master who’s basically a rotting corpse, intent on causing trouble wherever he goes. With that image in mind, it’s not difficult to imagine what his bloodcurdling motivations might be. He was fun to write for, both as himself and as Joyce. When he reveals himself (his true self), all the pretence is over. This is the Master, seizing his opportunities!

Writing for the Second Doctor and his companions was a gift, as Patrick Troughton is one of my favourite actors to play the Doctor, and both Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling portray such likeable on-screen personalities. Their friendship with the Doctor is plain to see.

The Doctor in this incarnation never encountered the Master in his on-screen adventures, so doesn’t recognise him. And for much of the story, the Master is incognito, hiding in plain sight, committing atrocities. But the Master knows who the Doctor is, and won’t let him interfere in his schemes.     

How did you find the writing process?

I enjoyed the writing process a great deal! I set to work soon after we went into the first national lockdown, which was a pretty scary time, I think, for everyone! Having something to focus on was a tremendous help, and regardless of the awful situation we found ourselves in, wished to produce something EPIC nonetheless! By this point, I’d already had the pitch approved, and it was just a case of working out how the story would unravel, bit by bit. It was challenging, there’s no getting away from it, but that made it all the more exhilarating! It had to go through lots (and lots) of rewrites, from the way I’d structured it to begin with to the characters I’d written for. But once I’d got to the stage where all the necessary alterations had been made, I was really happy with it. And I hope that readers enjoy it as much as I did writing it! 

What aspect of your story are you most proud of?

The way in which we’re introduced to the characters. I really like the opening to the whole story and what’s led to the war between the Grigrosh and the colonists. I like that whereas the Doctor would turn up and save a civilisation from catastrophe, the Master is the opposite, leaving devastation in his wake! There’s a few surprises along the way, which I hope make this an extremely satisfying story.

What’s your favourite line from your story?

The Master encounters some old friends/ enemies. Taken aback by their presence aboard the space station, he blurts ‘What in the name of Rassilon are you doing here?’ With the stakes raised, and his true identity now revealed, the Master has every right to be bewildered by the arrival of his frenemies, whoever they may be.


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