BooksDoctor Who

Olive Hawthorne And The Demons Of Devil’s End by Jan Edwards, Sam Stone, Suzanne Barberi, Debbie Bennett, David J Howe and Raven Dane (book review).

‘Olive Hawthorne And The Daemons Of Devil’s End’ is a short collection of stories extrapolated and based on a Third Doctor Story, ‘The Daemons’.

The local wisewoman, Olive Hawthorne, has had a colourful life and these stories commence at an early age taking us through to a time when she hopes to pass on the mantle of caring for the village. Each story is complete within itself and covers an aspect of her long life. With each different author we gain another perspective.

‘The Inheritance’ is the first story by Sam Stone which explains the mantle of protection that Olive takes on at an early age. A mysterious disappearance and acknowledgment of ‘the other’ is part of the mystical woman’s burden.

‘Half Light’ by Suzanne Barberi sees Olive reflecting on a long ago lost love and all its inherent complications. Full encounter with the faerie is part of Debbie Bennett’s story that reveals ‘The Cat Who Walked Through Worlds’. A disturbing and malevolent force is dealt with in ‘The Poppet’ by Jan Edwards. A nod to the original series pops in ‘Daemos Returns’ by David J Howe with a couple of subtle and unattributable references for those in the know.

Finally, ‘Hawthorne Blood’ by Raven Dane sees Olive seeking to pass on her burden of care but nothing can be that simple. The epilogue by Sam Stone who also writes the first story and edited the collection is a poignant reminder of mortality and duty. It rounds off the life of Olive Hawthorne and finishes the collection off neatly.

My favourite part of the book is actually the ‘Dossier’ by Andrew-Mark Thompson compiled from contemporaneous documents and photographs taken from the village of Devil’s End after the events recorded in the documentary ‘The Daemons.’ Skilfully put together, they offer an insight into what really happened on that fateful day.

This collection of stories is based on the Reeltime film called ‘The White Witch Of Devil’s End’. The afterword by Keith Barnfather who made the film and a previous documentary about ‘The Daemons’ explains a little about its inception and the subsequent novelisation.

It’s a clever idea to take a supporting character from classic Doctor Who and re-imagine her back story. They even used the original actress, the impressive Damaris Hayman, who provides a foreword to this book. Returning to Devil’s End is a fun trip but be careful to pay attention and watch out for the gargoyles.

Sue Davies

February 2018

Olive Hawthorne And The Demons Of Devil’s End by Jan Edwards, Sam Stone Suzanne Barberi, Debbie Bennett, David J Howe and Raven Dane

(pub: Telos Publishing Ltd, 2017. 212 page enlarged paperback. Price: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84583-969-7)

check out website: www.telos.co.uk

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