Ever since I stared writing, it was my intention to write
a story set in Bristol.
Not just because its the city in which I happen to live,
but because it has got a fascinating and colourful history,
and, of course, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, greatest Briton (whatever
the polls say).
Researching the character, I realised that he would be the
perfect foil for the Doctor.
workaholic who never took fools gladly, Brunel was a driven
man, whose engineering genius was complemented with his eye
for beautiful design one look at the Suspension Bridge
is enough to convince you of this.
neighbourhood of Totterdown features in the book.
he was never the best man to work for, and he dedicated himself
to his work at the expense of his health, and his life.
An arrogant, irascible, driven, genius... it struck me that
this man could almost be the Doctor.
And so a story in which the Doctor teams up with Isambard
Kingdom Brunel to save the world (or as it turned out, reality
itself) seemed to me a great, fun idea that would make a great
could be Totterdown or anywhere
I live in Totterdown, south of the river, with amazing views
The name Totterdown is derived from the Old English
'totem' which means view, so Totterdown literally
means look out on the down.
Lower Totterdown was also once called Aldburiham, which roughly
translates as: ald = old, buri = hill fort, ham = home.
Walking around Totterdown it is easy to imagine that the place
could have once been a hill fort, and it was this that gave
me the idea of setting the story in an alternative present
I envisaged a place where the Industrial Revolution never
happened and the inhabitants of Bristol live in walled forts
defending themselves from bands of outlaws and worse.
SS Great Britain is among the Bristol places mentioned
As the story developed, I decided to include as many famous
Bristol locations as reasonably possible given the plot.
I managed to fit in the Suspension Bridge, Queen Square, Ashton
Court and its Mansion House, the Floating Harbour, the Downs
and the ss Great Britain.
It's not mentioned by name but the Llandoger Trow is also
in there. The pub has a previous literary claim to fame -
Robert Louis Stevenson stayed there to imbibe atmosphere for
Bit of a tourists greatest hits, I admit,
but the majority of the people reading the book wont
ever have been to Bristol (the books have worldwide distribution)
so I wanted to include the most recognisable landmarks.
Who knows, my book might even make people want to come to
Bristol and check it out for themselves...
>> Continue Nick's Doctor