Published to raise money for the British Heart Foundation, Time’s Champion was an original novel written by Craig Hinton and Chris McKeon. Hinton had only just started planning the book when he died suddenly in December 2006, and Chris took on the task of completing the work. It was then edited and prepared for publication by David J Howe, and the initial edition was made available in 2008.
Since then, the book has exchanged hands for a lot of money on auction sites, and the people behind it considered that 2020 would be a good year to make it available again, in another limited run, for collectors to buy, and to raise more money for the BHF.
1908: George McKenzie-Trench is suffering from writer’s block, unable to foresee the ending of his novel, Time’s Champion, nor the consequences of its completion.
9908: The planet Caliban is under attack from Cyber-forces, and governor George McKenzie-Trench attempts to save the world by unleashing Abaddon, a powerful computer virus. But Abaddon has other instructions.
Meanwhile Gallifrey is threatened and the Keeper is seeking answers within the Matrix. President Romana is helpless: no-one is who they seem and the conspiracy goes even deeper than she can imagine. She needs the Doctor …
But the Doctor is on Earth in 2008, fighting to save the life of a child who must survive at all costs.
As Gallifrey is besieged by ghosts from the past, the Doctor, Mel and Benton find themselves in the middle of an epic and final battle as the ancient gods choose their champions and allow chaos to reign across all of time and space.
The 2020 edition of the novel is being published in a limited paperback edition designed to match the original run of Target books. We have taken as our basis ‘The Trial of a Timelord’ sequence of novelisations, as this book comes after the last of those, ‘The Ultimate Foe’.
‘Time’s Champion is an absolute delight in every respect. It’s so impressive, in fact, that it’s really made me realise just how unadventurous the new series tie-in novels are as a range. Although many of them are superb, there is no changing the fact that when you pick up a new series tie-in novel you are not going to get anything pioneering or exceptional. Time’s Champion, conversely, is bound in the style of the Virgin Missing Adventures range, immediately engendering that inimitable thrill that comes with knowing that something big could happen … By the time that I’d finished Time’s Champion – in a single sitting, I might add – I felt like a morbidly obese fatty that had just wolfed down six of the sweetest and richest chocolate cakes known to man – offensively full, exceedingly guilty, and, perhaps, just a little bit sick. Chris McKeon’s writing debut could not have gone better in my view and Craig Hinton, the man who purportedly coined the term “fanwank”, has left us all with a thrilling and magnificent unfinished symphony that will live on for as long as Doctor Who endures.’ E G Wolverson, Doctor Who Reviews
‘A solid adventure with many moments which bring a smile to the face of this long time fan.’ Matt Haasch, Pagefillers.com
‘A brilliant tribute to Hinton’s work as well as the Sixth Doctor. It was full of continuity references, but it also used them in a huge and epic final story for the Sixth Doctor.’ James Aggas, doctorwhowatch.com
336pp. A-format paperback novelisation.
Published December 2020
The cover features Alister Pearson’s illustration for this book, digitally remastered by David Lavelle from a new scan of the original artwork.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Craig Hinton was born in England on 7 May 1964, a date which he managed to slip into several of his novels in one way or another. His fascination and, one might say, frustration, with the Valeyard in Doctor Who led him to centre his first-pitched novel for the Virgin New Adventures range, Cascade, around the character and his intrinsic relation to the Doctor. Although that story was rejected, Craig continued writing and eventually penned two Missing Adventures: The Crystal Bucephalus, a 100th Century restaurant romp in the vein of Season 20 with the 5th Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and Kamelion, and Millennial Rites, a reality-bending adventure set in the heart of London which developed the Lovecraftian influence on mid-90s Doctor Who and which was arguably the novel which initiated the renaissance of the 6th Doctor and Mel’s characters; one New Adventure: Godengine, the tale of the 7th Doctor, Roz and Chris’ journey across the wastes of Mars with Ice Warriors, all set against the backdrop of the Dalek invasion of Earth (continuity weaving at its best!); and two past Doctor adventures for BBC books: The Quantum Archangel, a thematic sequel to Millennial Rites, which finally pitted the 6th Doctor and Mel against the Master without other Time Lords present to interfere, and which was an absolute tour de force of the series’ continuity and cosmic mythology, and, SynthespiansTM a 6th Doctor and Peri, Season 22 style, salute/satire of the 1980s, with the Autons in a shopping mall thrown in for good measure.
Craig also had several other writing credits to his name. There were various short stories written under a pseudonym for Virgin’s adult fiction ranges, Excelis Decays, a 7th Doctor audio and the final part of the Excelis trilogy which starred Anthony Stewart Head, several contributions to Big Finish’s The Tomorrow People series and also various short stories.
Time’s Champion was to have been Craig’s closure to both the 6th Doctor’s life and the mystery of the Valeyard, but events combined to make the story’s publication impossible. Undaunted, Craig, seeing his time as a Doctor Who author ending with the advent of the new series on television and the new literary guidelines which came with it, was preparing to become a teacher of mathematics when he died suddenly on 3 December 2006.
Chris McKeon was born in California on 26 November 1982, and is a lifelong Doctor Who fan. He received his Bachelors of Art in English Literature from Whittier College in May 2005, and is currently pursuing (after an 18 month hiatus to study biochemistry) a Masters degree in that field at California State University Fullerton. Time’s Champion is his first major writing project, and hopefully not his final story.