(ISBN 1-84435-428-3)





 Vislor Turlough is

 in trouble again:

 piloting a stolen

 SPACEship through

 a pocket universe

 on a mission that is

 strictly forbidden by

 the Doctor. He would

 be going it alone, but

 there is unwelcome

 company in the form

 of Huxley, one of the

 legendary novelisors

 of Verbatim Six, who

 is narrating and

 recording Turlough’s



 As they FLY towards

 THEIR peril, Turlough

 recalls his arrival

 in the TARDIS, and the

 circumstances that

 propelled himself, the

 Doctor and Tegan into

 the Ringpull universe.

 He has a story to

 tell. But only Huxley

 knows how it might



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I should start by saying that any story capable of tracing its origins to a dream about a microcosmic universe existing inside a tin of beans could do no wrong in my eyes. Even so though, I didn’t expect to be as blown away by this innovative and inspiring effort as

I have been.


Right from its opening moments, Ringpullworld has a suitably mischievous twinkle to it that sets it apart from its peers. Paul Magrs doesn’t present his story as a traditional audio book or even as your typical Companion Chronicle audio book / audio play hybrid - the listener

is instead thrown headlong into a fully-dramatised affair featuring Turlough and his recently-acquired “novelisor” companion, Huxley, who are piloting a stolen ship towards the “ringpull” aperture that connects our universe to that belonging to a race exiled by higher powers. And against the express instructions of a certain Time Lord, I should add.


The story’s first banter-driven episode is remarkably lively and inventive, not to mention quite thought-provoking. Having Huxley narrate Turlough’s past and present within his earshot is a fascinating device, particularly as the novelisor has unfettered access to Turlough’s thoughts and feelings, and is thus able to make omniscient observations that the young rascal doesn’t necessarily welcome or even agree with.


Part 1 also introduces us to the story’s principal protagonists: a race of militant, humanoid hermit crab / jackal crossbreeds whose species name I won’t even have a stab at spelling. These “Ringpullworlders” make for suitably grotesque adversaries, though Magrs doesn’t really have the time to flesh them out as well as I suspect he’d have liked. That said, he is

at least able to squeeze in an enchanting fable of back story for them, from which the whole business derives.


Ringpullworld isn’t about

the monsters though; it’s

all about Vislor Turlough,

and its here that it excels.

The second part of the

story is a masterpiece.

The author presents the

episode not as a recital

of past events or even a

commentary on those

occurring “live”, but as

what Huxley succinctly

terms “prolepsis” – three

“alternative endings”, as it

were, each of which forces Turlough to examine his actions and his relationships with his companions in a way that he wouldn’t have done had he just blundered into events. The fact that Magrs doesn’t show us which ending ultimately comes to pass is the icing on the cake, making for a resounding cliffhanger end.


And Mark Strickson is terrific here. I’ve always had a fondness for Turlough and Strickson’s guarded portrayal of him, and Ringpullworld offers us a solid hour of him wrestling with his demons, all of which are given voice – and a bloody annoying, almost offensively flowery voice at that – by Huxley. Strickson also does a blinding job of recreating the voices of his erstwhile colleagues – his Peter Davison impression really isn’t bad (though admittedly he sounds much more like Davison does today than he does Davison circa 1984!), and Janet Fielding’s broad accent inevitably invites unflattering, but nonetheless hilarious, imitation. For his part, Alex Lowe clearly had great fun in realising the camp Verbatim Six novelisor,

at times threatening to steal the show with his comic timing and penchant for outrageously camp melodrama.


On balance Ringpullworld may well be my favourite Companion Chronicle to date; it’s certainly the most remarkable, and will prove be a tough act to beat. Just when you think

that Paul Magrs has taken all the wackiness in the universe and milked it for all it’s worth,

he invents a new one and sticks it inside a dimensionally-transcendental tin of beans.


Ruddy bloody brilliant.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2010


E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.



This audio book’s blurb places it between The Five Doctors and Warriors of the Deep. We have therefore placed it between the fifth Doctor’s role in The Sirens of Time and Warriors of the Deep, simply because

The Sirens of Time was released before Ringpullworld.


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