It has to be said that James Goss has captured Rhys Williams perfectly in every drama story he’s written. In ‘Ghost Train’ the story is told from Rhys’ point of view. There’s no guns toting and wild screaming chases throughout the streets of Cardiff, there’s no casual grin of a Captain, there’s just Rhys, 100% human, no bullshit, Rhys, who has lost a cargo of fridges and no matter how many times he tries to ask Gwen for help, she’s off as usual defending the planet, this time from fiery beasts.
In First Born, Rhys and Gwen are on the run, it’s a prequel to Miracle Day, and they find themselves taking refuge in a static caravan in a remote part of North Wales, and Gwen has just given birth to Anwen. What strikes me as interesting about this book is that for a man, James Goss covers the entire childbirth and pre and post pregnant Gwen perfectly, and all the moments that every mother and father can appreciate and nod in agreement about, has been captured within the pages. The chapters are written in first person and the characters take it in turns to give their point of view, it starts with Rhys, their bags are packed. Blue bag for hospital, black bag for leaving Cardiff because they’re being hunted by the Men in Black!
They’re just about to leave when heavily pregnant Gwen needs to pee, and Rhys after months of running through their escape plans, puts the plan into action when the security teams are outside their front door.
I do have a selection of James Goss books and audios still to listen to and to read. His writing captures the scene almost immediately and because we know the characters, we can skip to the action quickly and be thrown along the road enjoying the nail biting ride, hoping that we can outrun the helicopter firing ahead of us on the road, hoping the old taxi cab won’t die before we make it out of Cardiff.
The action is fast paced and you get the same feeling of excitement and tension as you do watching a similar scene on the television, you can’t put down the book until you know for sure, your heroes have made it out alive.
James Goss was born in 1974, the year the Doctors changed from Jon Pertwee to Tom Baker. He has been actively involved in the Doctor Who world since 2000 when he was made senior content producer for the BBC and put in charge of the BBC's official Doctor Who website. In 2005 he moved to BBC Wales to oversee the new show’s website expanding the content to feature all aspects of the show including cast and crew interviews, games and spin off sites based on the broadcasted episodes.
James has an extensive list of credits and achievements which are featured on Wikipedia, a source of interesting information. He has written an extortionate amount of novels, audiobooks, ebooks and novellas for Doctor Who and the spin off series’.
For me it’s his list of Torchwood stories that capture my imagination and it doesn’t matter how many times I listen to ‘Ghost Train’ it’s still as fresh as the first time I listened to it, and I still find myself chuckling at the comical aspects of the story. If you don’t believe me, listen for yourself.
Recently Project: Torchwood interviewed James about his books especially ‘Almost Perfect’ a Torchwood novel that is next on my reading list, and which features Ianto in not the same fashion as we’re used to seeing him as.
Novels, audio books and ebooks:
Almost Perfect (2008)
Risk Assessment (2009)
Department X (2011)
Ghost Train (2011)
First Born (2011)
Golden Age (2009)
The House of the Dead (2011)
The Last Voyage of Osiris (2009) in Torchwood Magazine Issue 17
The Package (2010) in Torchwood Magazine Issue 22
The Mind's Eye (2010) Torchwood Magazine Issue 24
We All Go Through with Steve Tribe (2011) Torchwood Magazine Issue 25
And for those of us who love the non fictional side of Doctor Who these two books are an absolute must for any bookshelf:
The Dalek Handbook with Steve Tribe (2011)
Doctor Who: A History of the Universe in 100 Objects with Steve Tribe (2012)
For the full list of reading material visit:
To follow James on his blog and Twitter: