‘The Mirror of Memory’ (Z) – Introduction

Welcome to ‘The Mirror of Memory’ of the ‘Zorbius’ series by Tim Bradley!

This has to be my personal favourite story out of the ‘Zorbius’ series. Not just because it features the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy in it, but also because it’s a sequel to my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ story ever – ‘Black Orchid’. ‘The Mirror of Memory’ is how I would do my sequel to that special TV story.

I love ‘Black Orchid’ as it’s what got me to embrace ‘Doctor Who’ by going to conventions and meeting stars like Sarah Sutton and Peter Davison. There’s always a risk when it comes to doing a sequel to your favourite ‘Doctor Who’ story. But I was keen to do this and I was happy with the result.

I’m thankful that the source of inspiration to this ‘Doctor Who’ story was from the Target novelization/audiobook of ‘Black Orchid’ by Terence Dudley. I enjoyed hearing Michael Cochrane narrate the story on audio. It was great to pick things up from this story in the extended novelization/audiobook form.

I’m lucky to have met Michael Cochrane in real-life at a convention in Chiswick, London back in April 2013. He was a nice chap to meet and he’s well-liked by people who’ve worked with him. It was great to get his voice for Lord Cranleigh when I was writing the character in ‘The Mirror of Memory’.

It was also great fun to write Ann’s character in the story – now Lady Ann Cranleigh as she’s married to Charles. The Target novelization/audiobook helped me to understand her character and it was very enjoyable to write her relationship with Billy when he needed help from her and Lord Cranleigh.

In many ways, ‘The Mirror of Memory’ can easily be a story that stands on its own without the ‘Zorbius’ connections fitted into it. It’s also mainly a story from Billy’s point of view when he meets Lord Cranleigh and Ann for the first time and when he rescues the Doctor and Nyssa from great peril.

‘The Mirror of Memory‘ is a love letter to the Fifth Doctor era of ‘Doctor Who’ as well as to ‘Black Orchid’ itself. I know Peter Davison doesn’t like ‘Black Orchid’ very much, but without this story, I wouldn’t have got into the Fifth Doctor era so seriously. And I wouldn’t have met Sarah Sutton at all.

So, I hope you’ll enjoy ‘The Mirror of Memory’, my sequel to ‘Black Orchid’. I hope you’ll find it exciting, heartbreaking and intriguing at the same time. You’ll pick up plenty of familiar ‘Black Orchid’ references throughout this story, both from the TV version and the novelization/audiobook.

TIM BRADLEY, May 2020


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