Writer's Commentary

Twenty-One: September 1971

Stevens flees to Brighton and adopts the name Gartside, borrowed from the lead singer of top 1980s pop combo Scritti Politti. The journalist has Dodo buried, on a hillside overlooking the sea.

I'd never been to Brighton when I wrote that, so I've no idea if there is a cemetery near the town on such a hillside. While grieving on a wooden bench, Stevens is visited by a short and slightly dishevelled man with a sadness about his face. He says a few brief words of comfort to the journalist before placing a white rose on Dodo's grave. This is a cameo appearance by the Doctor, but the description leaves it open to the reader's interpretation of which Doctor it is. He speaks about death being the start of a new adventure, hinting that he is the Seventh Doctor, but I prefer to think of him as the Second Doctor, come to pay his last respects to Dodo.

Stevens mourns while the world is tearing itself apart with an international crisis. A peace conference is to be held in Britain, hosted by Sir Reginald Styles at Auderly House. In other words, it's the preamble to Day of the Daleks. Stevens sees the Brigadier being briefly interviewed about security precautions at the conference, for which UNIT will be responsible. The journalist determines to expose the truth about UNIT as he sees it, so Dodo has not died in vain. He returns to London and buys a new revolver from a gangland contact in the East End. Presumably the police still have his revolver as evidence for Dodo's murder, should someone ever be brought to trial for the crime. Stevens never explicitly states why he needs a revolver, but considering what he's been through in recent chapters I can't say I blame him for wanting it.

The journalist mentions the trial and imprisonment of Victor Magister, using events from Malcolm Hulke's adaptation of his scripts for The Sea Devils.

Stevens travels to Auderly House, arriving towards the end of Day of the Daleks as the Ogrons attack the peace conference. He is almost killed by the Ogrons (not that he knows their name or species at the time) but is saved by - of all people - the Doctor. Afterwards Stevens bumps into Sergeant Benton and is taken to see the Brigadier. Lethbridge-Stewart persuades the journalist that the Master's infiltration of C19 is nothing to do with UNIT. He even shows Stevens the body of an Ogron, proving beyond doubt that aliens were behind the attack on the peace conference. Stevens realises he has wrong about almost everything, from start to finish. He has stood on the sidelines, reporting what others were doing rather than doing something himself. I quit daily newspaper journalism for similar reasons (not about aliens and my conspiracy theories being proved wrong, the latter reason - wanting to do things rather than just report them).

Reading it back, I love the short scene with the Brigadier. Hopefully I'll get the chance to write a whole novel featuring Lethbridge-Stewart one day.

Anyway, Stevens decides to commit suicide. This is where the confusion about multiple revolvers must have come from. My original draft supplied to Virgin featured the following paragraph:

I slumped onto my bed and felt something in my jacket pocket jab into my side. I reached into the pocket and pulled out my revolver. The weapon I had bought to protect myself and Dodo, which instead was used to murder her and frame me. Another joke at my expense, another error.

Of course, Stevens no longer has that first revolver - the police still have it. If the journalist did still have it, he would now be carrying two guns. Virgin spotted this and cut the last two sentences quoted.

Before Stevens can pull the trigger this chapter ends, as does Part Two of Who Killed Kennedy. Just the finale to come!

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