Writer's Commentary

Fourteen: May 1971

This chapter begins with Stevens and Dodo watching events from The Dæmons as they were broadcast on BBC3. Who Killed Kennedy suggests some British newspapers would draw comparisons between what happened at Devil's End and the infamous radio version of The War of the Worlds broadcast on Halloween in 1938 that fooled many listeners across America. Orchestrated by actor Orson Welles, the broadcast was featured in an Eighth Doctor audio released by Big Finish in 2002, Invaders from Mars by Mark Gatiss.

Stevens calls on his old friend at the BBC Vincent Mortimer to get a private replay of what happened at Devil's End. In the print edition of Who Killed Kennedy, the journalist drives to White City in West London and then walks to Broadcast House to see the footage - a blunder noted by several reviewers.

Stevens should, of course, be walking to Television Centre where BBC TV is still based. BBC Radio is at Broadcast House near Oxford Circus - several miles and quite a stroll away from White City.

Before Stevens can hurry to Devil's End he discovers the crisis there is already over and a suspect has been captured, a terrorist called Victor Magister. The journalist describes a photograph of the Master to a satanic image lifted from a Dennis Wheatley novel. Wheatley was a bestselling author specialising in sex and occult romances such as The Devil Rides Out and To the Devil, a Daughter - both subsequently adapted for cinemas by Hammer Films. His books are estimated to have sold 45 million copies.

Looking back it seems quite an adroit swerve to have Stevens kept at arm's length from The Dæmons. It would strain credibility if the journalist was able to interact directly with the events of every TV story from the Pertwee era.

<< Chapter 13 CommentaryChapter 14Chapter 15 Commentary >>