The legend of Gilgamesh and Enkidu takes me back to wet Thursday afternoons in the history room at school, doodling in my rough book and half listening to a droning voice at the front of the class. And when John Peel mentioned that his new book in some way encompassed that age-old story, my heart sank and I remembered a very bad essay that I'd once written about Mesopotamia. ‘Oh, great: that's fantastic,’ I muttered, summoning up a false grin. Imagine my delight when John sent me his first draft which I started reading and couldn't put down. Why hadn't my history teacher described these characters as though they existed and shaped a real world, our world, all those thousands of years ago? Well, I suppose she can be forgiven, for she had no TARDIS, no Time Lord and no Ace to help her relate something so far back in time to our modern lives.
No Doctor, no Ace. That's something we all feared would happen at one point. I was heartbroken to say farewell to such a dynamic, interesting character, one who was such a good foil to Sylvester's irascible, quirky, utterly lovable Doctor, a character to whom even strangers could relate and use as a role model, a real life companion who reflected our society and especially the young woman's role at the end of 1980s.
And now all is not lost! Ace continues to live on the printed page, as bolshy, as aggravating and just as much a headache for the ‘professor’ as she was on the small screen.
I'm very honoured to have been asked to write the foreword for what marks an exciting journey ahead for Doctor Who. I wish the writers good luck and happy hunting, for there are an infinite number of stories yet to be told.
And you, the reader, will ensure that this strangely wonderful man will continue to inspire the imaginations of millions of people all over the globe, with his twinkling eye and his unquenchable thirst for knowledge and truth whenever or wherever he pops his head out the door of that battered old police box.
Finally my thanks go to all those who have welcomed me so warmly into the Doctor Who family. I have this strange feeling that it's one I shall never leave.