18th January 1996

Doctor Who travels to Guernsey

Guernsey has featured on many television programmes over the years, including Howards’ Way, Bergerac and Island at War. The latter was actually filmed in Jersey. It’s also been the subject of countless books and, every so often, the two media come together with surprising results.

In 1996, just such a collision saw the BBC’s time traveller, Doctor Who, visit Guernsey in a story called Just War. Although it was never televised, it appeared in book form, published by Virgin and written by Lance Parkin. It was Parkin’s first published novel.

The star is Doctor Who’s seventh incarnation, which was played on TV by Sylvester McCoy, who is accompanied by companion Bernice Summerfield. They travel to Guernsey, arriving in 1941 to discover that the occupying forces are trying to perfect a clandestine weapon that would win them the war.

Familiar locations

The story includes references to real places, including the French town of Granville where the Doctor is sent for interrogation. It’s also at Granville where the Germans are developing their stealth bomber. Unfortunately for the Allies, although the RAF manages to destroy the conventional German base they miss the second secret base where the development work is taking place.

Three years after its publication, an adapted version of the story was produced as an audio play but, due to licensing issues, didn’t actually feature the Doctor himself. His companion, Bernice, instead travelled to Guernsey alone using Time Rings.


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Other events that occured in January

Alderney elects its first president 1st
Guille and Alles open their library 2nd
Guernsey bans smoking in public places 3rd
Guernsey Press registers its domain 4th
Guernsey Zoo is sold as a going concern 5th
Guernsey opens its wartime files
Guernsey Police moves to its new headquarters 6th
Guernsey Fisher makes its maiden voyage 7th
Work begins on the Val des Terres 8th
A hotel porter goes on trial for murder 9th
Guernsey Police Service appoints its first inspector 10th
Royal theft inquiry heads to Guernsey 11th
Channel Express Airways plane crashes in Guernsey 12th
Sibyl Hathaway, Dame of Sark, is born 13th
Channel Television disappears 14th
Benefactor Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx dies 15th
MV Prosperity is wrecked at Perelle 16th
Guernsey’s Royal Court sits for the first time 17th
Doctor Who travels to Guernsey 18th
Channel 4 gameshow Treasure Hunt comes to Guernsey 19th
Hanois Lighthouse is cut off by the weather 20th
Guernsey-built prototype plane crashes 21st
Guernsey Steam Tramway stops running 22nd
Radiant Med sinks with loss of life 23rd
Guernsey wins gold at the Commonwealth Games 24th
Sark is awarded Dark-Sky status 25th
Guernsey passengers are battered by storms 26th
Sir Isaac Newton has his say on a mysterious Guernsey invention 27th
Guernsey’s last witch trial takes place 28th
Guernsey poet George Métivier is born 29th
The States of Guernsey proposes a new airport 30th
Guernsey lifeboat performs a chemical tanker rescue 31st