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.
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.