Interview: Author Paul Cornell | LONDON FALLING

PrintE-mail Written by Ed Fortune

Paul Cornell is a celebrated author and creator of screenplays. His credits include Robin Hood, Primeval, Casualty, Doctor Who as well as DC and Marvel comics. His new book, London Falling, came recently.

Starburst: What would the elevator pitch for the autobiography of your life be?

Paul Cornell: I'm Terribly Sorry, the story of an author who fell awkwardly.

Tell us about London Falling.

It's the story of a team of modern undercover London police who accidentally become able to see the magic and the monsters and decide they have to use real police tactics against them.

Why London? What is it about the city that inspires urban fantasy?

It's got a tremendous occult history and it deals with space in a way few other cities do, layering versions on top of each other.

What is the weirdest that has ever happened to you?

Phil Dick style deity contact experience. But enough about me.

You’ve written a lot of Doctor Who as well as original fiction. Is there a particular franchise that you would you love to write about?

The Avengers, as in John Steed. James Bond. I'd like to get a crack at one of those.

Tell me about the differences between writing for TV, comics, novels or audio plays?

They all handle time, budget and space differently. It's a question of changing mental gears.  Prose, of course, can do anything.

Any plans to write more Captain Britain or UK Marvel characters?


Which of your works would you like to see on the silver screen?

London Falling. Hugely.

Any new Doctor Who related work planned?


If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one book for company, what would that book be?

A Man on the Moon by Andrew Chaikin. It's the best version of the history of the Apollo moon landings. It makes me cry in a manly way.

Which Authors are your influences?

Christopher Priest, Brian Aldiss, Stephen Baxter, Seanan McGuire, Ursula LeGuin, Pat Barker, Terrance Dicks... that's just today's list, off the top of my head.

What else inspires you?

Kate Bush, Bowie, Fortean Times, the game of cricket...

Who would win between Captain America and Captain Midlands? 

Captain America, almost certainly. 

What about Bernice Summerfield versus River Song?

Bernice, of course, although those two would never fight.

Simpsons or Futurama?


Fox Mulder or Charles Fort?

Well, I think Mulder would acknowledge Fort as having got there first.

Truth or Beauty?

Truth. Every time.

Tom Baker or Matt Smith?

Matt. Or Peter. Or Sylvester.

London Calling is out now.

scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code

Sign up today!