Iris Wildthyme

Iris Wildthyme is a character created by author Paul Magrs. She originally appeared in his own novels before she made the leap to the Doctor Who universe. Iris is known for her boozing, her large personality, her outrageous appropriation of other people’s adventures and stories, and her tendency to get into trouble at the drop of a hat. She claims to have been the Doctor’s lover numerous times. She drives about the universe in a red double-decker bus – the number 22 to Putney Common – which is smaller on the inside than the outside. She’s a transtemporal adventuress extraordinaire, having loads of fun and buggering things up allover the place.

Wildthyme on Top

The first, and so far only, short story collection for Iris from Big Finish Productions, edited by Paul Magrs. My story, Blame Iris, had her and her young companion Tom visiting 1930s France to meet eroticist Anais Nin, and Henry and June Miller. Together they become embroiled in a plot by origami aliens to take over the earth using erotic literature!

Wildthyme on Top Cover Art

Iris is an enigma… She’s an enigma wrapped in a mystery. With a shapeless, tasteless hat clamped to her head. She’s an enigma wrapped in a mystery, with a shapeless, tasteless hat clamped her head and she’s puffing on a gold-tipped black Sobranie.

And she drives a big red double-decker bus, ostensibly bound for Putney Common. Except it’s not. She’s been to Putney Common precisely once and that was by accident. That was when she picked up Tom, who is now her best friend.

Together they journey through the multiverse: boozing and fighting; righting wrongs and buggering things up again. Here, in their first exciting anthology of ludicrous adventures they meet monsters, klllers, ambassadors, insect-things, detectives, weirdos, psychics, fiends and sundry perverts.

The Stories
Preface – Paul Magrs
Most Horrid – Justin Richards
The Sleuth Slayers – Jake Elliot
Minions of the Moon – Philip Purser-Hallard
Beguine – Stephen Cole
Blame Iris – Stewart Sheargold
Came to Believe – Craig Hinton
Rough Magic – Kate Orman
The Mancunian Candidate – Lance Parkin
Iris and Irregularity – Jacqueline Rayner
The Evil Little Mother and the Tragic Old Bat – Jonathan Blum

Collection Review

“After the luxurious prose of Sheargold’s last foray into the world of Iris (in his collaboration with Paul Magrs, It’s Raining Again), I should have realised that Blame Iris would be good. In fact, it’s packed with lovely writing, unexpected imagery and cracking dialogue. The story of Iris and Tom’s exploits with Henry Miller, his wife June and Anais Nin and the attempted invasion of Earth by aliens made of paper is so well-done that it could easily be Paul Magrs writing under a pseudonym. A delightful piece of work which perfectly captures Iris, Tom and the kind of threat she’s best designed to confront.”

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Released July 2005. Wildthyme on Top features a number of different incarnations of Iris, but chiefly the one played by Katy Manning in Big Finish’s audio dramas. At this time in her long life she travelled with Tom, a young gay black man.

Iris Wildthyme and the Celestial Omnibus

This is the first collection of Iris short stories published by the new imprint Obverse Books, set up by Iris fan, Stuart Douglas. My story, The Scarlet Shadow, has Iris and her good friend Panda (a talking toy Panda with airs and graces) in 18th century Russia, where they happen to find sultry actress Marlene Dietrich, gypsy curses, Russian fables, and become involved in the mystery of a stolen painting that can bend time.

Celestial Omnibus Cover Art

What is there left to say about Iris Wildthyme –- transtemporal adventuress extraordinaire, metafictional explorer of texts and subtexts, double-decker-dwelling interstellar bag-lady, amnesia-prone political and sexual revolutionary, writer of wrongs, wronger of rights (especially copyrights), all-round champion of freedom, occasional nightclub singer and frequent bar-room floozy?

Well, there’s always something.

The Stories
Introduction – Katy Manning
A Gamble with Wildthyme – Steve Lyons
Sovereign – Mags L. Halliday
The Unhappy Medium – Mark Wright and Cavan Scott
Future Legend – Stuart Douglas
Battleship Anathema – Philip Purser-Hallard
The Dreadful Flap – Paul Magrs
And Not a Drop to Drink – Steven Wickham
Iris Wildthyme y Señor Cientocinco contra Los Monstruos del Fiesta – Cody Schell
Why? Because We Like You – Jonathan Dennis
The Scarlet Shadow – Stewart Sheargold
Only Living Girls – Stephen Cole

Collection Review

“…the spookiness stakes are given another boost in The Scarlet Shadow, a creepy tale of time warping and living artwork in old Russia. Featuring Marlene Dietrich, assorted cackling gypsies and a literal cat burglar, it draws us further into the Whoniverse with the inclusion of the ancient Russian legend of the wizard Koschei, and we all know who he is… well, actually, it’s not him, but that’s as much a surprise to Iris as to anyone.”

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Released May 2009. Iris Wildthyme and the Celestial Omnibus features the Katy Manning version of Iris and her best friend, the mysterious Panda. It is edited by Paul Magrs and Stuart Douglas.