A week after the special aired, Doctor Who writer Lawrence Miles contacted BBC Books editor Stephen Cole with an idea for a novel sequel focusing on Joanna Lumley's Thirteenth Doctor; Cole had already received a different Thirteenth Doctor pitch from David A. McIntee that weekend. Titled The War , Miles's novel would have taken place during the time war alluded to in Miles's Eighth Doctor Adventures novels. Miles planned to take advantage of the BBC's catalogue of characters, mostly those from 1970s and 1980s sitcoms: with the war causing alternative timelines to overlap, the Doctor would have found herself in a concentration camp on Earth along with strays from other realities, such as Norman Stanley Fletcher from Porridge . In a pastiche of war story clichés, the heroes would have been betrayed by " Mrs. Slocombe 's pussy", a running joke in Are You Being Served? which would have been revealed as a conceptual entity working for the Enemy, the Time Lords' unseen opponents. At the story's climax, the Doctor and Captain Mainwaring from Dad's Army would have led a suicidal " Light Brigade "-style assault on the Enemy's base. Cole never replied, which Miles has attributed to Cole mistaking the submission for a joke. 
Being reminded that nobody escapes death just doesn't get any more fun than this. In only fourteen paragraphs, Poe creates a Gothic wonderland that will give you a serious case of the spine-tinglies and set your imagination all atwitter. The story's imagery is just as wonderfully weird and dramatic. The language is so grave and dark it practically screams to be read aloud by Christopher Lee . And if you're into solving puzzles, the story's got enough allusion and symbolism to keep you figuring it out for a good long while.
Besides being a horror buff's dream, "Masque of the Red Death" may also have some interesting things to say about art. In what ways is an artist like a sorcerer? Do art and madness always go together? Is art above morality? What's the relationship between art and death? Those are all questions Poe explores through the surprisingly complex character of Prince Prospero.
So read "The Masque of the Red Death," and let yourself discover the fantastic world of Poe and Prospero's madness. Find out why some have called this Poe's own twisted remake of Shakespeare's The Tempest . And witness for yourself the mother of all party crashes.