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Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Audio Adventures - Big Finish

4/04/2001 12:02:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Compiled by:
Shaun Lyon
Doctor Who Continues on Audio: Big Finish Productions is currently releasing monthly Doctor Who stories starring members of the series' original cast. The BBC has renewed Big Finish's current contract for an additional year, through 2002.

A Second Season for McGann Confirmed: Big Finish Productions has confirmed that a second season of adventures with the Eighth Doctor and Charley, starring Paul McGann and India Fisher (right). McGann was recently in the studio taping six stories for release in January to June of 2002. There is also a linking story in the adventures: the first three "sees the Doctor and Charley attempting to get to New Year's Eve, 1930, to keep Charley's appointment with her gentleman friend Alex Grayle in Singapore the journey that led to her being aboard the R101 in the first place." More details on the forthcoming adventures below.
      McGann, who played the Eighth Doctor in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie (and whose only subsequent return to the Who fold was to read stories for an audio release, "Earth and Beyond"), taped four audio plays in 1999 for Big Finish's first four months of 2000, reprising his role as the Doctor. McGann taped those four stories on 15-19 May 1999 in sequence after extensive negotiations with Big Finish and did so in secrecy until the story was sent to Doctor Who Magazine for their exclusive release in the June issue. Joining McGann for his return visit was actress India Fisher (who previously had a guest shot in the Peter Davison story "Winter for the Adept"), playing the role of new companion Charlotte "Charley" Pollard, a 1930's teenager teenager from 1930 who stows away aboard the R101 airship on its maiden voyage, seeking a life of adventure away from the humdrum society world of her rich stockbroker father. Says Gary Russell: "Her only soapbox is that she's a Mrs. Pankhurst fan, but she isn't obsessive about it. And although she thinks the Doctor is a wonderful, funny, dear man, she has no romantic feelings for him!" Also making a return visit is Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. (Photo courtesy Big Finish Productions. Thanks to SFX for some information.)

Casting Updates:
  • Eleanor Bron, popular UK stage & screen actress who appeared twice previously in Doctor Who (in a cameo with John Cleese as an art lover in "City of Death" and more visibly as villainous Kara in "Revelation of the Daleks"), portrays Ileana de Santos in the forthcoming "Loups Garoux".
  • Joining Bron is actor Burt Kwouk, the popular character actor best known for his role as Cato in the "Pink Panther" movies alongside Peter Sellers, and who has appeared in such films as "Empire of the Sun," "Rollerball" and "Goldfinger" as well as in the Doctor Who story "Four to Doomsday" as Lin Futu; and actor Nicky Henson, a versatile TV character actor in Britain.
  • Nicholas Courtney returns for a second guest shot as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in "Minuet in Hell," completing the circle and making Courtney the only actor in Who history to star opposite all nine television Doctors (the first seven, McGann, and Richard Hurndall in "The Five Doctors")
  • Actor Michael Sheard, who appeared in many Doctor Who stories including "Pyramids of Mars," "Remembrance of the Daleks" and "The Mind of Evil," is a confirmed guest for the forthcoming "The Stones of Venice" as Count Orsino.
  • Lalla Ward again reprises her role as Romana in "NeverLand"; Anthony Keetch (Vansell) returns for a third go in the same story.
Forthcoming Releases. Confirmed upcoming stories from Big Finish include:
  • "The Stones of Venice" (March 19, 2001): Written by Paul Magrs, directed by Gary Russell. Stars Paul McGann and India Fisher as the Eighth Doctor and Charley, with guest star Michael Sheard as Count Orsino. The Doctor and Charley become embroiled in the decadent court of a tired Duke and his search for his beloved wife. The curse of the long since dead Duchess has finally come to pass and the enchanted city of Venice is sinking beneath the canals. Also starring Nick Scovell (Churchwell), Barnaby Edwards (Pietro), Elaine Ives-Cameron (Ms. Lavish), Mark Gatiss (Vincenzo).
  • "Minuet in Hell" (April 17, 2001): Written by Alan W. Lear and Gary Russell, directed by Nicholas Briggs. Stars Paul McGann and India Fisher as the Eighth Doctor and Charley, with special guest star Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. The twenty-first century has just begun, and the newly-formed state of Malebolgia is seceding from the rest of the United States of America. After his successful involvement with Scotland's devolution, Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart has been invited over to Malebolgia to offer some expertise. However, there's someone held in a lunatic asylum who interests him, someone who believes he travels through space and time in the TARDIS. It is not, however, his old friend the Doctor... Also stars Robert Jezek (Brigham Elisha Dashwood), Helen Goldwyn (Becky Lee), Maureen Oakeley (Dr. Dale Pargeter) and Nicholas Briggs (Gideon Crane).
  • "Loups-Garoux" (May 21, 2001): Written by Marc Platt, directed by Nicholas Pegg. Stars Peter Davison and Mark Strickson as the Fifth Doctor and Turlough. "Germany, 1589: the townspeople of Cologne pronounce the death sentence on a mass-murderer who has stalked the countryside in the guise of a ferocious wolf. Russia, 1812: retreating from Napoleon's invading forces, a merchant's daughter is rescued from bandits by a handsome partisan with a ravenous appetite. Brazil, 2080: the Doctor and Turlough arrive for the Rio de Janeiro carnival. Wealthy heiress Ileana de Santos is not all she seems - and what sinister ailment afflicts her invalid son, tended by the mysterious Dr Hayashi? And who exactly is Rosa, engaged on a secret quest to fulfil the destiny of her extinct tribe? Time is running out for Rosa, Ileana and the Doctor, as the fearsome shadow of an ancient werewolf moves ever closer..." Also stars Eleanor Bron (Ileana de Santos), Burt Kwouk (Dr. Hayashi), Nicky Henson (Pieter Stubbe), Sarah Gale (Rosa Caiman), Jane Burke (Inez), David Hankinson (Anton Lichtfuss) and Derek Wright (Jorge). Music by Alistair Lock. Recording 9-10 December. (Originally called "The Werelings")
  • Dalek Empire I: Invasion of the Daleks (June 4, 2001): Written and directed by Nicholas Briggs. The largest Dalek fleet ever assembled begins its invasion of the galaxy, heading straight for the Vega System. On planet Vega VI, Suz and Alby take their first, delicate steps towards romance, whiling away a lazy afternoon on the Marsh Lakes. But the Dalek onslaught is already under way. Who is the mysterious stranger Suz finds amongst the devastated remains of Vega VI? What is Alby's secret? Can the Daleks' relentless advance across the galaxy ever be stopped?
  • "Bloodtide" (June 18, 2001): Written by Jonathan Morris, directed by Gary Russell. Stars Colin Baker and Maggie Stables as the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn. "The prehistoric Earth is dying. Thunderclouds roll across the skies, cloaking the land in darkness. The seas crash and boil as the rain turns to acid. The remnants of the Silurian race place themselves in suspended animation, deep below the surface. One day they will awaken and reclaim their world... The TARDIS has landed on the Galapagos Islands, a desolate outcrop of rocks shrouded in mist and fear. In the settlement of Baquerizo Moreno, there are rumours that prisoners have been mysteriously disappearing from the gaolhouse. A fisherman has been driven insane by something he saw in the caves. And the Doctor and Evelyn are not the only new arrivals; there is also a young natural philosopher by the name of Charles Darwin..." Also stars Miles Richardson (Darwin), George Telfer (Captain Fitzroy), Julian Harries (Governor Lawson), Daniel Hogarth (S'Rel Tullock), Helen Goldwyn (Shevak) and Janie Goddard (Greta). Features the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn with the return of the Silurians from the television series, and... Charles Darwin! Music by Alistair Lock.
  • "Dust Breeding" (July 23, 2001): Written by Mike Tucker, directed by Gary Russell. Stars Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred as the Seventh Doctor and Ace. "On nineteenth Century Earth artist Edvard Munch hears an infinite scream pass through nature. Centuries later his painting of that Scream hangs in a gallery on the barren dust world Duchamp 331. Why is there a colony of artists on a planet that is little more than a glorified garage? What is the event that the passengers of the huge, opulent pleasure cruiser 'Gallery' are hoping to see? And what is hidden in the crates that litter the cargo hold? The Doctor's diary indicates that the painting is about to be destroyed in 'mysterious circumstances', and when he and Ace arrive on Duchamp 331, those circumstances are well underway."Originally this slot was filled by a story called "Dark Rising" though we are told by Big Finish that Tucker was dissatisfied with his own progress on the script, and so he submitted a completely different story that Big Finish accepted.
  • Dalek Empire II: The Human Factor (August 6, 2001): Written and directed by Nicholas Briggs. Alby Brook and Gordon Pellan are following the best information they have to locate Suz in Dalek-infested space. But what is it the Daleks want with her? On the slave planet Guria, Alby discovers Suz is already gaining a reputation as something of an angel of mercy. Could it be that she is now working for the Daleks? But as Suz and Kalendorf travel from planet to planet a murmur of defiance is growing… 'Death to the Daleks… death to the Daleks…'
  • "Project Twilight" (August 20, 2001): Written by Cavan Scott & Mark Wright, directed by Gary Russell. Features the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn, and is a vampire story set in modern day London. Says DWM: "a gritty tale of vampirism in modern-day London, the story promises gore, gambling and garlic galore."
  • "The Eye of the Scorpion" (September 17, 2001): Written by new author Iain McLaughlin. A Fifth Doctor & Peri pseudo-historical romp through ancient Egypt.
  • Dalek Empire III: Death to the Daleks (October 3, 2001): Written and directed by Nicholas Briggs. Suz decides it is time to take control of events. But when she is summoned to an audience with the Dalek Emperor, she begins to fear that all her efforts have been in vain. Meanwhile, Earth Alliance Security commander-in-chief Tanlee is intent on locating Alby. The Dalek advance across the galaxy seems unstoppable and the only possibility of salvation for the human race lies in the Lopra System. But how can Alby help, when no one will tell him the purpose of 'Project Infinity'?
  • "Colditz" (October 22, 2001): Written by Steve Lyons. A Seventh Doctor and Ace story set in Colditz, Germany.
  • Untitled story (November 2001): No information
  • Dalek Empire IV: Project Infinity (December 3, 2001): Written and directed by Nicholas Briggs. The Seers of Yaldos have a sad story to tell, but Alby and Kalendorf know they must listen. Meanwhile, the Daleks seem unconcerned by their recent defeats. They have their sights firmly fixed on Project Infinity. In the hands of the Daleks, the human race's only hope of victory could signal the destruction of the entire universe.
  • "The One Doctor" (December 17, 2001): Written by Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman, directed by Gary Russell. Features the Sixth Doctor and Mel in their first audio together. ("A frantic romp around the galaxy in the company of some rather surprising characters," according to DWM.)
  • "Invaders From Mars" (January 2002): Written and directed by Mark Gatiss. The second 'season' of Eighth Doctor & Charley adventures starring Paul McGann and India Fisher begins. "The TARDIS misses the date by a few years and miles, arriving instead in New York, 1938. While the Doctor assumes the guise of a local gumshoe and helps out a dame searching for her missing uncle, Charley is kidnapped by hoodlums trying to break into another gangster's 'patch'. Meanwhile, in the studios of CBS Radio, Orson Welles is transmitting his ground-breaking War of the Worlds radio drama, blissfully unaware that New York has indeed been visited by aliens..." Also stars Ian Hallard (Mouse), Mark Benton (Ellis), Jonathan Rigby (John Houseman), David Benson (Orson Welles), Paul Putner (Bix Biro), Simon Pegg (Don Chaney), Jessica Stevenson (Glory Bee) and John Arthur (Cosmo Devine).
  • "The Chimes of Midnight" (February 2002): Written by Rob Shearman, directed by Barnaby Edwards. "Still unable to reach 1930, the TARDIS places the Doctor and Charley into a Victorian household, in 1906. There they meet the servants of Edward Grove who seems to keep his workers in a constant state of bewilderment and terror. When the scullery maid is found murdered, it falls to the famous amateur sleuth known as the Doctor to solve the mysteries. The only trouble is, the household keep shifting into different moments in time." Also stars Louise Rolfe (Edith), Lennox Greaves (Mr. Shaughnessy), Sue Wallace (Mrs. Baddeley), Robert Curbishley (Frederick) and Juliet Warner (Mary).
  • "Seasons of Fear" (March 2002): Written by Paul Cornell and Caroline Symcox, directed by Gary Russell. "The TARDIS finally gets Charley to Singapore in time for the festivities. However, while she enjoys her young man's company, his Grandfather, Sebastian Grayle, taunts the Doctor. Apparently, they are old and bitter enemies and Grayle has finally succeeded in killing the Doctor. With time running out, the Doctor and Charley must embark on a journey through history to discover how Grayle received the 'gift' of immortality and just how he has managed to destroy the Time Lord..." Also stars Stephen Perring (Sebastian Grayle), Stephen Fewell (Marcus and Richard Martin), Robert Curbishley (Lucillius), Lennox Greaves (Edward the Confessor), Sue Wallace (Edith), Justine Mitchell (Lucy Martin).
  • "Embrace the Darkness" (April 2002): Written and directed by Nicholas Briggs. "The Doctor and Charley travel to the remote Cimmerian System to unravel the mystery of its sun. But darkness has already embraced the scientific base on Cimmeria IV in more ways than one. In a fight for survival, the Doctor must use all his wits against a deadly artificial life-form and an ancient race whose return to the Cimmerian System threatens suffering and death on an apocalyptic scale." Also stars Nicola Boyce (Orllensa), Lee Moone (Ferras), Mark McDonnell (Haliard) and Ian Brooker (ROSM).
  • "The Time of the Daleks" (May 2002): Written by Justin Richards, directed by Nicholas Briggs. "The Daleks are back and face the Eighth Doctor for the first time. As the Dalek Empire continues to spread through the galaxies, they seek, once again, to conquer the fourth dimension and travel back to the post-apocalyptic twenty-first century Earth to find a particular leader who can aid them in their quest. To the Doctor, their time device is crude and unworkable. And yet it does lead him to wonder if the Daleks know more than they are letting everyone else believe." Also stars Learman Dot Smith (General Mariah), Nicola Boyce (Viola), Julian Harries (Major Ferdinand), Jem Bassett (Kitchen Boy), Mark McDonnell (Priestly), Lee Moone (Hart), Ian Brooker (Professor Osric) and Nicholas Briggs & Alistair Lock (Dalek Voices).
  • "NeverLand" (June 2002): Written by Alan Barnes, directed by Gary Russell, featuring special guest star Lalla Ward as President Romana. "Why are the Time Lords so keen to track the Doctor down? Exactly what lengths will the Celestial Intervention Agency go to in their efforts to retrieve something important from within his TARDIS? Who is the mythological destroyer Zagreus? And what has caused Imperiatrix Romanadvoratrelundar to declare war on the rest of creation? The Doctor seeks the answers deep within an entirely new universe and must face up to the actions not only of himself but the hundreds and thousands of Time Lords who have gone before. NeverLand is set to end this run of adventures for the Eighth Doctor on an explosive high and it is true to say that nothing will ever be the same again!" Also stars Anthony Keetch (Vansell), Peter Trapani (Kurst), Holly King (Levith), Lee Moone (Under-Cardinal), Mark McDonnell (Rorvan), Nicola Boyce (Taris) and Dot Smith, Jonathan Rigby and Ian Hallard (Matrix Voices).
Big Finish Audio Online Ordering: Big Finish has opened its online store, allowing secure ordering from its website. Big Finish's website can be found at http://www.doctorwho.co.uk.