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Bookmark and Share Doctor Who on BBC Radio

6/06/2001 11:47:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Compiled by:
Shaun Lyon
July Webcast?: Several sources are reporting that the pilot episode, entitled "At The Temple of the Forth," of the canceled Doctor Who BBC radio series "Death Comes to Time" will be webcast on the BBC's official website on July 13. We'll keep you posted with more information shortly. (Thanks to Neil Perryman)

Radio 4 Refuses Doctor Who Drama: Despite a finished pilot starring Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, Radio 4 have turned down the pilot for "Doctor Who: Death Comes to Time," including both an initial broadcast and the option to create a full series. Dan Freedman, the producer, contacted Outpost Gallifrey, letting us know that "True to form Radio 4 have turned down the pilot, despite it being called 'terrific' by Stephen Fry and 'brilliant' and 'Epic' by Sylvester McCoy... We tried everything to get it on the air, but Radio 4 have turned it down flat. You can guess how disappointed we all are. Everyone who heard it loved it, but there we are. Luckily, BBC Worldwide like it a lot and may give us enough to make the series, and online too." Freedman told us he is negotiating a release with BBC Worldwide (expected to be released under their BBC Radio Collection label, the same group that releases the Doctor Who episode soundtracks) and other radio avenues. Radio 2 is considered to be the likeliest option. Freedman confirmed that negotiations had been taking place in January which would see the six episodes being co-funded by BBC Online and BBC Worldwide, with first run of the episodes coming via the BBC's own Dr Who website. "It's going well," said Freedman. "We've got to see how things go now with (Worldwide) but it's looking promising... Right at the start I offered to show them the script, before we had started, but they turned that down," he revealed. "There was never any feeling that we were anything other than a disease (to them). There was nobody there saying 'Yay, let's go and make some new stuff here.'" Freedman also told the official BBC Doctor Who website, in response to whether it will likely be released on CD: "Very likely .... and I think it will probably be webcast too, as a series. I'm having loads of meetings to finalize it at the mo." Doctor Who Magazine recently said, however, that BBC Spoken Word have no intention of releasing the story as a BBC Radio Collection release alongside the missing stories.
A few details about the plot, courtesy SFX Online: The Doctor and his companion (now played by Kevin Eldon) arrive on an alien planet under siege from warmongering, bloodthirsty aliens (led by John Sessions) and set about stopping them. Meanwhile, Ace is having difficulties of her own... When asked to give an idea of a 'great moment' in the story that fans are missing out on: "There's a bit in a garden on Gallifrey where an old Timelord is explaining how the Universe works, which is actually quite moving, and when the Doc first appears it's a real back of the neck tingle!"

Originally reported by DWM and several British newspapers, the radio pilot featured Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred reprising their roles as the Seventh Doctor and Ace. The script was written by Dan Freedman and Colin Meake of Radio 4's Loose Ends comedy show. Freedman told Doctor Who Magazine that "This will not be a comedy. I'm keen to develop a new take, to bring forward darker aspects of the character... We don't want to build up fans' hopes." The drama bore the provisional title "Doctor Who: Death Comes to Time" and also stars Stephen Fry, Leonard Fenton, Huw Thomas, Kevin Eldon, John Sessions and Jacqueline Pearce ("Blake's 7"). It was taped in October 2000. Rumors that David Bowie was involved are untrue, but it was confirmed by Freedman that he was interested in an appearance if the pilot had gone to series (as a character called the Duke of White). However, William Hartnell does appear in the pilot (after all, this is a series about time travel...)
Sophie Aldred's new website, www.sophiealdred.com (not yet completed) will feature the pilot trailer for "Death Comes to Time" in the near future.
(With thanks to Dan Freedman, Iain Hepburn at SFX, Peter Anghelides, David Whitten, Andrew Meadows, Gareth Fenton)

Bookmark and Share DVD

6/06/2001 11:46:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Compiled by:
Shaun Lyon
Exclusive Commentary on North American DVD Release: Steve Roberts of the DW Restoration Team confirmed a story we'd only recently heard: Peter Davison and Terrance Dicks were recently in studio recording a commentary to be used exclusively on the Region 1 (North America) DVD release of The Five Doctors. At present, the commentary will not be on any other recordings.

Australia DVD Update: Roadshow and BBC Worldwide have apparently settled their differences with regards to Australian DVD releases of Doctor Who stories. Roadshow will be producing the discs in Australia, using masters supplied by BBC Worldwide (a similar situation to the video releases). Robots of Death will be the first DVD released under this arrangement, appearing in stores in July. Some reports suggest that Spearhead from Space will also be released at the same time, however the official word from Roadshow is that the title will see release in September. Future DVDs are expected to released every three to four months after this. (Thanks to Jason Fraser & Dr. Who Club of Australia)

Doctor Who DVDs in North America in September 2001: Further to our exclusive announcement of the onset of Doctor Who DVD in North America last week, we have now received official word from BBC Worldwide Americas that, in conjunction with Warner Home Video, they are finally bringing Doctor Who onto DVD in North America on September 11, with the simultaneous triple-release of "The Five Doctors""The Robots of Death" and "Spearhead from Space"(contrary to earlier reports that they were being released months apart). The two releases will match their UK DVD counterparts in features very closely; commentaries, photo galleries, trailers, model footage and the UNIT Recruitment Film on "Spearhead" will definitely be included. All three DVDs are expected to retail for US $24.99. TV Zone Magazine is reporting that the US version of "The Five Doctors" will also have "The King's Demons" on it, but we are highly sceptical of this; our sources at BBC Worldwide Americas haven't mentioned this, and it's possible they are referring to the VHS version in confusion. (Thanks to BBC Worldwide Americas for the final confirmation, as well as Brian Burkart, Jennifer Kelley, Michael Sliger, Kenneth Parker, Patrick Neighly, D. Callinicos and others)

Doctor Who 1960's Films on DVD and Video: Australia video buyers have received word that Universal Australia is releasing a special DVD package in May 2001 -- the two Dalek movies of the 1960's, "Dr. Who and the Daleks" and "Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD," along with a special bonus feature, the "Dalekmania" documentary. The retailer's suggested price is $AUS 39.95. Part of the advertising being distributed suggests that it is being released in Australia before the rest of the world. The package is also being released as a double VHS package on the same day as DVD release. Click on the graphic for the screen shots of the menus from this DVD release! (Thanks to Grant Watson, and to Gallifrey 5 for the image!)
Cover Changes: The Doctor Who DVD covers are set to feature a new look with the release of Caves of Androzani later this year in June. The photograph on the front cover will be replaced with artwork from the people responsible for the latest book covers. This decision is likely to please a large number of fans who are disappointed with the current covers, so much so that the debate has even reached the letters page of Doctor Who Magazine! (Thanks to Doctor Who Shop)

BBC DVD Release Strategy Reexamined: Due to the amount of delays, due both to production as well as packaging, the BBC is reexamining its DVD release strategy for 2001. To that end, The Caves of Androzani has been pushed back from its April 2001 release date to June. In addition, the 1996 TV Movie, originally due in the summer (by early reports), will be released in the autumn.

DVD Release Notes
These releases are only currently in PAL format (for UK, Australia and New Zealand & compatible DVD players); NTSC format (US/Canada) are expected from BBC Worldwide in late 2001. Special thanks to Steve Roberts of the Restoration Team and our other correspondents for this information.
    Previously Released (in UK or abroad):
  • The Five Doctors: Now in release in UK and Australia/New Zealand; coming soon in US/Canada. This is the 'special edition' remastered originally for video release. Dual-layered with Dolby Digital soundtrack; the soundtrack was remixed using full multi-channel sound and the disc includes the full music soundtrack. Includes subtitles in six languages. North America release includes Peter Davison/Terrance Dicks commentary.
  • Robots of Death: Now in release in UK; coming soon in Australia/New Zealand, US/Canada. Includes a commentary by author Chris Boucher and producer Philip Hinchcliffe; 10 minutes of shots and model footage ("unused footage, ex-monochrome Shibaden tape"); an image stills gallery; production notes; and a floor plan from the production.
  • Spearhead from Space: Now in release in UK; coming soon in Australia/New Zealand, US/Canada. Includes commentary by actors Nicholas Courtney and Caroline John. Musical cuts were made, including digital removal of a Fleetwood Mac track in part two and replacement of a Led Zeppelin track from the trailer for part three. Includes Kevin Davies' five-minute spoof "UNIT Recruitment Film"; a photo gallery with rare or previously unseen photos; two BBC trailers from the 1999 repeat season; a specially shot 35mm trailer for the 1999 Doctor Who night; and a bonus hidden feature (Easter Egg). Also included is the option to display production information via on-screen subtitles, which gives the viewer details of the locations used and other points of interest throughout the story.
  • Remembrance of the Daleks: Now in release in UK. Includes commentary by actors Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred; a four-minute extra including deleted scenes, bloopers and outtakes; two original BBC1 trailers (one of which was reconstructed specially for this disc); two multi-angle sequences featuring Ace's baseball attack on a Dalek and subsequent escape, and the gate explosion sequence; and an isolated music track provided by musician Keff McCulloch including a couple of unused music cues. Two pieces of music by the Beatles were removed digitally. An error in production has allowed a couple of small scenes to be released on the disc without requisite effects, using earlier takes for the scenes. Among them is a sequence in the scrapyard where a soldier is shot by a Dalek beam; the ray is not added to this version. The Restoration Team are hoping to correct this for future pressings including overseas releases, but cannot guarantee that any work will be able to be done to fix it.
    Forthcoming:
  • The Caves of Androzani: Scheduled for release on June 13, 2001. Confirmed extras: Commentary by Peter Davison (the Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri) and Graeme Harper (director); Original BBC 1 trailer; BBC News item on Peter Davison departing the show; BBC News interview with Peter Davison. South East at Six News feature with Peter Davison and John Nathan-Turner (producer); 8 minute featurette with commentary; 5 minute featurette including a commentary from Christopher Gable on the creation of his character, Sharez Jek; Isolated Music Soundtrack; Photo Gallery; Scene Selection, Graphical Menus, Production Information Subtitles. As the master tapes have seen some decay, the Restoration Team is busy doing some much-needed work for its DVD release. Director Graeme Harper has been liaising with the RT on some of the work, which includes remaking the planet surface matte shots in episode one to remove movement between the foreground and background elements. Harper, Peter Davison and Nicola Bryant recently taped commentary audio in the studio for the release. In addition, a number of special items will be included on the disc, including a BBC-1 trailer for part one (remade in broadcast quality); three news items including the announcement of Davison's departure on the One O'Clock News, a Kate Adie interview with Davison on the same day, and an interview with Davison and producer John Nathan-Turner from the following day's "Southeast at Six"; a photo gallery; and a subtitle 'text commentary'. Says Steve Roberts: "A 75-minute isolated camera recording from the last studio session exists (an 'iso' recording is generally designed to capture alternative angles that are not always being covered by the main cameras and provide additional shots for the director to use in post-production) and includes the shooting of the regeneration from Peter Davison into Colin Baker. An eight-minute featurette is being prepared which will include some of this material and will be accompanied by a commentary. An audio interview with the late Christopher Gable, who played Sharaz Jek in the story, has been loaned to us and forms the basis of a separate four minute featurette entitled 'Creating Sharaz Jek', which also includes previously unseen photographs from Gable's own collection, rehearsal and iso camera material from the last studio recording session, and extracts from the finished show." Musician Mark Ayres is working on the isolated soundtrack which will be presented in its entirety. Roberts also explains: "Nearly two hundred tape dropouts and scratches were repaired over the four episodes. Several technical errors in the original editing were spotted and corrected. The most noticeable of these were a one-frame zoom into the picture just prior to a cut near the end of episode three, which was corrected by repeating the previous frame, and a sideways hop halfway through a shot in episode two. The latter was quite tricky to fix, as the entire shot moved to the right halfway down one field and then stayed in this position for the rest of the shot. There is another occurrence of this in the same episode, but unfortunately it has the holographic communications screen superimposed over it, so it was impossible to fix the displacement of the background without affecting the superimposed foreground element."
  • The 1996 TV Movie: Release scheduled for August 2001. Confirmed DVD material is as follows: digitally remastered, previously unreleased unedited version; audio commentary with director Geoffrey Sax; isolated synchronous music soundtrack (stereo sound); four previously unreleased music tracks: "In a Dream" (featured playing on the gramophone in the TARDIS), "All Dressed Up" (featured playing on the radio in the morgue scenes), "Ride Into The Moonlight" (featured playing at the Hospital's New Year's party) and "Auld Lang Syne" (recorded for, but not used in, the final scenes); US FOX network promo feature; interviews with the stars, producer and director from 1996; behind the scenes footage and tour of the TARDIS set; interview with producer Philip Segal in 2001, looking back on the film from five years on; two alternative versions of existing scenes (Puccini and Give Me The Keys); two BBC trails; subtitle production commentary; English subtitles; photo gallery. Many of the extras come from the Electronic Press Kit produced for the FOX network and television trailers (including a caption tribute to the late Jon Pertwee which was broadcast with the movie on BBC1 in 1996, interviews and FOX's "Behind the Scenes" minidocumentary). The 10-minute interview with film producer Philip Segal (who spearheaded the 1996 film) was taped at the Gallifrey 2001 convention; among other comments, Segal notes some of the changes he'd have made if he had not been strongarmed by FOX, such as the romantic aspect and the "Americanisation" of the program. Additionally, director Geoffrey Sax does the the first single-person commentary for a Doctor Who DVD release; according to the Restoration Team, Sax gave "great insight into the technical complexeties of making the show." Paul McGann was asked to do the commentary track but declined.
  • Vengeance on Varos: Release scheduled for October 2001. Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant and Nabil Shaban (Sil) taped a commentary on March 29 for this release, which will (unlike previous releases) not include an isolated music soundtrack. "This was purely because the music was used so sparsely throughout the story that we felt it did not work in the synchronous-use form for which we held the rights," says the Restoration Team website, which also notes the reconstruction of a particular scene in episode one. "There is a technical fault with some shots of the gun used to torture Jason Connery. Inside the gun is a red light, which was too bright and caused an illegal video signal... To overcome this, a Philips VS4 noise reducer was put into a mode which severly blurs the video in both horizontal and vertical directions.... The uneveness was then removed by locking onto that particular shade of red using the Pogle secondary colour corrector and then turning the saturation up so that the red went into clipping and removed any level variations." A one-inch studio recording spool for the story still exists, which will be used as the basis for a small feature which shows a problem scene and how the director used multiple retakes to give him the shots he needed. Early 71 edits of both episodes exist on timecoded U-matic dubs (of the director's VHS copies) in Ian Levine's collection, which Ian has kindly loaned to the Restoration Team; these will provide a number of extended and deleted scenes for inclusion on the disc.
  • The Tomb of the Cybermen: Due in January 2002. The original Hong Kong prints were used, ultrasonically film cleaned and then transferred completely raw by Senior Colourist Jonathan Wood on the Spirit telecine for optimum quality - and also to provide us with a source of pictures for 'before and after' shots which could possibly form part of a featurette on the remastering processing. An "Edifis Sting with Scratchbox" utility was used by the Restoration Team to clean some film damage. Will feature commentary by Deborah Watling and Frazer Hines plus text production notes and photo gallery. The RT plans to use an introduction featured on the 1992 VHS release by Morris Barry and some material from BAFTA's 'Tombwatch' 1992 video launch event. Other features are TBA. (Thanks to everyone who pointed out that we featured much of this on the Release Guide page but forgot to update the News Page...)
  • Future Releases: BBC Video wants to run the gamut through all seven TV Doctors for DVD releases first. Releases of one Hartnell and one Troughton story are likely for 2002 along with more Tom Baker releases. One website, the Wolves of Fenric, reported that "Pyramids of Mars" and "The Ark in Space" might be on the schedule sometime soon, but both have been denied.
  • Doctor Who Films on DVD: Doctor Who comes to DVD in North America on an unexpected avenue: the two 1960's Doctor Who films, "Dr. Who and the Daleks" and "Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD" will be released on DVD by Anchor Bay in late 2001, a change from 2002 as previously mentioned, according to Anchor Bay's website. The DVDs will be released separately, with a 5000-count special edition version available for purchase. Actors Jennie Linden and Roberta Tovey recently were in studio recording commentary for the releases, just one of the extras that will be included. Release info can be found on the Anchor Bay website (http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com). (Thanks to Steve Hill and J. Garth Wilcox)
  • Australia DVD Update: Despite of previous announcements that it wouldn't be releasing Doctor Who on DVD in Australia, Sydney-based Roadshow Entertainment (the company that currently releases Who videos down under) has begun releasing them. But the 1960's films will be released; see above! (Thanks to Rob Irwin)

Bookmark and Share Additional Doctor Who Books

6/06/2001 11:43:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Compiled by:
Shaun Lyon
Regeneration: The long-delayed "Regeneration" hardcover book by Philip Segal and Gary Russell is now in release from HarperCollins Press. A soft-cover version is being planned for release in July; we have been told that the authors are attempting to correct small bits of incorrect information in the earlier release. Non-UK international release is currently planned; this is a correction to earlier reports that only import shops could get the book. "Regeneration," a book about the production of the 1996 Doctor Who movie (Segal was the executive producer and driving force behind the film), was originally scheduled to be printed in 1999 by Virgin Publishing, but Virgin shelved it after the final draft of the book was turned in. (Thanks to Richard Bignell, Philip Segal and Gary Russell)

Campaign: Jim Mortimore's now-canceled Doctor Who novel is available as a fan-published, bound volume direct from the author. The book, which was canceled by BBC Books due to contractual reasons, is available priced UK 5.99 (paperback) or UK 12.99 (hardback) plus UK 3.00 postage from Jim Mortimore, 27 Colston Rd, Easton, Bristol, BS5 6AA. "Add 5.00 P&P for overseas," says Mortimore, "and if it's any different I'll sort 'em out on an individual basis when I go to the post office." Says online rep John Parkinson: "If people aren't sure I'd suggest getting an NA and weighing it, then add a bit extra weight for packaging and use some method (I think the RoyalMail website has details) to work out how much it should cost to ship to the country of your choice." A thumbnail of the cover art is available on the Forthcoming Releases page. Further information on ordering this volume can be obtained directly from Jim Mortimore atjimmortimore@jimbo98.freeserve.co.uk (email address given with permission of Mr. Mortimore). Additionally, Ambrosia Books in California has this book in stock, signed by the author. Later this summer (tentatively June), Ambrosia Books will be launching its new imprint, Ambrosia Press with an exclusive limited-edition hardback version of "Campaign" with full color cover plate, numbered and signed by Mortimore.

The Doctor Who Scripts: BBC Books will be publishing the first of what is hoped to be an ongoing series, "Season 12: The Scripts"; Justin Richards is contributing editor, Barnaby Harsent is co-editor and Andrew Pixley is the book consultant. According to Richards, the book will be "heavily illustrated in both black and white and colour. There will be complete camera scripts (not the camera instructions though) for each of the season 12 stories, plus 'front matter' consisting of a review, background production notes, transmission, cast & crew details, etc. Each script will be heavily annotated to show deletions, additions and specific production details". The book was to be published in November 2000, but has been delayed due to clearance delays and other, more recent, publishing delays. According to Justin Richards, the book is to be released in the Autumn of 2001, not in April as the BBC Worldwide press release says. (It also says the background info is all coming from In-Vision, and that isn't true either, though IN-VISION will be one of the major sources.)

I, Who 2 On Horizon: After the success of the first volume, author Lars Pearson has announced "I, Who 2," the sequel to the original "I, Who: The Unauthorized Guide to Doctor Who Novels". It is scheduled to be released by year's end. Third Zone Collectibles, a New Orleans Doctor Who retailer, is sponsoring a special hardcover edition to be released prior to the softcover version. For more information, visit www.thirdzone.com/BSF/iwhohc.html.

The Doctor's Effects: Author Steve Cambden's follow-up book to "The Doctor's Affect" is now available. Says correspondent Richard Bignell: "Steve had hoped to make this a large format book, but he's had to scale this down somewhat, so it will now be the same size as his previous book, 'The Doctor's Affect' - only with more illustrations and photographs." To preorder the book, visit www.alphawaves.net/doctor/.

Doctor Who Location Filming: Author Richard Bignell is currently finishing a licensed book on Doctor Who location filming for Reynolds & Hearn, which will be available by the end of 2001; details forthcoming.

Looking for Sarah Jane Smith: Australian author David Franklin -- also a Doctor Who fan -- has penned his fourth novel, Looking for Sarah Jane Smith. It's "a brutally cynical comedy about three blokes in their late 20's, the scrapes they get into and the s**t they talk to each other. It is a long way from being politically correct." There is little Doctor Who content in the book, also the series is referred to routinely (and therefore is of interest to fans); "Sarah Jane is simply used by Marty as a symbol of the harmony, beauty and inner contentment that he is looking for."

Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Audio Adventures - Big Finish

6/06/2001 11:41:00 pm - 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.

Big Finish Audio Magazine: Big Finish will be issuing a semi-regular audio "magazine" on CD; the first installment was recently presented at a Tenth Planet signing in London and featured a behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of "Bloodtide," information on the Dalek Empire serials and interviews with cast members including Maggie Stables and Colin Baker. The audio "magazine" is narrated by Nicholas Briggs. According to Big Finish, subscribers will automatically get a copy of the first issue. Future issues will be available for purchase but subscribers will get them for free, according to Jason Haigh-Ellery of Big Finish.

A Call for Fan Talent: Big Finish has issued a call via several online boards for new blood... for the sound production side of their audio adventures. "There are lots of talented people out there, doing their own Doctor Who/SF drama audio CDs and tapes and from what we've hear, loads of them are fab. Regular followers of Big Finish's web-pages can't have failed to notice that we're doing more and more product over the next few years, Doctor Who obviously, Tomorrow People, Benny, hopefully Iris W sometime and so on and so forth. Well, that's a helluva lot for Alistair, Nick, Toby and the ERS boys to cope with by themselves. So we're on the lookout for talented post-production types ­ but we are *not* looking for musicians (although a combination of the two, with a bent towards the post-prod wouldn't be a disadvantage). [C]onsider this an audition invite if there are any budding Alistair Locks out there. For purely practical reasons, we'd prefer UK-based people ­ the idea of DATs winging their way across the Atlantic, or down to Oz fills me with a dread too terrible to contemplate ­ but let's face it, if the next Dick Mills lives in Canberra or Kansas, I'd be daft to pass 'em over.... send me examples of your work, info about yourself and what programs you use and... how you'd fit stuff in to the rest of your life" to the Big Finish address located on their website, on CD. "[M]ark your envelope POST-PRODUCTION TRY-OUT."

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.
The Excelis Trilogy: A three-serial story arc just confirmed by Big Finish, The Excelis Trilogy (NOT "Excelsis") will feature three single-CD releases starring Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy each in one story. All three stories take place on the planet Artaris in its principal city, Excelis. Says Big Finish producer Jason Haigh-Ellery, "What is different about these is that although there are three separate adventures, all will take place on the planet Artaris and focus on events occurring in the city of Excelis. The three plays will therefore be linked via a special holy relic that each Doctor must locate in the three different time zones he arrives in... but of course it will never be that simple." Excelis Dawns (formerly entitled "Excelis I: Dawn") stars Peter Davison and is released in February 2002; Excelis Rises stars Colin Baker for April 2002; andExcelis Decays stars Sylvester McCoy and is released in June 2002. Big Finish confirmed to us that no authors have been assigned as of yet to pen the scripts based upon the already-complete story.
Dalek Empire: Coming soon from Big Finish is the Dalek Empire saga, a four-part adventure featuring original characters fighting the Daleks. Gareth Thomas (Blake in "Blake's 7") returns after an outing in the Eighth Doctor adventure "Storm Warning" to join the cast of the serial as the mysterious Kalendorf. Thomas is joined by three other BF returnees in the primary roles: Sarah Mowat (who played several roles in "The Sirens of Time") as planetary geologist Susan "Suz" Mendes; Mark McDonnell (Walter Jacobs in "The Fearmonger") as "slightly less than dynamic" space security agent Alby Brook; and John Wadmore (another "Sirens" veteran) as newsreader Gordon Pellan. Additional cast members include Ian Brooker, Joyce Gibbs, David Sax and, as the Daleks, Nicholas Briggs and Alistair Lock.
Casting Updates:
  • Caroline John, who portrayed companion Liz Shaw during Jon Pertwee's first season, has joined the cast of BF's forthcoming "Dust Breeding" as eccentric art dealer Madam Salvadori. John's husband, Geoffrey Beevers (who portrayed the decayed Master in "The Keeper of Traken") is also in the story as fellow art dealer Seta.
  • Lalla Ward again reprises her role as Romana in "NeverLand"; Anthony Keetch (Vansell) returns for a third go in the same story.
Forthcoming Audios. Confirmed upcoming stories from Big Finish include:
  • "Loups-Garoux" (Now In Release): 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") The cover from Big Finish (by Clayton Hickman) is on the Forthcoming Releases page.
  • "Dust Breeding" (June 18, 2001, moved from July): Written by Mike Tucker, directed by Gary Russell. Stars Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred as the Seventh Doctor and Ace, with Caroline John & Geoffrey Beevers. Features the return of the Krill from Tucker's novel "Storm Warning" and also the return of the character Bev Tarrant (Louise Faulkner) from the BF audio "The Genocide Machine." "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 I: Invasion of the Daleks (June 25, 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? Starring Gareth Thomas (Kalendorf), Sarah Mowat (Susan Mendes), Mark McDonnell (Alby Brook), John Wadmore (Gordon Pellan), Ian Brooker (Admiral Cheviat/Ed Byers/Roboman), Joyce Gibbs (Narrator), David Sax (Tanlee), with Nick Briggs and Alistair Lock as the Daleks. The cover art is very retro, harkening back to the 1960's era; see theForthcoming Releases page for the cover!
  • "Bloodtide" (July 23, 2001, moved from June): 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.
  • 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. Stars Colin Baker and Maggie Stables as the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn. "In the renovated docklands of South East London, on the bank of the river Thames, the doors of the Dusk are open for business. Bets are called, cards are dealt and roulette wheels spun. As fortunes are won and lost, an inhuman killer stalks the local avenues and alleyways a killer with a taste for human flesh. Is there more to casino owner Reggie "The Gent" Mead or is he just a common gangster? What secrets are hidden in the bowels of the Dusk? And what connection does the apparently sleazy Bermondsey casino have to a long- buried government initiative known as Project: Twilight? The Doctor must form uneasy alliances where the line between friend and enemy is blurred, playing games of chance... But are the stakes too high?" 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.
  • "Primeval" (November 19, 2001): Written by Lance Parkin. A Fifth Doctor and Nyssa story. "Lance Parkin's Primeval... will focus on Nyssa and deal with the fact that ever since she encountered the Xeraphin in Time-Flight, she appears to have possessed slight psychic powers. These were used again, both in the audio adventures The Land of the Dead and Winter for the Adept. Where this hitherto unknown aspect of Nyssa came from, and why post-Arc of Infinity, she showed no evidence of it, will be explored in Primeval." This is Parkin's second script for Big Finish previously he wrote The Extinction Event, a Bernice Summerfield adventure set for release this June.
  • 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. "When the evil Skelloids launch an attack upon the seventeen worlds of the Generios system, its peace-loving inhabitants face total destruction. So it's fortunate that the famous traveller in time and space known only as the Doctor is in the area, and doubly lucky that, with the help of his pretty young assistant, Sally-Anne, he manages to defeat the deadly creatures and save the day. But now it looks as though the Doctor¹s luck has run out. Who is the mysterious, curly-haired stranger who insists on causing trouble? What role does the feisty redhead Melanie play in his scheme? And what have they to do with the sinister alien cylinder approaching Generios? One thing is certain: for the Doctor and Sally-Anne, there's deadly danger ahead ..." Gary Russell tells Doctor Who Magazine that the story is "our tribute to The Feast of Steven - The Big Finish Christmas Special!" The cast list includes actor, entertainer and pantomime veteran Christopher Biggins, as Banto Zame - an intergalactic entrepreneur. Together with '2 Point 4 Children' star Clare Buckfield as Sally-Anne Stubbins, Banto's partner-in-crime. Comedian Matt Lucas, better known as George 'What are the scores' Dawes from the BBC2 Comedy Quiz 'Shooting Stars', plays the sinister Cylinder. The impressive cast list is rounded off with Adam Buxton, one half of the team behind the critically acclaimed Channel 4 series 'The Adam and Joe Show', plays a furniture obsessed Robot.
  • "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).
  • "Excelis Dawns" (February 2002): See above for details.
  • "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).
  • "Excelis Rises" (April 2002): See above for details.
  • "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).
  • "Excelis Decays" (June 2002): See above for details.
  • July 2002 release TBA
  • "...ish" (August 2002): Written by Philip Pascoe, starring Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri in their first audio together since "Whispers of Terror" in 1999. It concerns a conference convened to compile the biggest dictionary in the Universe
  • "The Priory" (August 2002): Written by Joseph Lidster, starring Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor and Sophie Aldred as Ace, set around a nightclub.
Big Finish: The Music: A 'surprise' release from Big Finish, "Music from the New Audio Adventures - Volume 2" features music composed by Alistair Lock. This time the scores are taken from the adventures Last of the Titans (the one-episode Sylvester McCoy story that was a free giveaway with an issue of Doctor Who Magazine), The Shadow of the Scourge and The Fires of Vulcan. It is currently in release. Additionally, Volume 3 has been announced for release in July 2001; it features Russell Stone's scores for Winter for the Adept, Red Dawn and The Holy Terror; and Volume 4 for December 2001, containing scores for the four Big Finish Doctor Who audios with Paul McGann: Storm Warning, Sword of Orion, Stones of Venice and Minuet in Hell by Alistair Lock, Russell Stone, Nicholas Briggs and William Allen.
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.