Friday, 16 November 2012

Big Finish: Dark Eyes

Big Finish have released details about their new adventure for the Eighth Doctor, as played by Paul McGann:
The Eighth Doctor in new costume. Photo: Big Finish"We have a long history of adventures with the Eighth Doctor," says writer/director Nicholas Briggs, "and we'd just got to the end of four years' worth of adventures with Sheridan Smith as Lucie Miller. So, I wanted to create a fresh start for Paul McGann and our listeners. It's a real jumping-on point where the Doctor is embroiled in a whole new, gigantic adventure. You can listen to this without ever having heard an Eighth Doctor audio drama before and understand every word and nuance. Of course, if you want to go back and find out what happened before, you can always do that too."

Dark Eyes introduces a new companion for the Eighth Doctor in the form of Molly O’Sullivan, played by Ruth Bradley, a volunteer nurse who he meets in France during the First World War. "I wanted there to be a new companion who had something different to offer," Nick continues. "Someone mentioned that there'd never been an Irish companion in the TARDIS and I was already thinking of making her someone who was involved in the First World War, so the two things came together to make something rather unique in the form of Molly O'Sullivan. She's a girl who's seen and experienced the most terrible, harrowing things, so she's no innocent and she's not really a willing participant in the Doctor's adventures. Also, she is the 'Dark Eyes' of the title, so the adventure is all about her relationship with the Doctor."

Dark Eyes also showcases a new costume for Paul McGann’s Doctor, which was designed and made by WETA Workshop. "That's something that Paul McGann worked out with an great Australian guy called William Geradts who organises conventions Down Under," Nick explains. "He and Paul got chatting about creating a new image for the Eighth Doctor and Bill got WETA to make it for him. Paul loved it and came to us, asking if we'd be prepared to use it. Since the Eighth Doctor had had so many adventures with us, and it seemed odd that he'd keep that Wild Bill Hickok costume on for so long, we thought it was high time for a change. Our Doctors show so much loyalty, continuing to work with us over the years, so we're always happy to incorporate their ideas and this was one we were very keen to embrace. We sent the images to the BBC, they approved them, so off we went! It's a brave new era with a great new look."

As mentioned above, McGann is joined by Ruth Bradley, who recently appeared in the mini-series Titanic (which also co-starred Jenna-Louise Coleman) and is known in sci-fi circles for her role as Emily Merchant in Primeval. Peter Egan plays Straxas: the actor is about to appear in Downton Abbey this Christmas, but is probably best known from Ever Decreasing Circles; for Big Finish he previously played Moloch in Protect and Survive. Toby Jones plays Kotris: the actor's Doctor Who credentials include playing the Doctor himself - aka the Dream Lord - in 2010's series episode Amy's Choice; other credits include playing Dobby in the Harry Potter films, and also appearing in Titanic alongside Bradley.


Dark Eyes (available to order)
by Nicholas Briggs
starring Paul McGann, Ruth Bradley and Peter Egan

'I really hoped it would be a wonderful view... to look back from the end of everything... to see how things finally turned out.'

The Doctor is looking for hope. But instead, he finds himself on a mission. The Time Lords have uncovered terrifying fragments of an insane plot to destroy the universe. And somehow, at the centre of that plot is one, random female in Earth’s history, Molly O’Sullivan.

Soon, the Doctor and Molly find themselves thrown headlong into a series of dangerous and terrifying adventures, with the dreaded Daleks never far behind them.