The barrier crumbles at last: Big Finish does New Series

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  • #1565

    …okay, a new series spinoff, but considering the importance of the character/organization involved, it’s a pretty big crack in the dam. [LINK]

    Big Finish is delighted to announce that Kate Stewart and her UNIT team from the Doctor Who TV series will be starring in a brand new series of audio dramas, in a licensing deal with BBC Worldwide.

    Kate is the daughter of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, and Head of Scientific Research at the Unified Intelligence Taskforce, which investigates and confronts alien attacks on the planet Earth. The role is portrayed by Jemma Redgrave (Dracula, Frankie, Cold Blood) who has appeared opposite Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi on television, and returns for the audio series.

    “We’re thrilled that Jemma is on board for our brand new UNIT adventures,” says series producer David Richardson, “and we feel privileged to work within the universe of New Series Doctor Who for the first time. UNIT: Extinction will showcase all the excitement, drama and wit that viewers of Doctor Who love.”

    Additional cast members for the first box set, UNIT: Extinction, will be revealed later. This first box set release comprises four hours of adventure, in which Kate and her team confront an alien invasion by the Nestene Consciousness and its army of plastic Autons.

    UNIT: Extinction will be released in November 2015, and is available for specially-priced pre-order, with all pre-orders getting a copy of Nicholas Courtney’s memoirs A Soldier in Time as a free download as Supplementary content in Big Finish accounts.

    Three additional box sets will be available at six monthly intervals, with all four available for a Bundled pre-order. For many more details, watch this space in coming months.

    Ever since the new series began, Big Finish has been kept at arm’s reach from anything to do with the new series. They danced daringly close to that line at times, particularly with the Gallifrey spinoff audios’ talk of a coming war, but they couldn’t use new Doctors, companions, characters, or monsters. About a year ago, I remember Nick Briggs being rather irritated as he noted that, while the BBC had originally set out licensing “old Who” and “new Who” as separate entities (with separate fees), that barrier had fallen for damn near everyone, even the people making the action figures and comics, while Big Finish still couldn’t step across that line.

    It’s about damn time this happened, basically, and UNIT – of any era – is ripe for a spinoff. Now that they’ve ventured this far, I must say, for the first time in my life – and pending the availability and affordability of John Hurt – we must go straight to War, and as quickly as possible!

    #7576

    And the last of the wall keeping Big Finish confined to “classic” Doctor Who has been trampled into dust by a Sontaran army from the Time War. [LINK]

    Big Finish is proud to announce a new range of boxsets, featuring heroes and monsters from the New Series of Doctor Who.

    Leading this new wave of adventures is Alex Kingston as River Song, the beloved Time Lord archaeologist who first appeared in 2008’s Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead.

    River will be stepping into the era of the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) for Doctor Who: Doom Coalition 2, alongside Liv Chenka (Nicola Walker) and Helen Sinclair (Hattie Morahan). But how can River help her husband if, in this incarnation, she must never actually meet him?

    “The idea of River meeting previous Doctors was actually proposed by Steven Moffat,” says producer David Richardson, “and it’s just irresistible, isn’t it? Alex embraced the idea of returning to the role, and so she will be starring in no less than two box sets next year. And yes, we are still pinching ourselves!”

    River will then return later in 2016 in Doctor Who: The Diary of River Song, an epic four-hour adventure that takes River across space and time, seeking out the secret rulers of the universe. Paul McGann will reprise the role of the Eighth Doctor in the final instalment.

    The New Series adventures will continue in Doctor Who: The Churchill Years, in which Ian McNeice returns as the indomitable Winston Churchill. In the four-hour saga, Winston relates a number of encounters with the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors in his memoirs, battling alien incursions, metamorphosing creatures… and a Dalek! The stories are told by Ian McNeice, supported by a full cast of guest actors, including Danny Horn as Kazran Sardick, in a story taking place within the 2010 special A Christmas Carol.

    “Ian has played Churchill in just four episode on TV, and yet it feels like it was many more,” says executive producer Nicholas Briggs. “It was such a brilliant, definitive performance, and how wonderful that we will be continuing Churchill’s adventures with the Doctor on audio.”

    Finally, the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors will face a new generation of monsters in Doctor Who: Classic Doctors, New Monsters, a brand new, four-story run featuring creatures from the New Series. Peter Davison takes on the Weeping Angels, Colin Baker encounters the Judoon, Sylvester McCoy will meet the Sycorax… and Paul McGann will face a new clone batch of Sontarans on the edge of the Time War….

    “It’s the ultimate mash-up,” says executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery, “and we have some great scripts lined up for these landmark stories. There is no doubt that 2016 is going to be a brilliant year for Big Finish!”

    All four boxsets will be released across 2016, and are available to pre-order today from the Big Finish website. Doctor Who: Doom Coalition 2 will be released in February, and is available as part of a special bundle of all four Doom Coalition boxsets.

    All I can think is: Moffat would be well advised to up his game.

    #7577

    It. gets. even. better.

    Strax meets Jago & Litefoot! Victorian investigators team up for a special audio spin-off from Doctor Who!

    Strax, the Sontaran butler to Victorian investigator Vastra and her wife Jenny, will be swapping the Paternoster Gang for a short spell with Jago and Litefoot in a new audio special from Big Finish Productions: Jago & Litefoot & Strax!

    In this special double-disc release, the Sontaran suffers a disorienting attack, mistakes the two Victorian investigators for Jenny and Vastra and moves into Litefoot’s home. Together, they are on the trail of a creature that is stealing brains, which may or may not be linked to a haunted house in London.

    The characters of Jago and Litefoot, played by Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter, were created by Robert Holmes and first appeared opposite Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor in The Talons of Weng-Chiang in 1977.

    “It’s a testament to the great Robert Holmes and these two wonderful actors that Jago and Litefoot remain so eternally popular,” says producer David Richardson, “and it’s such a joy to have them set foot in the world of current TV Doctor Who as they join forces with Strax for a special investigation.

    “Justin Richards’ script is superb, packed with excitement and wit, and it’s so fun to see the mis-matched duo of Jago and Litefoot become a mis-matched trio!”

    Dan Starkey, who first played Strax on TV opposite Matt Smith in A Good Man Goes to War, says: ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang was one of my favourite Doctor Who stories growing up, first in its form as a Target novelisation and then in the prized VHS I got for Christmas 1988. Spool forward nearly 30 years, and I’ve been lucky enough to encounter Jago and Litefoot in their audio incarnation already, with my turn as Mr. Tibbs in Series Nine.

    ‘Now it’s a joy to bring Strax face to face with the characters who in many ways defined how Doctor Who “does” Victorian London. I hope the sonic thaumaturgy of those clever coves at Big Finish will excite the ears and invigorate the imagination, as Henry Gordon Jago might have put it!’

    Jago & Litefoot & Strax will be released as a two-disc special in November 2015.

    😆

    #7578

    New rumor making the rounds:

    Big Finish tenth Doctor/Donna audios in 2016.

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