The Nightmare Fair

Doctor Who: The Nightmare FairThe Doctor brings the TARDIS to a landing at Blackpool in 1986, promising Peri a relaxing getaway for once. But other alien forces have different plans for Blackpool: the Celestial Toymaker is play-testing a new arcade game there, one which burns out the minds of those players who prove to be very good at it. The two time-travelers are separated, and the Toymaker intends to use Peri as a pawn to secure the Doctor’s cooperation in his scheme to take over the world.

Order this CDoriginal script by Graham Williams
adapted for audio by John Ainsworth
directed by John Ainsworth
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), David Bailie (Celestial Toymaker), Matthew Noble (Kevin), Andrew Fettes (Stefan), Louise Faulkner (Woman), William Whymper (Shardlow / Attendant), Toby Longworth (Yatsumoto/Truscott/Manager/Man), Duncan Wisbey (Humandroid/Security Man/Geoff/Guard)

Notes: This first entry in the Lost Stories range of sixth Doctor audios was originally written by former Doctor Who producer Graham Williams as the opening story of season 23; the last TV story of season 22, Revelation Of The Daleks, was actually intended to end with the Doctor promising to take Peri to Blackpool, as a lead-in to The Nightmare Fair. Of course, Doctor Who was taken off the air after season 22 by the then-controller of BBC1, Michael Grade, leading to one of the most controversial periods in the show’s history. The existing scripts for season 23 were scrapped and replaced by the Trial Of A Time Lord season. The Nightmare Fair joined two other abandoned season 23 scripts as novelizations, and was also adapted for audio as a charity fan-made project. David Bailie, who appeared in the classic Doctor Who story Robots Of Death, also plays the part of the Celestial Toymaker (originally played by the late Michael Gough) in the seventh Doctor audio story The Magic Mousetrap, as well as in a Companion Chronicles story featuring the eighth Doctor and Charley, Solitaire. The Nightmare Fair would have been a timely story in 1986, dealing with video games as a plot element, and several classic (if rather dated by 1986 standards) video game sounds are heard in the background of this story, most notably various Atari 2600 sound samples and, most prominently, the opening fanfare of Namco‘s Galaxian arcade game (1979). (The Doctor professes a liking for an even older game, Space Invaders, and who are we to argue?)

Timeline: after Revelation Of The Daleks and before Mission To Magnus

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Mission To Magnus

Doctor Who: Mission To MagnusA run-in with the Anzor, the school bully who lorded over him at the Time Lord Academy, has the Doctor running scared, to Peri’s amazement. The TARDIS brings them to the planet Magnus, where the divide between genders has left women in charge of the planet with men as an enslaved underclass. The Doctor and Peri also discover that Sil, their old profiteering nemesis, is at work on Magnus, working a play-all-sides-against-the-middle swindle. One of the sides that doesn’t reveal itself until later is a party of rogue Ice Warriors, planning to create an environmental disaster that will make Magnus more suitable for themselves. But even the locals aren’t welcoming the Doctor and Peri’s help this time.

Order this CDwritten by Philip Martin
directed by Lisa Bowerman
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Nabil Shaban (Sil), Malcolm Rennie (Anzor), Maggie Steed (Madamme Rana Zandusia), Susan Franklyn (Jarmaya / Tace), Tina Jones (Ulema / Soma), William Townsend (Vion), Callum Witney Mills (Asam), Nicholas Briggs (Brorg / Vedikael / Grand Marshall / Ishka), James George (Skaarg / Jarga / Hussa)

Notes: Nabil Shaban reprises the role of Sil for the first time since Doctor Who‘s 1986 season; to date, all of the character’s TV and audio appearances have been penned by his creator, writer Philip Martin. Martin has written other stories for Big Finish’s audio plays, namely The Creed Of The Kromon, which introduced the eighth Doctor’s alien companion C’rizz.

Timeline: after The Nightmare Fair and before Leviathan

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Doctor Who: LeviathanThe TARDIS experiences problems in flight, and lands at the earliest opportunity so the Doctor can try to effect repairs. The scanner shows that the TARDIS has landed in medieval England, complete with a mythical hunter who stalks the locals “when their time comes.” If that isn’t strange enough, evidence of energy weapons and robotics are barely hidden from view as well. The locals are instantly suspicious of the time travelers, especially when the Doctor decides to take up the cause of freeing them from the terror that stalks the land. But the Doctor and Peri are in too deep before they discover that it isn’t land, and it’s not inhabited by locals… and that the hunter is among the least of their problems.

Order this CDwritten by Brian & Paul Finch
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Howard Gossington (Gurth), John Banks (Herne the Hunter), Beth Chalmers (Althya), Jamie Parker (Wulfric), Derek Carlyle (Siward)

Notes: Leviathan was written by the late Brian Finch (1936-2007), who had a strong connection with Colin Baker’s career – he was a frequent writer of The Brothers, the early 1970s prime time soap which Baker joined as its chief villain halfway through the series’ run. (Baker’s stint as unscrupulous banker Paul Merroney was his claim to fame prior to Doctor Who.) Leviathan was originally submitted for season 22, not the cancelled season 23, but Finch’s son, also a writer, pitched the script to Big Finish just as they were about to wrap production on the planned Lost Stories releases, leading to the mysterious lack of announcements about which titles were forthcoming in that range.

Timeline: after Mission To Magnus and before The Hollows Of Time

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The Hollows Of Time

Doctor Who: The Hollows Of TimeThe Doctor and Peri have a difficult time remembering their latest adventure, but bit by bit, details come back to them: they visited the quaint village of Hollowdean in the early 1980s, with the Doctor planning to visit the Reverend Foxworth, formerly a Bletchley Park artificial intelligence expert who worked with Alan Turing on early computer technology. But Foxworth hasn’t abandoned his penchant for creating new technology, and that has the Doctor worried. Also worrying is the hold that self-styled religious guru Professor Stream has over the entire village. Peri befriends a local boy named Simon, who shows her a piece of a scaly carapace – a fragment that the Doctor instantly recognizes as part of the outer shell of a Tractator, an alien species he once met who can influence gravity. Peri and Simon discover that the Tractators are being enslaves for their unique gravitational properties, but whoever has trapped them needs something that only the Doctor can provide: a working TARDIS, and the coordinates of the Gravis, the most powerful of the Tractators.

Order this CDwritten by Christopher H. Bidmead
directed by John Ainsworth
music by Nigel Fairs

Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), David Garfield (Professor Stream), Trevor Littledale (Reverend Foxwell), Susan Sheridan (Mrs. Streeter), Hywel John (Steel Specs), Victoria Finney (Jane)

Notes: The Hollows Of Time was originally submitted by former Doctor Who script editor Christopher H. Bidmead; in addition to writing Logopolis and Castrovalva, he also wrote Frontios, the fifth Doctor story that introduced the Tractators and the Gravis. The Doctor accesses an “old computer” in part two, which is somehow capable of emitting modern Windows event sounds.

Timeline: after Leviathan and before Paradise Five

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Paradise 5

Doctor WhoAfter discovering that an old friend has mysteriously vanished, the Doctor is determined to track him down to an overhyped pleasure cruise, overseen by two men named Michael and Gabriel. Peri is pressed into service as a hostess on the cruise, while the Doctor, trying not to draw attention for once, tags along as a passenger. They both meet almost-must, infant-like creatures called Cherubs, one of whom gives the Doctor a warning: “Beware of the Elohim.” The Doctor is now more certain than ever that his old friend is in trouble, just as the space cruise ship’s officers are certain that their colorful new passenger spells trouble for them.

Order this CDwritten by P.J. Hammond & Andy Lane
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Alex Macqueen (Gabriel), James D’Arcy (Michael), Helen Goldwyn (Stella / Bella), Andree Bernard (Lorelei), Teddy Kempner (Mr. Gelter / Mr. Bliss / Elohim voice), Claire Wyatt (Ms. Aht), Richard Earl (Mr. Tapp / Mr. Winterbourne)

Notes: P.J. Hammond is the creator of the cult classic fantasy series Sapphire & Steel, which intermittently presented Doctor Who with serious competition in the area of messing with timelines and established history. Hammond later went on to pen episodes of Torchwood (Small Worlds, From Out Of The Rain), but this was his first and only attempt to write for Doctor Who. The scripts for Paradise 5 were rejected, with some accounts claiming that John Nathan-Turner was particularly uncomfortable with the story. Paradise 5 was originally conceived as one of the segments of The Trial Of A Time Lord, possibly the first one to feature Melanie, and as the series was already an endangered species following its 18-month hiatus, JN-T may have felt that generating controversy via the use of Judeo-Christian imagery was an unnecessary risk.

Timeline: after The Hollows Of Time and before Point Of Entry

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Point Of Entry

Doctor Who: Point Of EntryA strange, scream-like signal from a rogue asteroid leads the Doctor to send a response, which only has the effect of making the asteroid stop and change course toward the TARDIS. To avoid a colliskion, the Doctor dematerializes the TARDIS and arrives in 16th century London, where the strange screaming sound can still be heard. The Doctor and Peri find themselves at a nearby inn with none other than playwright Christopher Marlowe, who is sorting through strange – and possibly unearthly – ideas for a play about Dr. Faustus. Marlowe has been consorting with a Spaniard named Velez, rarely seen in public due to his skin’s habit of falling away from his skeleton, and claims that Velez has shown him the secrets of astral projection, giving him glimpses of unearthly events that now inspire his work. The Doctor suspects that Velez is putting Marlowe under some unearthly influence, and tries to cast doubt on Marlowe’s reliability as a spy for the British government. The accusation only lands the Doctor in the Tower of London, while Peri and one of Marlowe’s actors try to free the playwright from the influence of Velez. When they learn that Velez draws his power from blood sacrifices, they become fast candidates to be Velez’ next victim.

Order this CDwritten by Barbara Clegg & Marc Platt
directed by John Ainsworth
music by Steve Foxon

Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Matt Addis (Kit Marlowe), Luis Soto (Velez), Sean Connolly (Iguano / Captain Garland), Tam Williams (Tom), Gemma Wardle (Alys), Ian Brooker (Sir Francis Walsingham)

Notes: Marlowe was a contemporary of Shakespeare, though Shakespeare did his most famous works after Marlowe’s peak of popularity, so there are probably no other Doctors around to hear the ominous screaming sound (The Shakespeare Code, City Of Death). In real life, Marlowe’s second career as a British spy has never been confirmed (or, for that matter, officially denied), but is strongly inferred from Marlowe’s extensive travels, which could not have been paid for on a writer’s wage, even with the patronage of the Queen herself. The latter part of the Latin phrase “ubi desinit philosophus, ibi incipit medicus,” translated in the closing scenes as “where the philosopher leaves off, the doctor begins,” is more accurately translated “the physician begins,” a reference to Marlowe’s character of Dr. Faustus rather than to a certain Time Lord. Point Of Entry was written by Barbara Clegg (Enlightenment) for season 23, and even after the fiasco precipitated by Michael Grade’s attempt to cancel the series, she was asked to rework it back into the more familiar four-25-minute-episode format. When the Trial Of A Time Lord structure was devised, Point Of Entry and other scripts under development were scrapped.

Timeline: after Paradise Five and before Song Of The Megaptera

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The Song Of Megaptera

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS is sucked into the business end of an interstellar whaling ship, whose crew hunts for space whales known as Megaptera. The Doctor, not a fan of space whaling, immediately blusters his way aboard the ship, posing as a safety inspector, though this ruse isn’t very long-lived. When Peri is infected by contact with an alien creature aboard the ship, it looks like she might not be long-lived either, until the Doctor intervenes. Then, piloting the TARDIS into the belly of the whale itself, the Doctor is shocked to discover that living within the belly of the endangered beast is an entire society which itself might be wiped out, leaving the Time Lord with the responsibility to save more than just the whales.

Order this CDwritten by Pat Mills
directed by John Ainsworth
music by Daniel Brett

Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), John Benfield (Captain Greeg), Neville Watchurst (Stennar / Manus), John Banks (The Caller / Ship’s Computer), Susan Brown (Chief Engineer / Chanel), Toby Longworth (Stafel / 1st Security Guard), Alex Lowe (Axel / 2nd Security Guard)

Notes: Originally submitted during Peter Davison’s tenure as the Doctor under the title Song Of The Space Whale, this story was initially conceived as a comic strip story for Doctor Who Magazine, until writer Pat Mills’ wife insisted that it would be wasted on anything less than the television series itself. Mills spent over a year trying to rewrite the story to meet script editor Eric Saward’s expectations; Mills felt that Saward was not favorably disposed toward him or his script because he had been a comics writer. (Contrast that to the tenure of Saward’s successor, Andrew Cartmel, who insisted that prospective writers read 2000 A.D. comics for an idea of the “tone” he wanted.)

Timeline: after Point Of Entry and before The Macros

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The Fragile Yellow Arc Of Fragrance

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara prepare to leave the planet Fragrance, where they’ve enjoyed a pleasant, uneventful stay. One of the locals, however, has fallen in love with Barbara, and he tries to work up the nerve to ask her to remain on Fragrance instead of leaving with the TARDIS. Susan learns of the two phases or love on Fragrance – the thin purple line, and the fragile yellow arc – and also learns that the people of Fragrance ritually end their lives if they are turned down by the objects of their affection. Susan is sure that this is merely a metaphor, but when Barbara turns down the advances of her suitor and the time travelers leave aboard the TARDIS, it’s discovered to be tragically literal.

written by Moris Farhi
adapted for audio by Nigel Robinson
directed by Lisa Bowerman
music by Toby Hrycek-Robinson

Cast: William Russell (Ian Chesterton), Carole Ann Ford (Susan Foreman), John Dorney (Rhythm)

Notes: The Fragile Yellow Arc Of Fragrance is an “audition” script written Moris Farhi for Doctor Who script editor David Whitaker as proof that he was capable of delivering a filmable script, though it really seems to be either a stand-alone that begins in mid story, or the last episode of a multi-episode story. Along with Farewell, Great Macedon, Arc is a lost script unearthed by Moris Farhi at the request of the editors of the semi-pro-zine Nothing At The End Of The Lane in the 21st century, as they were following up on reports that Farhi had written scripts for both Doctor Who and The Prisoner (all of which were ultimately turned down). Big Finish adapted the stories for audio and produced them with surviving cast members Carole Ann Ford and William Russell – the first time the actors had reprised the roles of Susan and Ian in the same audio production.

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Prison In Space

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS brings the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe to a future Earth ruled with an iron fist by catsuited women. The time travelers run afoul of these women when they try to help a man attempting to escape captivity. The women’s leader, Chairman Babs, is infuriated when the Doctor and Jamie don’t cower at the sight of Babs’ Amazonian warriors, and she orders them deported. Zoe, who demonstrates her usual keen intelligence, is seen as a potential asset and is scheduled to be subjected to mental conditioning to bring her under Babs’ control. Imprisoned, the Doctor and Jamie learn of a rebellion among the men living under the spiked boot of Chairman Babs’ tyranny, and the Doctor tries to encourage these rebels to demand equality and the right to vote, rather than fomenting an armed uprising which would merely tip the scales in the opposite direction. The Doctor is capable of toppling Chairman Babs’ empire, but can he and Jamie free Zoe from her conditioning?

Order this CDwritten by Dick Sharples
adapted for audio by Simon Guerrier
directed by Lisa Bowerman
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Frazer Hines (Jamie / The Doctor), Wendy Padbury (Zoe), Susan Brown (Chairman Babs)

Notes: Prison In Space was under serious consideration to be part of season six, Patrick Troughton’s final season as the second Doctor, but was ultimately deemed unsuitable, replaced at the last minute by Robert Holmes’ six-part story The Space Pirates, which relied less on slapstick physical comedy (and relied less on jackbooted, catsuited female guest stars). As part of the Second Doctor Lost Stories box set released by Big Finish, it was accompanied by an audio adaptation of Terry Nation’s potential pilot for the never-made Dalek spinoff series, The Destroyers (1967).

Timeline: after The Hollows Of Time and before Point Of Entry

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Thin Ice

Doctor Who: Thin IceThe Doctor responds to Ace’s request to experience the Summer of Love in 1967 by bringing her to Soviet Russia in 1967, where strangely-helmeted motorcyclists are trying to track down a man who’s stolen classified experimental weaponry. Immediately recognizing the weapon, the Doctor knows that it’s unsafe not just in civilian hands, but in any human hands. At an official reception, the time travelers home in on wildly out-of-place businessman Markus Creevy, who has both personal and professional reasons to be mingling with members of the KGB. He’s employed by the owner of the alien weapons: Ice Lord Hhessh, on a mission to retrieve some of the Ice Warriors’ most sacred relics before humans can defile them with further experimentation. But Hhessh isn’t the only alien on the scene. A Time Lord is operating incognito on Earth, and the Doctor is doing his bidding by letting Ace do most of the work.

Order this CDwritten by Marc Platt
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Ricky Groves (Markus Creevy), Beth Chalmers (Raina Kerenskaya), Nicholas Briggs (Hhessh), John Albasiny (Major Felnikov), Nigel Lambert (Adjudicator / Wolshkin / Glarva), John Banks (Yevgeni / Yasha Lemayev)

Notes: Originally titled Ice Time, Thin Ice was conceived as the opening story for the ultimately unmade fourth season of Sylvester McCoy’s tenure ads the Doctor, though past interviews and articles have indicated that the goriginal story would’ve taken place in ’60s London. The “Time Lords assessing Ace” plotline was originally a major feature of Earth Aid, which would have been the second story of the unmade 1990 season.

Timeline: after Survival

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Crime Of The Century

Doctor Who: Thin IceThe Doctor pays a visit to Markus Creevy’s daughter, Raine, 23 years after her birth. Markus has largely gotten out of organized crime, but despite his best efforts to ensure Raine has an education, she has turned her considerable intelligence toward such pursuits as safecracking. She’s been stealing some very specific items for an unknown client who pays very well; it turns out that the Doctor is the mystery benefactor who’s been engaging her services. He needs the Creevys to help him do one last “job” – and the stakes are high: the survival of humanity itself. An old enemy of the Doctor and Markus is trying to tip the balance of the Cold War by inviting alien mercenaries called the Metatraxi to demonstrate their gift for warfare. But the Metatraxi are losing track of which humans they’ve been hired to assist or attack. The Doctor has an ace up his sleeve to keep the Metatraxi busy…

Order this CDwritten by Andrew Cartmel
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Beth Chalmers (Raine Creevy), Ricky Groves (Markus Creevy), Derek Carlyle (Nikitin / Parvez), John Albasiny (Colonel Felnikov / Waiter), John Banks (Metatraxi / Walnuf), Chris Porter (Sayf Udeen / Valentin)

Notes: In the original plan for Doctor Who’s 1990 season, Crime Of The Century would have been the third story, introducing Raine (originally named Kat Tollinger according to some sources) as Markus’ daughter, with Markus being envisioned as a recurring earthbound ally for the Doctor, a la the Brigadier (and anticipating new series characters like Jackie Tyler, Wilfred Mott and Craig). This story would not have featured Ace in its original form.

Timeline: after Thin Ice and before Animal

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Doctor Who: AnimalIntrigued by the robot guardians employed by the Metatraxi and built at Margrave University, the Doctor and friends follow the trail to that university in the year 2001. Brigadier Winifred Bambera and UNIT are already on the scene, conducting an investigation that they’re more than happy to recruit the Doctor’s companions for. Undercover as new students, Ace and Raine both meet Scobie, a brilliant science student whose fight-the-power mentality stretches from an elaborate scheme to free the school’s lab animals, to contacting an alien race and inviting them to Earth to share their enlightened mentality with humanity. One thing Scobie hasn’t counted on is that these beings see Earth as a ready-made feeding ground full of docile creatures. Fortunately, UNIT and its former scientific advisor are on hand to alter that perception.

Order this CDwritten by Andrew Cartmel
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Beth Chalmers (Raine Creevy), Angela Bruce (Brigadier Winifred Bambera), John Banks (Henrick / Metatraxi), Anthony Lewis (Scobie), Dannielle Brent (Willa), Alex Mallinson (Percy), Amy Pemberton (Juno)

Timeline: after Crime Of The Century and before Earth Aid

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The Foe From The Future

Doctor Who: Valley Of DeathThe TARDIS arrives in Devon, 1977, near the grounds of an estate called the Grange. The Doctor’s arrival coincides with the latest in a series of unexplainable appearances of highwaymen from the past, terrorizing the locals. With all of the apparitions centering around the Grange, the Doctor decides to pay the lord of the manor a visit, only to find an uncooperative butler (named Butler) covering for the enigmatic Lord Jalnik. Suspecting that Jalnik is exploiting a weakness in the time vortex, the Doctor continues his investigation despite Jalnik offering some deadly deterrents. With a local girl named Charlotte in tow, the Doctor and Leela follow Jalnik’s trail of mystery to Devon in the distant future, finding the human race on the edge of extinction. The last of the human race regards Jalnik as a savior for his mad plan to open an escape route to the past. The Doctor realizes that Jalnik is also the cause of their predicament, and that he intends to move up the timetable for humanity’s extinction to the 20th century.

Order this CDwritten by Robert Banks Stewart
adapted by John Dorney
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Paul Freeman (Jalnik), Louise Brealey (Charlotte), John Green (Butler), Blake Ritson (Instructor Shibac), Mark Goldthorp (Constable Burrows), Philip Pope (Father Harpin), Jaimi Barbakoff (Supreme Councillor Geflo), Dan Starkey (Historiographer Osin), Camilla Power (Councillor Kostal)

Timeline: after The Talons Of Weng-Chiang and before The Invisible Enemy

Notes: The Foe From The Future was commissioned an written for a six-episode slot in season 14, but was deemed impossible to produce with the budget constraints on hand. Elements of the story were reused in a completely new replacement script written in a rush by script editor Robert Holmes, which became the all-time fan favorite The Talons Of Weng-Chiang. Guest star Paul Freeman has also dabbled in forces beyond his control as Belloq in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, while Dan Starkey’s Doctor Who resume includes numerous Sontaran roles in both the new TV series and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

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