Serpent Crest Part 5: Survivors In Space

Doctor WhoThe entire village of Hexford, buildings and all including Nest Cottage, has been ripped out of the Earth and transported to the rebel moon by a huge Skishtari spacecraft. For three months, Mike Yates has been struggling to keep the peace among the residents of Hexford as their food supply dwindles and they have to make do without electricity or any other artificial energy source. The second Doctor continues to make attempts to signal the outside universe for help – or so he says. The fourth Doctor and Mrs. Wibbsey arrive in the TARDIS, but the Doctor insists that it isn’t as simple as just taking the residents of Hexford back to Earth in his time machine. He wants to know what his younger self’s part is in these events, and he already has a hunch that it hasn’t been trying to send distress signals for months. But when robots converge on the dome protecting Hexford from an uninhabitable moon begin to take over the village, help will still have to come from outside, perhaps from a source whose life the Doctor has saved in the past.

Order this CDwritten by Paul Magrs
directed by Kate Thomas
music by Simon Power

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Susan Jameson (Mrs. Wibbsey), David Troughton (The Visitor), Richard Franklin (Mike Yates), Cornelius Garrett (Reverend Tonge), Nerys Hughes (Deirdre), Joanna Tope (Tish), Sam Hoare (Lucius), Paddy Wallace (The Tsar)

Notes: Mrs. Wibbsey says that months of adventures in the TARDIS occurred between the taking of Hexford and the Doctor’s arrival there (possibly leaving the door open to further fourth Doctor/Wibbsey adventures from either the BBC or perhaps Big Finish). The cover art gracing both this release and The Hexford Invasion is based on the visual style of British comic illustrator Frank Bellamy, whose dynamic illustrations graced Doctor Who listings in the Radio Times in the early 1970s and were later collected in the art book “Timeview: The Complete Doctor Who Illustrations Of Frank Bellamy”. This was the final AudioGo fourth Doctor adventure before Tom Baker’s first “season” of Big Finish adventures began early in 2012.

Timeline: after The Hexford Invasion and prior to The Ribos Operation

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Destination Nerva

Doctor Who: Destination NervaShortly after leaving Victorian London, the Doctor and Leela ride the TARDIS to Victorian Kenton, where a fierce battle has left a manor house coated in the blood of men… and a dying alien who was their quarry. The alien failed to escape its hunters to return to its spacecraft, which has now been commandeered by a man named Lord Jack. The Doctor sets the TARDIS to follow the ship through time and space, and it arrives at the still-under-construction Nerva Dock in orbit of Jupiter, hundreds of years later. The crew, dealing with equipment failures and a shortage of manpower, fails to notice anything strange about a new arrival at Nerva until it’s too late. Simply by touch, the visitor can physically join with anyone, and he’s able to take control of Nerva’s flight deck in very short order, absorbing crew members and expanding his own skin to fill every available space. With Nerva’s commander and medical officer in tow, the Doctor and Leela race to the TARDIS, only to be cut off before they can reach it. That’s when the aliens whose technology has been used to take over Nerva arrive… and considering that it was originally stolen by a man named Lord Jack in Victorian times, they’ve had centuries to make plans to take revenge on Lord Jack and the rest of the human race.

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Raquel Cassidy (Dr. Alison Foster), Sam Graham (McMullan / Pilot), Tilly Gaunt (Laura Craske), Tim Bentinck (Giles Moreau / Jenkins), Kim Wall (Jim Hooley / Drelleran #1 / Security Guard), Tim Treloar (Lord Jack / Drudgers / Drelleran #2)

Timeline: immediately after The Talons Of Weng-Chiang and before Renaissance Man

Notes: This is the Doctor’s third visit to Nerva, each time at a different point in the station’s history and in a different orbit: The Ark In Space (1975) takes place on Nerva in its distant future orbiting Earth, while the Nerva of Revenge Of The Cybermen (1975) is orbiting Voga, a moon with rich deposits of gold. After years of campaigning by Big Finish, dating back to the beginning of the company’s license to produce Doctor Who audio stories, this is the first Big Finish audio to feature Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor. Louise Jameson has been reprising the role of Leela for Big Finish since 2003’s Zagreus.

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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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Valley Of Death

Doctor Who: Valley Of Death1873: Renowned explorer Professor Cornelius Perkins ventures into the Amazon rainforest to follow up on clues that might lead him to a legendary lost city of gold. He, his assistant and the locals they’ve hired to haul their supplies are never seen again, though a diary chronicling some of his discoveries turns up at a later date in surprisingly good shape.

1977: Edward Perkins, great-grandson of Cornelius Perkins, announces his intention to follow up on the lost expedition, using his great-grandfather’s journal as a guide. The Doctor, with Leela in tow, pulls rank as a UNIT observer and gets himself added to the new expedition. A freak storm brings the plane down near the Amazon River, requiring all of the Doctor’s piloting skills to bring the plane to a survivable crash landing. As the Doctor and photojournalist Valerie Carlton go exploring on foot and find what appears to be a downed (but not destroyed) UFO, Leela and Perkins discover signs of advanced technology and are taken to a creature called Godrin, worshipped by the natives but careful to conceal himself since he’s obviously not from Earth. Godrin has another surprise: thanks to a time bubble he has erected around his crashed spaceship, time is dilated, and Cornelius Perkins is still alive, the only survivor of the 1873 expedition and the last person Edward expected to find. Godrin proposes a peaceful exchange with the people of Earth, but once the Doctor brings him back to London, he realizes that Godrin has been far from truthful about his real intentions. Godrin and the last of his people are ready to begin the stealth colonization of Earth, and by bringing him into modern civilization, the Doctor has made this invasion possible.

Order this CDwritten by Philip Hinchcliffe
adapted by Jonathan Morris
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Nigel Carrington (Emissary Godrin / Dr. Summersby / Announcer), Delia Lindsay (Overlord Saldor / Newsreader), Jane Slavin (Valerie Carlton), Anthony Howell (Edward Perkins), David Killick (Professor Cornelius Perkins), Richard Bremmer (General Hemmings / Valcon / Taxi Driver)

Timeline: after The Horror Of Fang Rock and before The Invisible Enemy

Notes: Originally devised by producer Philip Hinchcliffe as a story for Doctor Who’s 15th season, The Valley Of Death was shelved when Hinchcliffe’s successor, Graham Williams, was given orders from the BBC brass to tone down the gothic horror elements that characterized the much-acclaimed but occasionally controversial tenure of Hinchcliffe and his script editor, Robert Holmes. Leela mentions that she has been blinded once before, a reference to the conclusion of The Horror Of Fang Rock (a scene added to that story at a late stage sees Leela temporarily blinded, resulting in her eyes turning blue, allowing actress Louise Jameson to ditch the brown contact lenses that were causing her considerable pain), so Valley Of Death a la Big Finish happens at some point after that story and, due to the absence of K-9, presumably before the television story that immediately follows it, The Invisible Enemy.

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The Renaissance Man

Doctor Who: Renaissance ManThe Doctor promises to show Leela a museum on another world, but the TARDIS lands at a destination that seems anything but otherworldly. A pleasant professor shows off her butterfly knowledge to the time travelers, but before long all three are drawn into the vast library of Harcourt, a man who claims to know a little of everything – and wants to know more. It’s something he wants so badly that he’s willing to take the knowledge from the minds of others by force. When he becomes intrigued by the Doctor, it’s a meeting of the minds that the Time Lord and his companion will be lucky to survive.

Order this CDwritten by Justin Richard
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Ian McNeice (Harcourt), Gareth Armstrong (Jephson), Anthony Howell (Edward), Daisy Ashford (Lizzie), Laura Molyneux (Beryl / Professor Hilda Lutterthwaite), John Dorney (Dr. Henry Carnforth)

Timeline: after The Talons Of Weng-Chiang; after Destination Nerva and before The Wrath Of The Iceni

Notes: Ian McNiece guest starred in the eleventh Doctor’s first television season as Winston Churchill. Gareth Armstrong guest-starred alongside Tom Baker in TV Doctor Who also, as Count Giuliano in 1976’s Masque Of Mandragora. Anthony Howell has also appeared in Big Finish’s fourth Doctor Lost Stories adventure The Valley Of Death, and the Blake’s 7 Liberator Chronicles audio story Solitary.

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The Wrath Of The Iceni

Doctor Who: The Wrath Of The IceniThe TARDIS lands in 60 A.D., where Leela is entranced by the sight of Boudica routing a legion of Roman soldiers. The Doctor, knowing full well how history will unfold for Boudica and her followers, orders Leela back to the TARDIS, only to be disobeyed. Leela saves Boudica from two Romans and then, after hearing her story, pledges to leave the TARDIS and fight by Boudica’s side. The Doctor attempts to leave, only to be accused of being a spy. Leela claims the Time Lord is a prophet, which saves him from execution but turns every word he says into something that could change the course of human history.

Order this CDwritten by John Dorney
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Richard Fox & Lauren Yason

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Ella Kenion (Boudica), Nia Roberts (Bragnar), Michael Rouse (Caedmon / Festucas), Daniel Hawksford (Pacquolas / Man)

Timeline: after The Talons Of Weng-Chiang; after Renaissance Man and before Energy Of The Daleks

Notes: Leela is in good company – Boudica, also sometimes called Boadicea, crossed swords with Xena in the controversial 1997 Xena: Warrior Princess episode The Deliverer, during that show’s third season, though that televised rendition of Boudica diverged even more from the known details of history than this audio story does. Ella Kenion also appeared in 2011’s TV episode Let’s Kill Hitler, as the crew member responsible for ensuring a close likeness to anyone whose body was copied by the Teselecta.

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Energy Of The Daleks

Doctor Who: Energy Of The DaleksAiming for London, 2015 to track down a strange energy reading, the Doctor lands the TARDIS in London, 2025, a short walk away from a protest against a corporation called Globesphere. The company promises free solar energy for the entire world, and the strange energy reading persists at Globesphere’s headquarters building. The protest becomes a riot, and Leela is arrested by Globesphere’s private security force and interrogated. The Doctor and the leader of the protest movement sneak into Globesphere and make a horrifying discovery: Globesphere’s CEO is under the control of the Daleks, who intend to use the Globesphere energy collectors, deployed across the entire face of the Earth, to wipe out the human race centuries before they become one of the Daleks’ more resilient enemies.

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Alex Lowe (Damien Stephens / Robomen), Mark Benton (Jack Coulson), Caroline Keiff (Lydia Harding), Dan Starkey (Kevin Winston / Robomen), John Dorney (Robomen), Nicholas Briggs (Daleks)

Timeline: after The Talons Of Weng-Chiang; after The Wrath Of The Iceni and before Trail Of The White Worm

Notes: This was the first Big Finish audio story recorded with Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor, and was originally intended to be the first story of the first Big Finish “season” with Baker, until it was decided to hold Energy Of The Daleks back until later to prevent the Daleks from overshadowing the first Baker release. Mark Benton was also on hand for another momentous Doctor Who relaunch: in the first episode of the revived TV series, he played internet conspiracy theorist Clive, who had tracked the ninth Doctor through historical documents and tried to warn Rose against any involvement with him. Dan Starkey has played Sontaran characters in the new TV series and for Big Finish.

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Trail Of The White Worm

Doctor Who: Trail Of The White WormThe Doctor and Leela arrive in rural England in 1979, finding a village dominated by fears of a legendary white worm who consumes animals and people alike. A man-sized trail of mucus makes it look like the legend isn’t purely superstition, and the time travelers follow the trail. The Doctor encounters the suspicious locals, while Leela finds herself on the grounds belonging to Colonel Singleton. Both of them meet Demesne Furze, who is able to help the Doctor solve the mystery of a missing girl whose disappearance sparked local fears of the white worm. But Demesne isn’t who she seems, and neither is the hooded, disfigured man who hides at Colonel Singleton’s estate. He reveals himself to be the Master, and he has enslaved the white worm to do his bidding, creating a path for even more unearthly allies to follow and conquer Earth.

Order this CDwritten by Alan Barnes
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Geoffrey Beevers (The Master), Michael Cochrane (Colonel Spindleton), Rachael Stirling (Demesne Furze), John Banks (Carswell / Mercenary), Becci Gemmell (Julie), Mark Field (John)

Timeline: after The Talons Of Weng-Chiang; after Energy Of The Daleks and before The Oseidon Adventure

Notes: Geoffrey Beevers played the part of the disfigured, demented Master in 1981’s The Keeper Of Traken, and has reprised the role for Big Finish Productions several times (Dust Breeding, Master). He is the only living actor to have portrayed the Master in the original BBC series, and was married to Caroline John (1940-2012), who played companion Liz Shaw in Jon Pertwee’s first season as the third Doctor. Since this story takes place shortly after Leela’s first three television stories, then chronologically (in story terms), it’s Beevers’ first appearance as the Master! Guest star Rachael Stirling is the daughter of Diana Rigg, and would appear alongside her mother in a 2013 episode of television Doctor Who after recording this story.

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The Oseidon Adventure

Doctor Who: The Oseidon AdventureThe Master’s allies are revealed to be the Kraal Second Army (their First Army having already been defeated by the Doctor), preparing for a second invasion of Earth at the evil Time Lord’s invitation. The Doctor tells Leela to run for her life, and the Master orders Singleton to pursue her, a task relished by the man who feels that he civilized a corner of Africa. The Doctor is handed over to the Kraals, but they turn the tables on the Master, not trusting his motives. And with good reason: the Master is merely using the Kraals for his own purpose – and now the Doctor and Leela have to escape their enemies and discover what that purpose is.

Order this CDwritten by Alan Barnes
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Geoffrey Beevers (The Master), Michael Cochrane (Colonel Spindleton), Dan Starkey (Marshal Grimnal / Captain Clarke), John Banks (Tyngworg / Warner / UNIT R/T Operator)

Timeline: after The Talons Of Weng-Chiang; after Trail Of The White Worm and before Night Of The Stormcrow

Notes: The Doctor confirms that his most recent encounter with the Master before now was on Gallifrey (see The Deadly Assassin). The Kraals’ only televised appearance took place in 1976’s The Android Invasion, Terry Nation’s last non-Dalek script for Doctor Who, which also identified their radiation-soaked home planet as Oseidon. Guest star Dan Starkey has appeared in both Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures as various Sontarans and other diminutive aliens.

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Night Of The Stormcrow

Doctor WhoAfter colliding with something in the time vortex, the TARDIS lands at an isolated observatory in Hawaii, where the staff has already suffered casualties at the hands of an alien force. Professor Cazalet, the astronomer currently booking telescope time at the observatory, obsessively talks about her discovery of something she calls the Stormcrow. Once the Doctor gets a look at the Stormcrow, he realizes that he knows it by quite a different name – and that it has come to feed on what it thinks is a dying planet. Not everyone will survive the fight to fend off the Stormcrow, but failing to fight it at all will spell doom for the entire human race.

Order this CDwritten by Marc Platt
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Chase Masterson (Peggy Brooks), Ann Bell (Professor Gesima Cazalet), Jonathan Forbes (Trevor Gale), Mandi Symonds (Erica MacMillan)

Timeline: after The Talons Of Weng-Chiang; after The Oseidon Adventure and before The King Of Sontar

Notes: The CD cover for Night Of The Stormcrow was redesigned at a very late stage to bring the Big Finish audios’ cover art in line with the BBC design guidelines for merchandise released during the 50th anniversary of the television series, and was the first cover to have the anniversary logo (basically the Hartnell-era video feedback title sequence framed within the Pertwee/McGann style lettering) applied to it. Originally released as a bonus for subscribers only, Night Of The Stormcrow was given a general release in December 2013.

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The Auntie Matter

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, having set the TARDIS’ randomizer to send the timeship to a thousand planets under the supervision of K-9 in order to throw the Black Guardian off his scent, settles down in 1920s England to relax. Romana reluctantly joins him, finding little to stimulate her intellectually. She happens upon Reginald Bassett, the heir-apparent of a local estate, and is stunned when he seems to demonstrate a more-than-passing acquaintance with quantum theory. She’s even more stunned, however, when he pops the question unexpectedly, asking her to marry him and insisting upon introducing her to his aunt, a sinister matriarch whose interest in Reggie’s choices in women is more than mere family concern.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Morris
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Mary Tamm (Romana), Julia McKenzie (Florence), Robert Portal (Reggie), Lucy Griffiths (Mabel), Alan Cox (Grenville), Jane Slavin (Ligeia)

Notes: Both Earth and the Doctor himself are described as “harmless… well, mostly,” a nod to Earth’s “mostly harmless” status in The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, which was written by Douglas Adams. His earliest produced Doctor Who scripts were part of the 16th season, which introduced Romana.

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The Sands Of Life

Doctor Who: The Sands Of LifeIn the time vortex, the TARDIS registers the presence of a swarm of life forms numbering into the billions; one of them telepathically contacts Romana as it passes, with its only message being “the sands of life.” The TARDIS materializes on Earth, which is the swarm’s eventual destination. Both newly-elected Earth President Sheridan Moorkurk and a ruthless industrialist named Cuthbert are already aware of the swarm’s approach, and are preparing in their own ways. The approaching swarm has already fouled one of Cuthbert’s R&D projects, so he’s keen to eliminate the creatures, whatever their intention might be, while President Moorkurk quickly learns, in her first day in office, that Cuthbert’s influence runs deep within the government she’s inherited. The Doctor and Romana are captured, and the arrival of two aliens ahead of the swarm arouses more than just a little bit of suspicion. Romana is taken into custody by the military, and General Vincent plans to make use of her ability to commune with the approaching creatures. The Doctor is handed over to Cuthbert, who wants to put the Doctor’s knowledge and intuition to use for his personal gain. And finally, the first of the Laan reaches Earth. A large, whale-like species whose domain is the time vortex, they have some to the Sahara Desert to spawn in the “sands of life.” The birth of each group of Laan pups releases an enormous amount of both kinetic and temporal energy – enough, the Doctor surmises, to do serious damage to Earth. Is Cuthbert right to want to declare war on the Laan?

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Richard Fox & Lauren Yason

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Mary Tamm (Romana), John Leeson (K-9), Hayley Atwell (President Moorkurk), David Warner (Cuthbert), Toby Hadoke (Mr. Dorrick), Jane Slavin (The Laan), Duncan Wisbey (General Vincent)

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War Against The Laan

Doctor WhoAfter Cuthbert’s forces capture a live Laan, Cuthbert decides he no longer needs the Doctor’s reluctant expertise, and leaves the Doctor and Romana to their fate – a fate that isn’t as fatal as Cuthbert expects, thanks to Romana’s telepathic rapport with the Laan. The two Time Lords demand an audience with Earth President Sheridan Moonkurk, and the Doctor insists that she put an end to the slaughter. But Cuthbert has plans that he does not intend to bring to a stop – not for any government and not for any life form.

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Richard Fox & Lauren Yason

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Mary Tamm (Romana), Hayley Atwell (President Moorkurk), David Warner (Cuthbert), Toby Hadoke (Mr. Dorrick), Jane Slavin (The Laan)

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The Justice Of Jalxar

Doctor WhoRomana is dismayed when, in the course of the TARDIS’ supposedly randomly-selected travels intended to throw the Black Guardian off the Doctor’s tracks, the timeship once again lands in London. But this era is one the Doctor has visited in the past, and he even has friends there, namely forensic pathologist Professor Litefoot and theater impresario Henry Gordon Jago. They regale the Doctor with tales of a mysterious vigilante wandering the streets of London, intriguing the Time Lord enough that he decides to help them investiage. When the Pugilist finally shows his face, dispensing with a felonious cabbie who tries to rob Jago and Romana, it’s quickly apparent that this would-be Victorian superhero is using technology that shouldn’t exist on Earth in this time period. When the Doctor tries to intervene, the Pugilist and his companion, a robot that scans the minds of suspects and determines their guilt or innocence, decide that the scope of the Doctor’s past actions demand that justice must be done.

Order this CDwritten by John Dorney
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Mary Tamm (Romana), John Leeson (K-9), Trevor Baxter (Professor George Litefoot), Christopher Benjamin (Henry Gordon Jago), Mark Goldthorp (Bobby Stamford), Rosanna Miles (Mary Brown), Ben Bishop (Stone), Adrian Lukis (Harvey Marsh)

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Phantoms Of The Deep

Doctor WhoAs the Doctor, Romana and K-9 continue blazing a random trail through the universe to avoid the Black Guardian’s wrath, Romana is dismayed when the TARDIS once again lands on Earth. The Doctor, seeing that the time machine has materialized in the depths of the Marianas Trench, the deepest point on the seafloor of the Pacific Ocean, is less worried – until the TARDIS is grappled by a mid-21st century submarine on a deep sea expedition. Needless to say, the sub’s crew is astounded to discover a police box on the ocean floor, and they’re even more surprised when time travelers emerge from it. But when the sub encounters what may be a new species never before seen on Earth, the Doctor immediately senses that it is something that doesn’t come from Earth’s oceans. When the Doctor and expedition leader Patricia Sawyer pay a visit to a sunken shipwreck, they find a wide-eyed midshipman who has apparently been kept alive for a century. As they help him escape, something assumes control of K-9 and ejects Romana and another member of the sub crew into the ocean – where they miraculously survive thanks to the technology of the aliens. But who are these visitors from another world, and is their vested interest in the human race entirely benevolent?

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Morris
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Mary Tamm (Romana), John Leeson (K-9), Alice Krige (Dr. Patricia Sawyer), John Albasiny (Chris Fleming), Charlie Norfolk (Terri McCulloch), Gwilym Lee (Jack Hodges)

Notes: Guest star Alice Krige is best known to Star Trek fans as the Borg Queen, a role she played twice (1996’s feature film Star Trek: First Contact and the 2001 Star Trek: Voyager series finale Endgame.

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The Dalek Contract

Doctor WhoStill concerned about the migration of the Laan, the Doctor tries to follow their trail, and finds himself in the Proxima system; too late, he learns that the TARDIS has not followed the Laan, but has instead tracked down Cuthbert’s Conglomerate headquarters, where Cuthbert is pressing forward with the same illegal experiments that ensnared the Laan before. But this time, Cuthbert is meeting with local resistance on Proxima Major, and he has done a deal with his business associates, the Daleks, to quell that uprising. Romana and K-9 are captured with some of the resistenace fighters, and once the Daleks realize they have companions of the Doctor in their custody, they’re less concerned with being Cuthbert’s subcontractors than with capturing their deadliest foe.

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Alistair Lock

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Mary Tamm (Romana), John Leeson (K-9 / Tollivun), David Warner (Cuthbert), Toby Hadoke (Mr. Dorrick), Dominic Mafham (Chidak), Nicholas Briggs (The Daleks), Jane Slavin (Halka), John Dorney (Sterris)

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The Final Phase

Doctor WhoTo save Romana and K-9, the Doctor gives in to the Dalek Supreme’s demand that he hand himself over… but naturally, this is part of the Doctor’s plan, and the Dalek saucer sent to collect him winds up under his complete control. Romana and K-9 get a glimpse of Cuthbert’s top-secret R&D project at last: a tear in the fabric of space-time, which Cuthbert has harnessed and turned into a dimensional gateway to explore (and, more likely, exploit) “the glories of the past.” Romana quickly realizes that this is the only reason why the Daleks are cooperating with Cuthbert: they intend to commandeer the gateway for their own purposes. The Daleks converge on Cuthbert’s space station to claim the gateway for themselves, forcing Cuthbert’s private army to join up with the Proximan rebels to fight off their common enemy. The Doctor arrives to make “adjustments” to Cuthbert’s dimensional gateway, over the corrupt businessman’s protests, but the choices on the table are wiping out the Dalek threat… or annihilation for the entire universe, Daleks and all.

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Alistair Lock

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Mary Tamm (Romana), John Leeson (K-9), David Warner (Cuthbert), Toby Hadoke (Mr. Dorrick), Dominic Mafham (Chidak), Nicholas Briggs (The Daleks), Jane Slavin (Halka), John Dorney (Security Man / Warrior)

Notes: This was Mary Tamm’s final performance as Romana before her death in 2011.

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The Light At The End

Doctor Who: The Light At The EndThe Doctor is startled when a flashing red light appears on the TARDIS console. The surprise isn’t that the light has never flashed before, but that it is there at all, where there was no light on the console before. And it’s not just one Doctor, but all of the Doctor’s incarnations.

The eighth Doctor and Charley, after witnessing a strangely disjointed collection of images from the Doctor’s past (and past Doctors), try to follow a trace through time to a London suburb at three minutes after five in the evening on the twenty-third day of November, 1963, but the TARDIS instead deposits them on an alien planet in the middle of a live demonstration of a weapons system capable of immense destruction. The two time travelers are separated, and Charley makes her way back to the TARDIS, just in time for a strange phenomenon to change the TARDIS around her. She finds herself in a different (and yet similar) console room, occupied by a savage woman named Leela and another man who claims to be the Doctor. The eighth Doctor follows, and he and his fourth incarnation try to combine their talents and knowledge to get the TARDIS safely away from this planet. The escape attempt doesn’t go as planned. Charley and Leela inexplicably vanish from the TARDIS.

The sixth and seventh Doctors also find each other on this planet, but are in a different region, where a conference is taking place: a showroom demonstration for other weapons created by the same alien race, the Vess. The seventh Doctor and Ace discover the Master is somehow involved, but then Ace vanishes. The sixth Doctor finds a delegation of Time Lords are an unofficial presence at this weapons sale – members of the Celestial Intervention Agency, led by Straxus, without the knowledge of the High Council of Gallifrey. Peri vanishes, and only then does the sixth Doctor discover the truth: the Master discovered the unauthorized Time Lord expedition and demanded a bribe for their silence. That bribe came in the form of a weapon of the Master’s choice from the Vess arsenal. Straxus knows nothing beyond this, but the Doctor knows enough to threaten to expose Straxus’ presence to the Time Lords; in exchange for the Doctor’s silence, Straxus helps reunite as many of the Doctors as he can.

The fifth Doctor and Nyssa follow the same time trace, but the Doctor is suspicious enough to change the time coordinates, arriving instead at 5:02pm in November 23rd, 1963. The TARDIS crashes through a shed belonging to a man named Bob Dovie, whose wife and children have gone missing. To the Doctor and Nyssa, it is obvious that Dovie has suffered some sort of trauma that has left him in an agitated, distracted state. Dovie’s family are closer to him than he thinks, murdered by the Master. Why has the Doctor’s old enemy chosen to victimize a perfectly average suburban family, how is it connected to the evil Time Lord’s endless quest for vengeance against the Doctor, and what is happening to the Doctor’s companions?

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Peter Davison (The Doctor), Colin Baker (The Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Paul McGann (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Sophie Aldred (Ace), India Fisher (Charley), Geoffrey Beevers (The Master), John Dorney (Bob Dovie), William Russell (Ian Chesterton / The Doctor), Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Maureen O’Brien (Vicki), Peter Purves (Steven), Jean Marsh (Sara Kingdom), Anneke Wills (Polly), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon / The Doctor). Wendy Padbury (Zoe), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Oliver Hume (Straxus), Nicholas Briggs (The Vess), Benedict Briggs (Kevin Dovie), Tim Treloar (The Doctor)

Notes: Straxus first appeared in part one of Blood Of The Daleks, the eighth Doctor audio adventure which introduced Lucie Miller, but the sixth Doctor would appear to have met Straxus first… at least in the timeline created by the Master, which the Doctors later eliminate. Since Straxus is played here by Oliver Hume, it’s safe to assume that this is an earlier incarnation of Straxus than the incarnations that have been encountered by the eighth Doctor.

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The Day Of The Doctor

Doctor WhoIn the waning days of the Time War, the Doctor tires of the constant fighting and bloodshed. He breaks into the Time Lords’ Omega Archives, containing forbidden Gallifreyan superweapons (most of which have already been unsuccessfully deployed against the Daleks). He takes the Moment, a galaxy-devouring weapon of mass destruction which has never been used because its sentient operating system has developed its own conscience, and will stand in judgement over whoever might try to use it. The Doctor abandons his TARDIS and sets off on foot to a bombed-out structure in the wastelands of outer Gallifrey, fully intending to activate the Moment and end the war. He’s puzzled when a young woman appears suddenly and refuses to leave: this is the Moment’s conscience, ready to try to dissuade its operator. It has chosen the appearance and voice of one of the Doctor’s companions, but has gotten past and future mixed up. The Moment offers to show the Doctor what will happen to him after he destroys Gallifrey…

Clara, having taken a job at Coal Hill School, gets a message from the Doctor and sets out to find the TARDIS. Moments after the time travelers are reunited, the TARDIS lurches unexpectedly, thanks to the UNIT helicopter that has grappled it and is hauling it toward the center of London. With the TARDIS now relocated to the National Gallery, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart shows the Doctor why UNIT need his expertise: a number of paintings, exhibiting an unusual three-dimensional effect, have had their glass frames broken from within; all of the paintings also once had humanoid figures in them, but those figures are now missing. Before the Doctor can investigate, a time fissure appears in mid-air in the Gallery, and he leaps through it, finding himself face-to-face with his tenth incarnation, who is dealing with a shapeshifting Zygon attempting to impersonate Queen Elizabeth I. And moments later, both Doctors are stunned – and alarmed – when another of their incarnations emerges from the fissure: an older man who does not regard himself as the Doctor. This is the incarnation of the Doctor who fought in the Time War, ending it in a pyrrhic stalemate that wiped out both the Time Lords and the Daleks, the incarnation that the later Doctors refuse to acknowledge; the Doctor’s true ninth life. The Queen orders all three of them taken away to the Tower of London.

In the modern day, the Tower is now UNIT’s headquarters, and the home of the Black Archive, a top secret repository of captured alien technology that would rival Torchwood’s collection. Kate and Clara return to the Tower, but it’s not until she is trapped in the Archive that Clara realizes that Kate has already been kidnapped and replaced by a Zygon. Grabbing a portable time manipulator that UNIT once took off of the briefly-dead body of a man named Captain Jack Harkness, Clara makes her escape, travels back to the past and rescues the three Doctors as well. The Doctors manage to thwart the Zygon invasion, but then the Doctor from the Time War vanishes. The tenth and eleventh Doctors follow him back to Gallifrey’s past – a place and time that the TARDIS shouldn’t be able to visit – and offer to help him activate the Moment so he doesn’t have to bear the consequences alone.

But the Doctor’s later incarnations, having struggled with the remorse of this act for hundreds of years, take the unprecedented decision to change history: save Gallifrey while allowing the Daleks to be destroyed, without interrupting their own timeline. But to save the Time Lords, more Doctors will be required – perhaps even Doctors who have yet to exist – and Gallifrey will have to be forcibly relocated, possibly into a parallel universe, leading to the impression that it has been destroyed. And even the Doctors’ attempt to save their home planet may still lead to its destruction.

Order the DVDwritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Nick Hurran
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), David Tennant (The Doctor), Christopher Eccleston (The Doctor), John Hurt (The Doctor), Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Colin Baker (The Doctor), Peter Davison (The Doctor), Tom Baker (The Doctor), Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Patrick Troughton (The Doctor), William Hartnell (The Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), Billie Piper (Rose), Tristan Beint (Tom), Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart), Ingrid Oliver (Osgood), Chris Finch (Time Lord Soldier), Peter de Jersey (Androgar), Ken Bones (The General), Philip Buck (Arcadia Father), Sophie Morgan-Price (Time Lord), Joanna Page (Elizabeth I), Orlando James (Lord Bentham), Jonjo O’Neill (McGillop), Tom Keller (Atkins), Aidan Cook (Zygon), Paul Kasey (Zygon), Nicholas Briggs (voices of the Daleks and Zygons), Barnaby Edwards (Dalek 1), Nicholas Pegg (Dalek 2), John Guilor (Voice Over Artist)

Doctor WhoNotes: The War Council shouldn’t be surprised at all that the Doctor can access the Omega Archives; his seventh incarnation was shown to be in possession of Time Lord superweapons that had presumably been with him for quite some time (Remembrance Of The Daleks‘ Hand of Omega and the living metal validium from Silver Nemesis, both aired in 1988). The Moment, first mentioned in The End Of Time Part 2 (2010), most closely resembles validium, but the Nemesis statue carved from validium had no obvious sign of a conscience, but did show signs of sentience.

The Zygons, though a popular monster in Doctor Who fandom, have only been seen in one prior television adventure, the Tom Baker era four-parter Terror Of The Zygons Doctor Who(1975), though they have reappeared in novels and numerous times in the eighth Doctor’s audio adventures, and even have their own action figure – not bad for a one-off villain.

This story seems to necessitate a reshuffling of the Doctor’s playlist: the incarnation commonly believed to be the ninth Doctor is actually the tenth, the tenth Doctor is actually the eleventh, and the current incarnation played by Matt Smith is actually the twelfth. This means that the incarnation to be portrayed by Peter Capaldi – glimpsed very briefly in the scene in which all of the Doctors rush to Gallifrey’s rescue – is the Doctor’s thirteenth and final life… unless, of course, the Doctor has somehow used up another regeneration somehow.

Asthmatic UNIT scientist Osgood may or may not be related to Sergeant Osgood, who served under Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in The Daemons (1971). UNIT’s Black Archive was Doctor Whoestablished in the Brigadier’s final televised appearance, in the Sarah Jane Adventures two-parter Enemy Of The Bane, though it was not in the Tower of London at that time, meaning that the Black Archive has either been moved, or has a decentralized series of locations. Voice artist John Guilor, who had already provided the voice of the first Doctor in bonus features for the DVD release of 1964’s Planet Of Giants, reprised that voice for the every-incarnation-of-the-Doctor climax.

Whether you consider his final appearance to have occurred in 1981’s Logopolis or the 1993 charity special Dimensions In Time, this episode marks Tom Baker’s first appearance in new footage in Doctor Whotelevised Doctor Who in a very long time; the exact nature of his character is left extremely vague.

One day after its premiere unfolded simultaneously in 94 countries, The Day Of The Doctor and its production team were awarded the Guinness World Record for the most widely watched non-news, non-sports drama presentation in the history of the medium of television.

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The King Of Sontar

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS brings the Doctor and Leela to the site of an unlikely sight: Sontarans fighting another Sontaran. But the target of this operation is no ordinary Sontaran. A Sontaran platoon has been sent to kill – and has failed to kill – a seven-foot-tall Sontaran renegade called Strang. Thanks to a mishap with one of the clone warriors’ cloning vats, Strang has received the concentrated DNA of multiple Sontarans, making him almost unstoppable, and he has his eyes set on wiping out Sontar and its race of “inferior” Sontarans. The Doctor believes that the Time Lords have once again deposited him at a critical moment in history to do their dirty work: to stop Strang from making the Sontarans a far more dangerous race. And just as happened on Skaro, the Doctor has grave misgivings about carrying out this assignment… but others feel differently about the matter.

Order this CDwritten by John Dorney
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Dan Starkey (Strang / Hutchins), David Collings (Rosato), John Banks (Vilhol / Mercenary), David Seddon (Irving / Garn / Tashan / Mercenary 2), Jenny Funnell (Reaver)

Notes: Technically, this is Leela’s first encounter with the Sontarans, pre-dating The Invasion Of Time.

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