In a week’s time I’ll be attending Big Finish Day 2, Saturday February 11th at Barking Abbey School, East London.
For those of you who don’t know, Big Finish produce continuing audio adventures for a range of sci-fi and fantasy franchises. Original actors, in full-cast dramas or dramatised readings of brand new stories. Not least of them is Doctor Who, and it was recently joined on the roster by Blake’s 7.
My own first foray into officially produced Doctor Who was ‘A Most Excellent Match’, one of the ‘Other Stories’ on the company’s 150th release, Recorded Time and Other Stories back in August last year. A jolly romp through 19th Century English literature – and beyond – with as many Austen/Brontë/Hardy jokes as I could reasonably cram in. A very suitable match for Colin Baker’s literary-minded Sixth Doctor, and with a pivotal role for his ‘feisty assistant’ (TM) Peri, as played by Nicola Bryant.
(I’ve since written an episode of Big Finish’s upcoming Doctor Who spin-off series ‘Counter-Measures’. Taking characters from 1960s-set TV story Remembrance of the Daleks, it follows a goverment taskforce dealing with the unexplained and inexplicable. The tone is resolutely Sixties Britain: a distilled essence of Nigel Kneale, Avengers and any number of ITC series, blended and transformed into something new. Having attended the recording, I frankly cannot wait to hear it. But since it won’t be out until July, I’ll just have to contain myself for now…)
So, back to next week. And I find myself on the same bill as the Fourth Doctor and Leela, plus Avon himself, and the British institution that is Mr David Warner. (Though admittedly I’m very, very far down that bill).
Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Paul Darrow: iconic faces from my childhood, who entranced my 70s self with their exploits on our TV screen. The reason they’re in attendance is that they now all have brand new adventures available through the magical medium of audio. The voices are as iconic as the faces, and I hope that if any of you loved them back then as much as I did, you might give their new stories a go.
Anyway, do pop along to Barking and say hello. There’ll be panels with the many talented actors, directors, producers, and writers, signings, collectables and lots of CDs for sale. I’ll be the one with a huge grin plastered across my face, having the time of my life.