1 January 2014.
OK, so really it’s just numbers. Just another day on a calendar that’s come about by accident of civilisation. But counting gives us a marker, and it’s a good place to stop, look back and look forward.
So, glancing at the recent past, I’m so pleased with the reception the Big Finish December release has received. Afterlife was an attempt to do something a little different, and with such a fantastic cast (see below, where I’m chuffed to be in studio with Amy Pemberton, Philip Olivier, Sophie Aldred and Sylvester McCoy), great suggestions from script editor Jonny Morris and marvellous direction from Ken Bentley, I was delighted with the resulting audio-play. It pays off an ongoing story and also looks to where the Seventh Doctor and Ace might be heading next.
As it’s my blog, I can reveal a couple of exclusive snippets of information about Afterlife:
First off, when I conceived the story, I gave each episode individual titles, which in the end weren’t needed. But just for you, here they are (and don’t worry, they’re none too spoilery):
1 – After Hex
2 – Absent Friends
3 – The Gangs of New Hoylake
4 – Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot
And secondly – because I know it’s been asked – I can confirm – yes, Sylvester played those spoons himself!
Looking at the current month, we have Luna Romana. This one is also part of a continuing story, the finale in fact, of the Companion Chronicles 50th anniversary trilogy. So the story of Quadrigger Stoyn, begun in… The Beginning, and revisited in The Dying Light, will come to an end with an encounter with the Fourth Doctor and more than one Romana.
As you can see from the cover, joining the Romana roster we have the fantastic Juliet Landau as an unspecified future incarnation of the Time Lady (introduced in the Gallifrey series) looking back at events in her first two lives. Lalla Ward also narrates, and during the course of the adventure we pay tribute to the wonderful Mary Tamm.
So, that’s past and present – what does the future bring? Dark Eyes 2 with Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and Ruth Bradley as his companion Molly (as namechecked in the BBC webisode Night of the Doctor!). They’ll be joined by a host of exciting guests for the follow-up to the success of the desperate Dalek-driven race through time that was Dark Eyes. Nicola Walker will reprise Liv Chenka (from the Seventh Doctor story Robophobia), and Alex Macqueen will return as the Master, alongside a number of other foes including the mysterious Eminence and of course, the Daleks themselves. I’ve written two of the four stories in this box-set, and plans are already underway for more Dark Eyes to follow…
And just a little further ahead, an old friend of the Eighth Doctor is coming back too. But in a series of her very own. Charlotte Pollard is on her way, and she’s looking for adventure!
One more thing for the month – Big Finish Day 4 will take place at the Copthorne Hotel in Slough on the 18th January. We’ll be joined by the Eighth Doctor himself, Paul McGann, a full complement of Counter-Measures (Pamela Salem, Simon Williams, Karen Gledhill and Hugh Ross), and Steed (Julian Wadham) and Dr Keel (Anthony Howell) will be there to launch Big Finish’s audio Avengers series. See you there!