In 1999 we released The Sirens of Time as our first audio production connected to Doctor Who. As we moved into 2000, the range grew. Read on for some quotes and offers relating to that second year...
Big Finish's Doctor Who at 15 - Day 2
To mark the second day of our celebration, we're making the downloads of six early Doctor Who Big Finish adventures available, each for £1. For Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor there's Spare Parts and The Land of the Dead, for Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor there's Jubilee, The Holy Terror and The Apocalypse Element and for Sylvester McCoy's Seventh Doctor there's Dust Breeding.
The writer of a couple of these titles - Rob Shearman - came in last week to do a Podcast about his Big Finish time - click here to listen absolutely free, and perhaps enter the competition...
Lastly for today, we've dipped into a few of the full-price monthly range and for £5 on CD or Download are offering: The Fifth Doctor's The Game, The Sixth Doctor's Medicinal Purposes and the Seventh Doctor's Unregenerate!
These special offers end in 24 hours, at which point we'll see you for Day 3...
[Update 26/7 - following server problems yesterday, this offer is extended and closes at 7am (UK time) on 27/7]
A Few Words About 2000:
"Land of the Dead was conceived in crisis. Gary Russell asked me if I fancied writing a play for the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa… to be delivered in seven days’ time! I think that since I was still Exec Producer at the time, asking me was a good way to make sure the script wasn’t held up by me wanting anything changed upon delivery. It couldn’t afford to be late as Sarah Sutton was going on holiday for three weeks and wanted the scripts before she left… and the recording date was set for a short time after that due to Peter Davison’s own commitments. Anyway, so I had to come up with a storyline that night for discussion – it wasn’t easy because I also had a day job at the time, which only left me evenings and one weekend in which to work.
One thing led to another as I essentially thought aloud to come up with the basic plot. I was editing and writing several children’s books for Walking With Dinosaurs at the time, and feeling like a living fossil myself. Which got me imagining a creature emitting an energy field so extreme it corrodes its own flesh… And that suggested a good Doctor Who culprit for the Permian extinction, a massive event which isn’t really as famous as the dinosaurs’ end, and thus hopefully more interesting. Bones dating to that period have been discovered in Alaska so that suggested the setting – one easier to achieve on audio than in TV Centre. Alaska suggested Inuits, so I researched their beliefs in the Kingfisher Book of World Mythology which had lots of colour about Sedna the sea spirit and the land of the dead, so that was too good not to use. Lastly there was an idea I’d had lurking in my head for years about a wealthy eccentric building a home/ monument out of only pure, primary materials, providing the focus for some ancient elemental force… By having him build this place in Alaska that not only allowed a good way of unearthing the Permian creatures but also allowed for conflict between progress and tradition, which could be explored through the relationship between Brett and Tulung.
So I sent the story for approval quite late that night, and Gary phoned back half an hour later to approve it. He wanted me to spare Brett’s life at that stage, though changed his mind later. He was always doing that. In The Apocalypse Element he started off wanting me to save the Time Lord President, before revising his instructions to, ‘Kill the ******’.
Stephen Cole, Big Finish writer, Steve Cole Books
"Dust Breeding was a last minute replacement for the Master story that I had already started writing when Anthony Ainley decided that he didn't wish to be involved. Rather than rework the story it was decided that I should start again from scratch. The original storyline of Dust Breeding had been plotted with long-time writing partner Robert Perry, and had been pitched to Virgin Books as a possible book in their New Adventures line. Although most of the story translated into an audio script fairly easily, one character - a mad Alpha Centaurian poet who had named himself Ralph McTell - proved to be a bit too much for Gary (Russell), so was dropped.
The title comes from a famous Duchamp/Manray collaboration, and by bizarre coincidence a copy of it was hanging on the wall of the studio where we were recording. The spacecraft on the cover is one of my earliest attempts at a computer-generated model.
The character of Guthrie as originally written was American, and I understand that Gary originally tried to get Ed Bishop to play the role. I would have been delighted if that had gone ahead, as Ed's voice was synonymous with so many of the GerryAnderson shows that I had admired."
Mike Tucker, Doctor WhoVFX Engineer, Big Finish Writer www.stormharvest.net
The Big Finish podcasters are joined by Vortex editor Kenny Smith for more forum fun...