Big Finish is pleased to announce the casting of Arthur Darvill, Doctor Who's Rory Williams, in the August Dark Shadows release.
In Speak No Evil, Arthur stars as Tad, son of the original series' Quentin Collins, a spoilt, rich young man, hardened by a childhood of horrific events.
“Writing for Tad was a brilliant challenge,” says writer and director Scott Handcock, “because we only ever saw him as a boy in the original series. Extrapolating how those events affected him at the time, and how they shaped his personality as an adult, has allowed us to tell a story with a character unlike any other in the series. He's a perfect Dark Shadows antihero!”
The story, set in 1855, features the arrival in Collinsport of a circus. When sinister clown Benji (Antonio Rastelli) breaks into Collinwood, Tad has to join forces with the tattooed lady, Marie (Katharine Mangold), to discover what it is Benji wants. However, the spoilt, drunken Tad and the no-nonsense Marie don't exactly see eye-to-eye.
“We've always wanted to explore some of the lesser-known characters in Dark Shadows,” says producer Joseph Lidster, “and what Scott's done is fantastic. He's considered what it must have been like to grow up in a house where your relatives were constantly plotting against each other, using supernatural artefacts – with some of them even committing murder. It was Scott who suggested the casting of Arthur and, after recently seeing him in Doctor Faustus at the Globe, I knew he'd be perfect as the emotionally damaged Tad. The other great thing about characters like Tad is that their stories are so open-ended. There's no guarantee he'll make it to the end of Speak No Evil in one piece.”
“It's been an absolute joy to come and do this,” says Arthur Darvill, “I finished Doctor Who a couple of weeks ago so it's been really nice to get my teeth into something different.”
In the photo (left): Back row - Joseph Lidster (producer), Scott Handcock (writer/director). Front row - Arthur Darvill (Tad Collins), Katharine Mangold (Marie Olson), Antonio Rastelli (Benji)
It's ten years since Nick Briggs became co-executive producer of Big Finish Productions. His friends and colleagues celebrate this fact in a not entirely serious tribute.