Eight new short stories from the varied and adventurous timeline of Bernice Summerfield are available now in Bernice Summerfield – In Time. Will Benny still be digging for artefacts at 80? You bet she will!
From a rocky start at military academy to her sudden immersion in an alternative universe via a variety of jobs and adventures on Dellah, at the Braxiatel Collection, and in the murky world of Legion – Bernice Summerfield is a woman who can be said to have lived more than one life.
But one thing's for certain: wherever she is, Benny can always be counted on to right wrongs, get the job done and, sometimes, even have a good time along the way!
The first short story of the timeline is from Benny’s past. Oh No, Not Again was written by Dave Stone – could this be set around the first ever Benny story Oh No, It Isn’t!?
The next story, The Bunny’s Curse by Doris V Sutherland is from Benny’s youth at the Spacefleet Academy, followed by The Seventh Fanfic by Mark Clapham – an adventure on the planet Dellah. In the Braxiatel Collection, Simon Guerrier has written Benny and the Grieving Man; and in Legion City, there’s Wurm Noir by Antonio Rastelli.
Continuing along Benny’s timeline, in the Unbound Universe there are two stories, Legacy Presence by Victoria CW Simpson and The Death of Hope by James Goss. And to finish off in Benny’s future there’s Old Ruins by Peter Anghelides.
We’re very lucky to have writers from Benny’s past (such as Simon Guerrier, James Goss and Peter Anghelides) in this collection. And we are also delighted to be introducing new writers, Victoria CW Simpson and Antonio Rastelli, plus Doris V Sutherland – the winner of the Big Finish writer’s opportunity run in conjunction with The Time Ladies.
Doris told us about writing for Bernice Summerfield and Big Finish: “I'll be honest, I'm actually very new to Benny. But I'm making up for that by giving myself a crash-course in her exploits. The whole idea of a far-future archaeologist appeals to me; there's plenty of room for irony in that concept. That she has such a dry, sardonic outlook on her adventures is the icing on the cake.
“I'm very excited to be writing for Big Finish. I like the atmosphere of Big Finish which works with big franchises but finds room to explore their smaller corners. I am an avid fan of Doctor Who in all of its various incarnations – although part of me feels that none of the Doctors will ever top William Hartnell when he was still a bit evil!” More information can be found here -> https://www.bigfinish.com/news/v/bernice-summerfield-in-time
Actor, director and first lady of Big Finish, Lisa Bowerman, described how she felt about playing Benny for the last 20 years: “Date: 25th June 1998. Scene: a damp cellar in Elephant and Castle. Arrive to find a couple of hippies, a cast of panto characters, Gary Russell, Nicholas Briggs on a stool, a man in a corner with a DAT machine, Nicholas Courtney, one microphone – and a moth-eaten cat. Not the most auspicious start to a job; which frankly I thought would last a couple of days!
“Cut to: 25th June 2018. Email is now a thing – and I get a message from Big Finish’s marketing guru, Paddy Freeland, to tell me Benny’s licence has been renewed.
“Never in a month of Sundays could I have imagined on that day 20 years ago that the adventures of Professor Bernice Summerfield would still be going. It’s been two decades of danger and excitement (and that was just some of the studios we recorded in!) – brilliant writing, great adventures, wonderful casts, directors and producers – and the beginnings of what would be an astonishingly successful audio production company.
“Hooray for Benny, and hooray for Big Finish. I’ve a lot to be grateful for!”
And for Bernice Summerfield fans looking to the future, we’re delighted that Big Finish’s licence for Benny has been extended to 2023, as announced on Big Finish’s 20th anniversary. -> https://www.bigfinish.com/news/v/oh-no-it-isn-t-20-years-on
Creator of Bernice Summerfield, Paul Cornell, told us: “Big Finish has been the best possible home for Bernice Summerfield, as played by the awesome Lisa Bowerman, and in her anniversary year with the company, I’m delighted that relationship is set to continue, long into the future.”
Executive Producer and chairman of Big Finish, Jason Haigh-Ellery: “Twenty years of Bernice Summerfield – it’s gone so fast! And now we have another five years to look forward to. There is always so much to do with Benny and that is undoubtedly down to her wonderful creator Paul Cornell. He fashioned not only a brave and clever character but long before everyone was doing it, he made his heroine fallible and approachable. Casting Lisa Bowerman was the icing on the cake, and I look back on Big Finish’s first production, Oh No It Isn’t! with immense pride. Cheers Benny!”
Executive Producer, Nicholas Briggs: “Having provided the venue for Lisa Bowerman’s audition for the part of Benny (the living room in my flat, with a microphone unceremoniously taped to an upright vacuum cleaner!) and directed the first ever Bernice Summerfield audio drama, I have a big emotional connection to the range. It’s fantastic that we’ve recently seen new life breathed into her adventures, and I look forward to the many more exciting exploits in store for this much-loved character.”