While the second season of The Fourth Doctor Adventures – starring Tom Baker, and the late Mary Tamm as Romana – proceeds apace, Big Finish has announced details of its line-up for 2014. Season three reunites the Fourth Doctor with Leela (played by Louise Jameson) for a run of stories set between the TV tales The Talons of Weng-Chiang and Horror of Fang Rock.
“We’ve been having a brilliant time making these Fourth Doctor Adventures,” says producer David Richardson, “and we’re hugely proud of the stories. If I were to describe the tone of season three I’d probably use the word ‘darker’ – several stories step into more gothic territory, and I think there are some real chillers in here…”
It begins with The King of Sontar by John Dorney, in which the travellers face the most powerful Sontaran ever to step foot out of the cloning vats. “John suggested a terrific premise,” says David. “We know that Sontarans are all the same… but what if the cloning process went wrong? What if one of them was very, very different…?” Dan Starkey (Strax in the TV series) portrays Strang, while David Collings (Revenge of the Cybermen, The Robots of Death, Mawdryn Undead) is the scientist Rosato.
February brings White Ghosts by Alan Barnes, in which the TARDIS materialises on a world that is suspended in darkness. But what would happen if a little light were to shine? Virginia Hey (Farscape) plays Bengel.
The Crooked Man by John Dorney is out in March, and is set in an ordinary seaside town that is being terrorized by a nightmarish figure. Neil Stuke (Silk) plays the Crooked Man, while Sarah Smart (Doctor Who: The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People) is Laura Corbett.
April’s release is The Evil One by Nicholas Briggs, and sees the return of Geoffrey Beevers as the Master, while Michael Keating (Vila in Blake’s 7) plays Calvert and Gareth Armstrong (The Masque of Mandragora) is Arthley. “This is a very significant story for Leela,” says Nick. “When we came to plan these episodes, we realized that something that happens in The Face of Evil that is hugely important has never been mentioned since. That has actually coloured my story, and some of the others in this season.”
Last of the Colophon by Jonathan Morris follows in May, and guest stars Gareth Thomas (Blake in Blake’s 7) as Morax, Jessica Martin (The Greatest Show in the Galaxy) as Sutton and Blake Ritson (Upstairs Downstairs, Da Vinci’s Demons) as Kellaway.
June’s release is the previously mentioned Destroy the Infinite by Nicholas Briggs. Michael Fenton Stevens (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Nighty Night) guest stars as Moorson, Clive Mantle (Robin of Sherwood) plays Tillegat and David Sibley (Pralix in The Pirate Planet) portrays the Eminence. “Interestingly, this story is actually a prequel to The Seeds of War, which was out in March and stars Colin Baker as the Doctor,” says Nick. “Destroy the Infinite is the introduction of the mysterious Eminence and its Infinite Warriors – who may even return again in our audio adventures…”
The series continues in July and August 2014, with two titles as yet to be revealed.
Nick Briggs presents the nearest thing to a full-cast podcast ever produced by Big Finish. Throwing the usual format out of the window, he visits Baltimore for the convention RegenerationWho3. Guest star Sylvester McCoy (Doctor Who number 7!).