Kicking off the fourth series of The Early Adventures, The Night Witches takes the Second Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie to the skies of Stalingrad in this latest tale.
Starring Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines, this Early Adventures Story puts the Second Doctor back to the Second World War, and puts Polly in centre stage. Can the TARDIS team survive one of the most deadly conflicts in human history?
When the TARDIS materialises north of Stalingrad in 1942, the Doctor, Jamie, Ben and Polly are captured by the Night Witches, an all-female unit of flyers tasked with disrupting the German forces nearing Moscow.
They suspect that the travellers are spies - part of the Germans’ Operation Barbarossa. Despite their pleas they are locked up while it is decided what to do with them.
Polly, however, is receiving strange looks from the pilots and clearly unnerving them. When the TARDIS crew discover why this is, it becomes clear that they’re about to get far more involved in the war than they could possibly have imagined.
Writer Roland Moore tells us what inspired this historical story: “The Night Witches came about from me wanting to write an adventure with Polly as the focus. Initially, I thought it would be interesting to put her in the environment of the Night Witches – the nickname for the female group of Russian pilots whose job it was to disrupt and destroy advancing German forces. It was a brutal and tough job, hopelessly outnumbered and using rickety biplanes to bomb the German Panzer divisions, so the commander of the Night Witches doesn’t mess about. She assumes that the Doctor and his friends are spies and would kill them immediately if it wasn’t for the lack of ammunition at the air base.
“I imagined that the Second Doctor would be a good fit for the story as in one specific way it foreshadows another story of his run. I liked the idea of him not wanting to get involved and feeling a sense that the TARDIS has brought them there for a reason. It’s a bit of switch to see him feeling so uneasy and nice to see him being a bit mysterious as to his reasoning.
“And of course, the whole thing of not being able to pilot the TARDIS in that era of the series is interesting, as that plays into the story, both for the Doctor and then for Polly and Ben when they contemplate whether they could fly the ship to get home on their own. That was the other thing I wanted to explore – Polly and Ben alone, stranded out of time.
“I loved writing my first Big Finish scripts, having loved Doctor Who all my life. It was a joy writing for the team of the Second Doctor, Jamie, Polly and Ben and it meant watching and listening to all their stories (research is tough!). Aside from hearing their voices on the page and then being brought to life so brilliantly by the cast, it was fabulous to be able to write cliffhangers every 25 minutes and then hear THAT music crash in!”
Tune into the first volume of this new series of adventure today, available on CD at £14.99 or download at £12.99. Don’t forget that all CD purchases unlock a download exclusive with the Big Finish app.
And you can read more on The Night Witches, including excerpts from director Helen Goldwyn and cover art designer Tom Webster here -> https://www.bigfinish.com/news/v/doctor-who---the-night-witches---coming-soon
Coming up next, The Outliers.
The TARDIS takes the Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie to a flooded underground town on an alien world. The streets are empty. The houses are bare. Not a trace of life.
The miners working here are vanishing. And it isn’t long before the time-travellers are suspected of being responsible for the disappearances. But even the authorities haven’t fully realised the scale of the problem.
There’s something else on this world. Something dragging people away. And it won’t stop until it’s taken them all.