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For The Love Of StoriesBig Finish produce fantastic full-cast audio dramas for CD and download.

Held in memory of Paul Spragg (Big Finish's much-missed producers' assistant who passed away in 2014), with the aim of finding and encouraging new audio drama writers, the annual Short Trips Writers' Opportunity has now been running for eight years. 

This year's winner is Paul Davis with his story The Hoxteth Time Capsule.

This 47-minute Sixth Doctor adventure, read by Colin Baker, is now available to download for free on what would have been Paul Spragg's birthday. 

George White experienced exciting, sometimes dangerous escapades throughout his professional and personal life. Now he loves to arrange public talks to share memories and pictures from his adventures around the world. At an event in Hoxteth, he meets a colourful stranger for the very first time.

But if George can’t recall ever meeting this man before, how can it be that the Sixth Doctor clearly appears in so many of the photographs that George took more than a decade ago? 

Below is a Q/A with Paul Davis about his winning entry: 

What was it like finding out that you had won?

"I got an email from Big Finish, and very vividly remember thinking, ‘Why are they contacting me? It said on the website they’d only contact the winner.’ I was in a kind of spinning whirlwind. I had to ask a friend, who’d encouraged me to enter the competition, to read the email for me! At the end of the day, I went off for a walk just to kind of to absorb it all. It was quite a big moment for me!"

What was the inspiration for your story? 

"I’m of a certain age as a Doctor Who fan, viewer and listener – starting in the 1970s. You think about life a little bit – what could have gone, what might happen still in the future, changes you’d make, regrets, things you’re happy with. I wanted a character very much like that – a bit older than me. And I wanted to involve the idea of being manipulated, and how whenever you get a download it seems the contract has updated itself – almost as if it’s alive."

Why did you decide to write a Sixth Doctor story and how did you find it?

"I really fell in love with Colin’s Doctor through Big Finish, in fact. Recently I was listening to an episode from the Doctor Who: 100 collection of Sixth Doctor short stories, about Julius Caesar and they think they’ve messed up history. It was very funny, and Colin is absolutely wonderful. And it’s been an absolute pleasure listening to him recording my story. I’ve really enjoyed it."

What advice would you have for anyone entering next year's opportunity?

"In the pitch that I wrote, I wanted to prove that I could write prose and another character other than the Doctor. And read the guidelines! Don’t just read them once, do read them several times – there will be things that you miss. Once you are commissioned, it will be a lot of hard work – so be prepared for that. And enjoy yourself! The more you enjoy your writing, the more it will show and the better your writing will be."

Doctor Who – Short Trips: The Hoxteth Time Capsule is available to download free now. The story is also accompanied by bonus features; Paul Davis's original submission to the competition; the final script; and a short behind-the-scenes featurette hosted by producer Peter Anghelides

The previous winners of the Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trips Opportunity, all available to download for free, are:  

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