Released today, the second of our Time War Short Trips, and Susan, the Doctor’s Granddaughter, remembers a time before the universe burned...
Following on from last month’s A Heart on Both Sides, we continue to see how the Time War affected the wider universe in this month’s Doctor Who Short Trips. Carole Ann Ford returns as Susan, the Doctor’s granddaughter and the first companion, in All Hands on Deck.
Everyone Susan Campbell cared about has gone. Most of them died in the second Dalek invasion, and her grandfather never visits. She's living in what used to be Coal Hill School, helping Earth rebuild again.
Then, one night, she's called away to help with an emergency. A piece of appropriated Dalek technology is malfunctioning, and everyone's afraid of what it might do…
This is just the first in a sequence of predicaments facing Susan – and the connection between them will shape the rest of her life.
We talked to producer and script editor Ian Atkins about this very special adventure for Doctor Who fans. “If you take the Time War as something that reaches all places and all times, then it's going to impact on those who knew the Doctor even when he's long gone: that was something I wanted to explore with a couple of this year's Short Trips. With Nyssa (in A Heart on Both Sides) we see someone aware of the War, and doing her small part. But what of someone who is completely unaware of it? When does its poisonous influence come calling? The Time War reflects a real change for the Doctor – afterwards there will always be the influence of it, the trauma of it, the knowledge of it – so it seemed appropriate to mark these last few years of non-involvement by returning to the start, where it's just the Doctor and his granddaughter.
"I adored the Eighth Doctor Adventures (it's what brought me to Big Finish in the first place), and Eddie Robson was such a part of this range that he was who I contacted when I decided on this being a Susan story. Eddie came back with a clever, imaginative storyline within minutes, making the most of an older Susan and where she is now with her life, and I felt sure that Carole Ann Ford would turn this into a great performance. It's always an honour to work with someone who was there in 1963, who helped kick off this gorgeous phenomenon we all love, and Carole was superb. She and director Lisa Bowerman paid so much attention to Eddie's careful character beats, and the result is all I could have hoped for and more.”
Sir Keeyoht of la Koura and his loyal squire Adric, are on a quest. A great and noble quest to stop that most vile of Enchanters, the Doctor, from claiming the greatest treasure in the land. Along the way they intend to battle giants (or possibly windmills), inspire adventurers, rescue a princess and ultimately come face to face with that most terrifying of all monsters, the Dragon.
Except Adric knows there are no such thing as dragons...
Nick and Benji present the first of our three special, holiday podcasts. Guest star: Rufus Hound (The Meddling Monk) Part 2. A special Callan interview with Frank Skinner and Ben Miles. Drama tease: The Chimes of Midnight (starring Paul McGann).