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Four seasons in and - at last! - K-9 (voiced by the wonderful John Leeson) joined the Fourth Doctor and Leela for some new audio adventures. Here's our mini-guide.
The Fourth Doctor Adventures' fourth season stories nudge up to being set post-The Invisible Enemy, and we touch upon the kind of space opera stories that were found in the era of producer Graham Williams. Kenny Smith has the details:
The Exxilons, by Nicholas Briggs
Planet E9874 supports a developing civilisation known as the Tarl. The peaceful, technologically advanced Locoyuns are helping the Tarl develop rudimentary technology. What could be more innocent than that? Leela and K9 discover an ancient power of unimaginable strength which threatens to tear the minds out of its victims.
Nicholas Briggs: "Such an intriguing race, only ever featuring previously in Death to the Daleks… And that story was so full of hints of their previous activities. What I wanted to do was something that had the flavour of what I call the Sunday Afternoon Matinee movies, like King Solomon’s Mines and all those great adventure movies. Explorers travelling into the domain of ancient civilisations and incredible danger."
The Darkness of Glass, by Justin Richards
Cut off from the TARDIS, the Doctor and Leela find themselves stranded on a small island in 1907. Members of the Caversham Society have gathered on the hundredth anniversary of the death of Mannering Caversham, the greatest Magic Lanternist who ever lived - who was also a supernaturalist who claimed to have conjured up a demon.
Justin Richards: "The starting point for The Darkness of Glass was a line by T.S.Eliot - '…as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen.' It just struck me that it would be completely bonkers - and great fun - to attempt an audio play based on something so visual. Obviously there needs to be more to it than just a magic lantern showing something a bit spooky, so the story built up from there."
Requiem for the Rocket Men, by John Dorney
The Master has arranged to meet with Shandar, King of the Rocket Men. But the mercenaries have captured themselves a very special prisoner - his oldest enemy, the Doctor. Shandar has a new pet, a robotic dog, and the Doctor seems to be fairly relaxed about being held prisoner - could he be planning a trap for the Master?
John Dorney: "My first drive was finding a new angle for a Master story. The concept I landed on was switching the roles our favourite Time Lords play in the story - usually the Doctor arrives somewhere and discovers the Master already there and up to something. So what happens if we swap that around? If this time the Master is trying to foil the Doctor's plan...?"
Death Match, by Matt Fitton
The Death-Match is under new management, with a new Hunt Master taking charge, as combatants can be observed fighting to the death, with prizes on offer for every kill made. However, the Hunt Master has a new champion - Leela - battling for her life in a purpose-built environment filled with deadly traps and hidden dangers.
Matt Fitton: "The idea is that the Master has set up this whole leisure facility for despots and tyrants on their days off, so they can go and gamble on people killing each other... it's a bit of a riff on The Running Man. We have the Master running things, and for his champion he has picked the best hunter to win the game, Leela, which is just what the Master would do."
Suburban Hell, by Alan Barnes
In a suburb of North London, plans are underway for a dinner party - and two unexpected guests arrive at the door. The Doctor and Leela have been sent to the wrong timezone after temporal ruckage hit the TARDIS. But there's othery uninvited guests - savage blue-skinned monsters, with dinner party plans of their own.
Alan Barnes: "Suburban Hell started, I suppose, with a self-imposed restriction – to set a Doctor Who story entirely within the bounds of an ordinary suburban house, and the street immediately outside. And suddenly it seemed inevitable that the doorbell of that ordinary suburban house was going to ring, and the hostess of the dinner party at that ordinary suburban house was going to open the door to the Doctor and Leela."
The Cloisters of Terror, by Jonathan Morris
The Dean of St Matilda’s College, Oxford, Dame Emily Shaw, is told of three ghostly nuns which are wandering its passages during the hours of darkness. Liz's mother looks for help, and a police box arrives in her study. Will the Doctor and Leela see the 'Three Sisters'? To look upon them is to die...
Jonathan Morris: "The Cloisters of Terror came about largely because I was watching lots of 1970s supernatural anthology shows, like Hammer House of Horror and Thriller and had the idea of attempting to tell a ghost story on audio (not as easy as it sounds, as ghosts tend to be mainly visual phenomena). To try to write a character-based atmosphere piece, as spooky as possible."
The Fate of Krelos, by Nicholas Briggs
After K9 interfaces with the TARDIS, he reactivates the architectural configuration of the Doctor’s second incarnation, finding a piece of material snagged on the console. But there's something wrong with the Doctor's loyal robot friend - can K9 serve two masters, or will his robotic programming be overcome?
Nicholas Briggs: "I wanted to make it mostly about the Doctor, Leela and K9, not least because I’ve enjoyed directing this team and had realised you can do so much with them. So it’s also quite a character-based piece for the central characters, with not many other characters involved. But there’s a real sense of something wicked this way coming!"
Return to Telos, by Nicholas Briggs
On Telos, in the past, the Second Doctor and Jamie are exploring the tomb of the Cybermen. But they're about to be joined by the Fourth Doctor and Leela as the Cyber-Controller and Cyber-Planner consolidate their plans. Spare parts from Krelos are being used to construct a mighty Cyber army.
Nicholas Briggs: "“It’s an all-out Troughton-style adventure, with the sort of added, visual scope that perhaps a TV Comic strip or Target novelisation might add. For me it was a total summing up of all the feelings I got from that era. There are plenty of Cybermen in it too!"
All the Fourth Doctor Adventures series 04 titles, starring Tom Baker, Louise Jameson and John Leeson, are available on collector's edition CD or download, via the links above, or as a discounted complete series bundle.
SALE! Get 40% OFF all these Fourth Doctor adventures. Use checkout code OCTOMBAKER to apply the discount.
Collector's edition CDs and download bundles for The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 1-6 now also have a 40% discount applied for the period of the offer (no code required). This deal expires 23:59 (UK time) on October 31st 2019.