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

This title was released in May 2024. It will be exclusively available to buy from the Big Finish website until 31 July 2024, and on general sale after this date.

The Doctor and River Song. Their lives are tangled, complex, intertwined.

But this Doctor doesn't do domestics, and for once, River might have her work cut out. With time and space against them, these lovers are star-crossed in more ways than most.

4.1 Swipe Right by John Dorney
There are strange rumours about the planet Crell. People have been vanishing. The mysterious Matchmaker is keen to get the populace paired up via his special dating app… but rejecting too many suitors can have fatal consequences.

It’s precisely the sort of thing the Doctor would want to investigate. But unfortunately it’s also precisely the sort of thing River Song would want to investigate too. The Doctor and River are on a collision course - but this time it might not be a match made in heaven.

4.2 Face of the Apocalypse by Lizzie Hopley
After locking onto an unusual algorithm, the TARDIS lands in a hi-security Intergalactic Bank where the computerised system only recognises one face - River Song. The Doctor discovers River dismantling the main computer and immediately suspects her of something dodgy…

But a case of stolen identity becomes far more serious as River’s face starts to appear throughout history and the Bank vaults start filling up with Temporal Prisoners. Is River the victim of a sting or a bored computer nerd? One thing’s for certain, the ‘glitch’ is no longer a glitch and is on its way to destroying all of spacetime, starting with Prisoner Number One.

4.3 Archipelago by Tim Foley
River Song has one last request. If the Doctor undertakes a dangerous journey with her on the planet Fortuna, she’ll never bother him again. But this is no ordinary voyage.

As the storms batter their tiny vessel, the travellers are confronted with some brutal home truths. There is a captain in search of a husband. There is a ship in need of a light. And there are lovers lost in the maelstrom who will always be islands apart...

Recorded on: 10 and 13 March 2023
Recorded at: The Soundhouse


Christopher Eccleston said: "Returning to the world of the Doctor has been a great experience precisely because it has allowed me to re-explore my interpretation of the character and how he interacts with the many extraordinary beings he encounters along the way. Alex’s River was one such character and this was an interesting, challenging and enjoyable encounter for the Doctor too.

“The Big Finish experience has, to date, been enjoyable and has afforded me the chance to revisit a character I was able to bring to life almost twenty years ago. For now, it is time for me to return to the TARDIS and disappear for a while, but as we know, the world of the Doctor is unpredictable, so this is not a goodbye but an au revoir!”

Alex Kingston said: “This is the first time that I’ve had an opportunity to work with Chris's Doctor. It’s a challenge for River to step into his interpretation and navigate it. He’s got a different energy to any of the other Doctors - she has to work harder to engage him, to get through to him, which is great fun.”

Writer John Dorney said: “This box set felt different because normally, they are standalone stories with the Ninth Doctor. Here, it was more fun because there was a sense we could be quite collaborative with it.

“Myself, Tim and Lizzie had a big Zoom meeting where we talked through our ideas, and we felt it might be interesting if we got to a structure that mirrored three stages of a relationship. Mine ended up being the first date, in effect, then Lizzie's became the mid-period, and Tim's was old age.”

Lizzie Hopley added: “Starting on a new partnership is like putting two chemicals in a jar and seeing how they interact as you write. River senses he’s maybe more wary of her, so responds to that. She knows this Doctor needs a hug more than any of them, but she’s careful of getting too close while he’s still so raw.

Face of the Apocalypse went through so many changes. I had planned a story about the later years of Helen of Troy, who was having marriage difficulties. I liked the idea of River and the Ninth Doctor, who weren’t in a typical River-Doctor relationship, having to counsel another couple in order to save a timeline. But I was asked to steer clear of Greeks, so invented my own legend, which starts on a high-security banking planet!”

Tim Foley said: “This is the wrong Doctor for River... and we thought it would be really fun to explore what that actually meant. Unlike the other incarnations she's met, she struggles to click with the Ninth Doctor. It's an ‘unromance’! But why is that, is this Doctor too wounded from the Time War? Too different from River's conception of the Doctor? There’s lots of exciting possibilities here.

“I really took and ran with that idea to make Archipelago the most romantic ‘unromance’ I’ve ever written. River has one last request for this Doctor. If he does this for her, she'll never bother him again. But it's a task that might mean far more than the end of their relationship... We’re on the planet Fortuna, and there’s an old captain who needs his help.”

  • Product Format: 4-disc CD (2x1CD/1x2CD slipcover)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Duration: 264 minutes
  • Physical Retail ISBN: 978-1-80240-134-9
  • Digital Retail ISBN: 978-1-80240-135-6
  • Production Code: BFPDW9TH12
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