Friday, 13 March 2009

Big Finish News

Nick Briggs Goes Live!

On Saturday night at 8pm, Big Finish's very own Nick Briggs (voice of the Daleks - we have to put that in, it's in his contract) will be taking questions from you, yes you the listening public, in a live chat. After you've downloaded and had a listen to the conclusion of Orbis, come online and log in (you need to be registered on the site to take part) and you'll be able to put your questions on any part of Big Finish's output to Nick. Simply submit your questions in chat, where they'll be moderated and sent on to Nick, who will do his best to answer as many as he can. The chat is scheduled to conclude at 9pm.

The Lost Stories Update - The Nightmare Fair

Production on The Lost Stories, the audio versions of unmade scripts from the 1980s era of Doctor Who, continues with The Nightmare Fair by Graham Williams which is recording on March 9 and 10. The story, which is set in Blackpool, finds the Doctor (Colin Baker) and Peri (Nicola Bryant) threatened by the Celestial Toymaker, an immortal being who makes playthings of those he defeats in his games.

The role was originally played by Michael Gough in The Celestial Toymaker by Brian Hayles (1966), but has been recast for this production. Big Finish is delighted to announce that David Bailie (who played Dask in the 1977 story The Robots of Death, and more recently starred in the three Pirates of the Caribbean films) has stepped into the vacated Mandarin costume.

“We spent a lot of time thinking of who we wanted for the Toymaker,” says producer David Richardson, “because this is an iconic role and we wanted to get it right. It’s a demanding part: whoever plays it needs to be charismatic and charming, authoritative and threatening. All sorts of names were suggested, but when the idea of David came up, director John Ainsworth and I were in absolute accord and immediately approached him. Thankfully, he said yes immediately.”

“I was thrilled to be offered this role,” says Bailie. “I read the script and it really appealed to me. The Toymaker is an interesting part because he’s dangerous and deadly, but he’s not really violent – and if he kills people he does it in a really fantastical way. I don't like real violence in films and television today – in my mind, there’s way too much of it.”

The Nightmare Fair will be released in November 2009, and will be available for pre-order from April.

In other casting news, we can reveal that Lost Story Mission to Magnus features Maggie Steed as Rana Zandusia, the leader of the titular female-dominated planet, while Malcolm Rennie portrays Time Lord bully Anzor.
Companion Chronicles: Season Four!

Following the success of the third run of The Companion Chronicles, the talking books performed by the Doctor’s assistants, a fourth season of monthly releases has been confirmed. It begins in July with The Drowned World by Simon Guerrier, a direct sequel to his story Home Truths, starring Jean Marsh as Sara Kingdom.

“The response to Home Truths was sensational,” says series producer David Richardson. “I’d always hoped we would make a follow-up story, and Simon sent me a number of suggestions. He detailed a few new different ways of resurrecting Sara Kingdom, but I felt that we’d already found a window back to the character, and it was one that was worth exploring further. So those who enjoyed the first story should be delighted with this sequel.”

Next up in August is The Glorious Revolution by Jonathan Morris, in which Frazer Hines returns to the role of Jamie McCrimmon. The TARDIS materializes in the year 1688, where Jamie discovers a political situation that will have grave repercussions for his own time…

While the September release cannot as yet be named, Richardson reveals, “It will be a Third Doctor story that sees the return of a popular guest character from the era.” Lalla Ward is back as Romana in October in The Cholarian Effect, in which the travellers meet a race searching the cosmos for a mythical figure from their own history – the Doctor himself.

In November, Ringpullworld by Paul Magrs is a quirky tale for Turlough, as played by Mark Strickson, while Bernice Summerfield (Lisa Bowerman) teams up again with the Seventh Doctor for her own – as yet unnamed – Companion Chronicle in January.

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