The Tenth Doctor will appear in an epic nine-part story from Big Finish next year in Dalek Universe. Pulled back in time, to before the Last Great Time War, the Doctor must endure a universe of Daleks, Movellans, Mechanoids, Davros (!!) and an old friend who once betrayed him.
No word yet on the writers but Nicholas Briggs and Ken Bentley will be directing. And, just to be clear, this is definitely not part of Time Lord Victorious.
The series will be released in a trio of three-part box sets in April, July and October 2021 on CD, download or limited edition triple LP vinyl. All three are available as a bundle.
“It’s a big old epic sweep. It reminds me a little bit of those Flash Gordon serials that used to be on the TV during the school holidays when I was a kid.
“Each story has its own self-contained world, but the whole thing has an over-arching momentum. I’ve really enjoyed how varied it is, all within this one story, and the variety of worlds that we go to and environments that we’re in.
“And, as we go through this space opera, to have all these characters brought so clearly to life by a whole range of wonderful actors, it’s been a treat.”David Tennant, The Doctor
Big Finish aficionados may recognise Jane Slavin for (among other things) playing WPC Ann Kelso in the eighth series of The Fourth Doctor Adventures. Without giving anything away, there was more to Ann Kelso than met the eye and Slavin will reprise the role for Dalek Universe. Speaking of the Fourth Doctor, a special prologue – The Dalek Protocol – starring Tom Baker, Louise Jameson and John Leeson will also be released.
Meanwhile, Broadchurch fans will have spotted Joe Sims in the cast list, reunited with David Tennant, playing Mark Seven.
“What is Dalek Universe? Well it is the first full season of Doctor Who adventures starring David Tennant as the Doctor in over ten years. It is also a huge celebration of the work and imagination of Terry Nation.
“This time the Doctor has no TARDIS for sanctuary and no Rose or Martha or Donna to help… but he is reunited with two faces from the distant past, two serving agents from the Space Security Service. Anya Kingdom (Jane Slavin) betrayed the Doctor in his fourth incarnation – can she make amends? Mark Seven (Joe Sims) is an artificial man with a mysterious history. Together the trio join forces to try and discover who has pulled the Doctor back in time. And more importantly – how can they help him get back home?”David Richardson, Senior Producer
Needless to say, I’m chuffed by this news. The Tenth Doctor is my Doctor so it’s always great to get more of him via Big Finish. But in the years since David Tennant returned in 2016, his outings in The Tenth Doctor Adventures always felt restricted and standalone.
Bound by the TV continuity, the Tenth Doctor isn’t afforded much development or time away from his triumvirate of Rose, Martha and Donna. The chance to give the Tenth Doctor meatier stories was taken up with aplomb this year with Out of Time and his upcoming team-up adventures with River Song, but in both cases he’s sharing the spotlight.
For a long time, I’ve wanted the Tennant to appear in a grand scale multi-part adventure – the sort of thing McGann gets regularly – and this will do very nicely. It seems fitting to use the Daleks for this purpose since it defined so much of the Tenth Doctor’s tenure and will give the writers and actors a lot to work with. There was one line in Out of Time that neatly contrasted the Tenth Doctor’s attitude on the Daleks with that of the Fourth Doctor. I hope this signals the start of an arc exploring the Doctor’s psyche with his oldest enemies over the course of the Dalek Universe series. Time will tell.
Are you excited about Dalek Universe or would you rather see the Tenth Doctor confronting a different enemy? Sound off in the comments.