You’re probably already aware that Christopher Eccleston will return as the Doctor for The Ninth Doctor Adventures in May, courtesy of Big Finish. It was announced back in August and I’m pretty sure my cheers of joy where audible across most of south-west London.
Well, we have a trailer!
There have been questions on where this takes place in the Doctor’s timeline, since he seems to be early days in his first episode and travels with Rose Tyler until he regenerates. David Richardson has the answer:
“It’s been so enjoyable creating a whole new era for the Ninth Doctor, and I think the scripts really succeed in defining that bold new start. We are talking the Ninth Doctor pre-Rose. These are the adventures some time after his regeneration, travelling alone, starting to discover himself after all that time being the War Doctor.”David Richardson, Producer
And we have plenty of information about the first volume. It’s called Ravagers, written and directed by Nick Briggs, new characters include Nova (played by Camilla Beeput) and Audrey (played by Jayne McKenna). But, with three more volumes being recorded as we speak, we don’t know where the series will go next.
But now we do! Along with the trailer, Big Finish has teased some upcoming adventures and familiar faces meeting the Ninth Doctor. Volume two will be out in August and, admittedly, we know almost nothing about that. But volumes three and four sound…fantastic!
The Ninth Doctor never battled the Cybermen on television, only a brief face-off with a museum piece in the fifth episode, Dalek. So it’s great to hear that the final episode of volume three – due for release in November – will pit the Doctor against his Mondasian foes on the set of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis in 1927 in a story penned by John Dorney.
“I know everyone was very keen for the Ninth Doctor to have an encounter with the Cybermen, and as they were the only Doctor and monster I hadn’t written for at Big Finish, I was very keen to be the one to write it! It was a real honour getting to script their meeting… particularly as it gave me the chance to dive into my love for the movies and write a bit of a celebrity historical.”John Dorney, Writer
With Nicholas Courtney’s sad passing in 2011, no new series Doctor was afforded an onscreen encounter with the famed Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. In recent years, impressionist and voice actor Jon Culshaw has taken on the role. So the fourth volume will give Culshaw, Eccleston and writer Roy Gill the chance to make that long-awaited meeting happen.
“The Brigadier is an iconic character from the Classic Series, whereas the Ninth Doctor arrives at the very forefront of the New Series. They may initially seem very different, but there’s an interesting connection: both forthright and deeply decent, they’ve been through conflict and are still fighting for what’s right… It was a privilege to write their first meeting for Big Finish.”Roy Gill, Writer
The Future for Eccleston
It’s too early to say if Christopher Eccleston will become a Big Finish mainstay or if, for the foreseeable, his second tenure as the Doctor will be limited to these four volumes. I have mixed feelings about giving a Doctor with such a tightly defined arc more side-quests and crossovers. But I trust Big Finish’s creative team to do the character justice and treat the fans while respecting the actor’s craft. Time will tell.