04 February 2016

Doctor Who Early Adventures Details Revealed


Since 2014, Big Finish have been filling in the gaps of 1960s Doctor Who with a range called The Early Adventures. These part-narrated two-disc adventures have focused on William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton's Doctors for a series at a time, meaning that this year it's once again the First Doctor's era in the spotlight.

Kicking off the run in September will be The Age of Endurance, written by Nick Wallace. This story will see William Russell and Carole Ann Ford reprising their roles of Ian and Susan from the early sixties, with Russell also voicing the Doctor. This will also be the first time Jemma Powell has played Barbara on audio, having starred as Jacqueline Hill (the actress who originally played Barbara) in 2013, in Mark Gatiss' docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time. The Age of Endurance sees the TARDIS land aboard the Vangard, a deep space vessel which is boarded by the forces of the military dreadnought Endurance. The crew are fleeing a race known as the Shifts and the travellers soon become embroiled in this battle for survival. Pre-order it here.

Next up is Philip Lawrence's The Fifth Traveller, which sees Russell, Powell and Maureen O'Brien reprising their roles in a story where the TARDIS is infiltrated by an unexpected presence. James Joyce joins as the crew as the mysterious Jospa. The Fifth Traveller is released in October and can be pre-ordered here.

November's instalment is The Ravelli Conspiracy, by Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky, two playwrights new to Big Finish. Peter Purves returns as Steven (and the Doctor) here, alongside Maureen O'Brien as Vicki, in a historical set in Florence in 1514, which sees the Doctor encounter Niccolo Machiavelli. The Ravelli Conspiracy can be pre-ordered here.

Rounding off the series is December's The Sontarans. The eponymous war-loving species, who made their debut during Jon Pertwee's last series, have featured in First Doctor stories before, although this looks set to be the 'official' first time they have actually met. In Andy Lane's novel Empire of Glass, the First Doctor didn't cross paths with the Sontarans attending Braxiatel's war conference, and in The Dream, part of The Shakespeare Notebooks, it's not clear whether they met, or if anyone's actually that bothered.

In any case, this looks to be an action-orientated adventure - something of a departure for Big Finish's Hartnell-era output - and has been written by Simon Guerrier. It stars Peter Purves, Jean Marsh (as Sara Kingdom) with stalwart Sontaran Dan Starkey stepping up to the microphone as the clones try and drag the Solar System into an endless war.  You can pre-order this one here now.

You can subscribe to the whole series here, making a saving of 25% on CD or 10% to download, both compared to buying the whole set individually. It's worth remembering that subscriptions and pre-orders come with free postage and purchasing any of the above on CD will give you access to a download on the Big Finish site straight away, so you needn't wait for it to arrive if you don't want to.

This looks to be another strong year for The Early Adventures, and we hope to review as many of these stories as possible.

(Source: Big Finish)

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