Just for a brief moment last week, I actually found myself feeling excited again on hearing news pertaining to the “Doctor Who” universe. It was the announcement of eight brand new audio episodes, a season if you will, featuring the return of Eighth Doctor Paul McGann to BBC7, from New Year’s Eve, in a run of six stories. Produced by Big Finish, they have adopted the double length episode format of the recent TV revival and the mix of two part and single episode stories, so beloved across the Atlantic, that we have embraced here in order to conform and thus compete in the marketplace. The two two-parters open and close the season, the first featuring the Daleks, the latter the Cybermen.
It’s interesting to mull over the story titles. My favourite has to be Paul Magrs “Horror of Glam Rock”! Nice play on “Fang Rock” and certainly brought a smile to my face. I wonder if it’s about Gary Glitter? Anyway, that one follows the opening story “Blood of the Daleks” by Steve Lyons. Two stories (three episodes) have been written by Eddie Robson, the closing Cybermen tale “Human Resources” and “Phobos”, fourth in the sequence, presumably set on, or about, the larger and closest of the two satellites orbiting the planet Mars. The title of the preceding story, “Immortal Beloved” by Jonathan Clements, is intriguing. This was also the name of a film about a letter written by Beethoven to an unknown lover, starring Gary Oldman. So, I’m wondering if my wish, mentioned a couple of posts ago, that the Doctor should encounter a famous composer, is about to come true?! The penultimate story of the second McGann radio season of “Doctor Who” is “No More Lies” by Paul Sutton. I wonder if he’s related to Sarah?!!
As well as an impressive guest cast, joining the Doctor on this two-month aural extravaganza, just after Christmas, is new companion Lucie Miller. After two days of auditions, Sheridan Smith was chosen to replace India Fisher’s outgoing companion Charley Pollard from last year’s debut season. Following Doctor John Smith, Sarah Jane Smith, and Mickey Smith, does this mean we’ll finally have a real Smith aboard the TARDIS? Sheridan will be a familiar face to anyone who has ever switched on BBC THREE! She has played the part of Janet for well over fifty episodes in six seasons of sitcom “Two Pints of Lager & a Packet of Crisps” and, more recently, led the cast of similar sitcom “Grownups”, as Michelle, from the same writer and production team. I’m nothing, if not curious, as to how this pairing will turn out!