Colin Baker IS The Doctor!

Colin Baker IS The Doctor!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Latest News

Big Finish Productions has announced more information about their upcoming release 100, which is the 100th Release since the Doctor Who range began in 1999.

This release will feature four, self-contained, 25 minute episodes, featuring the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn. Writers include Robert Shearman, Joseph Lidster, Jacqueline Rayner, and Paul Cornell. This release replaces the previously announced September release Earthstorm by Stephen Baxter.

1. Mozart's 100th by Robert Shearman.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Born in 1756, a veritable wunderkind - playing music for the crowned heads of Europe as an infant, composing by the time he was five years old. But it's tempting to wonder whether his amazing longevity has overshadowed his creative genius - would Mozart's music be better respected, maybe, if he'd died as a young man? Would he be a legend of music, rather than of scientific curiosity, if he'd never lived to compose the film score for the remake of The Italian Job?

2. [title: TBC] by Joseph Lidster.
Once upon a time...Jacob Williams is going to tell the tale of Sleeping Beauty but he realises he has told that one too many times so, instead, tells of how he once met this man called the Doctor... It's a tale of love and death and a family with a terrifying secret…

3. 100 BC by Jacqueline Rayner.
The Doctor and Evelyn arrive in Rome, 101 BC, approximately, October. They meet a young lady of 19, Aurelia. She mentions her husband - Julius Caesar. Evelyn is excited, but her excitement soon turns to confusion. Surely you can't heal a wound in time with just a bit of sticking plaster?

4. The 100 Days Of The Doctor by Paul Cornell.
Someone has assassinated the Doctor. And he only has 100 days to find out who did it.

Season 23a Episode Guide

The Marian Conspiracy
Story Code: 7C/A, BF Release No. 6
Writer: Jacqueline Rayner, Director: Gary Russell
Release Date: March 2000, Recorded: 23 October 1999, Music: Alistair Lock
Tracking a nexus point in time, the Doctor meets Dr Evelyn Smythe, a history lecturer whose own history seems to be rapidly vanishing. The Doctor must travel back to Tudor times to stabilise the nexus and save Evelyn's life. But there he meets the Queen of England and must use all his skills of diplomacy to avoid ending up on the headman's block . . .

The Spectre Of Lanyon Moor
Story Code: 7C/B, BF Release No. 9
Writer: Nicholas Pegg, Director: Nicholas Pegg
Release Date: June 2000, Recorded: 5 & 6 February 2000, Music: Alistair Lock
The Doctor and Evelyn arrive in Cornwall and encounter a very special old friend, apparently helping out with a local archaeological dig. But Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart has another agenda which has been laid down by his old employers, UNIT.
Evelyn meanwhile strikes up a friendship with the local aristocracy in the form of Sir Archibald Flint and the Doctor decides to go digging about in an old fogou.
However, something very ancient and very evil is gathering up its power in and around Lanyon Moor and before long the Doctor discovers that not only does everyone in the village harbour secrets, some of those secrets could lead to the destruction of the planet...

The Apocalypse Element
Story Code: 7C/C, BF Release No. 11
Writer: Stephen Cole, Director: Nicholas Briggs
Release Date: August 2000, Recorded: 26 & 27 February 2000, Music: Nicholas Briggs
Twenty years ago, an expedition made up of representatives from a number of worlds disappeared on the planetoid Etra Prime, including the newly inaugurated President of Gallifrey, one Lady Romana. Some time later, many of their dead bodies materialised on the planet Archetryx.
Today, Archetryx hosts a delegation from the many planets who have time travel capabilities, including the Monan Host and representatives from Gallifrey. However, as the Doctor finds himself drawn to Archetryx, it becomes evident Etra Prime is being used as a weapon to destroy Archetryx. But why? What is the secret of the Gravity Wells and what is the significance of the crystals adorning the mutants that exist down there?
And just why does the incumbent President of the High Council of the Time Lords allow a Dalek Task Force to land on Gallifrey?

Story Code: 7C/D, BF Release No. 22
Writer: Jonathan Morris, Director: Gary Russell
Release Date: 23rd July 2001, Recorded: 31 March/1 April 2001, Music: Alistair Lock
The prehistoric Earth is dying. Thunderclouds roll across the skies, cloaking the land in darkness. The seas crash and boil as the rain turns to acid. The remnants of the Silurian race place themselves in suspended animation, deep below the surface. One day they will awaken and reclaim their world...
The TARDIS has landed on the Galapagos Islands, a desolate outcrop of rocks shrouded in mist and fear. In the settlement of Baquerizo Moreno, there are rumours that prisoners have been mysteriously disappearing from the gaolhouse. A fisherman has been driven insane by something he saw in the caves. And the Doctor and Evelyn are not the only new arrivals; there is also a young natural philosopher by the name of Charles Darwin...

Project : Twilight
Story Code: 7C/E, BF Release No. 23
Writer: Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, Director: Gary Russell
Release Date: 20 August 2001, Recorded: 23 & 24 June 2001, Music: Jim Mortimore
In the renovated docklands of South East London, on the bank of the river Thames, the doors of the Dusk are open for business. Bets are called, cards are dealt and roulette wheels spun. As fortunes are won and lost, an inhuman killer stalks the local avenues and alleyways a killer with a taste for human flesh.
Is there more to casino owner Reggie "The Gent" Mead or is he just a common gangster? What secrets are hidden in the bowels of the Dusk? And what connection does the apparently sleazy Bermondsey casino have to a long- buried government initiative known as Project: Twilight?
The Doctor must form uneasy alliances where the line between friend and enemy is blurred, playing games of chance...
But are the stakes too high?

Real Time
Story Code: 7C/EA
Director: Gary Russell, Writer: Gary Russell
Broadcast Date: Summer 2002, Release Date: 12 December 2002, Recorded: 19 March 2002, Sound Design and Music: Alistair Lock
On the planet Chronos, the Doctor and Evelyn are summoned to help a military/archaeology team unlock the secrets of a mysterious temporal wave emanating from a long-forgotten temple. And at the heart of that temple appears to be an old foe... but is everything exactly as straightforward as it seems?

The Sandman
Story Code: 7C/F, BF Release No. 37
Writer: Simon A Forward, Director: Gary Russell
Release Date: 24 October 2002, Recorded: 4 & 5 March 2002, Music: Russell Stone
The Clutch is a fleet in constant motion, ships jostling for position, in an endless migration between the stars. For the Galyari, forbidden by an ancient curse from settling on a world ever again, the Clutch is home. But the curse travels with them! The Sandman, a figure of myth and folk-lore, preys on the young and old alike. He lurks in the shadows and it is death to look upon him. All too soon after the TARDIS arrives, it is evident that the Doctor and the Galyari share a dark history, and Evelyn is shocked to discover that, on the Clutch, it is her friend who is the monster. The Sandman, according to the tales, also goes by the name of the Doctor!

Story Code: 7C/G, BF Release No. 40
Writer: Robert Shearman, Directors: Nicholas Briggs & Robert Shearman
Release Date: January 2003, Recorded: 21 & 22 September 2002, Post-Production, Sound Design & Music: Nicholas Briggs
Hurrah! The deadly Daleks are back! Yes, those loveable tinpot tyrants have another plan to invade our world. Maybe this time because they want to drill to the Earth¹s core. Or maybe because they just feel like it.
And when those pesky pepperpots are in town, there is one thing you can be sure of. There will be non-stop high octane mayhem in store. And plenty of exterminations!
But never fear. The Doctor is on hand to sort them out. Defender of the Earth, saviour of us all. With his beautiful assistant, Evelyn Smythe, by his side, he will fight once again to uphold the beliefs of the English Empire. All hail the glorious English Empire!
Now that sounds like a jubilee worth celebrating, does it not?

Doctor Who And The Pirates
Story Code: 7C/H, BF Release No. 43
Writer: Jacqueline Rayner, Director: Barnaby Edwards
Musical Director: Timothy Sutton, Release Date: April 2003, Recorded: 22, 23 & 24 January 2003, Sound Design: David Darlington, Music: Timothy Sutton (and Sir Arthur Sullivan)
All aboard, me hearties, for a rip-roaring tale of adventure on the high seas! There'll be rum for all and sea shanties galore as we travel back in time to join the valiant crew of the good ship Sea Eagle, braving perils, pirates and a peripatetic old sea-dog known only as the Doctor!
Gasp as our Gallifreyan buccaneer crosses swords with the fearsome Red Jasper, scourge of the seven seas and possessor of at least one wooden leg! Thrill as Evil Evelyn the Pirate Queen sets sail in search of buried treasure, with only a foppish ship's captain and an innocent young cabin boy by her side! Marvel at the melodious mayhem which ensues as we sail the ocean blue!
And wonder why Evelyn still hasn't realised that very few stories have happy endings...

Project : Lazarus
Story Code: 7C/J, BF Release No. 45
Writers: Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, Director: Gary Russell
Release Date: June 2003, Recorded: 17 & 19 January 2003, Sound Design: ERS, Music: Andy Hardwick @ ERS
"I'll survive Doctor. I always do."
Unfinished business.
A frightened girl is stalked in a land of eternal night.
A hunter longs for recognition and power.
A traveller in time returns to correct the mistakes of the past and faces a danger that could rob him of his future. Unless his future intervenes.
And in the shadows stands Nimrod. Waiting...
Welcome to the Forge.

Arrangements For War
Story Code: 7C/K, BF Release No. 57
Writer: Paul Sutton, Director: Gary Russell
Release Date: May 2004, Recorded: 19 & 20 February 2004, Post-Production, Sound Design & Music: Steve Foxon
Onboard the TARDIS, nerves are strained.
After escaping the Forge and the murderous clutches of Nimrod, the Doctor and Evelyn have things to talk about. The Doctor's attitude towards death is a subject that these days is too close to Evelyn's heart, and eventually she demands to be set down somewhere where she can be free of him for a while.
And so they come to Világ, where the Doctor's meddling lands him in the middle of a truly dangerous liaison and Evelyn meets a man who wants to change the course of her life forever.
Love is everywhere. But then war is too.
Is it time for Evelyn to leave the Doctor? Or is the choice about to be taken out of her hands?
And who is to say what is the beginning and what is the end of love?

Medicinal Purposes
Story Code: 7C/L, Release No. 60
Writer: Robert Ross, Director: Gary Russell
Release Date: August 2004, Recorded: 18 & 19 March 2004, Sound Design & Music: David Darlington
Edinburgh, 1827.
The infamous body snatchers William Burke and William Hare are at large. The local prostitutes dull their fear with cheap whisky. The graveyard owls are hooting. Business is good.
When accidental tourists the Doctor and Evelyn Smythe stumble upon one of Britain's most lurid, illuminating chapters in history, a simple case of interest in the work of dedicated man of science Doctor Robert Knox, quickly turns sour.
Just what is that time bending Scots mist? What ever it is may put the very fabric of the universe under threat.
As always.

Pier Pressure
Story Code: 7C/MA, Release No. 78
Writer: Robert Ross, Director: Gary Russell
Release Date: January 2006,Recorded: 21 & 22 September 2005,Sound Design and Music: ERS
Brighton, Sussex; 1936"Ere, listen listen, I've got one for you. There once was this bloke, you see. Good-looking sort of chap. Lovely, brightly coloured coat. No rubbish. Quality gear. Never bought a drink neither... or so they say. But his name wasn't Miller. Oh no, there'll never be another Cheeky Chappie, lady, there'll never be another. They broke the mould when theymade me you know. No, this bloke called himself the Doctor. Doctor who you ask? And may well you. Don't know me self. No one ever knew. Funny that. He was a real strange one. Odd things happened when he arrived. Mind you, them were dark days. No one was laughing. And these were mypeople. My public. It was like playing first house at the Glasgow Empire. Just like the entire town was cursed it was. Cursed by something not of this world..."

The Nowhere Place
Story Code: 7C/MB, Release No. 84
Writer: Nicholas Briggs, Director: Nicholas Briggs
Release Date: July 2006, Recorded: 27 & 28 March 2006, Sound Design and Music: Nicholas Briggs
2197. The fighter-carrier Valiant has just crossed Pluto's orbital path. Its captain is expecting trouble from alien raiders. She is not expecting the Doctor and Evelyn.
She does not believe members of her crew when they say they can hear an ancient bell ringing. A bell that strikes terror into their hearts.
1952. The Turret Class locomotive Ivy Lee is hurtling through the night. On board, there should only be two passengers: both of them carrying documents from the War Office.
But now, there are also two unexpected visitors on the train. One is the guard with ill-fitting trousers, the other is an excessively dotty old lady.
The Doctor and Evelyn have arrived and 'Time's End' is approaching.

Thicker Than Water
Story Code: 7C/U, Release No. 73
Writer: Paul Sutton, Director: Edward Salt
Release Date: September 2005, Recorded: 27 & 28 June 2005, Sound Design and Music: ERS
Three years after Világ was all but laid waste by the Killorans, the Doctor is back alongside a different companion. And a lot has changed.
Now elected Principle Triumvir, head of a tripartite government, Rossiter is working to secure a peaceful future for the planet by researching the technology the Killorans left behind. But he has to contend with opposition from his daughter, Sofia, who heads a public campaign demanding the destruction of all alien artefacts.
Politics has caused a rift between father and daughter, and as if that weren't enough, Sofia doesn't approve of her new step-mother either. Emotions soon boil over into violence, a violence that seems to have gripped the entire city.
Friendships bind people close, but they say that blood is...

A New Beginning

In March 2000 something very special indeed happened in the world of Doctor Who! A brand new companion was introduced to the Sixth incarnation of our favourite Time Lord, via Big Finish’s excellent audio adventures, in the form of Dr Evelyn Smythe, as played by Maggie Stables and created by author, Jacqueline Rayner.

The Sixth Doctor’s TV companions, in my opinion, were a couple of the worst in the series history and very typical of 1980’s Doctor Who in general:-

Peri Brown was very attractive and glamorous for the Father’s to watch on a Saturday night after the football, but her constant whining and arguments with the Doctor rapidly became boring and made the regular viewer not care less about what happened to her next.

Melanie Bush was just plain annoying with a squeaky voice and know-it-all attitude and her obligatory screaming was bad news for migraine sufferers everywhere and made you want to reach for the aspirin… FAST!

The Sixth Doctor needed a more substantial companion to travel the Whoniverse with and, as both her TV predecessors were very young girls, needed to be a more mature and world-wise lady so as to counteract the Doctor’s temperament and larger than life persona.

I have always admired and enjoyed Colin Baker’s portrayal of the Doctor and, even when his TV stories didn’t quite come up to scratch compared to some of his predecessors, Colin’s performance always shone through. In hindsight, if the Production Team and the BBC had put today’s commitment and finances into the series then I truly believe that the Sixth Doctor’s era would have been classed as one of the programmes finest. They had a first class actor and Time Lord and blew their opportunity in favour of in-house politics and not giving a damn about the series!

Maggie Stables is an English actress who first appeared in the Big Finish audio range in The Sirens of Time, as Ruthley. She has also appeared in the following stories: Zagreus, as the Great Mother, Sarah Jane Smith: The Tao Connection, as Mrs Lythe and the Bernice Summerfield story, Just War, as Ma Doras. It is Evelyn Smythe, however, that she is best known and makes the character of Evelyn extremely real and believable.

Jacqueline Rayner is a best selling British author best known for her work with Doctor Who licensed fiction. Her first professional writing credit came when she adapted Paul Cornell’s Virgin New Adventure novel, Oh No It Isn’t! for the audio format, the first release by Big Finish. (The novel featured the character of Bernice Summerfield and was part of a spin-off series from Doctor Who). She went on to do five of the six Bernice Summerfield audio adaptations and further work for Big Finish before going to work for BBC Books on their Doctor Who lines.

Her first novels came in 2001, with the Eighth Doctor adventures novel EarthWorld for BBC Books and the Bernice Summerfield novel The Squires Crystal for Big Finish. Rayner has written several other Doctor Who spin-offs and was also, for a period, the executive producer for the BBC on the Big Finish range of Doctor Who audio dramas. She has also contributed to the audio range as a writer. In all, her Doctor Who and related work consists of five novels, a number of short stories and four original audio plays.

With the start of the new television series of Doctor Who in 2005 and a shift in the BBC's Doctor Who related book output, Rayner has become, along with Justin Richards and Stephen Cole, one of the regular authors of the BBC's New Series Adventures.

Evelyn Smythe first appeared in the play The Marian Conspiracy, when the Sixth Doctor found her while searching for a temporal nexus point. Travelling with the Doctor back to 1554, she became involved with the turmoil surrounding the reign of Queen Mary, which would soon give way to that of her half-sister Elizabeth. At the end of that adventure, she insisted on accompanying the Doctor further, because as an historian, the chance to travel in a time machine was irresistible. Evelyn was fifty-five when she began her travels with the Doctor. Being more mature than most of the Doctor's other companions, she was more than a match for the more abrasive Sixth Doctor, often questioning his decisions and even counselling him on them. In turn, the Sixth Doctor recognized Evelyn's wisdom and ability and respected her advice.

Their relationship was not always smooth. Evelyn had a heart condition which she kept from the Doctor, fearing that he would return her home if he found out. She also blamed the Doctor for his inability to save a young woman named Cassie in Project: Lazarus, something the Seventh Doctor said she never forgave him for, even when she parted ways with him.

While visiting the planet Világ and helping repel an alien invasion by an aggressive humanoid species known as the Killorans, Evelyn met and fell in love with Governor Rossiter, who eventually became the political head of the union of three nations, Arrangements For War. When she and the Doctor returned a year later, Evelyn decided to stay and marry Rossiter. She subsequently became involved in the politics of Világ and underwent surgery for her heart. The surgery, however, did not actually correct her heart condition; without her knowledge, she was injected during the surgery with blood extracted from Killoran prisoners. The infusion disguised Evelyn's heart condition, but also caused her to suffer from headaches, increased aggressiveness and irritability.

Two years later, the Sixth Doctor brought his new companion Mel to visit Evelyn on Világ. During their visit, Evelyn was kidnapped by a political enemy, and during the ordeal she became seriously ill as a result of the Killoran blood in her system. With the Doctor's aid, Rossiter's daughter Sofia, a physician, corrected the effects of the Killoran blood. During her recovery, Evelyn was secretly paid a visit by the Seventh Doctor as well. The Seventh Doctor wanted to tell Evelyn that Cassie’s son was now travelling with him, and assured her that some good had come out of the tragedy after all, Thicker Than Water.

The Big Finish Doctor Who chronology lists the Sixth Doctor’s and Evelyn Smythe’s adventures as set after The Trial Of A Time Lord and before the Doctor officially meets Melanie Bush. Big Finish have numbered this “season” as Season 23a. It should be noted that, as with all spin-off media, the precise canonicity of the audio plays is unclear.

Evelyn continues to appear alongside the Sixth Doctor in new audio releases, set before her departure.


Hello & Welcome to my appreciation site which is dedicated to the Sixth Doctor and Dr Evelyn Smythe as featured in the excellent Big Finish audio adventures.

Here there is a quick reference story guide, a look at the relationship between the two main characters, reviews of each of the audio stories (to be updated during the next few months) and we shall be taking a peek into the future to see what is coming next for our favourite Time Lord and his trusty companion.

Please feel free to add your comments and discuss anything at all to do with the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn.

I hope you enjoy your visit and hope to see you here again soon.

Best Wishes, Steve