Doctor Who Audiobooks in October

11 Oct

Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet (4th Doctor TV Soundtrack), Douglas Adams34 years ago this month the mercury was dropping, leaves were turning brown on the trees, and on television the Doctor was encountering a maniacal pirate captain, in a script written by Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy scribe Douglas Adams. You can relish the sparkling wit and intellect of those episodes in our new TV soundtrack title, Doctor Who – The Pirate Planet. Narrated by John Leeson (the Voice of K9) it stars Tom Baker as the Doctor and the late Mary Tamm as Romana, with Bruce Purchase as the Captain. This was Douglas’s first script for Doctor Who, but very soon he became the series’ script editor and wrote two further scripts: City of Death (as David Agnew) which we’re releasing in December, and Shada which was novelised earlier this year, and read for audio by Lalla Ward. At the same time as recording the linking narration for The Pirate Planet, John Leeson also recounted his memories of his time in Doctor Who – which you can hear as a bonus interview. The soundtrack is a fine testament to the talents of Mary Tamm, who portrayed the first incarnation of Romana with a wit, intelligence and elegance.

This month’s Classic Novel is Doctor Who and the Visitation by Eric Saward, and it’s read by newcomer to the range Matthew Waterhouse. Matthew played the Doctor’s companion Adric in the original TV serial from 1982, and it was great to welcome him to our Bath studios earlier this year. He gives a colourful, lively reading of the story, with special mention due to two of his characters:  the Fifth Doctor, whose tones he captures superbly, and Richard Mace, the 17th Century thespian who here is a plummy, fussy aesthete almost perpetually out of his depth. Lovely stuff! Sound design is again provided by Simon Power – listen out for some lovely evocations of the countryside in which the adventure is set.

Torchwood: Exodus Code is the brand new novel from BBC Books, written by brother and sister John Barrowman (Captain Jack himself) and Carole E. Barrowman. It’s an epic thriller in which Captain Jack is reunited with Gwen Cooper (we saw them both last in the the TV series Miracle Day) and together they battle to save humanity itself – again! Our reader for it is Daniel Pirrie, whose name you may know from Downton Abbey, Waking the Dead, The Awakening and the Doctor Who episode The God Complex  – in which he played Joe Buchanan.

As it’s less than three months to Christmas, we’ve gone box set happy this month, with no fewer than three Doctor Who CD collections being released. The TARDIS Tardis Adventure CollectionAdventure Collection offers the chance to own your own actual police box – or at least a sturdy miniature version of one, crammed with six 11th Doctor Audio Original titles! The box is beautifully designed, with a single front ‘door’ which opens to reveal the CDs inside. It collects together our first six 11th Doctor stories – The Runaway Train, The Ring of Steel, The Jade Pyramid, The Hounds of Artemis, The Gemini Contagion and The Eye of the Jungle – and the reader list is impressive: Matt Smith, Arthur Darvill, Clare Corbett, Meera Syal and David Troughton. The run is limited, so catch it before it dematerialises!

Dalek Attack! and Invasion Earth! are smart slipcases collecting together three of our Classic Novel readings. Dalek Attack! brings together John Peel’s three First Doctor novelisations The Chase, Mission to the Unknown and The Mutation of Time, read by Maureen O’Brien (Vicki in the TV series), Peter Purves (Steven) and Jean Marsh (Sara). If you’re a fan of the TARDIS and its travels, look no further than this box set, as it takes the Doctor and friends to a multiplicity of times and places in their escape from the dreaded Daleks. Invasion Earth! sees our home planet under attack in The Dalek Invasion of Earth  and The Auton Invasion, both by Terrance Dicks, and The Dinosaur Invasion by Malcolm Hulke. The readers for these are William Russell, Caroline John and Martin Jarvis.

Looking ahead to November, anyone still reeling from the departure of Amy and Rory from the TV series can take heart from our next 11th Doctor Audio Original (and, for that matter, the one after that!). But elsewhere, lurking in the shadows is a familiar menace…

Michael Stevens

Commissioning Editor, Doctor Who

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