Doctor Who audiobooks in March

6 Mar

destiny of the doctorAs mad March hares spring across the meadows to give each other a good walloping, so does AudioGO sally forth and punch the air with three corking Doctor Who titles. Many of you have been enjoying the journey through time which is Destiny of the Doctor, our eleven-part series commissioned specially for the programme’s 50th anniversary year. With March we reach the Third Doctor, and an adventure called Vengeance of the Stones. It’s written by Andrew Smith, who wrote for the TV series way back in 1980 (a fondly-remembered adventure called Full Circle), and it relates how the Doctor and the Brigadier first met Mike Yates, who would later join them for many adventures as the Brigadier’s No. 1 in UNIT. This is a meeting which was never shown on television, and Andrew has imagined it very convincingly. Mike is, of course, played by Richard Franklin, who performs Vengeance of the Stones alongside Trevor Littledale. Fans of our 4th Doctor audio original series (Hornets’ Nest, Demon Quest and Serpent Crest) will know Mike (and Richard) well. It’s a taut, very exciting story, with some excellent sound design by Simon Hunt.

We take a step back to the 2nd Doctor’s era with our Classic Novel this month, Doctor Who and the Tomb of the Cybermen by Gerry Davis. First published as a Target Books paperback in 1975, it’s a superb evocation of a classic TV serial, in which the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria encounter a party of Earth archaeologists who are bent on exploring the legendary ice tombs on Telos. I suspect that Gerry Davis was greatly influenced by the stories of Agatha Christie, as one by one the party members are picked off to meet a sticky end. The suspense is ramped up as the explorers get closer and closer to the entombed Cybermen themselves – and then, thrillingly, the metal warriors start to come to life! Those of us who are looking forward to the new series of Doctor Who – one episode of which is entitled The Last Cyberman – will enjoy this recap of their origins and history. Thrilling sound design is provided by Simon Power.

The third title is a welcome CD release for The Devil in the Smoke, Dan Starkey’s reading of the BBC Books e-novella which we published as a download towards the end of last year. As the cover says, it’s “an adventure for the great detective recounted by Mr Justin Richards”, and those in the know will recognise that this particular great detective is Madame Vastra, also known as the fabled Lizard Woman of Paternoster Row! The story is a very clever spin-off from last Christmas’s special TV episode, in which we saw Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax the Sontaran all living in Victorian London. If anyone is still hoping for a bit more snow before Winter is finally out, there’s plenty to be had here!

Because the third month of the year is a good time to celebrate the Third Doctor, we’ve created a special page on Facebook doing just that. We’ve given our Top 5 Third Doctor stories (clips of which can be heard on our main website) and a potted history of the incarnation brought so vividly to life by Jon Pertwee.

Next month we reach Doctor no. 4 in the Destiny series, join the First Doctor on a rescue mission with our Classic Novel, and welcome back the 11th Doctor – and the Cybermen! – in BBC Books’ brand new novel by Justin Richards. There’s also a special sci-fi treat amongst our new batch of Vintage Beeb titles…

Meanwhile I’m looking forward to attending the Big Blue Box one-day Doctor Who convention in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday 16th March, and taking part in a panel discussion about the Destiny of the Doctor series, which is produced by Big Finish for AudioGO. Producer John Ainsworth will be there, along with Andrew Smith and Richard Franklin. You can find details about the event here.

Happy listening!

Michael Stevens

Commissioning Editor, Doctor Who

 

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