The Doctor Who Christmas special sees a much anticipated return for the first ever incarnation of the Time Lord, as played by David Bradley. But fans won’t have to wait long for even more new First Doctor adventures as Bradley will be reprising his role in a series of new audio dramas, the first two of which are released in January.
It was Bradley’s uncanny portrayal of William Hartnell’s Doctor in An Adventure in Space and Time – the BBC drama about the genesis of Doctor Who – that landed him the role as the First Doctor in Peter Capaldi’s farewell episode of the TV series, and he will be joined in the new Big Finish dramas by Space and Time co-stars Jamie Glover and Jemma Powell, as companions Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, and Claudia Grant as the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan.
It turns out it was a happy coincidence for Big Finish that Bradley was to play the First Doctor in Doctor Who itself, as they had been trying to get the Space and Time crew on board for new audio adventures for some time.
“An Adventure in Space and Time was truly a magical production,” said producer David Richardson, “and David Bradley, Jamie Glover, Claudia Grant and Jemma Powell did such beautiful jobs of playing the actors who in turn were playing the roles of the First Doctor and his companions.
“We’ve been talking for some time about doing The First Doctor Adventures with this crew, and this year it all came together – and what a joyous surprise to then learn that David Bradley was to play the First Doctor in the Doctor Who Christmas Special too! So it’s 1963 all over again. The black and white TV has warmed up and the TARDIS is about to land inside a storage area on a futuristic alien world. Season One of Doctor Who just got some brand new adventures…”
Two of the four stories will go back to the original show’s roots as an educational as well as entertainment programme by focusing on tales from Earth’s history, including one about the Great Blizzard of 1888.
“The Great Blizzard of 1888 was a historical event I’ve always wanted to write about,” said writer Guy Adams. “One of the most severe blizzards ever recorded, a terrifying wave of wind and snow and ice that brought New York to a standstill (and not just New York, it moved across a huge chunk of the east coast). It killed hundreds of people and trapped countless more as the world around them became lethal. To drop the Doctor and his travelling companions into that – and gang warfare too – was too rich a mix to ignore.”
Not only will the Doctor be exploring history, but he will also encounter new alien races – the Dalmari and the Ashtallans – and will face off with his greatest foe, the first incarnation of fellow Time Lord the Master, as the stories seek to re-create the special feel of early-60s Doctor Who.
“The adventures of the First Doctor are all about discovery,” said script editor and writer Matt Fitton, “finding out what this infinite universe contains, and also who our fellow travellers are. As we journey with Ian, Barbara, Susan and the mysterious Doctor, we come to see what they are capable of when confronted with the strange, the unjust and the dangerous.”
“Having worked with David twice now on TV, it’s great to be working with him again,” said executive producer Nicholas Briggs. “Matt and his team of writers have come up with such a beautifully authentic set of scripts. We forget how different Doctor Who was, back in those early days – and here it all is, painstakingly recreated. I find that rather thrilling.”
Available in January, the stories in Volume 1 consist of:
1.1 The Destination Wars by Matt Fitton
1.2 The Great White Hurricane by Guy Adams
And to follow in July 2018, Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures – Volume 2:
2.1 The Invention of Death by John Dorney
2.2 The Barbarians and the Samurai by Andrew Smith
Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures – Volume 1 is available for pre-order at £23 on CD or £20 on download from www.bigfinish.com before being released at £35/£30
Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures – Volume 1 can also be purchased as a bundle with Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures – Volume 2, to be released in July 2018, at the price of £45 on CD and £40 on download