Richard Armitage will play Rassilon in new Doctor Who spin-off

The Stranger star will play Lord President of the Time Lords.

Richard Armitage

The iconic Doctor Who villain Rassilon is getting a new face – and voice – in a new spin-off release from audio drama producers Big Finish.

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Richard Armitage (The Stranger, Spooks) will play the latest incarnation of the legendary Lord President of the Time Lords in Gallifrey: Time War 4, due for release in February 2021.

“Rassilon is one of those defining spines of this lore,” Armitage said. “I’ve watched enough sci-fi to know that there has to be an omnipotent being that has a self-aggrandising mental state which puts him above everybody else, like a malevolent, maniacal dictator.

“I grew up with Doctor Who. The Daleks and the Cybermen were definitely my ‘hiding behind the sofa’ baddies. But I loved being frightened. Tom Baker was my Doctor Who. He had that voice. In a way, what I have tried to do with Rassilon is a little bit Tom Baker-esque.”

Richard Armitage as Doctor Who's Rassilon
Richard Armitage as Doctor Who’s Rassilon
Big Finish

Producer / director Scott Handcock said: “It’s been a pleasure to induct Richard Armitage into the Doctor Who universe! He’s such a brilliant actor. I loved him in Hannibal and most recently The Stranger, plus of course Big Finish’s own adaptation of The Martian Invasion of Earth, so he’d been on my wish list for a while.

“I’d just been waiting for the right role to come along. And he’s fantastic as Rassilon: powerful, headstrong and overflowing with self-conviction.”

Gallifrey: Time War 4 will bring that particular saga to a “deadly conclusion”, with returning cast members Louise James (Leela), Pippa Bennett-Warner (Livia), Seán Carlsen (Narvin), Miles Richardson (Braxiatel), Samuel Clemens (Mantus) and Nicholas Briggs (the Daleks) all joining Armitage.

The boxset will be made up of four stories: Deception by Lisa McMullin, Dissolution by Lou Morgan, Beyond by David Llewellyn, and Homecoming by Matt Fitton.

A synopsis for Time War 4 reads: Romana is lost to the Time War though Leela and Narvin still fight to survive.

A resistance, caught between Rassilon’s fury and the Dalek Emperor’s mania, have a desperate plan to stop the conflict.

Everything ends. And for some on Gallifrey, the Time War will soon be over.

Gallifrey: Time War 4 is now available to pre-order at the special price of £22.99 as a collector’s edition five-disc CD box set or £19.99 as a download, exclusively from the Big Finish website.

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