Doctor Who audio drama producers Big Finish have announced a new series exploring the origins of the War Doctor, with a new actor replacing the late John Hurt.
Hurt originated the character of the Time Lord’s “missing” incarnation on TV in 2013 and reprised his role in a previous series of audio adventures.
However, following Hurt’s passing in 2017, the War Doctor range from Big Finish was ended – but a new prequel series, starring Jonathon Carley as a younger version of the character, is now set for release beginning in June 2021.
“I honestly can’t tell you how much of a privilege and an honour it is to not only be working with the incredibly talented team at Big Finish but also to be playing the War Doctor,” said Carley. “It is more than I could ever have expected.
“Stepping into the sturdy boots of a character established by the late, great Sir John Hurt would be a challenge for any actor. But the team have been so supportive and creative in their approach to exploring further facets of this complex incarnation.
“This is a cracking set of stories so it will be wonderful to put a spotlight on the rarely glimpsed early life of the War Doctor and the trials he faces, finding his new place in the Time War. I hope listeners are as eager to embrace that journey as I am.”
Nicholas Briggs, creative director at Big Finish, described Carley as “a real find” and added that his work on Doctor Who: The War Doctor Begins is “a fitting tribute to John”.
“Many will be familiar with [Carley’s] uncanny accuracy of his War Doctor vocals from various online projects,” Briggs said. “But there’s more to a good performance than just an impersonation. You need imagination, emotion, sensitivity… essentially, great acting!
“I worked really closely with John Hurt on our original The War Doctor releases, and although we only worked together for a short time, such was his commitment, charm and openness that he allowed me to feel something of a connection with him. And I can confidently say that what Jonathon is doing here will be a fitting tribute to John, in honour of his great work in the role.”
Further details about Doctor Who: The War Doctor Begins, including writers and story details, will be announced nearer the release date.
The series is now available for pre-order – as four individual volumes, or as a bundle – from the Big Finish website.
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