Since she leapt off the page in the Virgin Books Doctor Who New Adventures adventure Love and War in 1993 Professor Bernice “Benny” Summerfield has crossed media, appearing in both Doctor Who Magazine’s long running comic strip and in 1998 gaining a voice thanks to Big Finish and the talents of Lisa Bowerman.
I was lucky enough to speak to the star of the Big Finish Bernice Summerfield adventures recently, who gave me a preview of each instalment of this latest series…
- “Glory Days is by Nick Wallace, itâ€™s a good old bank heist story… there are a couple of older characters back for the series and a couple of them are back for Glory Days.”
- “The second one is Absence by Daniel Oâ€™Mahony who has written a couple of really good scripts for the Benny series before. Absence is centred around the relationship between Benny and her son Peter who goes on an expedition to the centre of the Earth and itâ€™s about how Benny deals with that. â€œIntenseâ€ is the wrong word – itâ€™s quite a full-on piece that reintroduces the [narrative] element of Bennyâ€™s diary.”
- “Venus Mantrap is by Lance Parkin and Mark Clapham. Itâ€™s difficult to describe this one, Benny goes on a good old adventure, following up some of the shenanigans her now late husband has been up to, seeking out some money that she thinks heâ€™s ferreted away somewhere and it turns out heâ€™s been getting his money through some nefarious activities…”
- “The last one is by Eddie Robson – who is producing this particular series – called Secret Origins, a sort of Raiders of the Lost Ark one, a good old-fashioned adventure!”
Created by Paul Cornell (Father’s Day, Human Nature) 16 years ago, the Benny audio range from Big Finish has featured contributions from modern Doctor Who scriptwriter Matt Jones (The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit) while Joseph Lidster (Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures) has also contributed; other adventures have been written by BBC Books stalwarts Justin Richards, Mike Tucker, Stephen Cole, Jacqueline Rayner and Lance Parkin.
Each 60 minute episode is released monthly from June 2009, with astonishing cover art by Ade Salmon. Visit www.bigfinish.com for more information.
Look out for our full interview with Lisa Bowerman, coming soon!