It may have passed you by (somehow) but Paul McGann is back in a new series of Doctor Who audios from Big Finish – Dark Eyes comes highly recommended by Kasterborous!
A new era for the Eighth Doctor on audio, Doctor Who: Dark Eyes is an epic four-hour full cast audiobook that pits the Eighth Doctor against his oldest enemies the Daleks.
Starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, Ruth Bradley (Primeval) as his new companion Molly O’Sullivan, Peter Egan (Downton Abbey, Ever Decreasing Circles) as Straxus and Toby Jones (Captain America, The Hunger Games, Dobby in the Harry Potter movies and of course Amy’s Choice guest star as the Dream Lord) as Kotris, Nicholas Briggs writes, directs and is – of course – the voice of the Daleks!
“We have a long history of adventures with the Eighth Doctor,” says Nick, “and we’d just got to the end of four years’ worth of adventures with Sheridan Smith as Lucie Miller. So, I wanted to create a fresh start for Paul McGann and our listeners. It’s a real jumping-on point where the Doctor is embroiled in a whole new, gigantic adventure. You can listen to this without ever having heard an Eighth Doctor audio drama before and understand every word and nuance. Of course, if you want to go back and find out what happened before,
you can always do that too.”
Dark Eyes introduces a new companion for the Eighth Doctor in the form of Molly O’Sullivan, played by Ruth Bradley, a volunteer nurse who he meets in France during the First World War.
“I wanted there to be a new companion who had something different to offer,” Nick continues. “Someone mentioned that there’d never been an Irish companion in the TARDIS and I was already thinking of making her someone who was involved in the First World War, so the two things came together to make something rather unique in the form of Molly O’Sullivan. She’s a girl who’s seen and experienced the most terrible, harrowing things, so she’s no innocent and she’s not really a willing participant in the Doctor’s adventures. Also, she is the ‘Dark Eyes’ of the title, so the adventure is all about her relationship with the Doctor.”
Dark Eyes is a four part story, comprising the following adventures:
- The Great War
- Tangled Web
- ‘X’ and the Daleks
Significantly, Dark Eyes also showcases a new costume for Paul McGann’s Doctor, which was designed
and made by WETA Workshop. “That’s something that Paul McGann worked out with a great Australian guy called William Geradts who organises conventions Down Under,” Nick explains. “He and Paul got chatting about creating a new image for the Eighth Doctor and Bill got WETA to make it for him. Paul loved it and came to us, asking if we’d be prepared to use it.
“Since the Eighth Doctor had had so many adventures with us, and it seemed odd that he’d keep that Wild Bill Hickok costume on for so long, we thought it was high time for a change. Our Doctors show so much loyalty, continuing to work with us over the years, so we’re always happy to incorporate their ideas and this was one we were very keen to embrace. We sent the images to the BBC, they approved them, so off we went! It’s a brave new era with a great new look.”
You can order Dark Eyes at bigfinish.com for £20 on CD and download; the five-disc box set includes an extensive ‘Making of’ documentary.
It is also available as part of the Doctor Who Special Releases bundle, which includes UNIT: Dominion, Love and War, Voyage to Venus and Voyage to the New World, which costs just £65 for the 15 disc bundle and £55 on download (this offer remains open until 31 December 2012).
Kasterborous has been enjoying this thrilling series over the past few weeks, and will bring a series of full reviews to you soon!