The new Fourth Doctor audio adventure series kicks off with The Auntie Matter, written by Jonathan Morris and directed by Ken Bentley.
Taking a brief break from searching down the Key to Time, the Doctor (Tom Baker) and Romana (Mary Tamm) relax in the English countryside in the 1920s. But it’s not long before deadly dangers face them: sinister gamekeepers, creepy butlers – and marriage! And then, of course, there’s the malevolent titular Aunt…
Aside from pairing Tom Baker with the greatly-missed Mary Tamm, The Auntie Matter also sees the return of John Leeson as the ever-loveable K9.
The 60-minute audio is based on the classic much-loved novels by PG Wodehouse (incidentally, adapted for television in the BBC series, Blandings) and stars Lucy Griffiths (Robin Hood; True Blood) and Julia McKenzie (The Town; Cranford), who returns as Miss Marple in three ITV dramas this year, A Caribbean Mystery; Greenshaw’s Folly; and Endless Night.
A wonderful cast, yes, but The Auntie Matter is special as it starts the season of tales recorded by Mary Tamm before she passed away last year – and this CD includes a tribute to the wonderful lady. Writer, Jonathan Morris, says on his blog:
It was honour to write for her and to hear her performing words I had written, and performing them so beautifully, so precisely, with such joyful lightness of touch. I feel privileged to have been associated with her, even in a small way. We Doctor Who fans love all the actors and actresses from the show dearly, and I hope Mary realised how admired and appreciated she was.
David Richardson, the range’s producer, remembers how keen Tamm was on returning as the brilliant Time Lady:
‘Nothing will keep me away,’ she told me when I first approached her, and she was true to her word. Even cancer, and months spent enduring treatment, didn’t quell Mary’s passion for the project. We, as colleagues and as fans, are indebted to her for seeing the series through, under awful circumstances. She came to every studio recording full of enthusiasm, laughed endlessly, and – on the last day I saw her – told me that doing the recordings had helped her get through it. She was a fantastic lady, and this season is dedicated to her.
I think this series of Fourth Doctor adventures is going to be very special indeed…