In news that we hope will signify more of the same, Big Finish has announced that Jonathan Morris is adapting Damaged Goods, Russell T Davies’ 1996 Virgin New Adventures Seventh Doctor story!
A two-hour adaptation written ten years before Davies became showrunner, the adaptation will be released in August next year.
‘I’ve always been a huge fan of Big Finish, since long before I took the big chair on Doctor Who. And long after! So when they asked if they could adapt Damaged Goods… well, to be honest, I asked them what took so long!
‘Jonny has done the most brilliant job, adapting the novel – there’s lots of fascinating new stuff, while staying very true and faithful to the original story. At last, Mrs Jericho lives! And that other Tyler family, the original Tylers, Bev and her mum Winnie, with little Gabriel and his mysterious gift. In fact, all the inhabitants of Red Hamlets are finding their voices, after all this time. Ever since that terrible bargain was struck by Bev’s mum, on that dark Christmas Eve, long ago.’
Damaged Goods features Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor, accompanied by Chris Cwej and Roz Forrester, Adjudicators from Earth’s future. While McCoy will star in the adaptation, Cwej and Forrester are yet to be cast.
‘It was genuinely thrilling to be asked to adapt Damaged Goods,’ adds adapter Jonathan Morris. ‘An honour, and a great responsibility to do justice to Russell’s extraordinary novel and to not disappoint fans of the New Adventures. I pulled out all the stops to capture the spirit of the novel, the character and Russell’s voice, and the end result is undoubtedly the best Big Finish script I’ve worked on.’
Big Finish’s David Richardson is producing, and he is actually connected Davies writing the book initially!
‘Back in 1995, I was working for a publishing company called Visual Imagination on a magazine called TV Zone. I’d seen Russell’s two BBC Childrens’ series Dark Season and Century Falls, and thought they were magnificent. So I set up an interview with him, and we met in a cafe in Piccadilly.
‘I remember saying to him, “You’d be the perfect person to write for Doctor Who”, and he said he was a fan of the show. So I gave him a contact at Virgin Books, and he followed it up and ended up writing for the New Adventures series.
‘I’ve always loved Damaged Goods. It’s one of my favourite Doctor Who stories in any medium, so to have the opportunity to bring it to audio with a full cast of actors has been a privilege indeed. And, even though he’s incredibly busy on his new TV project, Russell has been so kind and generous with his time, reading the script and making some brilliant suggestions that we’ve taken on board.’
Damaged Goods will be released alongside an adaptation of Gareth Roberts’ The Well Mannered War, starring Tom Baker as the Doctor and Lalla Ward as Romana, with John Leeson as K9. Both stories will be available as separate two-disc editions and together as a deluxe Limited Collectors Edition with lavish illustrations and professional portrait photography of the cast.
A Russell T Davies story adapted by Big Finish? Wonderful news! Now, if they could just get the BBC to say yes to some later Doctors…