Big Finish Productions Doctor Who on Audio - Big Finish Productions Big Finish Productions
The Previous Story

The Girl Who Never Was

The Next Story
The Previous Story The Next Story



Audio - The Girl Who Never Was
The Girl Who Never Was
(Alan Barnes)

 The last release for 2007 is also the last Eighth Doctor story in the Big Finish Productions monthly Doctor Who audio range. Written by Alan Barnes and directed by Barnaby Edwards "The Girl Who Never Was" stars Paul McGann, as the Eighth Doctor and, India Fisher, as companion Charley Pollard. It was recorded on the 27th and 28th June 2007.

 With the announcement that the Eighth Doctor would be appearing in his own series of audio adventures, with new companion Lucie Miller, on the digital radio station BBC7 in the early part of 2007, and with the subsequent announcement that a second series was being planned, Big Finish Productions have decided to end the inclusion of the Eighth Doctor in their main Doctor Who audio range. This story will therefore be the last for long-running companion Charley Pollard - C’rizz’s last story was October 2007’s "Absolution".

Eighth Doctor
Eighth Doctor
As explained by executive producer Nicholas Briggs ‘We shall be extremely sad to see them go. But all good things come to an end. And we’re giving them both a proper, dramatic send off Alan Barnes created companion Charlotte Pollard, played by India Fisher, back in 2000. "In The Girl Who Never Was", he wraps up her story with an action-packed double-whammy featuring Cybermen, pirates and torpedoes!

Joining Paul McGann and India Fisher are guest stars: film legend Anna Massey, Danny Webb ("The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit" and Alien3), Robert Duncan (Drop the Dead Donkey), David Yip ("Destiny of the Daleks", The Chinese Detective). Also starring are: Natalie Mendoza, Amanda Root, Tim Sutton, Jake McGann and, providing the voice of the Cybermen, Nicholas Briggs.

Charley has decided to leave the TARDIS and so The Doctor takes her to Singapore – Charley’s original destination when she was aboard the ill-fated R101 before she met The Doctor. But instead of arriving in 1931 they arrive in 2008.

Charley is not that concerned about this mistake as she does not officially exist having, according to the records, died in 1931. The Doctor though is very concerned and re-enters the TARDIS to check what has happened. He asks Charley to wait for him but she decides that as she is leaving this is as good a time as any other to leave The Doctor. She soon bumps into a man called Byron who turns out not to be who he initially claims to be. Especially when The Doctor catches up with Charley and deduces Byron is kidnapping Charley – all because of a strange anomaly, that can be found out at sea in January 1942 – at the height of the Second World War when Singapore was under siege, and it is this that caused the TARDIS to land in the wrong time zone.

The Doctor and Charley manage to escape from Byron and, on returning to the TARDIS, they try to travel to 1942. Instead they find themselves still in 2008 onboard a rotting ghost ship that The Doctor identifies as the ‘SS Batavia’ – a ship that is rotting away due to temporal corrosion that has been caused by being in the Time Vortex. The Doctor falls through the rotting deck and while Charley returns to the TARDIS to retrieve some rope, so as to rescue him, the Hostile Action Displacement System is activated and the TARDIS dematerialises leaving The Doctor behind. The TARDIS takes Charley to 1942 where she bumps into Byron again – but a much younger Byron from the one she originally met in 2008 Singapore.

The Doctor is not stranded alone on the ‘SS Batavia’ for very long as Byron, who he met in 2008, soon catches up with him. But he is accompanied by an elderly lady who introduces herself as Charlotte Pollard. The Doctor deduces that Charley must have travelled back in time to 1942 – a time of great danger – especially as it is revealed that the ‘SS Batavia’ was not carrying refugees from Singapore but something far more deadly.

India Fisher
India Fisher
What caused the ‘SS Batavia’ to become a ghost ship in 1942 and where has she been in the last 66 years? What really happened to Charley – a girl who appeared in 1942 with no memory and adrift in time? The Doctor may have been parted from the TARDIS and his travelling companion but Charley is still involved and is just as keen to find out the secrets within the ‘SS Batavia’.

The Doctor and the older Charlotte Pollard are equally curious about what really happened in 1942 and as they start to explore they start to uncover the mystery of what the younger Charley was up to back in 1942 and also what has been laying in wait deep within the ship...

The Doctor and Charley may have become separated by 66 years but they soon discover that an old enemy is close – An enemy that has plans far beyond their worst fears. This could be Charley's finest hour – but it could also be her last – especially as she is “the girl who never was” and The Doctor’s old enemy turns out to be The Cybermen…

Did Charley survive in 1942 or did she die at the hands of the Cybermen? This is what The Doctor thinks when it is revealed that the older Charlotte Pollard is not who she claims to be.

With Charley threatened with cyber-conversion and The Doctor left reeling as to what he eventually discovers happened to Charley back in 1942. But this is nothing compared to what The Doctor plans to do to bring Charley back which will result in her losing her memory, kidnapped again by Byron again and travelling to the far future where, with The Doctor incapacitated, she ends up destroying the Cybermen’s ship, and stuck on the disintegrating ship, when she finds herself caught out by the TARDIS Hostile Action Displacement System again.

When The Doctor wakes up he finds the TARDIS has taken him back to Singapore but this time he is all alone. Elsewhere, on a desert island in the far future, Charley is all alone and desperate to make contact with anyone. The last thing she expects is for the TARDIS to materialises. Charley gains access but instead of finding inside an owner she recognises she is confronted by a complete stranger. Travelling in the TARDIS will never be the same again. For both The Doctor and Charley…

Travelling in the TARDIS will never be the same again. This is journey's end but also a new begining...

For both Charley and The Doctor…

Subscribers whose subscription includes this release also received the single CD story, "Return to the Web Planet" which stars Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor returning to the planet Vortis. This CD is exclusive to subscribers and will not be available to purchase separately.
Return to the top of this page


  • Featuring the Eighth Doctor and Charley Pollard.
  • Serial Number: 8Y/E
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 24'10", 2 = 25'11", 3 = 24'12", 4 = 27'51"
  • Total Story Length: 105'23"
  • Also features 35 minutes of trailers and special behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and producers.
  • This story takes place between after "Doctor Who: The Movie" and after "Absolution".
  • Cover Illustration: Alex Mallinson
  • Recorded: 27th and 28th June 2007
  • Recording Location: Moat Studios
  • Released: December 2007
  • ISBN: 978-1-84435-287-6

On the Back Cover:

'Dot dot dot, dash dash dash, dot dot dot. Someone's listening. Somewhere.'

A ghost ship. A girl with no memory, adrift in time. An old enemy. This could be Charlotte Pollard's finest hour - or her last.

Set course for Singapore, 1931. Journey's end.


On the Inside Cover:

Writer’s Notes: Alan Barnes

 I love Charlotte Pollard. I’m in love with Charlotte Pollard. Of course I am.

Trouble is, I have to share her with another man. Yes, he wears a waistcoat; and yes, he’s got terrible hair, but he’s got a time and space machine… and I don’t even drive. Damn!

Ah, but I’ve been pulling their strings, all along. I was their matchmaker, way back in Storm Warning; I got to write their love-yous into Neverland. After a while, I left them to it (I tried it on Charley’s sister in Gallifrey: A Blind Eye… but it wasn’t the same.)

Now, it’s the end of the affair.

I could have been cruel, or spiteful. Of palmed one or the other off, to someone else. Could have ducked the question. In the end, they decided. Her and him. The Doctor and Charley. They chose how it was going to be. I was just a witness.

I loved her, though. Charlotte Pollard. Of course I did.

Director’s Notes: Barnaby Edwards

I acted in India’s very first Charlotte Pollard story and directed her in The Chimes of Midnight, so I was delighted to be offered The Girl Who Never Was.

Alan Barnes, who created the character of Charley, has written an absolute cracker of a story, exploding with adventure and fizzing with snappy dialogue. It’s a tribute to the strength of the script that we managed to assemble such a high-calibre cast.

Everyone really put their all into the story and the recording sessions were buzzing with creative energy Anna Massey likened the experience to doing ‘radio on skis’!

My gratitude, then, goes to the cast for making this story as powerful as it is, and to Gareth and Andy at ERS for their phenomenal sound design and music.

What a journey we’ve been on with Charley, but all good things come to an end.


Who's Who?

The Eighth Doctor

First television appearance: Doctor Who
First Big Finish audio appearance: "Storm Warning"

 After a prolonged time trapped in an alternative universe, the Eighth Doctor recently found his way home, along with his longtime companion Charley Pollard. Since returning, they’ve faced dangers on alien planets, in Victorian high society and, most terrifying of all, a future Earth populated entirely by The Doctor’s oldest and most bitter foes, the Daleks. Wherever the TARDIS takes him, it seems there’s no respite...

Charley Pollard

First Big Finish audio appearance: "Storm Warning".

 Charley was rescued by The Doctor from aboard the ill-fated R101 airship in 1930. With scant regard for her own safety, and thus against The Doctor’s wishes, she went with her new best friend into the Divergent Universe, knowing that she might never see Earth - or anyone she has known and loved - ever again. However, after resisting a number of temptations to abandon The Doctor, she stuck by them and has been rewarded by returning to her own universe. Whether that proves to be a wise or safer course of action remains to be seen...

Full Cast List:

The Doctor Paul McGann
Charley Pollard India Fisher
Byron Danny Webb
Miss Pollard Anna Massey
Madeline Fairweather Amanda Root
Curly David Yip
Borthwick Robert Duncan
Receptionist Natalie Mendoza
Colville Tim Sutton
Young Man Jake McGann
The Cybermen Nicholas Briggs
Tourist Danny Webb
Simons Amanda Root
Tourist/Inspector Yew David Yip
Captain Robert Duncan
Tourist/Goon Nicholas Briggs

The Production Team:

Writer Alan Barnes
Director Barnaby Edwards
Sound/Music Andy Hardwick
Theme Music David Darlington
Script Editor Alan Barnes
Producer Sharon Gosling
Executive Producers Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery
Return to the top of this page

More stories with this Doctor

About Big Finish Productions

More stories with this Companion
More stories from this Writer
More stories from this Director
Audio Listings
KJ Software
Latest Audio News

Press to go back to the previous visited page Who Me Story Index
Doctor Who is the copyright of the British Broadcasting Corporation. No infringements intended. This site is not endorsed by the BBC or any representatives thereof.