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The Haunting of Thomas Brewster

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Audio - The Haunting of Thomas Brewster
The Haunting of Thomas Brewster
(Jonathan Morris)

 April 2008’s release is called "The Haunting of Thomas Brewster". It is written by Jonathan Morris, directed by Barnaby Edwards and was recorded on the 13th and 14th December 2007. It has been described as a very creepy Fifth Doctor and Nyssa story.

 This is Jonathan Morris's third Docor Who Audio story for Big Finish Productions. His previous being "Bloodtide", that introduced the Silurians into the world of audio, and the original story "Flip-Flop" - where this double CD release could be listened to in either order.

 As the title suggests, this release, "The Haunting of Thomas Brewster", is a ghost story set in Dickensian London. Guest stars are John Pickard (Hollyoaks) as the titular Brewster, Christian Coulson (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) as the Fifth Doctor's new companion Robert Mclntosh and Leslie Ash (Men Behaving Badly). Also starring are: Barry McCarthy, Sid Mitchell and Trevor Cooper.

Fifth Doctor
Fifth Doctor
This is the first audio drama to feature Christian Coulson as the new companion Robert McIntosh. Coulson previously appeared as Pelleas in "The Bride of Peladon", who by coincidence ended the story by marrying the Fifth Doctor's companion Erimem.

'A whole new phase of adventures begins for the Fifth Doctor in Brewster,' hints new line producer David Richardson, 'so there’s quite a buzz about this one here.'

Narrow, smoggy streets, the Thames at night, churchyards in winter, and an 'artful dodger'... These are the stimulating starting points that writer Jonathan Morris used for this his latest audio adventure.

I wanted to attempt a Victorian ghost story’, Jonathan Morris has revealed, ‘like Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, or Charles Dickens' The Signal-Man. I'm very competitive, and my impetus was to come up with something even scarier than Rob Shearman's "The Chimes of Midnight" or Joseph Lidster's "Master".



Although he has written for the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors, this is Jonathan Morris' first Fifth Doctor script. ‘Writing this was just joy. Peter Davison has always been a bit of a hero of mine, not just for Doctor Who, but for everything else he's been in, like A Very Peculiar Practice (1986-88). His Doctor has a sort of gentle mocking quality, as though he's travelling through time and space trying desperately to take it all seriously - and after "Time Crash", it's interesting to write for the Fifth Doctor as Peter would play the part now.

Much of the story is related from Thomas Brewster's perspective. ‘That was in my first proposal', explains Morris, 'The idea being that a first-person narrative is quite a Dickens-y thing to do. The brief had led me toward trying to evoke Dickens - not so much the version from Lionel Bart's Oliver!, as the much darker, more painfully realistic world of his books. It also allowed me to include a greater "visual element; ghosts tend to be mostly visual phenomena, so I hope that makes the whole thing more vivid for listeners.

Big Finish Magazine - Issue 11 (Spring 2008)

Audio - Big Finish Magazine - Issue 11
Big Finish Magazine
- Issue 11
 Issue 11 of the 'Big Finish Magazine', a series of behind-the-scenes CDs given away free to subscribers, was also sent out with this release.

 On this issue...
    1. Introduction - Executive producer of the Audio Adventures of Doctor Who and Voice of the Daleks Nicholas Briggs is your host for this behind the scenes took at Big Finish.

    2. The Downloads Press Launch - In February we held a press launch in London to celebrate the arrival of the Big Finish downloads service, Doctor Who stars Peter Davison and Louise Jameson met with the press - here are the highlights of the Q&A panel.

    3. Sapphire and Steel – Season Three - Sapphire and Steel have been assigned again, and we go behind the scenes of the upcoming season with the producer and stars.

    4. Bernice Summerfield – Season Nine - Incoming producer Eddie Robson gives us a taster of what to expect in the forthcoming ninth season of Benny stories.

    5. Doctor Who – Cuddlesome - The audio story Cuddlesome was produced by Big Finish and given away free with Doctor Who Magazine. We talk to Peter Davison and the stars of this special story, including Timothy West and David Troughton.

    6. Additional Trailers

 Presented by Nicholas Briggs. Interviews by David Richardson. Edited and Mastered by David Darlington. Design by Alex Mallinson. Length 1 hour 13 minutes.
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  • Featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Thomas Brewster.
  • Serial Number: 6C/K
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 24'03", 2 = 24'14", 3 = 25'08", 4 = 25'26"
  • Total Story Length: 98'51"
  • Also features 39 minutes of trailers and special behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and producers.
  • This story takes place between "Time-Flight" and "Arc of Infinity" and after "Renaissance of the Daleks".
  • Cover Illustration: Alex Mallinson
  • Recorded: 13th and 14th December 2007
  • Recording Location: Moat Studios
  • Released: April 2008
  • ISBN: 978-1-84435-316-3

On the Back Cover:

Thomas Brewster is haunted by the ghost of his drowned mother. But she is not the only apparition to disturb his dreams. Every few years, he is visited by a mysterious blue box...

Helped by his new assistant, the young Scots scientist Robert McIntosh, The Doctor struggles to unravel the twisted knot of temporal implausibilities which bind the TARDIS to Thomas Brewster. Meanwhile, lost in the stews of Victorian London, Nyssa must face a host of spectral creatures gathering in the fog.


On the Inside Cover:

Writer’s Notes: Jonathan Morris

There’s something about Victorian London which is so… Doctor Who, It’s a time of overgrown churchyards and creaking floorboards, of rat-infested sewers and oak-panelled corridors. A time of looking glasses and grandfather clocks and gas lamps. A time of Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s a time for ghost stories.

And, like all ghost stories, The Haunting Of Thomas Brewster is best enjoyed at night. To get the full effect, you should be listening, alone, in a dark, candle-lit room. This isn’t an adventure for the tube journey to work or to have on in the background while you are doing the washing-up. Unless of course, you’re the sort of person whp does the washing-up alone, in a dark, candle-lit room.

With this play, I have done everything I can to frighten you, and the actors, the director and sound designers have done everything they can too.

So, please… have nightmares.

Director’s Notes: Barnaby Edwards

This is the second script by Jonny Morris which it has been my great pleasure to direct – and it’s an absolute cracker! I love the Dickensian setting with its murky London streets shrouded with fog and peopled with characters straight out of Great Expectations and Hard Times.

But the real skill here is in Jonny’s ability to take these literary elements and stock figures, and to make them serve his own vision. The London of this story is not Oliver Twist’s but Thomas Brewster’s: we see it through his eyes and we hear about it from his lips.

This is a good old-fashioned Victorian ghost story, so pull up a footstool, rest your head against an antimacassar and toast a crumpet before the glowing embers in the grate. Sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…


Who's Who?

The Fifth Doctor

First television appearance: "Castrovalva"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "The Land of the Dead"

 He has been exploring the universe for hundreds of years. He fights injustice. He defeats evil. He helps people. In his fifth incarnation, The Doctor is more restrained in temper, calmer in attitude and visually younger in appearance than he used to be. He looks for the best in people and tries never to deliberately offend or cause trouble. Some may underestimate him because of his comparatively youthful nature. But those enemies who do, do so at their own risk...


First television appearance: "The Keeper of Traken"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "The Land of the Dead".

 Nyssa began travelling with The Doctor after the untimely death of her father. She is the product of the highly civilised society of the planet Traken. She is logical and pragmatic - a great believer in science and reason but is also compassionate and caring. Together, she and The Doctor have visited Earth at various points in its history - Alaska in the 1990s, Switzerland in the 1960s, America in the 22nd Century - as well as both Traken and Telos in their respective infancies. On the planet Veln, she suffered police brutality and interrogation, then went on to experience the dangers of sport obsession on the planet Cray.

Full Cast List:

The Doctor Peter Davison
Nyssa Sarah Sutton
Mother Leslie Ash
Robert McIntosh Christian Coulson
Thomas Brewster John Pickard
Creek Barry McCarthy
Pickens Sid Mitchell
Shanks Trevor Cooper
Judy/Lillian/Meg/Young Thomas Leslie Ash
Vicar Christian Coulson
Toby/Hartwright/Guard Trevor Cooper

The Production Team:

Writer Jonathan Morris
Director Barnaby Edwards
Sound/Music Simon Robinson
Theme Music David Darlington
Script Editor Alan Barnes
Producer David Richardson
Executive Producers Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery
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