Death Collectors" - An Adventure in Three Episodes
"Spider's Shadow" - A Single Episode Adventure
|The Death Collectors and Spider's
is Only Death’
2008’s release is a three part story called "The
Death Collectors". It is written by Stewart
Sheargold and is directed by Ken Bentley (this being
his first Big Finish Productions Doctor Audio story)
and was recorded on the 17th and 18th March 2008.
It has been described as a very scary adventure
for the Seventh
is Only Death' is not the life-affirming message
one expects from Doctor Who these days so just what
was writer Stewart Sheargold thinking when he wrote
this story? ‘It's the first Doctor
Who audio work I've done for executive producer
I was lucky to have Alan Barnes as script editor
on my last story "Red", and it was he who
asked me to pitch a storyline for the solo Seventh
Doctor that was “hard scifi” - which
was fortunate, as I love how malleable that style
is to re-invention. Alan also suggested doing it
as a three-part story, which removes that tricky
third episode', which is occasionally a limbo before
the final act. Doctor Who is such a marvellously
adaptable format that it can work within hard sci-fi
and yet, as it doesn't visit that territory often,
it can still seem quite fresh when it does.’
story shares a musical theme with the Seventh Doctor's
last ever story, the 1996 "Doctor
Who: The Movie" -
that of Puccini's Madame Butterfly... ‘With
a Doctor nearing the end of his incarnation and a
script concerning death and reincarnation, it would
have been a waste not to delve into the Seventh Doctor's
forthcoming demise,’ as revealed by Stewart
Sheargold. ‘I didn't want The Doctor standing
on the outside looking in - he had to become involved,
and Puccini and the dramatic irony of the precognition
of his death was his way into the story.’
Death Collectors" is essentially a Gothic horror
piece in a cold, harsh environment with a love story
within it. Joining Sylvester McCoy is guest star Katherine
Parkinson (The IT Crowd and Doc Martin)
who plays a character called ‘Danika Meanwhile’.
Also starring are: Alastair Cording, Derek Carlyle and
prequel to this story can be heard in the Fifth
Doctor and Nyssa Companion
Chronicles story "The
Death Collectors" is a one-part story called "Spider's
Shadow" – also starring Sylvester McCoy as
the Seventh Doctor.
Kevin McNally, who plays the part of enigmatic Henry,
recently played Gibbs in the blockbuster Pirates
of the Caribbean trilogy. His other screen credits
and Johnny English, while he also appeared as
Hugo Lang in the 1984 Sixth
Doctor television story "The
Twin Dilemma" – this was the first story to
feature Colin Baker as The Doctor. Also starring are
Olsson, Carol Fitzpatrick, Derek Carlyle and Alastair
It is the eve of battle and the Martial Princesses Louise
and Alison are hosting a royal ball. But there are unwelcome
visitors in the garden and a sequence of events spiralling
out of control. And what's more, The Doctor doesn't even
- Featuring the Seventh
- Serial Number: 7Z/C
- Number of Episodes – "The Death Collectors":
3 and "Spider's Shadow": 1
- Cover Length: 120 minutes
- Episode Lengths – "The Death Collectors":
1 = 28'17", 2 = 23'54", 3 = 33'02" and "Spider's
Shadow": 1 = 33'04"
- Total Story Lengths – "The
Death Collectors": 85'13" and "Spider's
- Also features 24 minutes of trailers and
special behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast
- Both stories take place between "Survival" and
Who: The Movie" and after "Frozen
- Cover Illustration: Barry Piggott
- Recorded: 17th and 18th March 2008
- Recording Location: Moat Studios
- Released: June 2008
- ISBN: 978-1-84435-318-7
On the Back Cover:
"The Death Collectors"
is only death.'
disease that killed millions. A missing scientist.
An ancient race of salvagers who collect and preserve
the dead. The quarantined planet Antikon connects
The Doctor arrives on a sky station above Antikon,
a single accident has already set in motion a chain
of events that will mean the death of every living
thing. And the only way he can stop it is to die.
Includes Bonus One-Part Adventure:
|On the Inside Cover:
Writer’s Notes: Stewart Sheargold
I was asked back to do another Seventh
with a definite hard sci-fi edge, I immediately began
to think of something that was alienating and challenging,
like the best hard sci-fi.
something along the lines of Danny Boyle’s Sunshine
vs Tarkovsky’s Solaris. I wanted harsh mechanics
and technology and that atmosphere of unforgiving, capricious
space where human frailty becomes extreme, both physically
and emotionally. Where the threat was so alien and incomprehensible
that it was a challenge to the psyche.
was a perfect situation in which to place solo, lonesome
Seventh Doctor at once full of wise experience of the
incomprehensible and yet brooding as he comes to the
end of his own time. Naturally, it led to a dirge for
the Seventh Doctor on his forthcoming death. And of course
what stands alongside death but love… so I wrapped
a grim, dark, creepy, slightly alienating story about
death around a love triangle. As you do.
Director’s Notes: Ken Bentley
of the great fictional characters of all time have been
primarily concerned with the nature of life and death.
Tapping into a literary fixation that can be traced back
to the ancient Greeks (and probably beyond), The
Death Collectors by Stewart Sheargold brings this preoccupation
up-to-date with a bang.
cleverly referred to some of the great themes of gothic
literature and has woven them together with one or two
very smart references to our hero’s eternal struggle – threads
which reach into our past and his future, resonating
through time and space. The Death Collectors is a perfectly
constructed tapestry of mythological and fictional influences,
delicately reconstructed to form a unique adventure.
And the icing on the cake is a bite of non-stop head-candy – Spider’s
Shadow. Stewart has embraced similar themes, spun a rip-roaring tale of love
and death, and written a witty and inventive companion piece.
The Seventh Doctor
First television appearance: "Time
and the Rani"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "Unregenerate!"
has been exploring the universe for hundreds of years. He fights injustice.
He defeats evil. He helps people. Since his regeneration, The Doctor has
been a little unpredictable. One moment he can be frivolous and fun, the
next he’s thoughtful and serious.
| Full Cast List:
|The Death Collectors
|Smith Ridley/Dar Traders
The Production Team:
and Jason Haigh-Ellery