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The Destroyer of Delights

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The second adventure in time and space for the Fifth Doctor and his new companion, Amy as they search for the Key to Time.

 The Key 2 Time mini-series of audio adventures continues this month with "The Destroyer of Delights" - the first double-disc, four-part release from Jonathan Clements - and takes the Fifth Doctor and Amy into the distant past, where they realise that a missing segment doesn't seem to exist anywhere in space and time.

The idea of putting things into seasons is something we've been talking about for a long time’, explains executive producer Nicholas Briggs, ‘and as Doctor Who fans, let's face it, we think of stories in terms of seasons. This is the beginning of a move to, retrospectively, put all our stories into three-story blocks’.

 Together the three stories form a new three-part mini-series featuring an all new quest for the Key to Time - first seen in television show back in 1978/79. The Fifth Doctor, played by Peter Davison, is joined by a brand new companion called Amy, played by Ciara Janson, a sentient Tracer created to find the all-powerful Key to Time.

Audio - The Destroyer of Delights

The Destroyer of Delights
(Jonathan Clements)

 "The Destroyer of Delights" was recorded on the 21st and 22nd April 2008 and has been directed by Lisa Bowerman who played The New Adventures companion Bernice Summerfield in "The Shadow of the Scourge" and "The Dark Flame". She also starred in Big Finish's 50th regular CD release "Zagreus", as well as the Bernice Summerfield spin off series.

Although "The Destroyer of Delights" comes in the middle of this mini-series, everyone involved in the story’s development is careful to ensure each ‘segment’ of the series is an entertaining, fulfilling story in itself rather than just a component of a larger serial. And so after the epic chase across all of space and time that was "The Judgement of Isskar", a change of pace and approach was called for. "The Destroyer of Delights" is therefore a more intimate and grounded tale set in our planet’s own history. ‘I’m rather old-fashioned in my approach to Doctor Who’, Clements has confessed. ‘I was so pleased when Big Finish asked me for a historical story, I really have such fun with those. The Doctor loves Earth - he has this inexplicable, unconditional attachment for it that brings him back here again and again - and there is so much to talk about in human history that it seems almost wasteful to send him off to Planet Rarg to fight the Briggzons, I spent so much of my working life writing about the historical past that a day rarely goes by when I don’t think, Blimey, what if the Doctor was there to see that...? And the last time I set something in the far future on an alien world - the Eighth Doctor story "Immortal Beloved" - a bunch of people assumed it was set in ancient Greece, anyway! I guess what I’m aiming for is something very much in the spirit of "Marco Polo"’.

As revealed by the story’s director, Lisa Bowerman - ‘I love Jonathan’s script. It’s set in the Sudan, and we were debating whether everybody should have middle-eastern accents. A couple of the actors I’ve cast have fabulous Arabic accents, but we decided it would have been a bit "Carry On Up The Sahara"’.

And as to who The Doctor and his new companion Amy will be pitted against - The Black Guardian is back! The Doctor’s old enemy, who appeared in the television series in 1979 and 1983.

Fifth Doctor
Fifth Doctor
 This character was originally played by Valentine Dyall, but in "The Destroyer of Delights", it will be played by David Troughton, son of Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton. This is not the first time David Troughton has been in Doctor Who - having appeared as King Peladon in the Third Doctor 1972 story "The Curse of Peladon", 1967's Second Doctor story "The Enemy of the World" (as an uncredited extra in the first, fifth, and sixth episodes), and as Private Moor in 1969, in his father’s last regular story "The War Games". More recently he guest stared in the television story "Midnight" and in "Cuddlesome" the special story given away free with issue 393 of the Doctor Who Magazine.

David was a delight to work with on "Cuddlesome"’, says "Key 2 Time" Producer David Richardson, ‘and when I read Jonathan Clements’ script for "The Destroyer of Delights" I instinctively felt that he’d be ideal for a character of such great presence and menace. Fortunately Big Finish’s executive producer, Jason Haigh-Ellery, and the director, Lisa Bowerman, absolutely agreed, and David embraced the opportunity to play a Doctor Who icon’.

Also guest starring is Jason Watkins playing the part of Legate of the Caliph. ‘Jason Watkins was recommended to us by Mark Gatiss’, producer David Richardson has pointed out, ‘and he has also been excellent - he and David both have beautiful qualities in their voices, hearing them working together is wonderful’.

Also staring are: Jess Robinson, Bryan Pilkington, Paul Chahidi, Will Barton, David Peart and Toby Longworth.

This story is also a companion piece to a story Jonathan Clements wrote for The Big Finish Short Trips collection The Ghosts of Christmas, called "The Nobility of Faith" which had the Fourth Doctor meeting Aladdin, told in the style of the Arabian Nights. And for those of you who were wondering the title of this story, "The Destroyer of Delights", is just one of many names for ‘Death’ in the Arabian Nights
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  • Featuring the Fifth Doctor and Amy
  • Serial Number: 6R/B
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 32'00", 2 = 22'35", 3 = 26'31", 4 = 24'54"
  • Total Story Length: 106'00"
  • Also features 39 minutes of trailers and special behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and producers.
  • This story takes place between the television adventures, "Planet of Fire" and "The Caves of Androzani"and after "The Judgement of Isskar".
  • Cover Illustration: Alex Mallinson
  • Recorded: 21st and 22nd April 2008
  • Recording Location: Moat Studios
  • Released: February 2009
  • ISBN: 978-1-84435-364-4

On the Back Cover:

You will be always looking in the wrong place. I have searched through all of Time and I cannot find it.

The search for the Key to Time has stalled: the next segment does not appear to exist anywhere in the Universe. Forced into a temporary alliance with one of his greatest enemies, the Doctor suggests a course of action that is a validation of chaos itself.

Thrown at random across Space and Time, The Doctor and Amy arrive in 9th Century Sudan, where the greedy Lord Cassim is hoarding gold from the Legate of the Caliph. But why does Cassim look so familiar? What is the mysterious Djinni that lives out in the desert? And why does it need so much treasure?


On the Inside Cover:

Writer’s Notes: Jonathan Clements

Abu I’Atahiya (748-828 AD), who supplies all the poems in this play, once wrote: ‘O Time! Inconstant, mutable art thou / And o’er the realm of ruin is thy sway’.

The Destroyer of Delights is just one of many names for Death in the Arabian Nights. Some time ago, I started collecting them, along with other bits of gossip. Neither the tale of Aladdin nor Ali Baba seem to have been part of the original Arabian Nights.

Instead, they were added in foreign versions and translated back into Arabic and Persian later on. Aladdin soon became the subject of my short story The Nobility of Faith in the Short Trips collection Doctor Who: The Ghosts of Christmas. And that left the story of Cassim Ali Baba, a historical king of what is now the Sudan, who hoarded gold from the Caliph al-Mutawakkil. His act was against all reason, against all Law.., and then I was asked for something about the Black Guardian...

Producer’s Notes: David Richardson

We gave Jonathan Clements a very simple brief for this story: an historical featuring the Black Guardian... and he did all the rest. It was an absolute delight observing as he fleshed those seven words into a full-blooded adventure.

The entire Key 2 Time season was recorded within the space of five days, between April 21-25. And, because we felt it unfair to drop Ciara Janson into the deep end as Amy, we chose to record The Judgement of Isskar last. So we began the week with The Destroyer of Delights, kicking off with the reprise from the previous story, as the Doctor and Amy are confronted by the Black Guardian while on a collision course with destruction.

Director Lisa Bowerman and the brilliant cast got the mammoth 169-page script recorded in just a day and a half, and lovely Jess Robinson, who was just back from a trip to Morocco, proved to be our unofficial advisor on all that complicated Arabic dialogue.


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 chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "The Key 2 Time: The Judgement of Isskar".

 One of two artificial lifeforms that have been sent to our Universe by The Grace, a race of pan-dimensional engineers. Both are living Tracers, designed with the sole purpose of locating and assembling the six segments of the Key to Time. This one selects the Doctor to be her assistant, but soon the dynamic reverses – she gets a name, begins to experience the wonder of creation, and learns the potential for evil that exists in people’s hearts… even her own sister’s. And so Amy’s journey with the Doctor continues, so her innocence begins to fade and she finds emotions. No longer just a Tracer, Amy is becoming a person.

Full Cast List:

The Doctor Peter Davison
Amy Ciara Janson
The Black Guardian David Troughton
Legate of the Caliph Jason Watkins
Nisrin Jess Robinson
Prince Omar Bryan Pilkington
Hason Paul Chahidi
The Djinni Will Barton
The Vizier David Peart
Guard Toby Longworth
Guard Will Barton
Computer Paul Chahidi

The Production Team:

Writer Jonathan Clements
Director Lisa Bowerman
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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