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Audio - A Thousand Tiny Wings

A Thousand Tiny Wings
(Andy Lane)

 The first story in second season of stories for the Seventh Doctor, and the first release for 2010, is "A Thousand Tiny Wings", which is set in the jungles of Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising of the 1950s. It is written by Andy Lane, the man behind the popular Companion Chronicles "Here There Be Monsters" and "The Mahogany Murderers", while Ann Bell (who played Marion Jefferson in Tenko) guest stars as Sylvia O’Donnell, and Lisa (Bernice Summerfield) Bowerman directs. It was recorded on the 25th and 26th June 2009.

The Seventh Doctor, played by Sylvester McCoy, gets a new travelling companion… but it’s not someone he would want aboard the TARDIS! It is the return of Nazi scientist Elizabeth Klein (again played by Tracey Childs), who stole the TARDIS and changed the course of history in the popular story "Colditz".

"Colditz" was actually number 25 in our range of Doctor Who audio adventures’, says script editor John Ainsworth, ‘and it’s been exciting to revisit the character over 100 CDs and (for us) eight years later. In that time we’ve had many requests from fans demanding that we bring the character back, so we’re thrilled that Tracey Childs, who recently appeared in the TV series in "The Fires of Pompeii", has returned to the role to challenge the Seventh Doctor, who we find at a point in his life where he is travelling solo’.

I am, of course, completely delighted to be returning to the role of Klein again’, adds Tracey Childs. ‘And am overjoyed that those in power have seen fit to bring her back... though frankly how anyone might ever have thought they could get by without my presence is a mystery to me. But maybe playing a megalomaniacal time travelling Nazi physicist is starting to go to my head!

Seventh Doctor
Seventh Doctor
 "Colditz" did quite well at the time’, Steve Lyons (who wrote the 2001 audio story "Colditz" that introduced her) has revealed. ‘We realised that the character was popular in the studio, and we saw Tracey’s performance, Gary Russell asked me there and then to bring her back, but for one reason or another it’s taken nine years!

Elizabeth Klein comes from an alternate, accidentally-created timeline, in which the Nazis won World War Two. In that timeline the Nazis captured the Doctor’s TARDIS, and she studied it, and learned to pilot it. And so as well as being a time-travelling megalomaniacal Nazi physicist, Elizabeth Klein is also a thief!

She’s not though necessarily a villain. Ace, The Doctor’s companion during "Colditz", left behind a CD player in 1944 which changed the outcome of the war, and Klein just wants to restore that timeline, because it’s the one she remembers. The fact that it should never have happened is not really her fault.

The thing with Klein is that she wants to get her timeline back’, Steve Lyons has revealed. ‘The Doctor tricked her into changing her history, It’s not even a question of whether it’s a better timeline or not - she just thinks it’s the real one’.

As revealed by Tracey Childs ‘The fact that she’s completely barking, and her judgement is completely awry, is neither here nor there! Let’s be honest, most companions are out there to try to improve the universe, and make things right. Klein believes that’s what she’s trying to do, too, but she’s fighting against the Doctor’s beliefs, and that makes their relationship very interesting, It ranges from loathing the man to having to work with him because it’s the only way to solve certain problems. She recognises him as a man of wisdom who’s seen a great deal, so she’s not against using his brainpower. The Doctor is hoping to broaden her horizons, and thinks if she could see the universe as a whole, then maybe she will help him save it. That’s a really brilliant idea, on the Doctor’s part, but of course it won’t be that simple!

Also starring in this story are: Abigail McKern, Joannah Tincey, Chuk Iwuji and Alex Mallinson.

Companion Chronicles
This release also includes the eleventh part of "The Three Companions" - the 12-part Companion Chronicles mini-series which are a bonus feature on the monthly Doctor Who plays since April 2009. Each of the 10-minute episodes has been written by Marc Platt and has been directed by Lisa Bowerman.

This special story brings together Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (aka The Brigadier) (played by Nicholas Courtney) and Polly (played by Anneke Wills), who discover that their past travels with The Doctor share a common link... Meanwhile, Thomas Brewster (played by John Pickard) is watching from a distance, and he is now the owner of a stolen TARDIS...

Also starring in this episode is Russell Floyd.

Episode Eleven: "The Hunter": With the Coffin loader on the rampage in London, Polly, The Brigadier and Brewster meet an old acquaintance. But can he cure the planet’s accelerated global warming?

Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 11 (January 2010)

Audio - Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 11
Vortex: Issue 11
 Issue 11 of 'Vortex - The Big Finish Magazine' was also sent out to subscribers with this release.

  In this issue...

    1. Editorial - Nicholas Briggs

    2. Sneak Previews and Whispers
    - Doctor Who - "Legend of the Cybermen" and Doctor Who - The Companion Chronicles: "Night’s Black Agents"

    3. Q&A - D Lynn Smith

    4. Interview - Childs Play

    5. Forthcoming Releases - January 2010 - October 2010

    6. Interview - Fisher & The Ripper

    7. Letters

    8. Q&A - Paul Finch

    9. Team Twitter

Published By: Big Finish Productions Ltd
Managing Editor: Jason Haigh-Ellery
Editors: Nicholas Briggs and David Richardson
Assistant Editor: Paul Spragg
Design and Layout: Alex Mallinson
Published: January 2010
Page Count: 20

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  • Featuring the Seventh Doctor and Elizabeth Klein.
  • Serial Number: 7Z/E
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Main Story Episode Lengths: 1 = 23'16", 2 = 23'41", 3 = 24'14", 4 = 30'31"
  • Main Story Total Length: 101'42"
  • Extra Story Episode Length: 11 = 11'11"
  • Also features 21 minutes of trailers and special behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and producers.
  • This story takes place takes place after "Survival" and the audio story "Kingdom of Silver".
  • Cover Illustration: Alex Mallinson
  • Recorded: 25th and 26th June 2009
  • Recording Location: Moat Studios
  • Released: January 2010
  • ISBN: 978-1-84435-433-7

On the Back Cover:

1950s Kenya. The Mau Mau uprising. A disparate group of women lie low in a remote house in the jungle, waiting for a resolution or for rescue. Among these British imperialists is Elizabeth Klein, a refugee from a timeline that no longer exists… thanks to The Doctor.

Reunited, The Doctor and Klein are forced to set aside their differences by terrifying circumstances. People are dying in this remote place. One by one. And there's something out there, in the jungle, accompanied only by the flutter of a thousand tiny wings…


On the Inside Cover:

Writer’s Notes: Andy Lane

Without wanting to be obvious about it, the key to a successful audio drama is a memorable and unique sound, while the key to a good audio horror (and A Thousand Tiny Wings is, underneath it all, a classic horror story) is a sound that, while innocuous in itself, strikes fear into the heart because of the inappropriate context in which it is heard. The abnormally loud beating of a heart. The rustle of rats moving behind the walls. Or the sound of a thousand tiny wings, all fluttering away in a locked room.

A Thousand Tiny Wings is, of course, the anti-matter version of the classic film The Thing From Another World (based on John Campbell’s short story Who Goes There?). Instead of an ice-bound research station we have a farmhouse in the middle of Africa; instead of a group of burly male scientists and military men we have a bunch of women sheltering from the Mau Mau fighters; and instead of a hulking shape-shifting creature we have.., yes, a thousand tiny wings.

Producer’s Notes: David Richardson

With Nick Briggs and Alan Barnes busy on the fourth season of Eighth Doctor adventures, it fell to myself and John Ainsworth to respectively produce and direct this trilogy for the Seventh Doctor. And what a joy it’s been. John came up with the brilliant idea of making the Nazi scientist Klein - last encountered in Colditz - the Doctor’s new companion, and suddenly we became creatively fired up by all the dramatic and narrative opportunities this presented.

A Thousand Tiny Wings is the start of a journey, and I wanted that start to be rather intimate and claustrophobic. I’d just seen the wonderful horror film The Mist, and loved the idea of doing a similar base under siege tale. That simple brief was mine: it was Andy who came up with the setting, the characters and the stunningly original monster.

I’ll never look at a hummingbird in quite the same way ever again...


Who's Who?

The Seventh Doctor

First television appearance: "Time and the Rani"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "Unregenerate!"

 He has been exploring the universe for hundreds of years. He fights injustice. He defeats evil. He helps people. In the past, the Doctor has shared his adventures with friends, but now he travels clone. In this regeneration, the Doctor can be impish, devious even, but also greatly compassionate; whimsy and melancholy do battle inside this persona, but the good and the just can always rely on him.

Elizabeth Klein

First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "Colditz"

 A committed and ambitious Nazi from an alternative future in which Germany won the war. Dr Elizabeth Klein made the fatal mistake of travelling bock in time to Colditz Castle in 1944 in order to meet the Doctor. Unwittingly, her own actions returned time to its proper course, Germany lost the war and now Klein is all that is left of a future that no longer exists, if she can’t return home, then she is determined to recreate the world that only she remembers. The key to her dreams is the Doctor, someone she never expected to see again.

Full Cast List:

A Thousand Tiny Wings  
The Doctor Sylvester McCoy
Elizabeth Klein Tracey Childs
Sylvia O'Donnell Ann Bell
Denise Waterford Abigail McKern
Lucy Watts Joannah Tincey

Joshua Sembeke

Chuk Iwuji
Abraham Alex Mallinson
Companion Chronicles - Episode Eleven: "The Hunter"
Polly Wright Anneke Wills
Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart Nicholas Courtney
Thomas Brewster John Pickard
Gerry Lenz Russell Floyd

The Production Team:

A Thousand Tiny Wings  
Writer Andy Lane
Companion Chronicles - Episode Eleven: "The Hunter"
Writer Marc Platt
Both Stories:  
Director Lisa Bowerman
Sound/Music Richard Fox and Lauren Yason
Theme Music David Darlington
Script Editor Alan Barnes
Producer David Richardson
Executive Producers Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery
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