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

A Death in the Family

The Next Story
The Previous Story The Next Story



Audio - A Death in the Family

A Death in the Family
(Steven Hall)

The second 2010 Seventh Doctor mini-season continues with "A Death in the Family" by acclaimed author Steven Hall, in which The Doctor meets someone from his past and someone from his future.

Released in October 2010 "A Death in the Family" stars Sylvester McCoy, as the Seventh Doctor, Sophie Aldred as Ace, and Philip Olivier as Hex. It has been directed by Ken Bentley and was recorded on the 28th and 29th April 2010.

After the dramatic events of "Project: Destiny", in which the dying Hex found out how many secrets The Doctor had been keeping about his companion’s background, it's time for The Doctor to face up to what he’s become. Forcing him to do that is an old friend: former companion Evelyn Smythe.

Seventh Doctor
Seventh Doctor

Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs has revealed: ‘The surprise from the past is none other than Evelyn Smythe, played by Maggie Stables who teams up with The Doctor to help battle an old foe. We're delighted to have Maggie back, in what is the first of more appearances to come’.

One of the really interesting things about having Evelyn back is that it gives you insight into the differences between the Sixth and Seventh Doctors’, writer Steven Hall has explained. ‘I think the Seventh Doctor is really, really fascinating as a character, and I think one of the ways to unlock why that Doctor is so fascinating is to have him meet people he knew before he was that Doctor. It's an interesting pairing. I think maybe of all his companions, she's the one who would take him to task. She’ll stand up and say “This is wrong”, or “Have you actually thought about what you’re doing?” She cares desperately about him, I think, but she's worried about him, because he's so different since the last time she met him’.

But time has passed for Evelyn. She is older and it seems since The Doctor last saw her she has become more interested in politics. Even though a politician, she’s still formidable and as kind as ever. She is still the same old Evelyn in that respect and she still trusts The Doctor but she is surprised by what The Doctor has become.



This story also sees the return of the Word Lord, a villain who was created in Steven Hall’s previous Doctor Who play. ‘The Word Lord is a being from a different, distant dimension, where reality is constructed not from energy and matter like it isHe has the power to manipulate reality based on what other people say. And, most terrifying of all, he’s regenerated. This version is a lot more violent and unhinged than the last one... here, but from language and words’, Steven Hall has revealed. ‘He has the power to manipulate reality based on what other people say. And, most terrifying of all, he’s regenerated. This version is a lot more violent and unhinged than the last one...’.

The Word Lord previously appeared in the audio story "The Word Lord" and was played by Paul Reynolds. This time, the charismatic but utterly psychotic villain is played by Ian Reddington, who memorably played the Chief Clown in "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy".

Also starring in this story are: John Dorney, Alison Thea-Skot, Andrew Dickens and Harriet Kershaw.


Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 20 (October 2010)

Audio - Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 20
Vortex: Issue 20
 Issue 20 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
    - Love Songs for the Shy and Cynical – The Audiobook & The Companion Chronicles – The Specials.

    3. Interview - Fountain of Wisdom

    4. Feature - Drew on her own Experience

    5. Feature - Hall or Nothing

    Interview -
    Back in the Fold

    7. Interview - Friend & Foe

    8. Your Letters

    9. Forthcoming Releases - October 2010 - July 2011

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: October 2010
Page Count: 20

Return to the top of this page


  • Featuring the Seventh Doctor, Ace, Hex and Evelyn Smythe
  • Serial Number: 7W/N
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 31'07", 2 = 32'06", 3 = 30'15", 4 = 40'23"
  • Total Length: 133'51"
  • Also features 16 minutes of trailers, music and special behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and producers
  • This story takes place after "Project: Destiny"
  • Cover Illustration: Simon Holub
  • Recorded: 28th and 29th April 2010
  • Recording Location: Moat Studios
  • Released: October 2010
  • ISBN: 978-1-84435-499-3

On the Back Cover:

Audio - A Death in the Family

The future folds into the past. The homeless hero has fallen. Now begins the time of three tales: The Tale of the Herald. The Tale of the Hidden Woman. The Tale of the Final Speaker. When the last tale is told, all the lights shall fail. The world will end’.

21st century London: Nobody No One, the extra-dimensional Word Lord, is again running amok. Only this time, he's unbeatable – and a terrible tragedy is about to unfold.

It is written.


On the Inside Cover:

Writer's Notes: Steven Hall

With great story arcs come great responsibilities.

In autumn 2009, an email from one Mr Alan Barnes pinged into my inbox. Since The Word Lord, Alan and I had been chatting on and off about me coming in to write a full-length Doctor Who story, but we could never get the dates to work. That all changed when I opened that latest email: ‘We’re doing the third Forge story. Hex is going to find out the truth. Do you want to write the one after?’

Of course I was going to do it. Of course I was. You see, this is the story I’d always wanted to tell. This is the story of the Seventh Doctor and his friends, past and present, and about the kind of people they really are when all the chips are down.

It's about love, friendship, trust, sacrifice, loss and right and wrong. It's a look at a group of extraordinary characters who’ve become family over the years, not just to each other, but to us too.

I hope you think the play does them justice, we've certainly all tried our best. After all, what’s more important than family?

Director’s Notes: Ken Bentley

It was my great pleasure to work on Steven Hall’s first short play for Big Finish, The Word Lord. It turned out not only to be a wonderful debut, but also the introduction of a new and powerful villain. At the time we all said this was a character that must return - and return he has, with (as they say) a vengeance.

Much praise must go to the cast, who worked their socks off to deliver on Hall’s promise. It was my great pleasure to work for the first time with the lovely Maggie Stables and the incomparable Ian Reddington. I live in awe of good actors, and on this production all were very good indeed. My thanks go to David Richardson for assembling such a fabulous and charming cast for me to work with.

Thanks also to Richard Fox and Lauren Yason for bringing the Word Lord back to life with such gusto.

Of course, given the title, one of our heroes must die. But which one? You’ll have to listen to find out.


Full Cast List:

The Doctor Sylvester McCoy
Ace Sophie Aldred
Hex Philip Olivier
Evelyn Smythe Maggie Stables
Nobody No One Ian Reddington
Corporal John Dorney
Ayl-San Alison Thea-Skot
Captain Stillwell Andrew Dickens
Story Speaker Harriet Kershaw
Novice John Dorney
Faber/Nurse Alison Thea-Skot
Applin/Tour Guide Andrew Dickens
Ann-the-Van/Webster Harriet Kershaw

The Production Team:

Writer Steven Hall
Director Ken Bentley
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
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.