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Audio - Industrial Evolution

Industrial Evolution
(Eddie Robson)

March 2011 was when the third and final story in the trilogy, that reunites the Sixth Doctor with his hugely popular audio companion Evelyn Smythe (played by Maggie Stables) and Victorian orphan Thomas Brewster (played by John Pickard), was released.

"Industrial Evolution" by Eddie Robson, is set in Lancashire during the industrial revolution. The guest cast includes Rory Kinaear (Vexed) as Samuel Belfrage, Warren Brown (Luther) as Stephen Gibson and Hugh Ross (Sea of Souls) as Robert Stretton. Also starring are: Joannah Tincey, Paul Chahidi and John Banks.

This story has been directed by Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs.

Sixth Doctor
Sixth Doctor

As the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn’s current run of adventures comes to an end, it is time to wrap up the story of their fellow TARDIS traveller, Thomas Brewster. In "The Feast of Axos", it looked like the life of the Victorian urchin and former Fifth Doctor companion was set to stabilise, as he accepted The Doctor’s offer of one last trip: home. And now, in Eddie Robson’s "Industrial Evolution", we get to see what happens next.

It is clear that Evelyn has become quite maternally attached to Brewster and so has suggested that they set him up back in his own time with a job. But in "Industrial Evolution" whilst they are in the town where Brewster has been deposited, so they can keep an eye on him to make sure he settles in alright, The Doctor and Evelyn realise that something untoward is going on.

Maggie Stables
Maggie Stables

Given that it concludes a story arc created and shaped by other writers, it seems that Eddie Robson was given some freedom in dictating Brewster’s direction throughout this final chapter. ‘It was given to me where he started off from. Alan Barnes was quite keen that we did something back in the workhouse, so I suggested maybe he could have a factory job, a job at a mill’.

The relationship between Brewster and both incarnations of The Doctor he has known has been invariably varied. Brewster is feeling quite hurt and betrayed at The Doctor's attitude towards him. He might do something to show The Doctor that he really can be worthwhile, or he might do something to spite The Doctor. You are never quite sure what he's going to do. ‘He's quite different to your usual companion’, Eddie Robson has revealed. ‘The relationship is quite fractious, but usually when The Doctor and the companion have a fractious relationship it's because the companion doesn't like getting in danger, all these awkward situations. It's the opposite with Brewster, because he wants to but The Doctor won’t let him. It's interesting to explore that: what is it about him that has made The Doctor give up on him? What is it about Brewster that really exasperates the Doctor?

But it has been hinted that there’s more to Brewster’s eventual fate. But the two big questions are: how final an end will this story be for this character and will the fans Brewster has accumulated over the years be satisfied? ‘If Brewster never appears again’, Eddie Robson has stated, ‘I think his story is wrapped up quite well in this one, but - though I don't want to say too much about how he ends up - it's not necessarily the end’.


Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 25 (March 2011)

Audio - Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 25
Vortex: Issue 25
 Issue 25 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
    - Dark Shadows.

    3. Feature - audios for the shy and cynical

    4. Feature - Time Thief

    5. Feature - Into the ‘Frey

    6. Letters

    7. Feature - What Katy Did Next

    8. Feature - If You Can Keep Your Head…

    9. Forthcoming Releases - March 2011 - December 2011

Published By: Big Finish Productions Ltd
Managing Editor: Jason Haigh-Ellery
Editors: Nicholas Briggs and David Richardson
Assistant Editor: Paul Spragg
Design: Alex Mallinson
Graphics and Layout: Anthony Lamb
Published: March 2011
Page Count: 24

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  • Featuring the Sixth Doctor, Evelyn Smythe and Thomas Brewster.
  • Serial Number: 7C/NC
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 26'57", 2 = 27'32", 3 = 25'28", 4 = 30'21"
  • Total Length: 110'18"
  • Also features 26 minutes of trailers, music and special behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and producers
  • This story takes place after "The Feast of Axos".
  • Cover Illustration: Anthony Lamb
  • Recorded: TBA
  • Recording Location: Moat Studios
  • Released: March 2011
  • ISBN: 978-1-84435-545-7

On the Back Cover:

Audio - Industrial Evolution

19th century Lancashire: where the white heat of the Industrial Revolution burns hottest at Samuel Belfrage’s brass mill, a mill plagued by more than its fair share of work-related injuries.

While Thomas Brewster struggles to secure a fair deal for Belfrage’s overworked hands, fellow travellers the Doctor and Evelyn follow the Copper King to Liverpool, there to discover the unexpected truth about Belfrage’s business.

Back in Ackleton, the local MP voices the fears of many when he says that the machines are taking over. He’s more right than he knows…


On the Inside Cover:

Writer's Notes:

This play was going to be set in Manchester or a city based on Manchester, like Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South (which I was reading for background). Then I decided to scale down the setting and put it in Preston or a town based on Preston, like Charles Dickens' Hard Times (which I was reading for background). But then I realised that although it can be fun to unleash havoc on a heavily-populated area, sometimes Doctor Who needs a small, isolated location. It stacks the odds against your characters and raises the possibility of the place being left a smoking hole in the ground. So it’s based on a village just south of where I live, called Galgate.

As you may have read in the notes to Jonathan Morris’s The Crimes of Thomas Brewster, Alan Barnes had the super wheeze of us swapping scripts for the second draft. Naturally, my aim was to write a line which everyone would say was the funniest in the script, just to annoy Jonny. Jonny was far more useful in his contributions to my script, elegantly fixing a significant plot problem which had been bugging me throughout. I won’t tell you what it is, because I don’t want to look stupid.

Eddie Robson
December 2010

Director’s Notes:

Rory Kinnear is pretty darn amazing. Not just because he’s a great actor - although he is - but because he completely fooled me. Over the years, I’ve flattered myself that I’ve developed an instinct for spotting actors who are clearly Doctor Who fans too. It’s something in the way they know exactly how to pitch a performance for the show.

Sam West did it as Morbius in The Vengeance of Morbius - a fully-formed performance but with just that vital drop of authentic Doctor Who-ness about it. That total understanding of how such a character works in the plot. An absolute certainty about what it all means. And that’s what Rory had...

But it turns out that he’s never seen Doctor Who in his life and knows virtually nothing about it. Almost unbelievable. I nearly called him a liar to his face. But then, life is full of pleasant surprises and we're all on a learning curve, aren’t we?

Nicholas Briggs
November 2010


Full Cast List:

The Doctor Colin Baker
Evelyn Smythe Maggie Stables
Thomas Brewster John Pickard
Samuel Belfrage Rory Kinnear
Stephen Gibson Warren Brown
Clara Stretton Joannah Tincey
Robert Stretton Hugh Ross
George Townsend Paul Chahidi
Humanoids John Banks

The Production Team:

Writer Eddie Robson
Director Nicholas Briggs
Sound/Music Fool Circle Productions
Theme Music David Darlington
Script Editor Alan Barnes
Producer David Richardson
Executive Producers Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery
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