The Silver Turk
After leaving Big Finish Productions
main Doctor Who monthly range of audios in "The
Company of Friends", to start his own dedicated
series of stories, the Eighth
Doctor is back, in October
2011, in a brand new three-part mini-series in which
he is joined once again by Mary Shelley, the author
McGann returns with Julie Cox, who first played the
role in "The Company of Friends". Script
Editor Alan Barnes has revealed ‘We thought
it'd be nice to follow up on "Mary's
Story", from "The
Company of Friends". We know that Mary travelled
with the Doctor for some time, so it seemed mean not
to tell some of those missing stories!’.
mini-season begins with "The Silver Turk" by
Marc Platt (writer of the 1989 Seventh
Doctor story "Ghost
Light"). This story has been directed by Barnaby
Edwards and was recorded on the 5th and 11th April
Doctor's friendship with Mary Shelley is a storyline
that has been developing for an entire decade. As early
as the 2001 audio play "Storm
mentioned having had an adventure with the writer on
the night that Frankenstein was conceived, and brief
references have been made since. Then in 2009 Big Finish
Productions released "Mary's Story", which
was part of The Company of Friends. This story finally
showed us that encounter, and revealed that Mary Shelley
had travelled in the TARDIS with The Doctor.
Silver Turk" carries directly
on from where "Mary's Story" left
off, with The Doctor and Mary Shelley on
their way to
Vienna, where they meet an old enemy of The
Doctor's, who's fallen into some very unlikely
new trilogy of adventures has been released
which will explore these travels for the first
time, with Julie Cox returning to the role
of Mary as a full-time companion.
Cox has revealed that ‘She's very cool!
She's unfazed by The Doctor's world. You have to
the fact that she's from a different time, but at
the same time she's quite a modern woman. I like
her wilfulness to do things’.
Barnaby Edwards has also stated ‘"The Silver
Turk" is quite a gentle way of launching Mary
into time travel and she does see the poetry of it.
But she does freak out at points. She can't quite cope
with the concept at first’.
though is the least of Mary's worries as the Cybermen are back! ‘They are trapped on the Earth
in dire circumstances’, writer Marc Platt has revealed. ‘They
are damaged, and it's about how they survive, really
- because, as usual, that is their raison d'etre -
and also how the people in late nineteen-century Vienna
exploit them and use them. I hope there's a slight "The
Evil of the Daleks" feel to it, actually. That's very
much what I had in mind...’.
stated by Alan Barnes ‘Fans of Marc's Doctor
Who audio drama "Spare
Parts" - which is
just about everyone, I think! - will be thrilled when
they hear what he's done with the Cybermen here...’.
(from the 1976 Fourth
Doctor story "The
Masque of Mandragora") guest stars as Dr Johann Drossel,
Christian Brassington (Burke and Hare, Elizabeth:
The Golden Age) is Alfred Stahlbaum and David
Schneider (I'm Alan Partridge, The Day
Today) is Ernst Bratfisch.
Also starring are: Gwilym Lee, Claire Wyatt, Nicholas
Briggs and Barnaby Edwards.
- Featuring the Eighth
Doctor and Mary Shelley.
- Serial Number: 8A/AA
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 120 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 31'33", 2 =
28'59", 3 = 31'17", 4 = 35'42"
- Total Length: 127'31"
- Also features 14 minutes of trailers, music
and special behind-the-scenes interviews with
cast and producers
- This story takes place after "Doctor
Who: The Movie"
- Cover Illustration: Alex Mallinson
- Recorded: 5th and 11th April 2011
- Recording Location: Moat Studios
- Released: October 2011
- ISBN: 978-1-84435-601-0
On the Back Cover:
Roll up! Roll up! To the great Viennese Exposition,
where showman Stahlbaum will show you his most wonderful
creation, the Silver Turk – a mechanical marvel
that will not only play for you the fortepiano, the
spinet and the flute, it will play you at the gaming
when the Doctor brings his new travelling companion
Mary Shelley to nineteenth-century
Vienna, he soon identifies the incredible Turk as one
of his deadliest
enemies – a part-machine Cyberman.
And that’s not even the worst of the horrors
at large in the city…
|On the Inside Cover:
Alan Barnes' shopping list:
Mary Shelley; 19th century Vienna; automata - possibly
the celebrated Turk. So I spent a while reading some
of Mary Shelley's short stories. They tend to have
very tidy endings, but they also bulge with amazing
ideas for a nineteenth century young lady. Mary really
was a bit of a maverick, giving all sorts of social
conventions a good kicking. So she's a great foil for
Vienna is quite a short jump from
Lake Geneva (see The
Company of Friends), but I needed
a good reason for the Doctor to be there. So Vienna:
cakes, waltzes, Franz Josef, Freud. Having decided
that the abominably hideous events at Mayerling in
1866 were probably a bit much, I discovered the Vienna
Exposition of 1873 - all manner of technological and
artistic innovations were on display. Huntley and Palmers
even had a biscuit emporium. And there was also a stock
market crash. Well, how could the Doctor resist? What's
less well known is that two new shows were also in
town - a bizarrely realistic puppet show and an exhibition
by the celebrated automaton the Silver Turk. A storm
is brewing and there are signs that the Cybermen have
a hand, even several hands, in the dastardly business...
I'm a sucker for great literary
figures becoming embroiled in the world of Doctor
From the First
Doctor's adventures with the celebrated
traveller and diarist Marco Polo to the Eleventh Doctor's
encounters with that formidable winner of the 1953
Nobel Prize for Literature, Winston
plethora of well-known writers stepping on and off
the TARDIS has enriched and enlivened the show. Wells,
Dickens, Shakespeare, Christie, and now... Mary Shelley.
And what better story with which
to launch her adventures than a tale revolving around
the creation of life? Galvanic lightning, stolen
body parts, Miltonian rhetoric - all the elements
of Frankenstein are there. Fun as these references
are, though, they are only a small part of litterateur
Marc Platt's magnificently macabre reimagining of
the Coppelia myth.
As director, I may have been pulling the strings,
but Marc was definitely the story's puppet master!
| Full Cast List:
|Dr Johan Drossel
|Count Rolf Wittenmeier
|Countess Mitzi Wittenmeier
The Production Team:
||Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery