Army of Death
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 a brand new three-part
mini-series in which he is joined once again by Mary Shelley, the
author of Frankenstein.
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!’.
concludes with "Army of Death" by Jason Arnopp.
It has been directed by Barnaby Edwards and was recorded
on the 7th and 8th April 2011.
you know Mary Shelley's work, you'll know that Frankenstein wasn't the only science-fiction story she wrote - she
also wrote an apocalyptic future Earth story called
The Last Man. So that was the starting point for this,
which has a devastated future world being overrun by
Arnopp was tasked with creating a grim story for
The Doctor and Mary, full of death and doom. Jason
Arnopp though came up with the idea of this story
from Pieter Bruegel the Elder's sixteenth-century
painting The Triumph of Death. ‘It's a
gloriously ghoulish panorama of walking skeletons
people. I'm making it all sound quite high-minded,
when in fact it was more of a case of “Walking
skeletons - cool!”. After that, everything
grew quite naturally. It was a case of working out
who or what the skeletons were, why they were marching
and slaughtering and then the society and world in
which they were doing it’.
Shelley's character has evolved across the
course of this trilogy of stories, but she
has a very defined journey within "Army
of Death". ‘I definitely wanted
to create a strong arc for Mary, as well
as for her and the Doctor's relationship’,
Jason Arnopp has revealed. ‘It's good
that Big Finish have given themselves the
scope to expand on and develop Doctor/companion
relationships in a manner which reflects
the TV series, without betraying that indefinable
'classic' feel’. At the start of this
story, Mary is very much enjoying her time
in the TARDIS. In fact, in one sense, she's
enjoying it too much - something which is
causing her a little moral turmoil. Yet the
way in which she sees The Doctor and their
travels together changes dramatically during
the course of this story.
a great character to write for’, Jason
Arnopp has stated. ‘You really
don't feel too bound by history: it's not
incredibly accurate records or even pictures
of her exist today. That said, I did read
up on her history and really enjoyed it.
She and Percy Shelley seemed to spend most
of their lives on the run from society's
disapproving moral guardians’.
Jason Arnopp's first contribution to Big Finish Productions’ main
Doctor Who range, but it is his longest as he was one
of the new writers showcased on the "The
Demons of Red Lodge and Other Stories" that was released
in December 2010.
of Death" though is four times that length. ‘That
extra time really feels like a joyously big sandpit
in which to run riot’ Jason Arnopp has reIt
was great to have the space to tell quite an epic tale,
with a couple of plots on the go, plus a fair deal
of back story. The city of Stronghaven and its sister
city Garrak needed to feel like real places with pasts
and citizens. Plus, more time means more space to mount
scares and set-pieces. I especially like one scene
involving a talking, severed skull!’.
main thing I was determined to keep in mind, though,
is that a greater number of episodes shouldn't mean
a lower intensity of plot or incident. The goal is
to create four consecutive Demons of Red Lodges, if
you like, as opposed to "The Demons of Red Lodge" stretched
out over four episodes...’.
story stars David Harewood (Naismith in the 2009/2010
Tenth Doctor story "The End of Time")
plays John Vallan, Eva Pope (Waterloo Road)
is Nia Brusk and Carolyn Pickles (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)
is Meera Darone, while actor and comedian Mitch Benn
Raynar. Also starring are: Joanna Christie, Trevor
Cooper and Barnaby Edwards.
Main Doctor Who range
subscribers, whose subscription included this title,
also received the 2011's bonus subscribers only release
- Featuring the Eighth
Doctor and Mary Shelley.
- Serial Number: 8A/AC
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 120 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 23'49", 2 =
23'57", 3 = 23'17", 4 = 24'57"
- Total Length: 96'00"
- Also features 28 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: 7th and 8th April 2011
- Recording Location: Moat Studios
- Released: December 2011
- ISBN: 978-1-84435-603-4
On the Back Cover:
TARDIS brings the Doctor and Mary Shelley to the
continent of Zelonia, on the frontier world Draxine – where,
many moons ago, the twin citystates of Garrak and
Stronghaven bore testament to mankind’s colonial
was before the sinister death cult of Garrak’s
President Harmon took hold – and Garrak annihilated
itself, utterly, in an apocalyptic explosion. Before
the bones of Garrak’s dead came back to life,
and its skeletal citizens began marching, marching,
marching on Stronghaven itself.
what do they want, this army of death? And can anything
stop them? In search of answers, the Doctor and Mary
must journey into the dead heart of a dead city to
face a terrifying adversary, whose ambitions transcend
the stuff of life itself.
|On the Inside Cover:
I'd love to say that Army
of Death was always intended as an allegory for our
modern times. In truth, though, I initially thought
it would he really cool to have hordes of Harryhausen-esque
skeletons marching around, killing people. Everything
else sprung up from that, whether consciously or otherwise.
quite brilliant script editor Alan Barnes told me he
wanted to conclude this Mary Shelley trilogy with 'something
to blow her mind in a bad way. Plague, hopelessness...
something a bit dark and grim'. Now there's a brief
to seize by the ears. Right up my street. Amid the
mayhem, though, I wanted a very human arc for Mary
Shelley. After reading up on her, it became clear that
her perfect man wasn't so much poet-philosopher Percy
Shelley, but a man who we all know far better...
Army of Death was originally called
City of the Bone Lord, but after some discussion I'm
honoured to further Doctor Who's glorious tradition
in making things be 'of Death'. Seeds, Ambassadors,
Robots, City, Paradise, Kiss, Doll... and now a whole
Army. Tremendous fun! Hope you enjoy.
Mary Shelley achieved worldwide fame
as the author of Frankenstein (1818), but she wrote
another great science fiction novel too: The Last
Man (1826). It is an apocalyptic tale of a future Earth
destroyed by plague, a world where political ideals
have failed and faith in the Enlightenment principles
of educated humanism and scientific progress is proved
to be hollow. In Frankenstein, knowledge creates life;
in The Last Man, it leads to death.
This is the Mary Shelley we meet
in Army of Death. Accompanied by the Byronic figure
of the Doctor, she explores a future riven with political
strife, civil unrest and moral ambiguity. In this
dystopian landscape, death itself is no escape.
was definitely the hardest story of the trilogy to
direct. Fortunately, I was blessed with a ridiculously
talented cast who were able to inject both humour
and humanity into this darkest of tales.
| Full Cast List:
| Commander Raynar
The Production Team:
||Fool Circle Productions
||Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery