first release for 2001 heralds the return of Paul McGann
as the Eighth
Doctor. Titled "Storm Warning" this story, which is
written by Alan Barnes and directed by Gary Russell was
recorded on the 18th May 2000, and is the first of four
stories for the Eighth Doctor and also introduces new
After extensive negotiations
with Big Finish Productions actor Paul McGann, who played
the Eighth Doctor in the 1996 "Doctor
Who: The Movie" (and whose
only subsequent return to the Doctor
Who fold was to read stories for the audio story,
"Earth and Beyond"), has taped four Doctor Who
secrecy between 15th - 19th May 2000 Paul McGann taped
these four stories in sequence so as to fit in with his
busy schedule. Joining McGann for his return is actress
India Fisher who previously appeared in the Fifth Doctor
for the Adept", she impressed the Big Finish production
team so much that she was invited to return in the role
as a 1930's teenager and also to become The Doctor's
travelling companion - Charley
Following in the footsteps
of Jacqueline Pearce (see "The
Fearmonger") there is a special appearance by Gareth
Thomas (who played the intergalactic freedom fighter Roj
Blake in Blake's Seven) playing the part of Lord
Tamworth. Also starring are: Nicholas Pegg, Barnaby Edwards,
Hylton Collins and Helen Goldwyn.
The Doctor is alone in
when he has a dangerous encounter in the space/time vortex
with a pack of fearsome Vortisaurs. After carrying out
an emergency dematerialisation The Doctor finds himself
on board the British airship R101 on it's maiden voyage
over France in October 1930. On investigating the giant
airship The Doctor is soon parted from his TARDIS as it
is jettisoned from the ballast tank in which it had landed.
Also on board is a young stowaway, Charlotte
'Charley' Pollard, who heralds from England and is eager for excitement and
adventure away from her stifling family atmosphere. What Charley doesn't know,
but The Doctor does, is that the flight is destined to end in tragedy, although
no-one really knows why. Not even The Doctor, although maybe the mysterious
passenger in cabin 43 can help...
In trying to
escape from the airships crew, when she is discovered to be an impostor,
Charley soon bumps into The Doctor who is exploring the corridors. They team up
and Charley finds herself caught up with excitement and adventure that is
beyond her wildest imagination because this is no ordinary maiden voyage. When
the Minister of the Air, Lord Tamworth, orders the airship to climb to 5,000
feet, and well above its original specifications, it is for a secret rendezvous
with an alien flying saucer so as to reunite the passenger in cabin 43 with the
rest of its species. But the aliens they meet have other interests which
involve the sinister Rathbone, a ruthless spy with a top secret mission.
Doctor though becomes so caught up with events happening around him that he
soon forgets the true fate of the R101. There is a storm brewing around them, a
desperate madman on the loose and an escaped Vortisaur crawling across the
hull. With the loss of his TARDIS and his only means of escape The Doctor has
to deal with all of these events without damaging the fragments of time.
then there is the destiny with the history books for all those aboard the ill
fated airship including his new companion Charley...
If like me you were eagerly awaiting the release
of the first Eighth Doctor audio adventure "Storm Warning" then you would not
have wanted to miss Issue 300 of The Doctor Who Magazine.
|Doctor Who Magazine
Free with this
landmark issue, released on 11th January 2001, was a cover-mounted unique CD
featuring a promotional version of the first episode of "Storm Warning". Also
include on this very special disc, fans of the Seventh
Doctor are also in for a
treat as the CD also features an exclusive all-new adventure, titled "Last of the
Titans" starring Sylvester McCoy, which has been specially written and
recorded for Doctor Who Magazine.
aware that the new David Arnold version of the Doctor Who theme music (see
below for further details) was not included with this preview version. It
actually received its first airing when "Storm Warning" had its full Big Finish
release on 22nd January 2001.
A New Theme Tune
| This release
has a brand new theme tune that has been composed by David Arnold, who was the
composer for such movies as James Bond - The World is Not Enough,
Stargate, Independence Day and Shaft. This new version of
the famous Doctor Who theme music will be used for all of the Paul
McGann releases. David Arnold was also responsible for the television scores
for Stargate SG-1, The Visitor and Randall and Hopkirk
(Deceased). He will also be composing the film score for the next James
It is understood that he has gone back into the series' past
to the Derbyshire recordings to give the McGann audios a new, haunting feel.
You can listen to it below.
- Featuring the Eighth
Doctor and introducing new companion Charley
- Serial Number: 8B
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 110 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 25'03", 2 = 25'09", 3 =
36'11", 4 = 29'17"
- This story takes place after "Doctor
Who: The Movie".
- Cover Illustration: Clayton Hickman
- Recorded: 18th May 2000
- Recording Location: Christchurch Studios
- Released: January 2001
- ISBN: 1-903654-24-6
October, 1930. His Majesty's Airship R101, sets
off on her maiden voyage to the farthest-flung reaches of the British Empire,
carrying the brightest lights of the Imperial fleet. Carrying the hopes and
dreams of a breathless nation.
Not to mention a ruthless spy with a top-secret
mission, a mysterious passenger who appears nowhere on the crew list, a
would-be adventuress destined for the Singapore Hilton
and a Time Lord
from the planet Gallifrey.
There's a storm coming. There's something
unspeakable, something with wings, crawling across the stern. Thousands of feet
high in the blackening sky, the crew of the R101 brace themselves. When the
storm breaks, their lives won't be all that's at stake...
The future of
the galaxy will be hanging by a thread.
You'll already have read this on the back cover
of the CD, but I'd like to make it doubly clear: "All characters in this
production are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead,
is purely coincidental." These aren't weasel words. "Storm Warning", in
long-established Doctor Who tradition, makes a drama out of a historical
crisis.. albeit a historical crisis on a world where BBC3 would broadcast the
opening of the Devil's Hump and the Loch Ness Monster would be sighted on the
As you'll hear, none of the real-life pioneers who crowed the
airship R101 fly aboard the craft in "Storm Warning"; for their story, please
see the official documents relating to the R101's maiden voyage, all of which
were published by The Stationery Office in 1999 as part of its Uncovered
We all love a mystery, arid in writing "Storm Warning" I've
tried to capture all the romance and excitement and horror of the mythology
surrounding the pride of the Imperial Airship Service, without betraying the
memory of those aboard. If you enjoy the play, perhaps you'd like to spare the
real crew a quiet moment in your thoughts.
been a rare privilege to author the adventure
which sees a certain Mr Paul McGann
reprise the role of the Eighth Doctor for
the first time since the 1996 TV
Movie. He is, of course, quite brilliant.
He's back - and it's about bloody time!
| Full Cast
|Chief Steward Weeks
|Chief Steward Weeks
|Chief Steward Weeks
|Chief Steward Weeks
|Gary Russell and
|Executive Producer for the BBC