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Audio - The Sixth Doctor in 2012



Audio - The Butcher of Brisbane

The Butcher of Brisbane
(Marc Platt)

The release for June 2012 is "The Butcher of Brisbane" that has been written by Marc Platt whose previous work includes the 1989 Seventh Doctor story "Ghost Light".

This story sees Peter Davison, in the third of three releases for 2012, as the Fifth Doctor once again reunited, in the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio range, with his three companions: Nyssa, played by Sarah Sutton; Tegan Jovanka, played by Janet Fielding, and Turlough, played by Mark Strickson. Nyssa is once again the older version of this character that was introduced in the 2010 story "Cobwebs".

It stars Angus Wright playing the part of Magnus Greel - aka the murderous Chinese god Weng-Chiang. The Fifth Doctor and his three companions get to face this old enemy in this story which is set before Robert Holmes' 1977 Fourth Doctor story "The Talons of Weng-Chiang".

Peter Davison
Peter Davison

"The Butcher of Brisbane" has been directed by Ken Bentley and was recorded on the 19th and 20th January 2012. Also starring in this story are: Rupert Frazer, Felicity Duncan, Daniel Weyman, Daisy Ashford, John Banks and Alex Mallinson.

As revealed by Script Editor Alan Barnes ‘Marc Platt has extrapolated a whole world from a few enticing phrases in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang". So if you ever wanted to know more about the advance of the Filipino Army on Reykjavik, Findecker's discovery of the double nexus particle, or the murderous origins of the Peking Homunculus, you can't afford to miss "The Butcher of Brisbane"... which, as the title suggests, begins with Tegan's arrival in the ruins of her home town...

Despite "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" being made over 30 years ago, and despite an audio spin-off with two of its characters, there are still new stories to be gained from this classic 1970’s television story. And so with "The Butcher of Brisbane" Big Finish Productions have created a new story with villain Magnus Greel.

Finding someone to play Magnus Greel was actually a huge thing’, Producer David Richardson has revealed, ‘because he's such an iconic Doctor Who villain, beautifully played by Michael Spice, who sadly isn't with us anymore. We had to find somebody who could play him earlier in life, before he was deformed. Because of that it had to be a slightly different performance, because his larynx isn't bust to hell! We went through lots of names, but I kept going back to Angus Wright, who's done loads of theatre and TV work. His voice reel just epitomised what we were after’.

In Talons, Greel is quite a theatrical villain, and I say that in the best sense. His performance is very large, and here we explore his life as a politician. We needed someone like Angus who could play the politics side of it’.

For Marc Platt, writing "The Butcher of Brisbane" involved extrapolating a whole world from hints dropped in Talons about fifty-first-century Earth. ‘There are a load of clues’, Marc Platt has revealed. ‘If you watch Weng-Chiang, which I love to bits, there are little teasers dropped in by Robert Holmes. Quite possibly because it just amused him! I sort of made notes of them all. “Hang on... this is Brisbane and Iceland and the Filipino Army are advancing on Reykjavik, but that's the middle of the sea and how do you advance on that...?” But then there are references to it being another ice age, so maybe it's frozen and you can advance across the ice towards Reykjavik? It's like a huge jigsaw. Except you've got five pieces and have to make up about 394 others! That's how it worked out. I tried to piece everything together. There are other things, too. Why is Magnus Greel obsessed with Time Agents? And The Doctor mentions someone called Findecker discovering a particle, so now Findecker is a major character in this’.

To confuse things even more from The Doctor's perspective this story is a sequel to "The Talons of Weng-Chiang"; but from Greel's, it's a prequel. Marc Platt has revelled that ‘It's closely connected in themes, but it's nothing like how Talons felt - and it couldn't possibly be, because that was Victorian and this is hopefully quite futuristic. There's a sort of underworld press, all the double-dealing that Greel is doing, the alliances almost starting World War Six - another thing Holmes casually threw into the mix! It's a thriller. It's a mystery, all sorts of weird things come into it which are then later explained. There's some action, too’.

Marc Platt has also warned us not to expect hansom cabs or any giant rats!



Tegan Jovanka



Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 40 (June 2012)

Audio - Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 40
Vortex: Issue 40
 Issue 40 of 'Vortex - The Big Finish Magazine' was also sent out to subscribers with this release.

  In this issue...

    1. Editorial - Nick Briggs

    2. Sneak Previews and Whispers
    - The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 3

    3. Article - The Butcher of Brisbane - Two For Five

    4. Article - Geoffrey Beevers - Master Piece

    5. Article - Deborah Watling – Play For Today

    6. Article - The Guest List

    7. Article - Dark Shadows – Trask Master

    Vortex Mail

    9. Forthcoming Releases - June 2012 – March 2013

Published By: Big Finish Productions Ltd
Managing Editor: Jason Haigh-Ellery
Editors: Nicholas Briggs and David Richardson
Assistant Editor: Paul Spragg
Design: Mark Plastow
Published: June 2012
Page Count: 24

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  • Featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan Jovanka and Turlough.
  • Serial Number: 6H/I
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 28'04", 2 = 30'23", 3 = 28'39", 4 = 27'55"
  • Total Length: 115'01"
  • Also features 27 minutes of trailers, music and special behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and producers
  • This story takes place between the television stories "Enlightenment" and "The King's Demons".
  • Cover Illustration: Amazing15
  • Recorded: 19th and 20th January 2012
  • Recording Location: Moat Studios
  • Released: June 2012
  • ISBN: 978-1-84435-629-4

On the Back Cover:

Audio - The Butcher of Brisbane

Adopting the alias of Weng-Chiang, the 51st century war criminal Magnus Greel will one day arrive in Victorian London by Time Cabinet – only to meet his doom, his plans undone by the Time Lord known as the Doctor.

The Doctor never believed he'd meet Greel again. But when a TARDIS trip to companion Tegan's home town goes wrong, the Doctor ends up in the younger Greel's heyday – in a world on the brink of all-out war.

With the Doctor at the mercy of Greel's alien associate Findecker and his army of mutations, Tegan is about to learn just why they called Greel 'The Butcher of Brisbane'…


On the Inside Cover:

Writer's Notes

Can anything be nicer (or more terrifying) as a writer than being asked to come up with the sequel to your favourite Who story?

Well, Talons of Weng-Chiang would take a lot of beating. In fact, wine-like, it improves with time, and it was vintage to start off with. How on Earth can anyone improve on that?

Fortunately The Butcher of Brisbane isn't a sequel. It comes beforehand (or in the future). So there's no Victorian fog, no Tongs or chorus girls and no Jago and Litefoot. Those distant screams you heard a few months ago were me trying to juggle together the abundance of random clues about 51st century Earth that Robert Holmes scatters through his Talons script: Brisbane, Peking (not Beijing), the Icelandic Alliance, Findecker's double nexus particle, the Filipino army advancing on Reykjavik... hang on, Mr Holmes. Iceland is an island! You're sitting up there on a cloud laughing your celestial socks off, aren't you? And then, after about three weeks of head-banging, things began to fall into place - the 51st century is another Ice Age. The sea is frozen! Welcome to the home life of Magnus Greel and his army of talking dingoes.

Marc Platt
April 2012

Director’s Notes

What I like most about Marc Platt's writing is the scale and ambition. Writing deeply plotted and multi-layered stories is no small task; throw three companions into the mix and it's quite the complicated jigsaw.

And as if that wasn't enough, he goes on to populate his stories with a truckload of the most wonderfully inventive characters, each written with such attention to detail they leap from the page. It's always fascinating to hear Marc's stories being performed, to hear for the first time such a unique mix of voices sparring with each other. All credit to the cast who have brought these characters to life with such passion and energy. And all credit to David Richardson for pulling together such a sterling and stellar cast in the first place.

It's a measure of Marc's skill that he not only manages to write such complex and compelling stories time and again, but that each story is such an entertaining rollercoaster ride. His scripts are as much of a joy to read as they are to record. I hope you find The Butcher of Brisbane as much of a joy to listen to.

Ken Bentley
April 2012


Full Cast List:

The Doctor Peter Davison
Tegan Jovanka Janet Fielding
Vislor Turlough Mark Strickson
Nyssa Sarah Sutton
Magnus Greel Angus Wright
Dr Sa Yy Findecker Rupert Frazer
Ingrid Bjarnsdottir Felicity Duncan
Ragan Crezzen Daniel Weyman
Sasha Dialfa Daisy Ashford
Eugene Duplessis John Banks
Mr Sin Alex Mallinson
Kaori Daisy Ashford
Chops/Guard/Reporter/Autovoice John Banks
Stewardess Felicity Duncan

The Production Team:

Writer Marc Platt
Director Ken Bentley
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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