Big Finish Productions Doctor Who on Audio - Big Finish Productions Big Finish Productions
The Previous Story

Black and White

The Next Story
The Previous Story The Next Story



Audio - Black and White

Black and White
(Matt Fitton)

The release for August 2012 is "Black and White" and sees Sylvester McCoy, as the Seventh Doctor, with companions Ace, played by Sophie Aldred, and Hex, played by Philip Olivier. It is the second of three releases for the Seventh Doctor in 2012.

Written by Matt Fitton this story guest stars Stuart Milligan (Nixon in "The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon"). Also starring are: Maggie O'Neill, Amy Pemberton, Michael Rouse, Richard Bremmer, John Banks and James Hayward.

This story has been directed by Ken Bentley and was recorded on the 12th and 13th January 2012.

Seventh Doctor
Seventh Doctor

As revealed in "The Angel of Scutari", the TARDIS had its outer shell blown off, and when it reappeared it was white. It's stayed that way in all the Seventh Doctor's subsequent audio adventures with Ace and Hex. But in his solo audio adventures, it's been black.

Listeners noticed and script editor Alan Barnes, the mastermind behind the million-and-one arcs reaching their climax in the current Seventh Doctor trilogy has revealed that he ‘just stood back and rubbed my hands with glee! It's one of the maddest things we've done. But I also think it's going to be one of the best and most dramatic things we've done’.

Predictably, it involves some trademark Seventh Doctor obfuscation as revealed by Sophie Aldred, who plays Ace. ‘I think that's what was brilliant in the TV series - the fact that yes, he was this benevolent guy going around doing good things all the time, but actually he manipulated his companions as well’.

Philip Olivier, whose character Hex has suffered the brunt of The Doctor's activities of late though has commented. ‘Part of you is thinking 'Oh God, I'm being beaten up all the time, what is it?!', but the thing is it's such a great role to play, and I have such a great time doing it. In Black and White, he really does have a go at The Doctor, which has been a long time coming. It really comes to a boiling point. It's one of my favourite scripts I've had to do’.



Matt Fitton, this stories writer, has revealed ‘There are a lot of explanations and answers but poses a lot more questions as well. Initially, what Alan was very keen on doing was having the first episode set in the TARDIS, dealing with the revelations at the end of last month's "Protect and Survive". That sort of imposed a different structure onto it really’.

But Matt, whose pitch it has been revealed was ‘Doctor Who meets Beowulf’, wanted the script to be about stories and structure anyway - ‘so I ended up with a first episode that's sort of standalone, and then three episodes that are the beginning, middle, and end to the Beowulf story - but not necessarily in that order! I wanted to do something other than just a straightforward telling of the myth’. ‘I've taken the elements of the poem itself - Beowulf, Grendel, and a couple of other characters that appear in passing like Wiglaf and Weohstan - and used them to sort of extrapolate what the real events might have been had there been some alien intervention; what could have produced the story that everyone knows? The poem was only written down several centuries after the story became established - it was sort of a folk tale in the Scandinavian countries that got passed over to England, and even the Anglo Saxon version has added elements that weren't there originally - so I liked the idea that it's layer upon layer, changing depending on who's telling it’. "Black and White" is sort of like 300 crossed with Charlotte's Web. It's an epic battle story that's undercut by humour. Or The Vikings crossed with Bilko as spun by a sixth-century Alistair Campbell! And there's a bit of conspiracy thriller thrown in. Just what is The Doctor up to...?

Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 42 (August 2012)

Audio - Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 42
Vortex: Issue 42
 Issue 42 of 'Vortex - The Big Finish Magazine' was also sent out to subscribers with this release.

  In this issue...

    1. Sneak Previews and Whispers

    2. Editorial
    - David Richardson

    3. Article - Ask Auntie Iris

    4. Article - The Master of Luxor – In the Lap of Luxory

    5. Article - Sophie Aldred – Sophie’s Voice

    6. Article - Jan Chappell – Love of Chappell

    Vortex Mail

    8. Article - Carney Knowledge

    9. Forthcoming Releases - August 2012 – May 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: August 2012
Page Count: 24

Return to the top of this page


  • Featuring the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex
  • Serial Number: 7W/AB
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 27'40", 2 = 35'54", 3 = 30'56", 4 = 33'13"
  • Total Length: 127'43"
  • Also features 28 minutes of trailers, music and special behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and producers
  • This story takes place after the television story "Survival"
  • Cover Illustration: Barry Piggott
  • Recorded: 12th and 13th January 2012
  • Recording Location: Moat Studios
  • Released: August 2012
  • ISBN: 978-1-84435-944-8

On the Back Cover:

Audio - Black and White

The TARDIS arrives in the land of the Danes, where a young warrior seeks to rid the kingdom of Hrothgar from a cruel and terrifying demon. The brave young warrior is Beowulf; the monster is Grendel... or so his name will one day be written. But what's written down in black and white is sometimes very far from the truth – as the Doctor knows, and his companions are about to discover.


On the Inside Cover:

Writer's Notes

This is a story about stories. The stories we tell to make us look good. Or to make us look bad. Really bad. The ones we tell ourselves to keep us going, and the ones that inspire others to follow or to fear us.

When all you know about the world is what you hear, stories become even more significant. One of the oldest tales in European literature was only written down after several centuries in the telling, acquiring layer after layer in the process.

Stories need heroes and villains - but the truth is often grey. Even for the Doctor - especially the Seventh Doctor - things are rarely black and white. Except the 'things' that are...

Okay, enough with the cryptic. For me, Ace and Hex form one of the all-time great TARDIS teams. One of the beauties of writing Doctor Who is that I get to play with other people's toys. It's a privilege when they're so well-made, and I hope I've served them well. All of them.

I've loved every second of this journey: from first discussions, through the writing, to the recording days themselves. And what a cast!

Thank you Alan, and thank you Big Finish.

Matt Fitton
April 2012

Director’s Notes

It wasn't until I was recording Black and White that I realised just how fabulous the script is. It was probably only once I could hear the characters speaking for real that it dawned on me: Matt Fitton has rewritten the oldest and greatest story ever told, and he's done it with such aplomb that it not only works brilliantly, it could be the story of Beowulf. He's changed nothing, but he's changed everything. And the really witty thing is, by the end of it, you're not entirely sure who's written what. Who's telling the truth and who's lying. What's fact and what's fiction (so to speak). And how perfectly suited that is for the Seventh Doctor.

Yes, Ace and Hex once again find themselves on the blunt end of Seven's long arm. But for once they're not alone. Naturally, Hex isn't taking it well. The pressure's on, things are hotting up, and this time heads are going to roll. It's just a question of whose.

But possibly most satisfying of all, we discover why Seven's been so cagey for so long. Which of course begs the question: does this mean he might finally change?

Ken Bentley
June 2012


Full Cast List:

The Doctor Sylvester McCoy
Ace Sophie Aldred
Hex Philip Olivier
Captain Lysandra Aristedes Maggie O'Neill
Private Sally Morgan Amy Pemberton
Garundel Stuart Milligan
Young Beowulf Michael Rouse
Old Beowulf Richard Bremmer
Weohstan John Banks
Wiglaf James Hayward

The Production Team:

Writer Matt Fitton
Director Ken Bentley
Sound/Music Jamie Robertson
Theme Music David Darlington
Script Editor Alan Barnes
Producer David Richardson
Executive Producers Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery
Return to the top of this page

More stories with this Doctor

About Big Finish Productions

More stories with this Companion
More stories from this Writer
More stories from this Director
Audio Listings
KJ Software
Latest Audio News

Press to go back to the previous visited page Who Me Story Index
Doctor Who is the copyright of the British Broadcasting Corporation. No infringements intended. This site is not endorsed by the BBC or any representatives thereof.