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Audio - The Shadow Heart

The Shadow Heart
(Jonathan Morris)

The release for November 2012 was "The Shadow Heart".

This story has been written by Jonathan Morris and concludes the ‘Three Doctor’ trilogy with the Seventh Doctor witnessing the fall of an intergalactic empire.

It has been directed by Ken Bentley and was recorded on the 16th and 17th May 2012.

Sylvester McCoy is joined by James Wilby, Kirsty Besterman, Chase Masterson, Eve Karpf, Alex Mallinson, John Banks and Jaimi Barbakoff .

Seventh Doctor
Seventh Doctor

Big Finish's three-Doctor epic, a thrilling run of stories in which different incarnations of the Time Lord have faced the same recurring thing, is coming to an end - and, behind the scenes, two science-fiction legends are colliding.

As with the Fifth Doctor in The Burning Prince and the Sixth Doctor in The Acheron Pulse, the Seventh Doctor is travelling alone in this story, and while there's no 'temporary companion' as such there's still a strong female lead for Sylvester McCoy to bounce off, in the form of actress Chase Masterson - best known as Rom's wife Leeta in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Chase Masterson's character is Vienna Salvatori - who Chase Masterson has revealed is a ‘bounty hunter, a mercenary, and she'll work wherever the price is right. Because she's so good at it, she doesn't really need to try that hard - she's brilliant! So in order to keep herself entertained, she talks smart, looks smart, acts smart, brings a kind of sex appeal to it... simply because being a bounty hunter wouldn't be as much fun otherwise!’.

Chase Masterson has also described her character’s relationship with The Doctor as being really fun. ‘She's companion-like in an adversarial way. The wonderful thing about Sylvester and The Doctor in this is that he really - and I'm sure he does this other times as well - he really befriends his adversaries, in a wonderful way. Vienna is about to capture him and turn him in, and it may cost him his life, but The Doctor has a way of enlisting her in a manner that takes everybody off-guard’.

I'd say it's action, but it's also got a fair dash of British farce’, Chase Masterson has also revealed when summing up this story. ‘It's funny, it's very fun, it's a romp’.

Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 45 (November 2012)

Audio - Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 45
Vortex: Issue 45
 Issue 45 of 'Vortex - The Big Finish Magazine' was also sent out to subscribers with this release.

  In this issue...

    1. Sneak Previews and Whispers – Vienna: The Memory Box

    2. Editorial
    - Nick Briggs

    3. Article - The Ruth of the World – Ruth Bradley

    4. Article - Valliant Voyagers – Voyage to Venus

    5. Article - A Heavenly Job

    6. Article - The Thrill of the Chase – The Shadow Heart

    7. Article - Loving the Alien – Drama Showcase

    Vortex Mail

    9. Article - Listen Again: …Ish

    10. Forthcoming Releases - November 2012 – August 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: November 2012
Page Count: 24

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  • Featuring the Seventh Doctor
  • Serial Number: 7Z/1
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 28'58", 2 = 30'45", 3 = 32'31", 4 = 40'02"
  • Total Length: 132'16"
  • Also features 17 minutes of trailers, music and special behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and producers
  • Cover Illustration: Alex Mallinson
  • Recorded: 16th and 17th May 2012
  • Recording Location: Moat Studios
  • Released: November 2012
  • ISBN: 978-1-78178-021-3

On the Back Cover:

Audio - The Shadow Heart

One empire has fallen and another has taken its place. The race known as The Wrath are expanding into new territory. Only the Earth Empire stands in their way.

It's been fifty years since the Doctor last visited this sector of space. And one man in particular has been awaiting his return. As the mistakes of his past come back to haunt him, and with a price on his head and bounty hunters on his tail, the Doctor is heading for a last reckoning.

The pieces are finally coming together.

Somewhere deep within The Shadow Heart.


On the Inside Cover:

Writer's Notes

As you'd expect, with The Shadow Heart the brief was to write a story concluding the arc which began in The Burning Prince and continued in The Acheron Pulse. But that wasn't enough to spark inspiration, so I set myself some extra challenges. My story would have to be epic. It would take place on four different planets, one per episode. It would involve spectacular space battles (always effective on audio). And at its shadowy heart, without wishing to spoil any surprises, it would be a time travel story told in a way that hasn't really been done before. Just to make life complicated.

It never ceases to be an honour and a delight to be asked to write for Big Finish, and in becoming one of the more prolific writers I feel a particular responsibility not to repeat myself and to make each story as different as possible from what's been done before. I think, with this story, I've achieved that; nowhere else will you find a superluminary space snail (stellar ammonite!) called Hercules, or a pub landlord like Starbaff, or a world of monkey-bats, or a planet sheared in two, or an insanely glamorous bounty hunter called Vienna Salvatori...

Jonathan Morris
August 2012

Director’s Notes

And so we reach the conclusion of this trilogy. Our final story is told in typical Seven style. So much so that even the Doctor doesn't realise he's behind it all.

The Shadow Heart is, even more so than the first two stories, a tragedy. And like all good tragedies, it's told with its fair share of laughs along the way. One of its crowning achievements is the invention of Vienna Salvatori, played by the magnificent Chase Masterson. Chase happened to be in England and happened to he working on another production for Big Finish when David emailed me to say he'd found our Vienna. It was perhaps the most inspired and perfect hit of spontaneous casting I've ever witnessed. I just hope Big Finish brings Vienna back!

But it's with a tinge of sadness that I say goodbye to this trilogy. It's rare for a director to have the amount of input I had into the form and style of a series of stories, and it's been a lot of fun seeing the trilogy through to its conclusion. I hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I did.

Ken Bentley
July 2012


Full Cast List:

The Doctor Sylvester McCoy
Kyla Sorsha James Wilby
Aliona Kirsty Besterman
Vienna Salavatori Chase Masterson
Talbar Eve Karpf
Horval Alex Mallinson
Captain Webster John Banks
Lt Dervish Jaimi Barbakoff
Starbaff/Wrath Emperor John Banks

The Production Team:

Writers Jonathan Morris
Director Ken Bentley
Sound/Music Wilfredo Acosta
Theme Music David Darlington
Script Editor John Dorney
Producer David Richardson
Executive Producers Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery
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