Langford returns as The Doctor's companion Melanie
Bush, partnering Colin Baker as the Sixth
in three new full-cast audio dramas from Big Finish
Productions that started in January 2013.
for January 2013 is "The Wrong Doctors" that
has been written by Matt Fitton and directed by Nicholas
Briggs. It was recorded on the 1st and 2nd May 2012.
guest stars Tony Gardner (Lead Balloon, Fresh
playing the part of Stapleton Petherbridge. Also starring
are: James Joyce, Patricia Leventon, Beth Chalmers
and John Banks.
Bush accompanied the Sixth Doctor and the Seventh
Doctor in their television adventures from 1986 to 1987. Her
appearance was in "The Trial of a Time Lord" -
but in that adventure, she was already a seasoned TARDIS traveller...
thing Big Finish Productions has not done with Melanie
Bush, and the one thing Bonnie has not done with
Melanie Bush, is her first meeting with The Doctor’.
As revealed by Script Editor Alan Barnes. ‘You
will remember that, for her, the meeting takes place
after "The Trial of a Time Lord"; for him,
during "The Trial of a Time Lord"... except
they go off together at the end of "The Trial
of a Time Lord"’.
1986 story "The Trial of a Time Lord", the
Sixth Doctor met Melanie, a companion plucked from his
own future. At the end of the story, they departed together,
even though it seemed that The Doctor wasn't supposed
to have met her yet, and she was in the middle of travelling
with an older version of himself. It has always been
assumed that this was resolved off-¬screen: The Doctor
dropping Future-Mel off, and later encountering a younger
version for the adventures seen in the television stories
that followed. But now, thanks to Big Finish Productions,
that missing link is being explored - but not in a straightforward
as revealed by Script Editor Alan Barnes: ‘Navigating
one's way through that tagliatelle of timelines,
not to mention a whole spaghetti junction's worth
of novels and so on, was always going to be a near-impossible
task - which the brilliant Matt Fitton has pulled
off with aplomb in "The Wrong Doctors"!’
because there are multiple versions of both characters
revealed by writer Matt Fitton, ‘basically
Alan's brief was that he wanted to have Mel meeting
for the first time. Given that Bonnie Langford was
coming back to the fold after a long time away (her
last Big Finish Productions appearance was back in
2007 in the Sixth Doctor stories "The
Wishing Beast" and "The
Vanity Box"), he was
keen to do an introductory story for her. It was The
Doctor, after Trial, taking home the Mel he's already
met but shouldn't yet be travelling with, but also
a Doctor some time later in his timeline planning to
pick her up for the first time, and swapping so the
wrong Doctors end up with the wrong Mels’.
importantly The older Doctor in this story is post-Evelyn
Smythe - the audio companion whose time in the TARDIS
occurs between The Doctor ditching the older Mel
the younger Mel, and whose gentle character tempered
The Doctor. As also revealed by writer Matt Fitton ‘The
basic thing that I hung onto with Mel is that she's
got this steely moral core. She knows what's right
and what's wrong, and that's what The Doctor likes
about her. Bonnie has got that power in her performances
- Mel will stand up for things and be quite feisty
shadow does loom large’, Matt Fitton
whole point is that The Doctor feels her loss, and
thinks it's time to take the next step on his journey
- and he thinks that's Mel. But that's what makes things
go wrong initially: you can't force the hand of fate’.
- Featuring the Sixth
Doctor and Melanie
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 120 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 28'55", 2 =
26'50", 3 = 28'43", 4 = 35'30"
- Total Length: 119'58"
- Also features 32 minutes of trailers, music
and special behind-the-scenes interviews with
cast and producers.
- Cover Illustration: Mark Plastow
- Recorded: 1st and 2nd May 2012
- Recording Location: Moat Studios
- Released: January 2013
- ISBN: 978-1-78178-051-0
On the Back Cover:
Evelyn gone, the Doctor sets course for his destiny...
in the form of his first meeting with Miss Melanie
Bush, a computer programmer from the village of Pease
Pottage, currently busy rehearsing with the local
Amateur Dramatic Society – and blissfully unaware
that her future is on its way, in his TARDIS.
that two TARDISes. Because at that very moment, a
slightly younger Doctor is flying into Pease Pottage,
too – returning his future companion Melanie
Bush to her rightful place and time, after they were
flung together during the course of his Time Lord
travel is a complicated business – the iguanadon
terrorising Pease Pottage being a case in point.
But how much more complicated could things possibly
become, if the wrong Doctor were to bump into the
|On the Inside Cover:
some time now, I've made it my business to
direct the Colin
Baker stories. Colin's
an old mate who I've worked with now for many
since we started our audio adventures, Colin
has given us his fullest support, and in many
ways he's been involved in some of our most
radical, experimental storylines. He's certainly
lot of interesting companions too!
her fairly long absence from the audio adventures,
I was very excited to be working with Bonnie
Langford again. Bonnie also has a special place
in my heart. When I became Big Finish's executive
producer, I phoned round all our regular actors
to sort of reintroduce myself and talk to them
about their hopes for future productions, and
Bonnie was one of the first people I spoke to.
I shall always remember her huge enthusiasm for
working with us. As you may know, Bonnie's been
very busy in America for some time, but throughout
that we've kept in touch, working out the precise
timing of her return to the audio adventures.
She is just such a professional, through and
through, and so easy-going and fun. I sincerely
hope it isn't so long before she returns again.
well as having a lovely cast this story was made particularly
enjoyable to work on because of the script. When we
find good writers who can really deliver great Doctor
Who audio, we grab them in an embrace of doom (!),
greedily sucking all the ideas out of them. Matt Fitton
has a rare gift and there's something about his work
that makes me confident in him from the first line
of any script he writes.
My only regret is that I wasn't available to direct
the other two stories in this rip-roaring trilogy for
good old 'Sixie', as Colin affectionately calls himself.
Luckily, the esteemed Barnaby Edwards was able to step
into the breach... but that's another two exciting
Colins. Two Bonnies. What more could you wish for?
Really, this thing just wrote itself.
off a significant year for Doctor Who with
a multi-Doctor story is something I never imagined
I'd do. After he
said such lovely things about my previous outing
for his incarnation, I wanted to do Colin proud.
better way to celebrate Big Finish's contribution
to fifty years of time travel than to pay tribute
Big Finish Sixth
of course, it's a welcome back for Mel.
Brave, clever, Melanie Jane Bush. The girl from
English village who ends up exploring time and
space. I was keen to give Bonnie something interesting
do after so long away from the fold. So really,
this is a Mel adventure, accompanied by 'the wrong
from her own point of view. (And as script editor
Alan Barnes can attest, I've a colour-coded diagram
that point of view...)
Nick Briggs put together a brilliant cast (including
the first name I suggested for the villain) and the
recording was a pleasure, as always. Thanks to Toby
Robinson for his technical wizardry and warm hospitality.
Here's to the next fifty years!
| Full Cast List:
The Production Team:
||Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery