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Audio - Spaceport Fear
Spaceport Fear
(William Gallagher)

The release for February 2013 is "Spaceport Fear" - a Sixth Doctor and Melanie Bush story starring Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford.

This story has been written by William Gallagher and has been directed by Barnaby Edwards. It was recorded on the 5th and 6th September 2012.

Guest star Ronald Pickup, whose film credits include The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, plays Elder Bones. He has also played the part of the Physician in the 1964 First Doctor story "The Reign of Terror" and as Kestorian in the Eighth Doctor audio story "Time Works".

Also staring are: Ronald Pickup, Isabel Fay, Gwilym Lee, Beth Chalmers, Adrian Mackinder, John Banks and Barnaby Edwards.

Sixth Doctor
Sixth Doctor

This is a real "does what it says on the tin" title’, Script Editor Alan Barnes has stated. ‘The Doctor and Mel trapped in an alien spaceport, 400 years after the last departure. It's by William Gallagher, whose quirky horror style made his previous story "Wirrn Isle" such a success’.

Last time I was writing for the trilogy that introduced Flip’, William Gallagher has revealed, ‘so there was a lot of discussion about her and how the three stories worked together. But Mel is much more established, so with this the first I really knew about the other two stories is when I pitched an idea that turned out to be preposterously close to next month's concluding one. Mine wouldn't have been as good, to be frank, as Matt Fitton and Nick Briggs had already found much more and gone much further than my idea, but the core was too similar. Mine did have a spaceport, though, and really everything since grew out of that one word and that one setting’.

The fact that the new Mel stories are standalone allowed William Gallagher more freedom than he'd had with "Wirm Isle". ‘All I was given this time was the Sixth Doctor and Mel. But even more than with "Wirm Isle", it all grew in the discussion with Alan Barnes. Everything did, but most especially the monster. Until this story, I would've told you that I am rubbish at creating monsters: I felt fortunate to be given the Wirrn before, and I will forever believe that humans make the best adversaries, but this time I am very proud of my Wailer. Well, less 'my' Wailer and more 'ours' - Alan kept finding ways to make it nastier’.

Melanie Bush

I did feel an obligation to Mel’, William Gallagher has stated, ‘or maybe really to Bonnie Langford. I wasn't a fan of the character, but I was and am a fan of Bonnie's, so I was determined to give her lots to do and my sole disappointment in Spaceport Fear is that a fluke of my schedule meant I wasn't able to meet Bonnie at the recording’.

I love confined spaces in drama, and the spaceport gave me something new: it is a very, very big space that feels confined because it's in darkness. So I hope we have something of a scarily epic journey across the spaceport. There is a moment when I had to find a way for a character to light up the place and it took me an entire day to think of it but it was worth every minute. Because now you get about one second of thinking how clever that character is, then I hope you get a shiver because you realise how dangerous the idea really is. And then of course there is always the question of what you're going to see when you turn on the light’.

Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 48 (February 2013)

Audio - Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 48
Vortex: Issue 48 
 Issue 48 of 'Vortex - The Big Finish Magazine' was also sent out to subscribers with this release.

  In this issue...

    1. Sneak Previews and Whispers – Doctor Who: The Light at the End

    2. Editorial
    - David Richardson

    3. Article - Ship Shape – Blake’s 7: Warship

    4. Article - Storm Front – The Armageddon Storm

    5. Vortex Mail

    6. Article - Ah, Vienna – Vienna

    7. Article - Time Team – Gallifrey V

    8. Article - Let It Reign! – Reign of Terror

    9. Article - Sympathy For The Devil

    10. Forthcoming Releases - February 2013 – November 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: February 2013
Page Count: 24

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  • Featuring the Sixth Doctor and Melanie Bush
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 30'12", 2 = 28'53", 3 = 30'08", 4 = 32'16"
  • Total Length: 121'29"
  • Also features 21 minutes of trailers, music and special behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and producers.
  • Cover Illustration: Mark Plastow
  • Recorded: 5th and 6th September 2012
  • Recording Location: Moat Studios
  • Released: February 2013
  • ISBN: 978-1-78178-052-7

On the Back Cover:

Audio - Spaceport Fear

Welcome to Tantane Spaceport – where the tribes of Business and Economy have been at war for all of four hundred years...

Welcome to Tantane Spaceport – where a terrible creature called the Wailer prowls the corridors around the Control Tower, looking to eat the unwary...

Welcome to Tantane Spaceport – where there is one Arrival: a battered blue Police Box containing the time-travelling Doctor and his companion, Mel...

Welcome to Tantane Spaceport – where there are no Departures. Ever.


On the Inside Cover:

Director’s Notes

Spaceport Fear

It was the English poet and literary critic Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (1863-1944) who first proposed the idea that there are only seven kinds of plot. He was making a specific point about narrative conflict devices which drive a story, but posterity has corrupted his idea into the hoary old lie that there are only seven kinds of story in the world: overcoming the monster; rags to riches; the quest; voyage and return; comedy; tragedy; rebirth.

Spaceport Fear is not merely one of these magnificent seven - it is all of them! It's refreshing to direct such a wide-ranging tale, but also daunting: you need to assemble a cast who are as happy with the tragedy as they are serious about the comedy. Here, I 'lucked out' massively. Ronald Pickup and the rest of the gang make this story what it is and I thank them deeply for it.

Finally, I do like a story which adheres to Quiller-Couch's other great literary maxim: 'Murder your darlings'.


Writer's Notes

Spaceport Fear

Originally, I proposed a tale that was so great you can hear it done better by Matt Fitton and Nicholas Briggs next month: my idea was preposterously close to a story they had already finished. But there was a difference: mine had a brief mention of a spaceport and Alan Barnes pointed out that there's not been a Big Finish set on one of those.

That setting gave me everything. I could have a confined space yet also make it enormous, I could have epic journeys across dangerous areas and I could set it in pitch blackness. Listening to it now, you can hear the darkness. I have no idea how they did that.

And I've no idea how they got Ronald Pickup to play Elder Bones. At the end of the recording, he thanked me for writing such a good part. I know he was just being nice, but I'm having that. You can't take that away from me now.

I love that my name goes on this: Alan came up with a fountain of ideas, my wife Angela Gallagher came up with the title, and I'll never tell that it wasn't me, all me.



Full Cast List:

The Doctor Colin Baker
Mel Bonnie Langford
Elder Bones Ronald Pickup
Naysmith Isabel Fay
Pretty Swanson Gwilym Lee
Galpan/Beauty Swanson Beth Chalmers
Rogers/Game Voice Adrian MacKinder
Waiter/Spaceport Announcer/Passenger John Banks
Information Booth Barnaby Edwards

The Production Team:

Writer William Gallagher
Director Barnaby Edwards
Sound/Music Richard Fox and Lauren Yason
Theme Music David Darlington
Script Editor Alan Barnes
Producer David Richardson
Executive Producers Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery
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