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Eldrad Must Die!

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Audio - Eldrad Must Die!
Eldrad Must Die!
(Marc Platt)

The release for April 2013 is called "Eldrad Must Die!" and sees Peter Davison, in the first of three releases for 2013, 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.

This story has been written by Marc Platt and has been directed by Ken Bentley. It was recorded on the 11th and 12th December 2012.

As the title suggests this time the Fifth Doctor and his three companions will be taking on Eldrad - the silicon-based psychopath that was last seen in the 1976 Fourth Doctor story "The Hand of Fear".

For the second time in as many years, writer Marc Platt is bringing back a one-off Fourth Doctor foe opposite the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, and Turlough. ‘At first glance, Eldrad's original story, "The Hand of Fear", doesn't seem to have the rich resonance that Magnus Greel and "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" has’, admits Marc Platt, who wrote for the latter in last year's audio "The Butcher of Brisbane", ‘but look a little closer and there's a lot going on. There's a choice of Eldrads, male or female. The svelte, bejewelled and beauteous Eldrad, played by Judith Paris, or the big, shouty rugby prop Eldrad, played by Stephen Thorne. Of course, it's the latter who is the rightful incumbent of the role, because he's the real Kastrian Eldrad. I assume that's who the fans will expect’.

Fifth Doctor
Fifth Doctor

A rematch with Eldrad, the tyrant king of Kastria crawling out of the abyss he fell into at the end of "The Hand of Fear, was the idea of script editor Alan Barnes. ‘Eldrad's comeback wasn't something I'd considered’, Marc Platt has stated, ‘but that was a challenge in a good way. The less obvious ones make you think harder. The other main difference from Magnus Greel is that while "The Butcher of Brisbane" is a prequel, "Eldrad Must Die!" is a sequel’.

As revealed by Alan Barnes, ‘Because it's written by the brilliant Marc Platt, you can rest assured this is far more than just a “return/revenge of...” sort of deal, beginning with the TARDIS travellers investigating strange crystals strangling sealife in the fishing town of Ambermouth...

But the big question is how would the mad tyrant cope after being left alone an empty planet with the crumbled bodies of his people, who would rather kill themselves than face his return. He's not happy, one suspects.

Marc Platt felt that this was not really enough plot to make a four-part story. ‘So what about all the other shattered bits of Eldrad that were flung across the galaxy when his ship exploded? Like the original Hand, are they not all potential Eldrads? Did anyone think of that?’.

But what about the character of Eldrad? As revealed by Marc Platt ‘On audio, the voice creates the character and we know Stephen Thorne can do that. He's not just been Azal and Omega and Eldrad and Third Ogron on the Right. He's been a terrific Asian and Treebeard on radio as well. I really wanted to make Eldrad more tragic’.

One of this story's companions also stands out in particular. ‘The companions should lead a story just as much as The Doctor’, Marc Platt has revealed. ‘Well - almost! But I do worry that one of them is going to feel left out. Nyssa was right at the heart of Brisbane and Turlough unintentionally got a bit sidelined in the process. This time, Turlough is firmly centre stage and we learn a bit more about his imposed schooldays at Brendon. Tegan is rarely in the back seat!

Also staring in this story are: Nancy Carroll, Pip Torrens, Jessica Claire, Brian Protheroe and Mark Field.



Tegan Jovanka



Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 50 (April 2013)

Audio - Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 50
Vortex: Issue 50
 Issue 50 of 'Vortex - The Big Finish Magazine' was also sent out to subscribers with this release.

  In this issue...

    1. Sneak Previews and Whispers – Jago & Litefoot – Series Six

    2. Editorial
    - Nick Briggs

    3. Article - Birthday Bonanza!

    4. Article - Companions In Control

    5. Vortex Mail

    6. Article - Exploring The Frontiers – Bernice Summerfield

    7. Article - Jalx-ing Apart – The Justice of Jalxar

    8. Article - Listen Again – Red Dawn

    9. Forthcoming Releases - April 2013 – January 2014

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: April 2013
Page Count: 28

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  • Featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan Jovanka and Turlough.
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 29'19", 2 = 28'49", 3 = 23'57", 4 = 35'54"
  • Total Length: 117'59"
  • Also features 35 minutes of trailers, music and special behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and producers.
  • Cover Illustration: Anthony Lamb
  • Recorded: 11th and 12th December 2012
  • Recording Location: Moat Studios
  • Released: April 2013
  • ISBN: 978-1-78178-072-5

On the Back Cover:

Audio - Eldrad Must Die!

"A Doctor, curse his name, threw me down among the dead… but I endure. I am Eldrad… and I must live!"

A nuclear icebreaker, foundering in Arctic waters. Seabirds washed up in the fishing resort of Ambermouth, their wings encrusted with crystals. A shining artefact of uncertain provenance, up for sale on an auction site.

All of these things are linked, as the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough are about to discover. Linked to the rebirth of a genocidal tyrant, presumed dead many years ago…

For the sake of the planets Earth and Kastria alike… Eldrad must die!


On the Inside Cover:

Director’s Notes

I've been responsible for helping Big Finish recreate a number of villains from the television series, but none have required so much attention to detail as this one. Naturally Stephen Thorne is magnificent as Eldrad, fitting right back into his boots like it was yesterday. But it's the nature of possession that had the biggest impact on our work. Elisabeth Sladen created such a unique performance in The Hand of Fear, unlike any other possession I've seen. It was mercurial. Thirty-five years later, it's our job not to copy but to recreate such a possession, in a way that's recognisable to the listener yet still unique to the characters in our story, and the actors playing them. It wasn't a difficult or painful task, but it forced us to challenge ourselves more than we might if we were creating this for the first time. Elisabeth is such a popular actress - and Sarah Jane such an enduring character - that I felt we owed it to her to allow her to inform our work as much as possible. This one's for her.


Writer's Notes

Eldrad Must Die!

So the great crystalline criminal Eldrad is dead, is he? At the end of The Hand of Fear, even the Fourth Doctor doesn't seem sure. But he throws Eldrad's ring down the chasm on Kastria after its owner and leaves anyway. That's a bit careless.

An intriguing question is how a classic story would have panned out with a different Doctor and different companions. The Fifth Doctor is more concerned and fastidious - unlike the Fourth, he's a worrier. His companions are more demonstrative, even bolshier. Would that make matters even worse?

And what about the other bits of Eldrad? The fragments that were blasted in all directions across the galaxy when they should have been totally obliterated? Surely even the smallest silicon smithereen could regenerate into yet another Eldrad. But will it be male or female? Animal, vegetable or mineral? How would it cope without the original Eldrad's genetic ring? And shouldn't someone responsible be doing something to clear up the mess?

I've written a few prequels and sequels featuring established Doctor Who adversaries, but there's an extra thrill when, amongst an excellent cast, the creator of several iconic villains takes up one of his mantles again. And Stephen Thorne is simply wonderful returning as Eldrad - but which Eldrad? Old or new? Regenerated, or simply left behind?



Full Cast List:

The Doctor Peter Davison
Tegan Jovanka Janet Fielding
Vislor Turlough Mark Strickson
Nyssa Sarah Sutton
Eldrad Stephen Thorne
Mulkris Nancy Carroll
Charlie Gibbs Pip Torrens
Kate Sherrin Jessica Claire
Bob Gell Brian Protheroe
Jim Mark Field
Waitress Jessica Claire
Captain O'Brien Brian Protheroe
Lt Parker/Rocco Mark Field

The Production Team:

Writer Marc Platt
Director Ken Bentley
Sound/Music Wilfredo Acosta
Theme Music David Darlington
Script Editor Alan Barnes
Producer David Richardson
Executive Producers Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery
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