The third and final story of this trilogy of Sixth
Doctor and Flip Jackson adventures is William Gallagher's "Scavenger" - a near-future adventure in which an Anglo-Indian mission to rid the stratosphere of space junk goes horribly wrong when a so-called 'zombie satellite' returns to life.
This story has been directed by Nicholas Briggs and was recorded on the 25th and 26th June 2013.
It stars Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor accompanied by Lisa Greenwood as Flip Jackson.
This story also guest stars Anjli Mohindra, best known to Doctor Who fans for playing the part of Rani Chandra in forty episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures. She has also previously appeared in the Bernice Summerfield box set "Road Trip". Also starring are: Tariq Bhatti, Kate McEwen, Tania Rodrigues and John Banks.
The Sixth Doctor and Flip arrive on a space station above Earth in 2071, to watch the launch of the Anglo-Indian Salvage 2 mission. Salvage 2 is designed to clear up all the junk humankind has left in space: all those long-dead satellites. There's a lot to clear up - and that's before Salvage 2 finds something very unexpected floating among the debris...
Mention of technological scrap orbiting the Earth instantly brings to mind the film Gravity. However, "Scavenger" was written by William Gallagher and recorded long before the film was released. 'Gravityshowed that if you don't get out of the way of space junk, it will rip through you', William Gallagher has stated. 'But Scavenger shows what happens when space junk turns around to hunt you!'
William Gallagher has revealed that his research into the extent of this space debris 'made me go pale. We know that there is debris in orbit -what I didn't appreciate was just how much there is. There's this theory called the Kessler syndrome which suggests at some point there will be so much junk that any spacecraft we try to launch will be smashed to pieces. There's a debate whether we've already reached the Kessler syndrome in certain bands of Earth orbit. Once I knew I was going to set Scavenger in the future I assumed I should exaggerate the figures to show it's all worsening, but I couldn't. The seriousness of the problem is such that the story became more realistic all by itself. But I do hope there's wit to be had in it too, and once you've heard how The Doctor approaches space debris, you'll know exactly what fun idea sparked me off'.
- Featuring the Sixth
Doctor and Flip Jackson.
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 120 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 26'25", 2 = 26'14", 3 = 27'47", 4 = 28'55"
- Total Length: 109'21"
- Also features 26 minutes of trailers, music
and special behind-the-scenes interviews with
cast and producers.
- Cover Illustration: Damien May
- Recorded: 25th and 26th June 2013
- Recording Location: Moat Studios
- Released: March 2014
- ISBN: 978-1-78178-300-9
On the Back Cover:
Thursday 28 May 2071: the day the Anglo-Indian Salvage 2 rocket launches. Its mission: to clean up space; to remove from Earth’s orbit over a century’s worth of man-made junk…
From the viewing window of a nearby space station, the Doctor and Flip have a unique view of Salvage 2 as it sets about its essential task – and of the disaster that unfolds when Salvage 2 encounters something it’s not been programmed to deal with. Something not of human manufacture…
Back on Earth, the Doctor fights to save Flip from becoming part of a 500-year tragedy being played out in orbit, hundreds of miles above. And millions will die if he fails.
|On the Inside Cover:
I had no idea there was so much junk orbiting the Earth. I knew there was some, maybe I even knew there was quite a bit, but how many dead satellites and broken bits of rockets could there be? This is how much: unless something is done now, we are in severe danger of never being able to go into space again.
There are thousands upon thousands of fragments and debris and what I didn't even imagine is that they all run into each other. There are constant collisions and the real International Space Station has to keep moving its orbit to avoid being hit by the bigger pieces.
We humans go into space and the first thing we do is litter our backyard. I wanted to write about that and then as I learned of plans to clean this stuff up one dead satellite at a time, I began wondering if absolutely every piece must be man-made.
Scavenger has become an exploration of what our own culture means to each of us as individuals. But it began as a thriller about what would happen if just one fragment of that space junk was alien - and wasn't really junk.
It's in the nature of racially integrated casting that you should cast actors regardless of their own racial origins, but it has. to be said that in deciding an Earth setting for this story, Alan Barnes and I made a conscious decision to set it outside of the countries we'd 'normally' pick. It was the obvious thing to do to make it a British or American space agency... but what about an Indian space agency? When we realized the simple answer was 'Why not?' it gave us some exciting casting possibilities. I'd met Anjli Mohindra at a couple of Doctor Who conventions over the preceding few months, and I'd asked her if she'd like to come to do a Doctor Who for us. She was keen to do so. So when this play came along, I found myself apologising for being perhaps a bit obvious in asking her to play a part because the character was Indian. For her part, Anjli was really helpful in deciding just how Indian her character should sound. She took me through several layers of Indian accent, and we decided upon what we felt really worked for the character. It was also fun for Anjli to work with Lisa Greenwood, because the two of them had met at those Doctor Who conventions I mentioned. Now, Lisa and Anjli both being girls of a certain (young) age got on like a house on fire. When I told Lisa that Anjli would be coming in, she squealed with delight, and it has to be said that when the two of them were together, talking and texting at the same time (as young people do, you know), everyone else might have been invisible. They were in 'young peoples' world, where boring old chaps like me didn't feature at all!
| Full Cast List:
|Philippa 'Flip' Jackson
|Anarkali/Melissa/Isra Tech 2
Commander Gabbard/Scavenger/Isra Tech 1/Security Guy
The Production Team:
|Neil Gardner and Jon Ewen
|Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery