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Audio - Tomb Ship
Tomb Ship
(Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby)

May 2014's release is "Tomb Ship". Written by Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby, who previously wrote "The Doomsday Quatrain", this story stars Peter Davison, as the Fifth Doctor, and Sarah Sutton as his travelling companion Nyssa.

In this story The Doctor and Nyssa find themselves trapped inside a floating space pyramid, along with a family of ruthless treasure-seekers and a horde of man-eating insectoids...

Directed by Ken Bentley this story was recorded on the 10th and 11th December 2013.

Joining Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton in this audio story are: Eve Karpf, Amy Ewbank, James Hayward, Jonathan Forbes, Ben Porter and Phil Mulryne.

Fifth Doctor
Fifth Doctor

"Tomb Ship" sees the TARDIS arrive in the corridors of a vast, lethal, space-travelling pyramid. 'We wanted something creepy and old', co-writer Gordon Rennie has revealed, 'with a sort of Tomb Raider or Indiana Jones vibe to it. The ship is a floating, ancient tomb - Egyptian-like, with a sort of god-king vibe at the centre of it, and a whole bunch of plunderers on board looking to grab treasure. No-one really knows what the treasure is, but they think it's going to be something really important; The Doctor knows it's something very different'.

Those plunderers are a family, led by uncompromising matriarch Virna. 'It's a mother and her sons', Gordon Rennie has revealed. 'It's a bit vague how many sons she has, but it seems to be a lot. She's a very strong character. She is the villain of the piece, but villains don't think they're villains - no-one thinks they're evil - and we always liked that idea. So everything she's doing is for her family, for her sons. We wanted a strong maternal instinct in her, even if it's quite murderous, if that makes sense. Riches at any cost, even if she has to make sacrifices...'.

Of the sons, Gordon Rennie has revealed 'we knew we wanted the two strongmen ones, who are kind of under the mum's thumb, and a younger son who's weak but good, and starts to rebel once he realises his mum's not everything that he thinks she is. You just try to put in as much personality as possible'.

The family aren't the only threat The Doctor and Nyssa will encounter in the labyrinthine passages of the tomb ship. 'There's lots of traps and alien beasties between them and their goal'. However to work on audio, those traps needed to be cerebral rather than visual: 'We wanted death traps in it, but we also wanted puzzle-solving as well, that would involve a lot more talking. I think the main inspiration for that was "Pyramids of Mars" again, where The Doctor's got to think his way through traps and logic puzzles, that would involve dialogue and talking'.

In this story Virna is portrayed as being unfathomably cold and ruthless. As revealed by Gordon Rennie to sell a character with such an extreme personality 'You just try to ground the character in reality. You don't want some sort of moustache-twirling hand-rubbing villain; everything she does, she can justify to herself. That's how you write a good villain - they can always convince themselves that they're doing it for the right reasons...'.


Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 63 (May 2014)

Audio - Big Finish Magazine - Vortex: Issue 63
Vortex: Issue 63
 Issue 63 of 'Vortex - The Big Finish Magazine' was also sent out to subscribers with this release.

  In this issue...

    1. Sneak Previews and Whispers – Terrahawks

    2. Editorial
    - Paul Spragg

    3. Article - Fisher Queen - Charlotte Pollard: India Fisher

    4. Article - Solo Act - Doctor Who: Sarah Sutton

    5. Article - Darrow: Ledge - Blake's 7: Paul Darrow

    6. Article - Scripting 7 - Blake's 7: The Liberator Chronicles

    7. Article - Listen Again... Doctor Who: Patient Zero

    8. Vortex Mail

    Forthcoming Releases - May 2014 - February 2015

Published By: Big Finish Productions Ltd
Managing Editor: Jason Haigh-Ellery
Editor: Paul Spragg
Executive Producer: Nicholas Briggs
Line Producer: David Richardson
Design: Mark Plastow
Published: May 2014
Page Count: 24

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  • Featuring the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa.
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 23'05", 2 = 23'42", 3 = 21'57", 4 = 31'45"
  • Total Length: 100'29"
  • Also features 24 minutes of trailers, music and special behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and producers.
  • Cover Illustration: Damien May
  • Recorded: 10th and 11th December 2013
  • Recording Location: Moat Studios
  • Released: May 2014
  • ISBN: 978-1-78178-312-2

On the Back Cover:

Audio - Tomb Ship

The TARDIS brings The Doctor and Nyssa to a vast pyramid, floating in space. A tomb ship – the last resting-place of the God-King of the Arrit, an incredibly advanced and incredibly ancient civilisation, long since extinct.

They’re not alone, however. Another old dynasty walks its twisted, trap-ridden passages – a family of tomb raiders led by a fanatical matriarch, whose many sons and daughters have been tutored in tales of the God-King’s lost treasure.

But those who seek the God-King will find death in their shadow. Death from below. Death from above. Death moving them back and forward, turning their own hearts against them.

Because only the dead will survive.


On the Inside Cover:

Director’s Notes

Tomb Ship
I'm a sucker for a slice of Egyptology, so when the script for Tomb Ship landed on my desk, I was instantly hooked. The merry band of reprobates that populate this story are the sort of characters I love to cast. Earthy and theatrical, they've been brought vividly to life by a small cast of some of my favourite actors.

Acting, in my opinion, requires two things in equal parts: truth and theatricality. Like a perfect cocktail, it's the mixture of these two ingredients that makes, for example, Al Pacino such a compelling actor. And the cast of Tomb Ship is equally well made. The bickering and seething resentment is played beautifully. It's comedic when it needs to be, and brutally dark when it matters most. When you listen back it sounds effortless, and so it should. But it takes training and great skill to balance all these qualities with such precision, and I'm always in awe of actors who can be so bold, brave and utterly brilliant.


Writer’s Notes

A giant, monolithic alien construct, floating through space for millennia, drifting through memories of Alien and Rendezvous with Rama, the starlight from the distant suns of the Warhammer 40,000 universe dimly reflecting off the impenetrable black glass of its hull.

At its heart, older than the builders of the pyramids of Mars, dreaming the dreams of the living-but-dead Lovecraftian beings of the Cthulhu mythos, the tomb ofan alien racegod-king; the resting place of a being born in the fierce heat of some eons-ago twin of a world that's the ancient river-valley of the Nile writ large.

Encroaching upon it, a party of tomb raiders, walking in the footsteps of Indiana Jones, Lara Croft, Howard Carter and all those salvage crews and survey teams who seem doomed to find and explore strange alien reliquaries. Between them and the treasures they seek, a maze of lethal traps, tests and lures, their roots lying in teenage Dungeons & Dragons games and memories of the fiendish imaginations of the architects of the City of the Exxilons and the builders of the Temple of Doom and the Cube labyrinth.

Around them, menacing insectoid scuttlings; creatures twisted together from the DNA of the Wirrn and the imagination of HR Giger. Every maze must have its monster; every tomb must have its guardian.

Arriving among all this, a traveller who has passed through a thousand other stories, with a thousand more still ahead of him. One more story, one more adventure...



Full Cast List:

The Doctor Peter Davison
Nyssa Sarah Sutton
Virna Eve Karpf
Jhanni Amy Ewbank
Hisko James Hayward
Heff Jonathan Forbes
Murs Ben Porter
Rek/Hologram-Fresco Voice Phil Mulryne
Other Voices Francesca Hunt

The Production Team:

Writers Gordon Rennie and Emma Beeby
Director Ken Bentley
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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