With the strange title "...ish" this story has
taking the time travellers to a conference which has been
convened to compile the biggest dictionary in the universe.
It is a very unusual play which is very dependant on what
is being said, rather than any physical action. But
it does have an intriguing twist on a familiar scenario.
Released in August this story sees the debut of Australian
writer Phil Pascoe and reunites the Sixth
Doctor, played by Colin Baker, with
companion Peri, played by Nicola Bryant, for the first time since the 1999's
Terror". It has been directed by Nicholas Briggs and was recorded on the
6th and 8th March 2002.
The cast of "
ish" is one of the smallest Big
Finish Productions has used for a while and those joining Colin Baker and
Nicola Bryant are: Moray Treadwell, Marie Collett, Oliver Hume and Chris
|Characters n. pl. the
dramatis personae of a story, e.g. the cast of a performed script, often listed
before the text.
The Doctor pr. n. Wanderer in time and space.
"Mastery of English? I'd naturally reverse the roles. It's English that has
mastered me. What a remarkable, versatile language."
Peri pr. n.
U.S. (contraction of Perpugilliam Brown) College student companion of The Doctor (q.v.). "I'd tag along... if I felt like yet another run through The
Story of English."
Book pr. n. A projected artificial
intelligence or 'hologlyph', the organising principle of the Lexicon. "I'm a
Osefa (de Palabra Hftzbrn, Ph.D.) pr. n.
Professor of Lexicography, research supervisor to Book (q.v.) and head of the
Lexicon project; a distinguished academic in her middle years. "She always was
Bob Cawdrey, the Symposiarch pr. n. Wealthy
patron of learning, the underwriter of the work of Osefa (q.v.) and Book
(q.v.), and convenor of the conference to present the Lexicon. "Words are my
entire working life. I trade in them, they made my fortune. And never, not
once, did one leap off a page and hijack my brain."
Warren pr. n.
A young man who comes into opposition with the work of Book (q.v.), Osefa
(q.v.) and Cawdrey (q.v.). "I'm a logophile. From lógos and
Extras n. pl. Incidental characters. See also:
Attendees, Delegates, Academics, et al.
...ish suffix? Enclitic
word (?) of unknown origins, as playing with the voices of its victim(s) or
hosts; sentient (?) auto-memetic (?) fragment (?) of the Omniverbum (q.v.?).
See also ...ish?? ...ish? ...ish?
|Extracts from Book's
Lexicon, chief editor Professor Hftzbrn, unpublished.
| Words - where
would be without them? They form the basis of a language and a means of
communication through history. As The Doctor states 'English! What a
remarkable versatile language. Ever expanding, adapting, surviving but never
compromising it's integrity nor it's poetry. One of the foremost achievements
of humankind, a living language in it's truest sense and a language worth
But what is Ish and what does it mean? According
Book in the Department of Lexicographic Studies it is almost a word but not
quite. 'Almost a word. Not quite. A fragment. Something. Slightly
But can the findings of The Lexicon be trusted? Because there
is a murder amongst a convocation of linguists, lexicologists and logomaniacs
who are attempting to showcase the most comprehensive dictionary of the English
language ever written - called simply "The Lexicon".
The Doctor and
Peri arrive in the university just as the Head of the Department of
Lexicographic Studies, Professor Osefa de Palabra Hftzbrn, is found dead in the
Scriptorium. And so The Doctor is drawn into a seemingly archetypal murder
mystery with them both immediately finding themselves in the thick of things.
With everything centring on the conference to present the
universe's most complete dictionary the true power of language becomes apparent
and The Doctor soon realises that Book, the hologlyph sophisticated artificial
intelligence behind the Lexicon itself whose role it is to seek out and define
every possible word and their possible connotations, brings the greatest
But who would want to intentional kill Professor Osefa and so
trigger a dangerous state of affairs and create an inexplicable matter that
requires all the skills of The Doctor to solve?
role as investigator, into both Osefa's murder, and the circumstances behind it
which are revealed, it soon transpires that there is much more to Warren than
just a keen interest in language. What exactly are his motivations which makes
the collation of words into dictionaries, such as the Lexicon, so
Peri soon finds herself predominantly with different members
of the campus and separated from The Doctor. But things come to head when,
during a communication received by Cawdry, the single word 'ish' is uttered,
and he and The Doctor then become extremely concerned when the find that the
conference attendees all begin to repeat the word over and over again in
What had Osefa learnt about language? And who
might want it suppressed and just how commercial has the Lexicon become? Is
there no space outside of Language? Is the letter of law a foreign alphabet?
Will The Doctor save the English language and can Peri prevent a mutiny or will
she succumb to the most heinous sentence?
remains at large, threatening to spread havoc and disorder against language and
learning the length and breadth of articulate space
| This release
contains an incorrect numbering on the spine for those sent out to subscribers.
Big Finish Productions have announced that a corrected insert will be sent out
with the next Doctor Who Audio release - "The Rapture" - in
- Featuring the Sixth
Doctor and Peri.
- Serial Number: 6Z/B
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 130 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 25'02", 2 = 27'27", 3 =
29'18", 4 = 32'18"
- Total Story Length: 114'05"
- This story takes place between "Revelation
of the Daleks" and "The
Trial of a Time Lord" and follows
- Cover Illustration: Clayton Hickman
- Recorded: 6th and 8th March 2002
- Recording Location: The Moat Studios
- Released: August 2002
- ISBN: 1-903654-73-4
|On the Back Cover:
of lexicographers: bromides in tweed. But the leading
expert in the field is found dead by her own hand - and
by her hologlyphic assistant. Is he responsible? Does
the death fit any conventional definitions? Can The Doctor
realise who wrote the suicide note and why, exactly, it
was riddled with spelling errors?
should help out, but there's a guy. Someone who loves
language even more than The Doctor. Maybe, she realises,
enough to kill for. Or perhaps just enough to ask her
out to dinner. Unless, of course, he's already spoken
it madness? Seeking transcendence in the complete lexicon?
Having the right words on the tip of your tongue but never
quite knowing when to use them?
|On the Inside Cover:
IF YOU'VE GOT
THIS FAR, you may already have your dictionary out. I'd
even say it's possible that during the play you'll reach
again for your Complete Oxford or your Merriam-Webster
or your Macquarie. If so, I don't apologise. I'm delighted.
It means that
ish has the same effect on its listeners
that Doctor Who has always had on me.
years old. Space adventures and obscure vocabulary are
what command a boy's interest. So it was entirely appropriate
that Colin Baker's Doctor should appear on screen when
I was seven. Sitting transfixed, I saw a hero I could
admire for the surprising but simple reason that he just
didn't speak like anybody else. Sesquipedalian shouting
matches were his style - sending me to look up the language
he used, and to be struck by its subtleties. So the chance
to write for the Sixth
Doctor, and his relationship with
Peri, with all the comedic and dramatic opportunities
that their linguistic disfunctions allow, is something
Have a listen, then heave
that lexicon off the shelf once more. Help yourself.
Hang around after your initial questions are answered,
explore. Happen on unusual words and let them stick in
your head. Hold pages containing all the words you'll
probably ever use, and every Doctor Who story not yet
written or heard. Hyperbole? Hey. How many other books
are there like the dictionary: bigger on the inside than
Phil Pascoe sent his synopsis
for …ish in to Big Finish out of the blue
(well, via airmail from Duncraig, Western Australia in
fact). We read it, we liked it and so we asked him to
write it. Thus he is the first Antipodean to write for
us, and was the first writer to receive a commission for
something we hadn’t actually asked for.
not the first to go before the microphone (2001's The
Eye of the Scorpion has that distinction), Phil Pascoe's
ish was the first storyline that caught the eye
of producer Gary Russell during a mammoth blitz on the
unsolicited submissions pile. It offered a take on a story
that hadn't been done before in Doctor Who where, usefully
for an audio, the words really were all-important. Equally
important was that The Doctor's companion was Peri - for
the sequences where her Americanisms could conflict with
The Doctor's Queen's English to great effect. As viewers
of quiz shows such as Crosswits will know, Colin Baker
is pretty sharp where words and definitions are concerned,
so we wanted a script that would challenge even him. However,
just as it looked as if he'd beaten us again - we cheated,
and made a few words up!
| Full Cast List:
|Professor Osefa de Palabra Hftzbrn
The Production Team:
||Gary Russell and
|Executive Producer for the BBC