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Audio - The Sandman
The Sandman
(Simon A. Forward)

 "The Sandman", which has been written by Simon A. Forward, is the third consecutive Doctor Who audio from new writers to the Big Finish range. It is also the first audio script by Simon A. Forward and arrives just eight months after the publication of his debut Fourth Doctor and Leela BBC Past Doctor novel "Drift", that was published in February 2002.

 The original release planned for October 2002, "Nekromanteia" by Austen Atkinson, has had to be delayed until February 2003. It was then announced by Big Finish Productions that a story titled "The Swashbucklers", written by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, was to be the replacement for "Nekromanteia".
However, this story was then changed to "The Church and the Crown" and finally, for production reasons, has swapped places with "The Sandman" that was originally due to be released in November.

 Written by Simon A Forward and directed by Gary Russell "The Sandman" was recorded on the 4th and 5th March 2002 and alongside regulars Colin Baker and Maggie Stables features actress Anneke Wills who played companion Polly during the First and Second Doctors eras in the 1960's. Also co-starring are: Ian Hogg, who played Josiah in the 1989's "Ghostlight", and Stephanie Colburn, who played Zog in "The Ultimate Adventure" stage play. Also starring are: Robin Bowerman, Mark Donovan and Mark Wharton.

 The Clutch is a vast interstellar convoy of rag-tag starships in constant motion. This remarkable conglomeration attracts traders, miners, and Star Gypsies and is home to the Galyari. A race of lizard-like beings who are a hybrid of a chameleon, an allosaurus, a humanoid and something a bit avian. With their strong collective memories it appears that not only does The Doctor knows the Galyari of old but they remember The Doctor very well…

 Travelling in a countless number of ships jostling for position the Galyari are on an endless migration between the stars, slowly moving throughout the galaxy for many generations, trying to avoid the legendary Sandman who leaves death and destruction in his wake.

Sixth Doctor
Sixth Doctor
 For the Galyari, forbidden by an ancient curse from settling on a world ever again, the Clutch is home. But the curse travels with them and they have an ingrained fear of terrible vengeance from none other than The Sandman! According to their legends is a figure who preys on the young and old alike and steals people away in the night. He lurks in the shadows and it is death to look upon him.

 After observing that his return there is long overdue the Sixth Doctor, along with Evelyn, find themselves aboard this flotilla of starships and it soon becomes evident that there is more to The Doctor's presence there than there first appears. It is also clear that The Doctor and the Galyari share a dark history, and Evelyn is shocked to discover that, on the Clutch, it is her friend who is the monster. For not only are the Galyari haunted by this mythical being called The Sandman but according to the tales, he also goes by the name of The Doctor!

 When The Doctor takes Evelyn to the centre of Galyari operations, she is mortified to find him behaving just as the fearful aliens expect. Where did the Clutch originate from and why are they on the constant move in the vastness of space? What is the significance of the Galyari's trading relations that involve the human race and meets with The Doctor's disapproval?

 Why is the Time Lord such a bad memory to the Galyari? What role has he played in their distant past and why can no Galyari look directly at The Doctor? Can the macabre stories about the Sandman be really true? But more importantly why is there a more sinister side of the Sixth Doctor, why does his change in attitude come swiftly and unexpectedly and what is the truth about Mordecan, a Star Gypsy who seems to be able to conceal suspicions about his role in the recent events that are occurring?

Maggie Stables
Maggie Stables
 While in the Clutch our travellers meet Orchestrator Shol who is entrusted with the safe running of the Clutch and Nintaru - a rather frightened creature from another alien race that The Doctor has become involved with.

 They also meet Director Nrosha who, among the Galyari within the Clutch, feels this enmity towards The Doctor more sharply. Embittered by her personal experience and knowledge of The Doctor, Nrosha definitely has a grudge against him. It soon becomes clear to Evelyn that she perceives him very much as a monster who comes to terrify her people and this has affected her personally which could explain why she allows all her venom and rage to come out. But these feelings could be justified, when it is revealed that she is motivated by hate for The Sandman who took her children from her.

 As Evelyn learns more about The Doctor's past treatment of the Galyari she becomes more and more dumbfounded and finds it even harder to believe that The Doctor, who she has grown to trust as a good person, could be anything other. To find out that he previously could do such terrible things to a whole alien race makes her take a much closer look at The Doctor and his actions. Recent revelations certainly make her have a more reflective side to life and her relationship with The Doctor may never be the same again.

 As the truth unfolds there is such a sense of sadness for the Galyari having to live in so much fear in this foreboding environment and how can The Doctor justify allowing such a terrible and cruel thing to happen or could The Doctor's plans have been misunderstood?

 But then maybe there is somebody else who is taking advantage of the legacy The Doctor has created...
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  • Featuring the Sixth Doctor, Evelyn Smythe.
  • Serial Number: 7C/F
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 28'02", 2 = 30'11", 3 = 26'00", 4 = 31'59"
  • Total Story Length: 116'12"
  • This story is takes place between "The Trial of a Time Lord" and "Time and the Rani" and after "Project: Twilight".
  • Early Titles: "Excelis Rises" and "The Sandman Cometh".
  • Cover Illustration: Lee Binding
  • Recorded: 4th and 5th March 2002
  • Recording Location: The Moat Studios
  • Released: October 2002
  • ISBN: 1-903654-76-9

On the Back Cover:

 The Clutch is a fleet in constant motion, ships jostling for position, in an endless migration between the stars. For the Galyari, forbidden by an ancient curse from settling on a world ever again, the Clutch is home. But the curse travels with them...

 The Sandman, a figure of myth and folk-lore, preys on the young and old alike. He lurks in the shadows and it is death to look upon him.

 All too soon after the TARDIS arrives, it is evident that The Doctor and the Galyari share a dark history, and Evelyn is shocked to discover that, on the Clutch, it is her friend who is the monster.

 The Sandman, according to the tales, also goes by the name of The Doctor...

On the Inside Cover:

 DOCTOR WHO MONSTERS HAVE a hard time of it, don't they? What with bad press, being denounced as 'evil' and 'ruthless', and then when they come up with a cunning masterplan, this Doctor fellow turns up and defeats them. Such harsh and unfair treatment must surely leave its mark.

 Well, perhaps not on some of the more evil and ruthless species.

 Out what about the monsters that aren't 'monsters': the alien races? Draconians, Silurians. Scales and sympathy are not mutually exclusive.

 Humans are surely not the only ones to be preyed upon by monsters. And alien races might do any number of things that wouldn't meet with The Doctor's approval.

 The key difference, of course, is that the alien races might well possess a conscience. A conscience on which The Doctor might have a marked effect. That, essentially is where the seeds of this story were sown.

 And there are at least two sides to every story.
Simon A Forward,
March 2002

Simon A Forward submitted the idea for what eventually became The Sandman around the time his first Doctor Who novel, Drift was published by BBC Books, He quickly agreed to adapt his initial Earth-like ideas to a fleet of spaceships swarming through the galaxy, complete with alien races, star gypsies and sinister secrets. He lives in Cornwall, but let’s not hold that against him.

Production Notes:

 The Sandman began life very differently - as a potential second story in the Excelis trilogy. In that, the Sixth Doctor arrived on Artaris, during a period similar to Earth's Victorian age, where the people were in terror of a vampiric beast that fed on the not-yet-dead, known as The Sandman. Also known as The Doctor. Although not fitting the Excelis concept, the central idea was deemed strong enough to support a regular release of its own, but anxious to move away from a planet Earth-based adventure, it was suggested to Simon Forward that he set it on a vast fleet of starships with their own history and many generations of people. This gave us the chance create a new race of aliens who didn't look human. Hence the Galyari...

Full Cast List:

The Doctor Colin Baker
Evelyn Smythe Maggie Stables
Director Nrosha Anneke Wills
Orchestrator Shol Mark Donovan
Commander Brel Mark Wharton
Mordecan Robin Bowerman
Nintaru Stephanie Colburn
General Voshkar Ian Hogg

The Production Team:

Writer Simon A. Forward
Director Gary Russell
Sound/Music Russell Stone
Theme Music Mark Ayres
Producers Gary Russell and
Jason Haigh-Ellery
Executive Producer for the BBC Jaqueline Rayner
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