|"We're dead. Everyone approaching this planet always
2003 we had the release of a Fifth
Doctor adventure set in the deepest reaches of space.
In order to contrast the numerous Earth bound Fifth Doctor
stories that Big Finish Productions have already done
the brief for this story was for a "Blake's 7 style outer
space romp with spaceships and rayguns, mercenaries and
big evil corporations". It was due to be released in October
2002 but had to be postponed until now.
Titled "Nekromanteia" this
story is the debut script for former Doctor Who Magazine
correspondent Austen Atkinson, who has recently been story
editor on Channel 5's Family Affairs and Sky One's
Dream Team. The Director is John Ainsworth and
it was recorded 18th and 19th December 2002.
The Fifth Doctor, played
by Peter Davison, and Peri, played by Nicola Bryant, are
showing their newest TARDIS
companion the Egyptian pharaoh Erimem, played by Caroline
Morris - that they met in "The
Eye of the Scorpion" (the story released in September
2001), some of the dangers that they face on a regular
cast of Peter Davison, Nicola Bryant along with Caroline
Morris are joined by guest-stars Simon Williams, Glyn
Owen and Ivor Danvers.
Simon Williams has previously
appeared as Group Captain Gilmore with Sylvester McCoy's
Doctor in the 1988 adventure, "Remembrance
of the Daleks".
He is though perhaps better known for his portrayal of
James Bellamy in Upstairs, Downstairs. He also
starred with Maureen Lipman in the sitcom Agony
and recently made a memorable guest appearance in an episode
of Victoria Wood's Dinner Ladies.
Owen and Ivor Danvers both starred in the long-running
Howard's Way in the Eighties. Before that though,
Glyn appeared with Tom Baker's Doctor in "The
Power of Kroll" as the gunrunner Rohm-Dutt.
starring are: Kate Brown, Gilly Cohen, Nigel Fairs, Andrew
Fettes, Gary Russell and Kerry Skinner.
While The Doctor takes his companions to the
Garazone bazaar, so as to replenishes TARDIS supplies, they come face to face
again with Pakhars who are more than willing to help the noble Doctor.
Erimem has a curious encounter and an irresistible voice calls out to three
travellers events leads them to be drawn inexplicably to the depths of space to
a little known district that harbours a terrible secret - the planet Talderun,
the primary world in the system of Nekromanteia, where it is reported that the
dead walk again, ancient forces are gathering, a new era is about to begin and
where a deadly trap looms
are more interested in Talderun because of its mighty relic and so the
travellers soon find themselves landing amidst the carnage on Talderun and
involved in the hunt for the secret holy relic that powers the Temple of Shara.
Embodying the divine Sham's immense power the relic is
ruthlessly pro-tected by an ancient coven of witches. The leader of the Cult of
Shara, Jal Dor Kal, in sending her witches off to fight against a battle fleet,
brings together the corporate politics behind the attack on Talderun and The Doctor's previous trip to the Garazone Bazaar. But this holy relic is
ruthlessly desired by corporate raiders from nearby planets.
autocratic Wendle Marr, who is only interested
in acquiring the relic in order to complete the Alpha Project which
he has invested everything into, orders
Commander Harlon to go into battle against
the witches so as to retrieve the relic, he his extremely annoyed
when he learns first hand that his ships are
being mercilessly cut down.
Why is there such ruthless horseplay on
Talderun? What drives the deathly necromancy of its witches, led by
the mad witch Jal Dor
Kal? Why is there also an archivist from
the Museum of Earth, on Talderun and why is he also interested in retrieving
the relic which he believes is the
remains of Shara himself.
As The Doctor, Peri and Erimem face the terrors of
Talderun, and the wrath of a corporate empire, they find themselves struggling
to understand the hideous secret of the domain of the dead.
demonstrates her enthusiasm for knowledge, and taking delight in things that
are simply different to what she has previously experienced, her fellow
travelling companion Peri finds herself on the receiving end of the
preparations of the Cult to sacrifice her as an offering to Shara.
can be trusted when unsympathetic mercenaries are all
busy double-crossing each other
and that no one is who they appear to be?
While Peri is horrified by recent events how can Erimem
be able to take all the violence in her stride?
the surreal juxtaposition of the dead world
of Talderun to the serene tranquillity of a cricket match nothing is
as simple as it first seems.
The Doctor really be preparing to forfeit
himself so that the universe may survive and can he really trust Erimem
to do the right thing and look after
Peri once he has gone?
|Big Finish Magazine -
Issue 2 (Spring 2003)
- Issue 2
with this story is a free bonus CD containing the second
issue of the "Big Finish Magazine".
1, that was given away free with the Fifth Doctor's
audio story "Loups-Garoux",
and with trusty microphones firmly in hand, once again
we go behind the scenes for some of Big Finish's recent
articles in this issue include:
- Sarah Jane Smith - Behind the scenes with the first solo
audio adventure for, arguably, The Doctor's most popular companion; but since
the first adventure was recorded last, this provided an excellent opportunity
for an overall appraisal of the series. Interviews with Elisabeth Sladen and
Jeremy James (who performs his Doctor Who Greatest Hits).
- Benny and Iris - Nicholas Briggs stumbles into the loo
at Moat Studios, but escapes in time to interview Lisa Bowerman and Katy
Manning. Watch out for tips on microphone adjustment!
- Judge Dredd - Interviews with all the major players in
Big Finish's 2000AD audio action, including a mind-blowing trailer.
- Doctor Who - Ian Farrington
is in the chair for in-depth interviews with Caroline Morris (Erimem) and Nicola Bryant (Peri...
and Queen Anne!). Also featuring a trailer for "Nekromanteia".
- Jubilee - Heard about the one about a Doctor Who CD
overrunning? Directors Nick Briggs and Rob Shearman (also the scribe) discuss
and listen to scenes that had to be cut.
- Dalek Empire - With Dalek Empire II: Dalek War now
beginning, Nicholas Briggs rummages through the interviews John Ainsworth
conducted during the studio sessions for the first series. Sarah Mowat, Mark
Donnell and Gareth Thomas feature.
Ian Farrington. Presentation editing and sound design by Nicholas Briggs. CD
Mastering by David Darlington. Sleeve by Lee Binding. Produced by Nicholas
Briggs and Ian Farrington. Length 1 hour 12 minutes.
- Featuring the Fifth
Doctor, Peri and Erimem.
- Serial Number: 6Q/D
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 100 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 26'59", 2 = 34'02", 3 =
26'11", 4 = 22'34"
- Total Story Length: 109'46"
- This story is takes place between "Planet
of Fire" and "The
Caves of Androzani".
- Early Title: "Chastelmain’s Child".
- Cover Illustration: Lee Binding
- Recorded: 18th and 19th December 2002
- Recording Location: The Moat Studios
- Released: February 2003
- ISBN: 1-84435-023-1
|On the Back Cover:
In the depths
of space a little known district harbours a terrible secret.
Long known as a place of death, it claims thousands more
lives as a great corporate space-fleet goes to war. As
the fleet screams out in fear and pain, an irresistible
voice calls out to three travellers and a macabre mind
sets a deadly trap...
Doctor, Peri and Erimem face the terrors of Talderun and
the wrath of a corporate empire as they struggle to understand
the hideous secret of the domain of the dead ―
a district known in legend as Nekromanteia.
|On the Inside Cover:
WHEN GARY RUSSELL
ASKED ME to write a Doctor Who story I accepted
at once. Why? Because I'm a writer and script editor in
TV and the chance to play with a format as innovative
as Doctor Who is rare indeed.
I've loved the programme
since I was a tot, so I just couldn't say no. Whilst conceptualising
the "grand space opera" that Gary asked for, I was writing
my new archaeology book: Lost Civilizations. At
the same time I was script producer on a comedy drama
series called Is Harry on the Boat? for Sky One
and so I was filming/living on location in the Mediterranean
for six months. A lively "alien" culture, mountain temples
and mysterious legends surrounded me and I was bombarded
with troubling BBC World Service reports on AI-Qaeda and
Iraq. Also, whilst in Spain. I hated being separated from
my beloved horses. All of these influences came together
to create Nekromanteia. The market full of Pakhars (a
race created nearly 10 years ago by Gary in his Doctor
Who novel "Legacy")
can be visited in a place called Almunecar, in Spain;
it was a direct lift from my experi-ences there (no human-sized
rodents though) and the fantastic Alhambra palace in Granada
inspired the temple complex on Talderun. If you ever have
the opportunity, why not visit the Alhambra while listening
to Nekromanteia on your headphones? It'll blow your mind.
was an irresistible challenge to write Doctor Who
in a contemporary way I hope you like it. For my part,
the experience convinced me that the series would work
on TV today. So, I vote that we let the mad old intergalactic
hippy have another spin around the cosmos. Do any of my
colleagues in TV drama agree?
New Year's Eve 2002
Atkinson is an author, writer and producer. He wrote and
produced both Professionals and Ariane 5:
Countdown to Disaster for the Discovery Channel and
Mentors for the Family Channel/MTM. Most recently
he has written anal script edited series such as Dream
Team and Is Harry on the Boat? for Sky One
and Goal! for the BBC. His latest book, Lost
Civilizations, was developed as a TV series for Channel
4. The horse seen with Austen above is called Witney and
he doesn’t work in the TV industry.
done a number of Earth-based (or Earth-type) stories for
Doctor, Big Finish decided to go in the opposite
direction and ask for a Blake's 7 style outer space
romp with spaceships and rayguns, mercenaries and big
Armed with those
suggestions, writer Austen Atkinson submitted Chastelmain's
Child, which shared with the final Nekromanteia
a number of plot points such as cults, the hunt for a
treasure and everyone double-crossing everyone else. The
biggest change was in the TARDIS team - Chastelmain's
Child was submitted as a Fifth
Doctor and Nyssa story,
but having made the decision to keep the character of
Erimem aboard the TABDIS, Austen was asked to adapt his
ideas to include Erimem and Peri. As a remit, the story
became Nekromanteia and although originally intended
as Erimem's first post-Egypt adventure, that job eventually
fell to "The
Church and the Crown", necessitating yet more rewrites.
| Full Cast List:
|Jal Dor Kal
The Production Team:
|Gary Russell and
|Executive Producer for the BBC