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Project: Lazarus

Audio - Project: Lazarus
Project: Lazarus
(Cavan Scott Wright
and Mark Wright)

 June 2003 sees two incarnations of The Doctors joining forces to discover the secret of "Project: Lazarus".

 This story is a sequel to the previous year's "Project: Twilight" and has been penned by Cavan Scott Wright and Mark Wright. According to Director Gary Russell they have "come up with a very interesting way of splitting the story between t
he Sixth and Seventh Doctors". Originally titled "Project: Enigma" this story was recorded 17th and 19th January 2003.

 "Project: Lazarus" has the distinction of being the first story to feature more than one Doctor since the inaugural Big Finish Productions audio release "The Sirens of Time" back in 1999. Also unusually, this story features two separate covers, each highlighting each of The Doctors.

 It co-stars Colin Baker, as the Sixth Doctor, with Maggie Stables, as companion Evelyn Smythe, and Sylvester McCoy, as the Seventh Doctor.

 For their third Big Finish Doctor Who script Cavan Scott and Mark Wright revisit some of the most interesting characters of their debut story "Project: Twilight" including the return of villain Nimrod played by Stephen Chance and Cassie played by Rosie Caviliero. Also staring are: Emma Collier, Ann Jenkins, Ingrid Evans, Vidar Magnussen, Adam Woodroffe and Mark Wright.

Sixth Doctor
Sixth Doctor
 There is a frightened girl being stalked in a land of eternal night by a hunter who longs for recognition and power. But to her rescue comes a traveller in time who is determined to correct the mistakes of the past but in doing so he subjects himself to a danger that could rob him of his future.

 And in the shadows stands the brutal vampire hunter Nimrod, a haunting presence lurking in the shadows, waiting for the moment to strike...

 Waiting to take The Doctor to the Forge, the mysterious organisation he operated on behalf of, and to the location of "Project: Lazarus".

 At the end of "Project: Twilight" the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn left the vampiric Cassie, who was blackmailed into spying upon the vampire owners of the casino she worked, in self-imposed Scandinavian exile. The Doctor promising to return with a cure for her condition when he was forced to leave her to her fate to succumb to the Twilight virus and become the monster she most feared.

Maggie Stables
Maggie Stables
 Meanwhile Nimrod, the Forge's most enhanced agent, proved to be equally undead. Unfinished business aplenty: but when The Doctor at last finds a cure for Cassie the TARDIS returns to Norway a couple of years later than when they left her. There The Doctor and Evelyn find a very much changed Cassie. A Cassie who is very unwelcoming. They also meet Professor Harket, a paranormal hunter who very much complicates the picture.

 The Doctor though soon deduces that Harket is not hunting Cassie, but something very alien in origin. But which myth is the Professor intent on proving? Using Cassie's vampire instincts of being able to smell the blood of death nearby leads them to discovery of a frozen body, who seems to have died horribly, and so confirm for Harket that the creatures he is hunting, the Huldran, are close by.

 What is really going on in The Forge - a government backed research facility hidden away on desolate Dartmoor? How can The Doctor prevent its military experiments from backfiring disastrously and will the horrific extent of its underground work on alien technology ever come to light?

 Within the Forge and incoming message notifies the occupants that their agent, Artemis, has confirmed contact with Lazarus. But who is Artemis? There only seems one logical candidate who could be sending encoded communications to the Forge. The aggrieved vampire - Nimrod!

Audio - Project: Lazarus
Project: Lazarus
(Cavan Scott Wright
and Mark Wright)
 When the captured Huldran is taken back to the subterranean Forge, along with The Doctor and Evelyn, The Doctor eventually finds that his own future is endangered by Nimrod's work and he also discovers how active Nimrod has been of late and how successful they have been at acquiring alien samples for their archive.

 When it is revealed of the true extent of Nimrod's plan for The Doctor and the monstrous extremes he will go to in the name of scientific progress and the satisfaction he gains from watching an individual die over and over again until he has the secrets of what he wants. This revelation though comes at a price as The Doctor is tortured until he is on the brink of regeneration…

 While this is going on, Cassie has reluctantly taken Evelyn to find some refreshment and it is then that Evelyn learns of Cassie's true colours and how much harder and resentful person she has become.

 Thankfully Cassie's attitude change comes just in time for her to save The Doctor, when she becomes aware that his life is in danger. But in saving The Doctor he himself is unable to prevent the cruel death of his saviour at the hands of Nimrod.

 But what is the true extent of Nimrod's plans and how much will they effect the next incarnation of The Doctor when he too finds himself involved with Nimrod and the Forge?

Seventh Doctor
Seventh Doctor
 Several years have passed since The Doctor and Evelyn's tragic trip to the Forge and the Seventh Doctor finds himself returning there after detecting it as the focus for a disturbance within the vortex.

 There he finds that despite the passage of time nothing much has changed. There is one big surprise awaiting the Seventh Doctor the presence of the Sixth Doctor.

 But something is very wrong as the Seventh Doctor has no memory of ever working for the Forge with Nimrod and then when the Sixth Doctor is attacked by the captured Huldran it becomes clear that not everything is what is seems.

 As the truth of why the forge is so interested in the Huldran and the secret of Project: Lazarus is revealed the Seventh Doctor needs to rely on the help of the doppelganger that is The Sixth Doctor so as to defeat Nimrod and to destroy the Forge.

 But as The Doctor leaves in his TARDIS a computer in the ruins of what was the Forge that the Forge Beta facility is now active...

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On the Back Cover:

 "I'll survive Doctor. I always do."

 A frightened girl is stalked in a land of eternal night.

 A hunter longs for recognition and power.

 A traveller in time returns to correct the mistakes of the past and faces a danger that could rob him of his future. Unless his future intervenes.

 And in the shadows stands Nimrod. Waiting...

 Welcome to the Forge.


On the Inside Cover:

 SOME PEOPLE SAY YOU SHOULD never look back, and with Project: Lazarus we almost didn't. Since the release of Project: Twilight in August 2001, there's been a small but vocal call across the internet for a sequel to the gritty, vampire-fuelled adventures of the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn in Bermondsey. After 52 months of battering down the door of Big Finish Towers and a lunch with Gary to discuss the lateness of The Church and the Crown (and it was really late), Project: Lazaras was born.

 Project: Lazarus was fun and scary to write in equal measure, not least of all because we were writing for two Doctors. Hearing Colin and Sylvester together was a real treat, and hopefully you'll think so too. Now we just need to persuade Gary to let us have a crack at Paul McGann, and we'll have done the lot. (Gary? Gary, where did you go?)

 However, scarier than two Time Lords sharing the same microphone was the return of Nimrod and Cassie from Project: Twilight. Could we do them justice, would they be recognisable as the characters we created? Being in the control room to hear Stephen Chance's first line (like razor blades dragging over vocal chords) sent a shiver down our spines. Nimrod was back.

 Now Gary, what about Part Three?

Cavan Scott & Mark Wright,
March 2003

 Cavan Scott lives in Bath. Mark Wright lives in London. Thankfully some bright spark invented railways, thus enabling these two scary men to write this together, their third Big Finish audio drama - their others being Project: Twilight and The Church and the Crown. They also wrote a Bernice Summerfield short story for the Dead Men Diaries anthology, entitled Christmas Spirit. These men are a bit weird and the public are advised to run away as fast as possible.

Production Notes:

 A sequel to Project: Twilight was pretty much on the cards before that play had even finished recording. Producer Gary Russell felt that there was still stories to be told of Amelia, Nimrod, Cassie et al, particularly as the relevant actors bad been such fun to work with.

 Cavan Scott pitched the initial idea over a pub lunch during the writing duo's drafts of The Church and the Crown - resulting in possibly the speediest commission ever, If Gary could have had contracts printed and ready, they'd have been signed on the spot. Assembling the returning cast was equally easy - both Stephen Chance and Rosie Cavaliero were eager (the character of Amelia never featured in plans for Project: Lazarus, but that doesn't rule out a return one day) and the added incentive of putting Doctors Six and Seven together for this celebratory year was too good an opportunity to pass over.

Full Cast List:

The Doctor Colin Baker
The Doctor Sylvester McCoy
Evelyn Smythe Maggie Stables
Cassie Rosie Cavaliero
Nimrod Stephen Chance
Oracle Emma Collier
Huldran Ann Jenkins
Doctor Crumpton Ingrid Evans
Professor Harket Vidar Magnusse
Sergeant Frith Adam Woodroffe
Solier Mark Wright

The Production Team:

Writer Cavan Scott Wright and Mark Wright
Director Gary Russell
Sound/Music Andy Hardwick (ERS)
Theme Music David Darlington
Producers Gary Russell and
Jason Haigh-Ellery
Executive Producer for the BBC Jaqueline Rayner
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