The advance publicity for the story planned for
this month ensured that everyone, who is even vaguely interested in these audio
releases from Big Finish Productions, was aware of its difference to anything
that had gone before. With its billing and the reasons for being described as
'a unique innovation in storytelling' generated the most anticipated release of
Titled "Flip-Flop" this two-CD adventure is the second audio
title by Jonathan Morris - his first being the highly acclaimed audio adventure
introduced the Silurians into the world of audio.
Sylvester McCoy, as the Seventh
Doctor, and Bonnie Langford as Melanie
is directed by Gary Russell and was recorded 16th and 17th March 2003.
Joining Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford are two
guest-stars: Trevor Martin, another actor who has also played The Doctor - on
stage in the original West End production of "The Seven Keys to Doomsday".
Trevor also appeared as one of the Time Lords that conducted The Doctor's trial
in the last episode of "The
War Games", and Richard Gibson who is well known
for his portrayal of Herr Flick of the Gestapo in the long-running Second World
War comedy sitcom, Allo 'Allo. Also starring are: and Daniel Hogarth,
Trevor Littledale, Francis Magee, Pamela Miles and Audrey Schoellhammer.
here the similarity to any other conventional Doctor Who story ends.
Following in the footsteps of "Doctor Who
and the Pirates" and "Creatures of
Beauty" Big Finish continue to experiment in alternative storytelling
techniques. Normally it's traditional to start a story at the beginning, pass
through a middle, before the big conclusion at the end. However, with
"Flip-Flop" we have two beginnings, two middles and two endings - or do we?
is definitely a unique innovation in storytelling. A Doctor
Who adventure told over two CDs, one black, one white
- where the CDs can be listened to in either order and
still remain a cohesive story. Infact with "Flip-Flop"
structured the way it is, the ending to each disc inevitably
leads into the beginning of the next, which means that,
technically, after one disc finishes - regardless of whether
you've already heard the other or not - the next one begins
again. It's good to see a story imaginatively using this
idea. Once you get your head round who is who and more
importantly where - it all makes sense.
of interest is the way in which Big Finish Productions
have strived to show that there isn't a 'correct' way
to listen to this release. Departing from their usual
packaging, Flip-Flop is presented in a cardboard slipcase
with both the black and white discs contained within two
single CD cases. It's an impressive look and certainly
compliments the concept behind the story. But this idea
certainly posed the big question - which CD to listen
to first? Black then White? or White then Black? Thankfully
it does not matter so good is this concept and the plot.
The Doctor and
Mel arrive in the TARDIS
on the Earth colony Puxatornee seeking some rare and crucial
crystals. The Doctor though is surprised to find that
what was once a prosperous human colony is no longer thriving.
The Doctor and his travelling companion also find themselves
already classed as wanted felons before they have even
a snowy Christmas Eve in 3090. But they are soon caught
up in the fallout of events from exactly 30 years earlier,
when the alien Slithergees - a race of blind, manipulative
slugs - made their threatening approach to Puxatornee.
Claiming that their home
world has been destroyed they are humbly requesting permission
to settle on the first moon. And if they don't get permission,
then they are humbly threatening to declare all-out war.
what did happen at Christmas in 3060? Did the Slithergees
make war, or an uneasy peace with the prosperous human
colony? With the future hanging in the balance what action
did President Bailey or her right-hand man, Mitchell,
really take especially when they both had other things
on their minds? And how do Professor Capra's inventions
The Doctor and Mel really find Puxatornee to be a world
devastated by a war which now finds itself on the brink
of extinction? Or is it a place where the alien invaders
- the Slithergees - have insinuated themselves into society
covertly and are not the true masters of Puxatornee?
As The Doctor and Mel attempt to defeat a race of
terrible monsters they soon discover that something rather confusing has been
happening to history which could explain why they are meeting everyone twice.
However, The Doctor soon realises that his attempts to help
the people of Puxatornee are doomed to failure because of the strange
circumstances they have set in motion by just being there. Things have gone far
beyond The Doctor's control.
becomes clear to The Doctor that events of in the present are in danger of
altering the past by those who are seeking a better future is the cause of the
nightmare scenarios in the first place.
the alien Slithergees it seems have successfully ingratiated themselves into
Puxatornee society by portraying themselves as a meek and humble minority whose
rights need to be protected. Due to interference from the future President
Bailey feels constrained to agree to their requests - however outlandish and so
in the future they have gained so much power that their wants are the prime
consideration over the native human population - thus causing the need to
change the present so as to change the past.
The Doctor on
understanding at last as to what is going on realises why he and Mel must leave
in the TARDIS before they arrive in the first place.
And so as The Doctor and Mel depart what appears as another TARDIS arrives in exactly the
same spot and so the same sequence of events is about to repeat itself.
|Big Finish Magazine -
Issue 3 (Summer 2003)
- Issue 3
this story is a free bonus CD containing the third issue of the "Big Finish
Like previous issues with trusty microphones firmly in hand,
once again we go behind the scenes for some of Big Finish's recent
Audio articles in this issue include:
- Project: Lazarus - The teaming up of Colin Baker and
Sylvester McCoy is covered in a studio report which proves that double The Doctors can easily mean double the fun
- Doctor Who and the Pirates - This sea shanty sing-a-long
spectacular shows that the Sixth
Doctor is sensationally ship-shape. Or
something. But, as we discover, not all is at it seems
for a start, the
baddy is a Goddie.
- The Tomorrow People - Producer Jason Haigh-Ellery
discusses the range's development plans, as well as plans for the
- Doctor Who Books - Editors Jaqueline Rayner and John
Binns open the book on Big Finish's series of Doctor Who short story
collections and preview the upcoming releases.
- Bernice Summerfield - Taking a break from her adventures
with Draconians and Sea Devils, Professor Bernice Summerfield and her boss
Irving Braxiatel (aka actors Lisa Bowerman and Miles Richardson) take a look at
the latest Benny audios.
- Doctor Who Unbound - 2003 saw Big Finish cast six new
Doctor Whos! In this In-depth behind-the-scenes feature, you will hear deleted
material from Auld Mortallty and specially recorded trailers, one for Deadline
featuring Sir Derek Jacobi, and one for He Jests At Stars... featuring Michael
Jayston. All the major players - Including Geoffrey Bayldon, David Warner,
David Colings, Michael Jayston, Nicholas Courtney, Carole Ann Ford, Bonnie
Langford, Ed Bishop, Siri O'Neal, producer John Ainsworth, script editor
Nicholas Briggs and director Gary Russell - discuss the the new Doctors... and
the new dimensions.
would like to thank all those actors, writers, directors and everyone else who
took part, rather than fleeing in a panic when, the interviewers approached
Compilled by 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 13
- Featuring the Seventh
Doctor and Melanie
- Serial Number: 7E/B
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 100 minutes
- Episodelengths: Black 1 = 34'41", Black 2
= 28'41", White 1 = 31'35", White 2 = 30'53"
- Total Story Length: 125'50"
- This story takes place between "Paradise
Towers" and "Delta
and the Bannermen" and takes place after
- Cover Illustration: Lee Binding
- Recorded: 16th and 17th March
- Recording Location: The Moat
- Released: July 2003
- ISBN: 1-84435-028-2
Christmas Eve in the year 3060, and the planet
Puxatornee is home to a prosperous human colony.
A space craft
has arrived in orbit carrying the Slithergees, a race of obsequious alien
slugs. Their home world has been destroyed and they are humbly requesting
permission to settle on the first moon.
And if they
don't get permission, then they are humbly threatening to declare all-out
The future hangs in the balance. The decision rests with
Bailey, the colony' s president - but she has other things on her
Christmas Eve in the year 3090, and the planet Puxatornee has
changed beyond all recognition.
The Doctor and Mel arrive, on a completely
unrelated mission to defeat a race of terrible monsters, and soon discover that
something rather confusing has been happening to history.
|Flip-Flop is a
unique innovation in storytelling.
A Doctor Who adventure told over
two CDs, one black, one white - where the CDs can be listened to in either
WHEN ASKED WHY HE'D WRITE plays and then store
them under his bed, unread, for six months, Joe Orton would explain that he was
allowing them to 'mature'. The idea being that by the time he came to look at
the scripts again he would have gained some critical distance and developed as
Flip-Flop went through a similar process, though
rather than being hidden under Joe Orton's mattress the script was stored on
Gary Russell's hard drive. I came up with the initial idea in August 2001
whilst writing Anachrophobia, and completed the first draft in February
2002. Then the second draft in June 2002. And the third draft in December 2002.
Then it was recorded in March 2003, and if all has gone according to schedule
you're reading this in July 2003.
A lot has
happened over that time, and I think Flip-Flop reflects that. I'm
certainly not the person I was back in 2001. The story has grown more serious,
and more silly, just as I have grown more serious, and more silly. And we've
both got a great deal more complicated. So I hope you enjoy it. It's a
Just like my life of the last two years. Except for the bit about
Oh, and one additional thing. This story is told over two
CDs, one black and one white, the idea being that it can be enjoyed
irrespective of whether you listen to the black one first or the white one
first. Indeed, because you can listen to it in two different ways, you are
effectively getting two stories for the price of one and this release therefore
represents excellent value for money.
But its not a
puzzle, to try to find out which way round is the 'proper or 'canonical' way of
listening to the CDs. Because there honestly isn't one.
with this release.
| Full Cast
|Gary Russell and
|Executive Producer for the BBC