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40th Anniversary
 2003 is the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who and it wouldn't be an anniversary year without a handful of The Doctor's oldest enemies trying to bring his travels to a final end.

 As a precursor to the November 2003 anniversary adventure, "Zagreus", Big Finish Productions have released three stories where three Doctor's face three old foes, but in unusual circumstances.

 First it is the turn for the Fifth Doctor as he meets a mythical hero from Gallifrey's past in "Omega".

 Next the Sixth Doctor has to endure yet again the evil scientist who created the Daleks in "Davros".

 And finally the Seventh Doctor comes face-to-face with his greatest archenemy again in "Master".

 Rather than full-on fights against evil, a new loose trilogy of plays sees one Doctor involved in a more character-based drama as they, and we, get to learn a little more about these particular recurring nemeses.

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Audio - Omega
(Nev Fountain)

 The first anniversary story is titled "Omega" and sees the Fifth Doctor once again finding himself facing the twisted madness of his oldest hero and one that has a nasty habit of turning up regularly, and usually timing his return with significant anniversaries in Doctor Who. Omega was introduced in the Third Doctor's tenth anniversary story "The Three Doctors". He returned ten seasons later to menace the Fifth Doctor in "Arc of Infinity". Omega has even appeared in the BBC Books' thirty-fifth anniversary novel, "The Infinity Doctors" by Lance Parkin.

 "Omega" is a four-part adventure written by a newcomer to Big Finish's writing stable, but no stranger to audio Doctor Who, Nev Fountain, script-editor of BBCi's highly-acclaimed "Death Comes to Time" webcast. Nev Fountain is also a prolific comedy writer and one of the principal writers on the Radio 4 and BBC television satire show Dead Ringers.

 Directed by Gary Russell this story was recorded 4th and 5th February 2003 and is the first in a loose trilogy of stories featuring The Doctor's old foes.

 Set shortly after the events of "Arc of Infinity", the Fifth Doctor must once again confront the legendary Time Lord solar engineer - Omega who is being played by Ian Collier. Ian has already appeared in Doctor Who in the Third Doctor adventure, "The Time Monster".

 Also guest-starring in this adventure is Caroline Munro, best know for her appearances in British horror movies of the Sixties and Seventies, including Dracula A.D. 1972 and Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter. Of course, Caroline also earned herself the tagline of 'Bond Girl' when she appeared with Roger Moore in The Spy Who Loved Me. After being touted to appear in the ill-fated Doctor Who Movie of the late-Eighties, Caroline finally gets to meet The Doctor.

 Also starring are: Patrick Duggan, Anita Elias, Faith Kent, Hugo Myatt, Jim Sangster and Conrad Westmaas.

Fifth Doctor
Fifth Doctor

 A Mythical hero from Gallifrey's past has returned.

 Thousands of years ago Omega's starship, Eurydice, vanished from our universe, whilst detonating a star which provided the Time Lords with the source of their great power and so giving them the ability to travel in time. But the legends say that, if you voyage into the 'Sector of Forgotten Souls', the ship of Gallifrey's greatest solar engineer might reappear...

 In fact, thanks to Jolly Chronolidays, you can be sure of it. Priding itself on giving its tourists an experience of galactic history that is far better than mere time travel Jolly Chronolidays have their very own Eurydice that can be brought to you. After all, why bother with the vagaries of time travel when, according to their own motto, 'We don't go into history, we prefer to bring history to you'.

 When a strange telepathic message prompts The Doctor to travel to the 'Sector of Forgotten Souls' you can be sure that there is a high chance that he will witness Omega's return. But where does The Doctor fit in and why is The Doctor on board? Especially as Jolly Chronolidays' average visitors to their interactive heritage are charmingly referred to as 'crumblies' - and so making The Doctor rather out of place despite being over 900 years old.

 There The Doctor finds an exact replica of Omega's own ship that is being used as an interactive heritage centre where historical recreations of Omega's demise include the performance of Vanderdecken's betrayal. But not to worry this is all a re-enactment of one of Omega's dangerous feats. The Doctor though has come to the Sector of Forgotten Souls for a very specific reason - to witness Omega's attempt to try and return to our universe and to Gallifrey - or has he?

 When the Eurydice appears on cue, right in front of Jolly Chronolidays' shuttle, The Doctor finds himself caught up in a chain of events which inevitable leads him face-to-face with Gallifrey's greatest solar engineer. Why does one of Jolly Chronolidays' employees appear to go insane and also try to destroy his hands? What connection do the quirky star historian Professor Ertikus and tour guide Sentia have to Omega?

 Surely the real Omega won't reappear? But what if, mightily troubled by his own history, he did? What then...? The Doctor and everyone on board Jolly Chronolidays' tourist shuttle are about to find out because Omega is back - and his madness is closer than they think especially when it is revealed that Omega is not quite himself - nor it would seem is The Doctor come to that as it appears that he is infact responsible for the various murders and other strange happenings.

 And then a TARDIS arrives and Omega's mad schemes start coming to fruition and The Doctor is prevented with a huge dilemma - to help Omega or to hinder his plans - both though could endanger those around him.

 But surely Omega was finally destroyed at the hands of the Fifth Doctor in Amsterdam. However, just because a Time Lord's body is gone, does not mean that his spirit can not linger on.

 Has Omega really coped with the madness brought out in him by thousands of years of solitude? How dangerous are his mood swings as he struggles to find out who he is now. He finds that he has no place here anymore and wants to go back to the security of the only place he can now call home. Can The Doctor help him?

 When The Doctor discovers that Omega's real objective is to return to his anti-matter realm where he can be whole again, despite all his previous efforts and deeds in trying to return to the real universe. But what is the future for those caught up with Omega's scheme. With the TARDIS holding the fabric of time together The Doctor has a lot to deal with if he is going to allow Omega to return to his own realm and protect those around him including all of the Jolly Chronolidays' 'crumblies' and two in particular who are not who they seem.

 By inadvertently forcing a confrontation with The Doctor, Omega has begun a course of action which would lead to the unravelling of The Doctors own legendary status. If only Omega had realised that his alto ego would cause so much concern to those in the future.

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  • Featuring the Fifth Doctor.
  • Serial Number: 6EA
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 125 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 31'17", 2 = 36'18", 3 = 30'27", 4 = 42'43"
  • Total Story Length: 140'45"
  • This story takes place between "Arc of Infinity" and "Snakedance".
  • Early Title: "OMEGA".
  • Cover Illustration: Clayton Hickman
  • Recorded: 4th and 5th February 2003
  • Recording Location: The Moat Studios
  • Released: August 2003
  • ISBN: 1-84435-029-0

On the Back Cover:

 A strange telepathic message prompts The Doctor to travel to the 'Sector of Forgotten Souls', a place where, thousands of years ago, Omega's ship vanished whilst detonating a star.

 He's not the only one journeying towards it. 'Jolly Chronolidays' prides itself on giving its tourists an experience of galactic history that is far better than mere time travel.

 Its motto is 'We don't go into history, we prefer to bring history to you'.

 When Omega's ship suddenly materialises in front of their shuttle, and one of their employees goes insane and tries to destroy his hands...

 ...suddenly it's not just a motto anymore.

 And Omega - and his madness - is closer than they think.

On the Inside Cover:

 OMEGA? IN THE VILLAINS TRILOGY? OMEGA? We could get prosecuted under the fiendish laws of the intergalactic trades descriptions act. Let's be honest, he's not really a villain. But let's turn that honesty dial up to eleven. The Fifth Doctor's not much of a hero, either is he? They're a well matched pair, because their aspirations never seem to match up with their achievements. The Fifth Doctor charges around being all nice and full of niceness, but he inevitably leaves a trail of carnage and destruction behind him... Omega swears he will create carnage and destruction, but all he's managed to do in thirty years of fist-waving vengeance is upset some office equipment and kill a gardener - and if you've ever had to sit through an evening of British TV, you'd see the gardener getting murdered as a positive thing. Ah well. They did try. Bless 'em... They're fallible. That's why I like them, and that's why I'm thrilled to get the chance to write for 'em both.

 I'm also thrilled to be doing a Doctor Who audio. As a writer on the satirical sketch show Dead Ringers I'm currently spending my time hopping between TV and radio and, I can tell you, television is jolly nice (the pictures might look better on radio, but the cheques look better on TV), but radio was where I started my writing career, and is my first love as a writer.

 To this end, I was determined to make this a uniquely radio experience - a story that belongs to sound alone. A story (I hope) you will listen to, enjoy, and then listen again, and enjoy with a fresh ear. But if after hearing this, you think I've failed and my aspirations haven't matched my achievements, well.., failure is such an endearing trait. Just ask The Doctor and Omega.

 Just say to yourself... 'Ah well, he did try. Bless him...'

Nev Fountain,
March 2003

 Nev Fountain writes comedy, for the most part, and is currently focussing much of his time and energies on the BBC series Dead Ringers. When not doing so, the rest of his time and energies are focussed on young Alfrey, pictured with proud dad above. Oh, and Nev had something to do with a Doctor Who play called Death Comes to Time broadcast over the internet in 2002. This is his first play for Big Finish.

Production Notes:

 Although first to be released, Omega was actually the last of the loosely-themed "villain trilogy" to be commissioned. At one point we thought we might put the Fifth Doctor up against the Celestial Toymaker, and although a number of great authors pitched equal-ly great story ideas, ultimately doing a Toymaker story seemed less and less like a good idea. Instead, having worked with Ian Collier on Excelis Decays in 2001, producer Gary Russell realised that a rematch with Omega, which he had played in the 1982 TV adventure Arc of Infinity, might be fun, provided a different twist on this, potentially one of the greatest, and misjudged Time Lord bad guys, could be thought up. The plot Nev Fountain proffered combined that novel approach we were seeking with a use of the audio medium that satisfied our requirements for something a little more unusual.

Full Cast List:

The Doctor Peter Davison
Omega Ian Collier
Professor Ertikus Patrick Duggan
Glinda Anita Elias
Maven Faith Kent
Daland Hugo Myatt
Sentia Caroline Munro
Zagreus Jim Sangster
Tarpov Conrad Westmaas

The Production Team:

Writer Nev Fountain
Director Gary Russell
Sound/Music Russell Stone
Theme Music David Darlington
Producers Gary Russell and
Jason Haigh-Ellery
Executive Producer for the BBC Jaqueline Rayner
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