2004 sees the release of "The Harvest" - a
Doctor and Ace story that has been written by
Dan Abnett. It has been directed by Gary Russell and
was recorded 30th and 31st March 2004.
is Dan Abnett's first Big Finish Productions Doctor
Who Audio - but not his first association with Doctor
Who. Dan helped to contribute to the run of Doctor
Who Magazine comic strips during its Seventh Doctor
and Ace run.
it is fitting that he should again be writing for this
Doctor and companion - but with a twist - for the Seventh
Doctor, played by Sylvester McCoy, and his long standing
companion Ace, played by Sophie Aldred, are joined on
their adventures by a new companion: Hex, a twenty-three-year-old
from Merseyside, played by ex-Brookside star, Philip
Harvest" though will not only see the TARDIS
gain a new inhabitant, but it also sees The Doctor and
Ace come face-to-face with the Cybermen
However, unlike their previous Big Finish appearances
of Orion" and "Real
Time", which were tinged with nostalgia, with
"The Harvest" a very new slant on their existence
starring are: William Boyde, Richard Derrington, David
Warwick, Paul Lacoux, Janie Booth and Mark Donovan.
TARDIS has landed in a parking garage in Totter's Lane,
London in the year 2021. Despite the years that have
passed London is very recognisable despite being filled
with the trappings of advanced technology and changes
to the political landscape with a centralised bureaucracy
of a European government with European citizenship that
goes with it.
The Doctor and Ace are more interested in a nearby hospital
where it seems bizarre experiments are taking place.
There two hospital workers - one a staff nurse called
Thomas Hector "Hex" Schofield, the other a
recently-employed human resources worker calling herself
McShane - find themselves getting involved in something
that for one is just all part of the days work and for
the other will change his life. Forever...
the morning of October 12th, 2021 Hex was just expecting
to go to work at St Gart's in London as normal and,
that evening, have a great time in the bar of the White
Rabbit, celebrating his 23rd birthday. But today, after
bumping into Ace in the hospital’s cafeteria,
and then meeting the enigmatic Doctor, who explains
that they are investigating the strange goings on up
on the thirty-first floor of St Garts, nothing for Hex
will ever be the same again.
is some unnatural and unearthly experiments taking place
amongst the wards of St. Gart's hospital and with The Doctor lurking in the shadows, it falls to Ace, who has
infiltrated the hospital as a member of Human Resources,
to be the overt investigator. There, with the help of
the down-to-earth Hex, she discovers that there are some
mysterious patients within St. Gart's, who are undergoing
treatment to allow them to restore their organic identities.
soon finds himself out of depth when being chased by eight
foot giants but it is up to Ace to recognise who these
mysterious patients really are - Cybermen who have repeatedly
fought The Doctor in most of his incarnations.
are the occupants that are none to pleased that people
are poking their noses into business that doesn't concern
them - occupants who will go extraordinary lengths to
ensure that no one discovers the truth? Who is the enigmatic
Subject One, whom the doctors of St. Gart's Nanosurgical
ward are operating upon in a bid to make him feel both
emotionally and physically again? What would drive the
Cybermen to want to restore their ability to understand
feelings and regain the humanity they have left behind?
As a surgical process destroyed their emotions, thus
allowing them to reject all emotion in favour of logic,
can a similar one reverse this and why would the Cybermen
have the desire to be human again anyway?
The Doctor do anything to prevent the egotistical and
driven surgeon Doctor Farrer, who is obsessed with the
status of becoming a medical pioneer in uncharted surgical
ground? Or will Doctor Farrer see sense before the reality
of The Harvest process is revealed in all its bloody
glory? Meanwhile Executive Security Officer Garnier
is a caught up in his own arrogance and his lust for
power could ultimately be his own downfall. But could
the Cybermen have a much bigger agenda that involves
the astronauts of the European Space Program and the
greed of the European Union?
Doctor with Ace and Hex
the revelation of the Cyber Leader's true agenda and
as the Cybermen revert to type and start killing it
becomes very clear that they are doing what they do
best - launching another invasion attempt.
of the chaos comes an appealing moral quandary for The Doctor as he is faced with the possibility of Cybermen
who crave redemption and restoration but at the same
time do not have the Earth and humanity at heart.
Hex gets caught up in the events happening around him
he is left to struggle to see his way through these
mind-boggling events - it is therefore lucky that the
Seventh Doctor and Ace are around to sort things out
when the Cybermen’s plans are finally revealed.
The Doctor, Ace and Hex be able to prevent a catastrophe?
And if so will Hex decide to join The Doctor and Ace
in the TARDIS and so leave 2021 London behind.
- Featuring the Seventh
Doctor, Ace and new companion
- Serial Number: 7W
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 110 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 26'27", 2 = 29'47",
3 = 33'12", 4 = 27'26"
- Total Story Length: 116'52"
- This story takes place after "Survival".
- Cover Illustration: Lee Binding
- Recorded: 30th and 31st March 2004
- Recording Location: The Moat Studios
- Released: June 2004
- ISBN: 1-84435-096-7
On the Back Cover:
the morning of October 12th, 2021 Hex woke up. He was
expecting to go to work at St Gart's in London as normal
and, that evening, have a great time in the bar of the
White Rabbit, celebrating his 23rd birthday.
after his ex-flatmate is wheeled into A&E following
a bike accident, and the strange young woman from Human
Resources tries to chat him up and an eight-foot tall
guy in a Merc tries to run him down, Hex realises things
are not going quite as he expected.
in a Shoreditch car park he meets the enigmatic Doctor
who explains that he's an extra-terrestrial investigator
and something very strange is going on up on the thirty-first
floor of St Garts.
aided and abetted by The Doctor and his other new friend
'Just McShane', Hex decides to investigate. Trouble
is, everything that goes on at the hospital is being
observed and noted by the occupants of the thirty-first
floor; occupants who are none too pleased that people
are poking their noses into business that doesn't concern
them; occupants who will go extraordinary lengths to
ensure that no one discovers the truth...
|On the Inside Cover:
THIS WAS A BIT LIKE running into old friends again.
Literally, in the case of Gary Russell.
like... deary me... fifteen-ish years ago, I wrote a
batch of comic strip stories for that venerable institution,
Doctor Who Magazine. I’d only just started
out writing professionally, and though Doctor Who
wasn’t my first paid gig - that honour went to
the illustrious GI Joe - it was the first one
that felt significant. Proper, serious comics. Eventually,
work took me off to other places, like Metropolis and
Avengers Mansion, and I thought I’d said goodbye
to The Doctor.
Gary Russell called out of the blue. It’d been
fifteen-ish years since I’d seen him too. And
that’s how The Harvest started.
a child of the Seventies, versions three and four were
very much ‘my’ Doctors, but I have a great
fondness for number seven and Ace. Partly because Sylvester
and Sophie made them such memorable characters, but
also because it had been that particular Doctor/companion
partnership I’d written the majority of those
comic strips about, It was like running into old friends.
are other old friends in The Harvest... and
a brand new one, too. But that’s where I stop
giving anything away. Find out for yourself.
Doctor will see you now.
Dan Abnett is best known for his comic strip work,
including The Legion of
Superheroes, Sinister Dexter and Lone
Wolves, and his novels, the fourteenth of
which - Ravenor - was published this spring.
He was voted Best Writer Now at the 2003 National Comic
Awards. Dan can do a particularly fine TARDIS dematerialisation
impression, but not if anyone else is listening.
a brand new companion is always fun and in the case of
Hex the voice (oddly enough being an audio play) was one
of the most important aspects of it. Producer Gary Russell
really wanted to move away from the very home counties-centric
voices of 99 per cent of Doctor Who companions
and go for a more Northern sound. But because there’s
little worse that someone faking such an accent, he wanted
to find a genuine Mancunian or Merseyside voice.
on top of constructing a good straightforward five-minutes-into-the-future-style
thriller, Dan Abnett also had to introduce a likable
young man who would work well with the long-established
team of the Seventh
Doctor and Ace, but also have the
potential to shake up their cosy world somewhat.
long after Brookside ended, Russell wondered
what a number of the younger actors were going to do
now. Then it hit him - one of them might be Hex, and
Philip Olivier was top of that list. But would he want
to do it.
answer, it seemed, was yes...
The Seventh Doctor
First television appearance: "Time
and the Rani"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "Bang-Bang-A-Boom!"
has been exploring the universe for hundreds of years.
He fights injustice. He defeats evil. He helps people.
The Doctor has been joined by Ace on his travels for many
adventures now, but his platonic, almost paternal, relationship
with her has been buffeted recently by her growing feelings
of discontentment. The Doctor is concerned about his friend
- perhaps their lifestyle has been too frenetic? Perhaps
they de need a break...?
First television appearance: "Dragonfire"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "The
McShane, who liked to be known as Ace, was a schoolgirl
living in Perivale, west London, when she was transported
far across time and space to the Iceworld colony by a
time storm. Here, she met The Doctor and since then the
pair have travelled the universe together, fighting evils
and righting wrongs. Over time, a close bond developed
between the two, but Ace has recently become disillusioned,
affected by the trail of death that seems to follow them
everywhere, and has started referring to herself simply
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "The
Hector Schofield discovered at quite an early age that
the name ‘Hector’ wasn’t exactly designed
to give him she easiest of times growing up in a Merseyside
school, so he began referring himself as 'Hex'. Moving
down from Merseyside to London to complete his medical
training, Hex began working as a staff nurse at St Gart’s
Hospital in Shoreditch. There he encountered she strange
but rather compelling administrative assistant who called
herself McShane and her odd friend The Doctor, who claimed
he could travel in space and time...
| Full Cast List:
|Doctor Stephen Farrer
|Doctor Mark Mathias
|XSO David Garnier
The Production Team:
|Gary Russell and
|Executive Producer for the BBC