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Audio - The Last
The Last
(Gary Hopkins)

 The second story in the final Eighth Doctor Audio season, stars Paul McGann, as The Doctor, India Fisher, as Charley Pollard, and Conrad Westmaas, as C’rizz, is called "The Last". It has been written by Gary Hopkins, who has previously written for ITV’s acclaimed Dramarama series, plus Erasmus Microman and a number of Granada TV’s Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes stories. This is his first script for Big Finish Productions.

 This story has been directed by Gary Russell and it was recorded 9th and 10th June 2004. Also starring are: Stephen Perring (again playing the part of The Kro'Ka), Ian Brooker, Richard Derrington, John Dorney, Tom Eastwood, Jane Hills, Robert Hines and Carolyn Jones.

The Doctor, Charley and C'rizz find themselves trapped on a dying and broken world in the aftermath of a nuclear war and in one of the most inhospitable places imaginable as they come face-to-face with those responsible for the war to end all wars and who are responsible for a society driven to destruction.

 Facing great hardships, in a situation which there seems a forlorn hope for their survival, it eventually becomes clear to The Doctor and his travelling companions that they are in a harsh environment where there only seems to be one way of escaping - to die…

 However, soon after arriving, and while exploring some nearby ruins, a terrible accident is about to occur - one which could have a long term physical effect on Charley and that will stretch The Doctor and C'rizz to the limit as nothing it seems that they can do will help Charley walk again.

Eighth Doctor
Eighth Doctor
 With Charley immobilised The Doctor's explores the fundamental questions of life and death while C'rizz is left to battle against the elements with some of the victims of war and, left to understand what has happened, he learns a terrible truth.

 Powerful forces are at work on Bortresoye that not even a nuclear holocaust can tame; natural forces that have excited the interest of Excelsior, the self-proclaimed saviour of her people. With her politicians bickering about the bleakness of war and the futility of survival against such overriding odds why is Excelsior concentrating so much energy on preparing her victory speech to a world in which it seems she is not aware of the true facts regarding its terrible condition and its dwindling population?

Who will be the last to leave the planet and who will have to stay behind? Is The Doctor justified in his concern about Excelsior's state of mind and could her own agenda be far more sinister than her demeanour suggests? The Doctor it seems will stop at nothing to change that situation but has he enough resolve to make a difference?

India Fisher
India Fisher
When one final desperate hope of escape presents itself to the travellers will The Doctor, Charley and C'rizz live long enough to find out if there is a way out of the dire situation that they have found themselves in? It seems not as nobody it appears has a safe future on Bortresoye.

 As the situation becomes increasingly hopeless, with Charley paralysed and accepting her fate of "never being able to walk again", C'rizz involved with the victims of the nuclear war that nobody else it seems can see, and with everyone dying around him, will The Doctor be "The Last" and will he have the final choice between life and death for being the last survivor on the planet?

  Is there any way of escape or has The Doctor’s valour and inventiveness been tested to the limit in a situation he cannot hope to win?

  Only time will tell - but that is a commodity that is fast running out…

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  • Featuring the Eighth Doctor, Charley Pollard and C'rizz.
  • Serial Number: 8T
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 122 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 37'24", 2 = 36'21", 3 = 35'00", 4 = 32'39"
  • Total Story Length: 141'24"
  • This story takes place after "Doctor Who: The Movie" and follows on from last month’s "Faith Stealer".
  • Cover Illustration: Steve Johnson
  • Recorded: 9th and 10th June 2004
  • Recording Location: Christchurch Studios
  • Released: October 2004
  • ISBN: 1-84435-102-5

On the Back Cover:

Trapped on a dying world, The Doctor and Charley come face-to-face with those responsible for the war to end all wars, while C'rizz tries to understand what has happened and learns the terrible truth.

 Powerful forces are at work on Bortresoye that not even a nuclear holocaust can tame; natural forces that have excited the interest of Excelsior, the self-proclaimed saviour of her people.

 With Charley immobilised and C'rizz left to battle against the elements with some of the victims of war, one final, desperate hope of escape presents itself to the travellers.

 But who will be the last to leave the planet? Who will have to stay behind? And will The Doctor, Charley and C'rizz live long enough to find out?


On the Inside Cover:

 CALL IT MEGALOMANIA, BUT there’s something quite satisfying about creating a whole world and then casually destroying it. Although I hasten to add that the prospect of wielding such god-like power wasn’t the main reason for writing this story.

 Having seen him face death on so many occasions, almost to the point where his mortality was in doubt, I thought it would be interesting to put The Doctor (not to mention Charley and C’rizz) into a desperate situation from which there could be little or no hope of escape. It struck me that The Doctor has always been able to deal with tragedy or disaster, and to move on from the experience, without any apparent psychological scars. He has never really had to accept that the end, even of his own life, is inevitable. I decided to put that to the test.

 A lot of the script was written late at night and into the early hours of the morning: a part of the day which felt detached from reality and, certainly for me, heightened the sense of bleakness and isolation I was keen to capture in The Last.

 I hope a little of that sense communicates itself.

Gary Hopkins,
June 2004

Gary Hopkins has been involved in Doctor Who fandom on and off since time immemorial. Many moons ago he was one of the instigators of the Doctor Who reference source CMS. Then he went and got a proper job, writing for TV series such as Dramarama, Into the Labyrinth and Granada TV’s award-winning definitive Sherlock Holmes series with Jeremy Brett. Now he’s working for Big Finish - how the mighty have fallen, he thinks. Allegedly.

Production Notes:

The Last wasn’t Gary Hopkins’s first Doctor Who pitch to Big Finish - that was Virtuosi, a story which concerned the breaking down of dreams versus reality. There were moments that seemed too close to ones in both Caerdroia and Faith Stealer so that fell by the wayside and was replaced by The Last. One element that did remain was the word Bortresoye. In Virtuosi, It was a character, here it becomes the planet. That had itself originally been Sentrisore but it was felt that was too close to the name of the character India Fisher had played as well as Charley Pollard in Neverland.

 It was Gary Hopkins who suggested the casting for The Last in the shape of Carolyn Jones, whom director Gary Russell recalled enjoying enormously as Sharon Metcalfe in the original 1970s run of Crossroads. Tom Eastwood was a friend of Caroline Morris, who plays Erimem in our Fifth Doctor adventures. Tom is best known to schoolchildren as the voice of Clifford, the Big Red Dog. Ian Brooker, Jane Hills, John Dorney and Richard Derrington had all worked with us before whereas Robert Hines was new to us all, but Gary Russell had seen him in an episode of ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot and remembered him from that.


Who's Who?

The Eighth Doctor

First television appearance: Doctor Who
First Big Finish audio appearance: “Storm Warning

 The Eighth Doctor has gone through an extraordinary battle. In order to save the life of his companion and friend Charley Pollard, he absorbed a destructive energy force referred to as Zagreus, currently subdued beneath his own, far more likable persona. However, this means The Doctor can no longer live in our universe and so has recently exiled himself into an alternative universe from which he can never return home...

Charley Pollard

First Big Finish audio appearance: "Storm Warning".

 Charley was rescued by The Doctor from the ill-fated R101 airship in 1930. Recently, much against The Doctor's wishes, she has gone with him into the Divergent Universe, knowing that she will never see Earth or anyone she has known and loved ever again. However, Charley does not seem too concerned about that and believes it was a price worth paying to remain at the side of her friend and mentor. Charley was witness recently to the loss of the TARDIS when they landed on the first planet of this new universe...


First Big Finish audio appearance: "The Creed of the Kromon".

 A Eutermesan, the first actual person The Doctor and Charley met in the Divergent Universe. Having lost his TARDIS, The Doctor found himself trapped on a planet separated into zones, although those within the zones seemed unaware that they were thus confined. C'rizz's natural curiosity has made him join The Doctor and Charley. However, he is an instinctively peaceful man, recently forced to commit murder against his nature. What effect this may have on him in the future remains to be seen...

Full Cast List:

The Doctor Paul McGann
Charley Pollard India Fisher
C'rizz Conrad Westmaas
The Kro'Ka Stephen Perring
Minister Voss Ian Brooker
Landscar Richard Derrington
Make-Up Assistant John Dorney
Requiem Tom Eastwood
Nurse Jane Hills
Minister Tralfinial Robert Hines
Excelsior Carolyn Jones

The Production Team:

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