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Audio - Three’s a Crowd
Three’s a Crowd
(Colin Brake)

 May 2005’s "Three’s a Crowd" has been written by Colin Brake and is a Fifth Doctor, Peri and Erimem story. It has been directed by Gary Russell and was recorded 26th January and 3rd March 2005.

 This is Colin Brake's first Doctor Who script for Big Finish Productions. He previously wrote the BBC novels "Escape Velocity" and "The Colony of Lies" as well as The Doctor Who Magazine free CD story "Silver Lining".

The release for May 2005 was due to be "Catch-1782" and "Three’s a Crowd" was scheduled to be released in April 2005 but due to cast availability Big Finish Productions decided to swap these two releases. Therefore "Catch-1782" was released in April and "Three’s a Crowd" in May.

Peter Davison
Peter Davison
 Peter Davison, Nicola Bryant and Caroline Morris, playing the parts of The Doctor, Peri and Erimem, are joined by guest star Deborah Watling playing a new character, Auntie. Deborah Watling is best known as former Doctor Who companion Victoria during the Second Doctor’s era from 1967 to 1968.

 Also starring are: Richard Gauntlett, Charles Pemberton, Lucy Beresford, Richard Unwin, Daniel Hogarth and Sara Carver.

 With Erimem still shook up over the events of "The Roof of the World" and with her questioning whether or not she wants to keep travelling in the TARDIS, The Doctor, Peri and Erimem find themselves on an unmanned monitoring space station in orbit above an almost lifeless planet in a remote star system. A planet with a colony whose people are struggling to survive and who are governed by Auntie.

 While investigating the space station Peri and Enimem stumble upon what appears to be hundreds of foot long eggs that will soon hatch into new, inhuman life which will soon put everyone in danger. The Doctor meanwhile triggers a security alarm and gets to meet the android Butler who teleports to the space station to investigate the three life forms detected aboard the space station.



It is not long before trouble befalls Erimem when she is accidentally transmatted off the space station and there is no way of determining exactly where. According to Butler her atoms may have been scattered into space. But The Doctor is not alarmed as he is sure that she has been teleported to the planet’s surface.

And he is correct as Erimem has been teleported to a supposedly sealed room within the colony. A room containing two other people – one of which has never been in the presence of more than one person. Erimem is convinced that there is a way out and soon finds a hidden door. But when she tries to leave to explore the colony the two colonists are at first reluctant to follow her.

 The Doctor and Peri follow Erimem to the surface and as The Doctor goes off to meet Auntie, Peri is left alone in a sealed room in which she hears the sobbing of a girl in a nearby room. A girl who panics when Peri teleports to her room.

Caroline Morris
Caroline Morris
The TARDIS crew soon discover that the colonists in Earth Colony Phoenix live unsociably in their cells, are utterly dependent on transmat technology and unable to leave the security of their Habitat Domes. They have also developed severe agoraphobia... not to mention an inability to deal with visitors...

Why is returning home such a bad idea for the colonists? What dark secret is Auntie hiding and why is one of the colonists so special to her? And what fearsome, hungry creatures will emerge from the space station?

Auntie is clearly up to something with the remaining sixteen agoraphobic colonists she has rule over and that they are all in the gravest danger and that to survive, The Doctor, Peri and Erimen must uncover the colony’s darkest secrets before it is too late as something inhuman is stalking the colony - it’s hungry and the colonists and newly arrived time travellers are on its menu!

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  • Featuring the Fifth Doctor, Peri and Erimem.
  • Serial Number: 6QG
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 110 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 29'54", 2 = 27'04", 3 = 24'37", 4 = 28'18"
  • Total Story Length: 109'53"
  • This story takes place between "Planet of Fire" and "The Caves of Androzani" and after "The Roof of the World".
  • Cover Illustration: Stuart Manning
  • Recorded: 26th January and 3rd March 2005
  • Recording Location: The Moat Studios
  • Released: May 2005
  • ISBN: 1-84435-144-0

On the Back Cover:

On an almost lifeless planet in a remote star system, Earth Colony Phoenix is struggling to survive. The colonists, utterly dependent on transmat technology and unable to leave the security of their Habitat Domes, have developed severe agoraphobia... not to mention an inability to deal with visitors...

 The TARDIS crew arrive on an apparently abandoned space station in orbit above the planet and soon discover that they and the remaining colonists are in the gravest danger.

 To survive, The Doctor, Peri and Erimem must uncover the colony’s darkest secrets before it is too late.

 Something inhuman is stalking the Colony…

... and it’s hungry!


On the Inside Cover:

 WHERE TO START? AT THE beginning, I suppose. Except I’m not too sure where the beginning is. You see, I’ve known Gary Russell for so many years now that I can’t remember when or where we first met. Early last year Gary asked if I’d fancy taking a crack at a short Professor Bernice Summerfield audio for a free CD to be given away with Doctor Who Magazine. He apologised that it would have to have a very small cast: just Benny, a single Cyberman and no more than two other speaking parts. Now you have to understand this - writers lose a challenge. Give a writer a blank piece of paper and tell him to write whatever he wants and he’ll crawl into a corner and gibber. But give him two characters, one set and a narrative secret, and tell him you need a script tomorrow, there’s no stopping him. So I wrote Silver Lining, and it must have gone down okay because, out of the blue, another one of Gary’s challenging emails arrived: how quickly could I turn around a proposal and set of scripts for a non-Earthbound adventure for Fifth Doctor, Peri and Erimem?

How long is a piece of string? I quickly rustled up a trio of half-page story suggestions. Two of which I’ll keep for another time, but suffice to say they both involved large objects (one a space liner, one a moon) being directed as a planet. (I think it’s something to do with really liking the idea behind Four to Doomsday but hating everything about the execution!) The third idea was the shortest and was inspired by a half-remembered short story I’d read years ago about space explorers who developed agoraphobia. I had this notion of a colony that had retreated into cell-like rooms, linked by teleports, who never walked anywhere and rarely met anyone face to face. And then I began to wonder to what such a society might be vulnerable. Gary gave this idea the thumbs up and I began work. And I can honestly say it’s been the most fun I’ve had with a set of scripts since Camival Films stopped making Bugs.

 I hope you enjoy it too.

 And that I get another one of those challenging emails from Gary real soon!

Colin Brake,
January 2005

Colin Brake has keen a TV writer and script editor use 19 years. He’s produced scripts for EastEnders, Doctors, Bugs, Crossroads, Family Affairs and Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married. Convinced that the BBC cancelled Doctor Who in 1989 mostly to frustrate his hopes of succeeding Andrew Cartmel as script editor, he has subsequently written two Doctor Who novels for BBC Books, two short stories and now two Who-related audios for Big Finish.

Production Notes:

Aware that so far all of Erimem’s adventures bad taken place on either the surface of an alien planet or in Earth’s past, producer Gary Russell decided it was time to put Eriinem in peril in a situation she hadn’t really encountered before - alien-infested space stations, futuristic technology and lots of steel and plastic surroundings. Add into this Peri’s protectiveness of her new friend and you have the shopping list given to writer Colin Brake that he turned into Three’s A Crowd, a title that not only reflects the situation the Phoenix colonists find themselves in, but possibly also that of the TARDIS crew.

 After a few discussions inspired by the Stranglers’ The Gospel According to the Meninblack album - looking at flesh farming and lazy couch-potato TV- watching humans - then throwing in a sprinkle of the Fourth Doctor story The Ark in Space, a dash of the movie Aliens and a liberal dose of claustrophobia and paranoia, Colin moved the story forward into the version found on these CDs.


Who's Who?

The Fifth Doctor

First television appearance: "Castrovalva"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "Land of the Dead"

 He has been exploring the universe for hundreds of years. He fights injustice. He defeats evil. He helps people. Always accompanied by travelling companions, The Doctor has lately found his TARDIS shared by Peri and Erimem, two lively young girls from different points in Earth’s history. They can be a handful - as the intense teasing he endures testifies to...

Peri Brown

First television appearance: "Planet of Fire"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "Red Dawn"

 Perpugilliam Brown has been travelling with The Doctor for a while now. Their relationship can he fractious - but is generally lighthearted and friendly. A keen botanist, resourceful and compassionate, Peri also has a edgy side; a wry sense of humour that can infuriate her travelling companion. Lately, the two have been joined in their travels by Erimem, with whom Peri has immediately bonded. Slightly older than the former Egyptian Pharaoh, Peri has taken it upon herself to play the older sister.


First Big Finish audio appearance: "The Eye of the Scorpion"

 Upon the death of her father, Erimemushinseperem - Erimem for short - became Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. During an attempt on her life she met The Doctor and Peri, who were instrumental in saving her. Before her coronation, the officials decided upon a different, male, Pharaoh - a decision that did not completely disappoint Erimem, who then joined The Doctor and Peri on their travels. During a recent adventure in Tibet, Erimem’s eyes were injured and although healing nicely now, she’s still a bit sensitive to bright light.


Full Cast List:

The Doctor Peter Davison
Peri Nicola Bryant
Erimem Caroline Morris
Bellip Lucy Beresford
Khellian Queen Sara Carver
General Makra’Thon Richard Gauntlett
Laroq Daniel Hogarth
Butler Charles Pemberton
Vidler Richard Unwin
Auntie Deborah Watling

The Production Team:

Writer Colin Brake
Director Gary Russell
Sound/Music David Darlington
Theme Music David Darlington
Producers Gary Russell and
Jason Haigh-Ellery
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