(James Parsons & Andrew Stirling-Brown)
Than Water" in September was "LIVE 34".
Written by James Parsons and Andrew Stirling-Brown "LIVE
34" is a Seventh
Doctor, Ace and Hex story. It
has been directed by Gary Russell and was recorded 22nd
and 24th June 2005.
Joining Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Philip Olivier
are: Ann Bryson, Andrew Collins, Joy Elias-Rilwan, William
Hoyland, Zehra Naqvi and Duncan Wiseby.
time Big Finish tries something new it's always a gamble.
Several experimental audio dramas that have already
been produced: the novel "Flip-Flop"
where it did not matter which disc you listened to first,
and the operatic "Doctor
Who and the Pirates" which had The Doctor singing
and Billie Oddie, a real life Goodie, playing a baddie.
"LIVE 34" is the next in line in this category
of Doctor Who stories and is presented without
the traditional Doctor Who Theme music. Instead
all the action is being brought to the listener via
a 24 hour radio news station presented by real-life
radio presenter Andrew Collins.
Shahan broadcasts to an earth colony known as Colony
34. His show, LIVE 34, is a rolling news channel whose
aim is to cover all events on Colony 34 as they happen.
It’s "LIVE 34 news on the hour
every hour LIVE 34 broadcasting to Colony
34 all day every day LIVE 34 constantly
updated every minute of every hour LIVE 34
sport, weather, business, local news, inter-planetary
affairs LIVE 34 live, independent, accurate,
comprehensive LIVE 34 all news, all day,
every day LIVE 34.".
You, the listener,
first tune in on the 9th month, 1st day, 25th hour just
when reports are coming in of an explosion at the government
planning offices in district F of First City and when
the opposition party, the FDP, are calling for local
elections which have been postponed for 5 years.
it be too much of a coincident that these two events
are connected? But who is trying to undermine who?
more updates if the recent explosion coming in, including
the report that the planning office at the time of the
explosion was not empty, LIVE 34 were planning to have
an interview with a representative of the FDP, Resident
Doctor, but over zealous security checks prevent this
from taking place in the studio but has to be conducted
over the phone. Resident Doctor is convinced that there
is more to these explosions than meets the eye and that
as there have been no deaths that it is a propaganda
move against the less than democratic government or
maybe to discredit the FDP. However, while being interviewed
another explosion takes place. This time at a factory,
close to where Resident Doctor is and this time it seems
that there are casualties.
The President is about to begin his address where he
deplores the recent terrorist attacks and the actions
of the FDP to force an election but his speech does
not ring true as he deplores the number of casualties
before anyone has actually counted the bodies.
this utopia be not quite what it seems? Could there
be a sinister government conducting an evil plot which
is hidden from the public eyes? And could it be that
LIVE 34 be under the thumb of the government and is
being used to spread propaganda?
the listener, next tune in on the 9th month, 6th day,
24th hour 50 when it is announced that the latest fuel
crisis is over and that all incendiary devises that
had been found at two power stations, that it was believed
was the cause of power failures, had been defused. The
government security forces blame the FDP while it is
up to the Resident Doctor to state the case for the
FDP and to try and prevent the government from gaining
the upper-hand and making the populace turn against
things seeming to be a lot calmer LIVE 34 broadcasts
two other startling events - the meeting of the Rebel
Queen, who it is believed is behind all the political
unrest and bombings, and the discovery by an undercover
medic and LIVE 34 presenter Charlotte Singh of a mass
grave of bodies.
come Ace has become known as the Rebel Queen and why
has Hex been secretly tasked to be the undercover medic?
It seems that the TARDIS
crew are deep in the midst of the action, where the
populace is under the heel of this dictatorial regime
that holds power through corrupting a pre-existing democracy
and controlling the flow of information via LIVE 34,
and our heroes it seems are working to overthrow it.
the discovery of the mass grave, just outside a Second
City’s main hospital, live on the air, on the
9th month, 10th day, 21st hour, LIVE 34's broadcast
is interrupted by armed soldiers and then the government
pulls the plug on "LIVE 34" as a whole proving
that the government is in fact in full control of what
is being broadcasted to the colony. But Hex and Charlotte
Singh discover something even more interesting in Second
City’s main hospital - something that the government
will do anything to prevent being broadcast.
As events spiral out of control - with more curfews,
deaths, explosions, assassination attempts and then
the announcement of the capture of the Rebel Queen -
The Resident Doctor gets extremely angry at the atrocities
that have been committed especially when it is revealed
that the reason behind all the disappearances of people
outside the cities is because they are being killed
off and end up being collected, along with the other
refuse, and used as fuel to supplement the supplies
the colony has run out of.
the listener, finally return to LIVE 34 on the 9th month,
16th day, 5th hour when the live coverage of the election
results and are announced and, because of the Resident
Doctor's death in a transporter accident four days earlier,
it is announced Premier Jaeger has won in a landslide
result. At the same time the captured Ace, the Rebel
Queen, is forced to confess her sins and is paraded
in front of the crowds before being sentenced to death
here and now.
then the Resident Doctor turns up at Premier Jaeger’s
victory parade and, with the help of Ace, exposes the
truth that Premier Jaeger isn't the real Premier at
all but a puppet double and so the election is declared
non-and-void causing much confusion with the crowds
and broadcasters alike - except for presenter Charlotte
Singh who, along with Hex, discovered earlier when investigating
a local hospital where he found the just-barely-alive
But will the TARDIS crew be able to leave Colony 34
now that the truth has been exposed and the corrupt
government has been removed from office? With the population
of Colony 34 now under the temporary leadership of Charlotte
Singh will she be able to restore calm? But more importantly
what will the hostile crowds do with the impostor that
has been ruling over them for so long?
- Featuring the Seventh
Doctor, Ace and Hex.
- Serial Number: 7WB
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 100 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 26'10", 2 = 29'07",
3 = 23'40", 4 = 27'57"
- Total Story Length: 106'54"
- This story is set after "Survival",
and follows "Dreamtime".
- Cover Illustration: Lee Binding
- Recorded: 22nd and 24th June 2005
- Recording Location: The Moat Studios
- Released: September 2005
- ISBN: 1-84435-099-1
On the Back Cover:
listening to LIVE 34."
¬ news on the hour every hour ¬ LIVE 34 ¬
broadcasting to Colony 34 all day every day ¬ LIVE
34 ¬ constantly updated every minute of every hour
¬ LIVE 34 ¬ sport, weather, business, local
news, inter-planetary affairs ¬ LIVE 34 ¬ live,
independent, accurate, comprehensive ¬ LIVE 34 ¬
all news, all day, every day ¬ LIVE 34."
are coming in of an explosion."
line now is the leader of the FDP."
is about to begin his address."
see bodies in the wreckage."
|On the Inside Cover:
LIVE 34 IS AN
EXPERIMENT. We knew that our first pitch to Big Finish,
as part of its most recent open-submissions window,
had somehow to stand out from all the others. We decided
to do something radical.
LIVE 34 is not,
in fact, a Doctor Who story at all. Instead
it presents four programmes taken from a rolling radio
news service on an unnamed colony world sometime in
the distant future, It puts the listener inside the
drama - makes them into one of the colonists, tuning
in night after night to keep abreast of the latest developments.
has meant that writing the play has been more than something
of a challenge - so much of the detail which you can
convey in a normal dramatic narrative has had to be
left out. For example, the colony world remains unnamed:
why would anyone bother to tell you the name of the
planet you are living on? Twenty¬-four-hour news
channels here don’t feel the need to keep reminding
us that we live on Earth. You have to fill in quite
a few of the blanks for yourself.
please, sit back, relax and, hopefully, enjoy being
|James Parsons and Andrew Stirling-Brown,
lives in Birmingham. He’s an actor, writer, designer
and consumer of a vast number of National Trust cream
teas. He wishes to thank his incredibly supportive parents,
who managed not to scream in horror when he announced
that he was turning professional. The world needs more
professional cream tea eaters, you know.
lines in deepest, darkest, rural Herefordshire. He is
a writer of prose and songs and a very occasional actor,
but mostly he makes and restores armour. He wishes to
thank his wife, children, family and friends for love,
support, lifts and loans of CDs. His parents hope he
will turn professional at something.
It was assistant producer Ian Farrington who first spotted
LIVE 34 amongst the 650 or so fresh ideas sent in to the
Big Finish offices during the summer of 2003. He pointed
it out to producer Graham Russell, observing that, unlike
many of the pitches that were being submitted, this was
an original and fresh idea that used the medium of audio
in an interesting way.
Parsons and Andrew Stirling-Brown were then asked to
resubmit their pitch, this time with the Seventh
Ace and Hex in the frame (they’d pitched it with
Bernice Summerfield as the third companion), although
still with a ‘we’re making no promises’
caveat from Big Finish. Their revised outline was liked
so much that, once it had been okayed by the BBC, the
writers were asked to go ahead with the script. It was
quite late on that the decision was made to completely
divorce the play from the traditional Doctor Who
audio world - no theme music, no episode breaks, no
reprises; just an exciting new approach that treated
the story as if it really were live radio broadcasts,
telling the story of Colony 34’s terrible problems.
Experimental audio plays are always good fun, but should
never be the norm. LIVE 34, like plays such as Creatures
of Beauty, Flip-Flop
Who and the Pirates, will hopefully sit
in the pantheon of ‘quirky’ Big Finish releases...
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 and Ace have had many adventures now - and
they’ve recently been joined by Hex, a youthful
former nurse from the twenty-first century. In this regeneration,
The Doctor can be impish, devious even, but also greatly
compassionate; whimsy and melancholy do battle inside
this persona, but his friends know they can always rely
First television appearance: "Dragonfire"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "The
McShane, who likes 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, and Ace has recently begun developing
skills of leadership, cunning and guile to equal that
of her mentor himself...
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 the easiest of times at a Merseyside school,
so he began referring to himself as ‘Hex’.
Moving down from to London to complete his medical training,
Hex began working as a staff nurse at St Gart’s
Hospital in Shoreditch. There he encountered Ace and The Doctor, helped them fight off a Cyber incursion and ended
up aboard the TARDIS. Since joining them, Hex has seen
enough monsters, hostile situations and aliens to last
most people a lifetime. But clearly not him...
| Full Cast List:
The Production Team:
||James Parsons and
||Gary Russell and