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Audio - Other Lives
Other Lives
(Gary Hopkins)

 The final release for 2005 was an Eighth Doctor story titled "Other Lives" by Gary Hopkins. This is Gary Hopkins' second Doctor Who play, following 2004's "The Last". It has been directed by Gary Russell and was recorded on the 29th and 30th April 2005.

Joining Paul McGann, as the Eighth Doctor, India Fisher, as Charley Pollard, and Conrad Westmaas as C'rizz, is guest star Ron Moody, who is best known for playing the part of Fagin in the 1968 film Oliver!. Also starring are: Ron Moody, Michael Hobbs, Mike Holloway, Peter Howe, Francesca Hunt and Maitland Chandler.

Eighth Doctor
Eighth Doctor
 The TARDIS takes The Doctor and his two companions to the Crystal Palace - home of the Great Exhibition of London in 1851.

 While The Doctor and Charley look around the exhibits C'rizz is left to look after the TARDIS - as Victorian London is not quite ready for a Eutermesan to wonder amongst them.

 It is not long though before The Doctor and Charley become separated. While The Doctor is blamed for losing a young child belonging to Georgina Marlow and for not having an entry ticket Charley gets to meet the Duke of Wellington.

 On returning to the TARDIS Charley and C'rizz witness, on the TARDIS scanner, a stranger carrying a pistol following two French dignitaries and the Duke - could a murder about to take place? Leaving the safety of the TARDIS Charley and C'rizz go hunting for The Doctor. It is not long though for C'rizz to bump into Jacob Crackles, Esq., proprietor of a travelling freak show, and so is in grave danger of becoming an exhibit himself.

While Charley and C'rizz are looking for The Doctor the Time Lord returns to his TARDIS and prevents the assassin, that Charley and C'rizz witnessed earlier, from threatening two French dignitaries while he is trying to gain get inside his TARDIS. After the assassin is thwarted The Doctor enters the TARDIS, along with two French dignitaries, to find C'rizz is missing and then to his horror, on leaving his time machine, the TARDIS dematerialises leaving The Doctor stranded and alone and in a huge amount of trouble when he is accused of attempting to murder the two French dignitaries. When he finds himself in jail it is Georgina Marlow who rescues him from his prison cell under the impression that he is her long lost husband.

India Fisher
India Fisher
Completely unaware of the predicaments of her two travelling companions Charley, having now lost both The Doctor and C'rizz, decides to seek out the Duke of Wellington so that he can notify the authorities of the assassin. Luckily for her she strikes up a charming relation with the Duke of Wellington and given the chance to dress and pretend she is royalty.

 As our travelling companions become more involved in current events The Doctor and Charley find themselves drawn into the murky world of nineteenth-century politics The Doctor is left to contemplate a possible other life for himself when he decides to continue to be mistaken for Georgina Marlow's long-lost husband to so that Georgina and her children are not turned out on the street by her husband’s hard ruthless uncle, C'rizz struggles to maintain his dignity against growing odds when he becomes a freak show exhibit and makes himself an enemy of Jacob Crackles, Charley gets to befriend the Duke of Wellington, mistaken for a prostitute and then impersonates, along with C'rizz, two French dignitaries while the Duke of Wellington finds out about the future.

How do assassination, impersonation and dematerialisation combine to make the events around Hyde Park so surprising? How can the scene of the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations also become the scene to also un-seat the government, de-throne the monarch and start a republic? And who is Mrs Georgina Marlow and why does she need The Doctor to fill the shoes of her missing husband so much?

 What begins as an attempt to prevent a murder quickly becomes a desperate race to avert a revolution, to regain the TARDIS and, in the case C’rizz, to seek revenge. It is not long before The Doctor and his two companions discover that getting entangled in the lives of others carries huge risks...

Also for this month Big Finish Productions released another exclusive release for subscribers to their Doctor Who audio range. Titled "Cryptobiosis" this single CD story has been written by Elliot Thorpe and features the Sixth Doctor and Peri.
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  • Featuring the Eighth Doctor, Charley Pollard and C'rizz.
  • Serial Number: 8Y
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 130 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 26'44", 2 = 27'43", 3 = 31'37", 4 = 39'59"
  • Total Story Length: 126'03"
  • This story takes place after "Doctor Who: The Movie" and follows on from "Scaredy Cat".
  • Cover Illustration: Lee Binding
  • Recorded: 29th and 30th April 2005
  • Recording Location: The Moat Studios
  • Released: December 2005
  • ISBN: 1-84435-162-9

On the Back Cover:

London, 1851.

 Scene of the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations. Scene also of a plot to un-seat the government, de-throne the monarch and start a republic.

 If the Duke of Wellington himself is to be believed...

 While The Doctor and Charley are drawn into the murky world of nineteenth-century politics, C'rizz struggles to maintain his dignity against growing odds.

 What begins as an attempt to prevent murder quickly becomes a desperate race to avert revolution. Separated from the TARDIS, the travellers are left to wonder if they'll get their own lives back or be forever entangled with the lives of others.

 And who is Mrs Georgina Marlow? What need does she feel The Doctor can satisfy?


On the Inside Cover:

 AFTER THE DOOM AND GLOOM OF The Last, I was keen to write something in a much lighter vein, so the invitation to tackle a ‘comedy of manners’ was welcomed with open arms. I immediately suggested that it should be a story set at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and featuring an ageing Duke of Wellington. The first outline for what became Other Lives included a climactic struggle between the superhero duke and the ghost of Napoleon Bonaparte, but this was quite sensibly dropped in favour of what is now rather more down-to-earth.

 I tried to imagine what Charles Dickens might have done if he’d written a Doctor Who adventure, ignoring the likelihood that it would have been several episodes longer than the Big Finish budget allows. (Ignoring the fact too that I’m not Charles Dickens.) That said, the first draft of the script contained many more speaking parts than is usual in a Big Finish audio drama and it was necessary to reduce the number to a manageable level. This, as it turned out, had the double advantage of sharpening the focus of the story and giving the surviving characters more to do. And so we were all happy.

Gary Hopkins,
May 2005

 Gary Hopkins has written for TV series such as Dramarama, Into the Labyrinth and Granada TV’s award-winning Sherlock Holmes series with Jeremy Brett. This is his second script for Big Finish’s Eighth Doctor range. Will he never learn?

Production Notes:

It was during the recording of The Last that Big Finish, egged on by the cast, asked Gary Hopkins to submit another storyline. After the studio session, discussions in the bar of the hotel where everyone was staying went on late into the night. By bedtime, everyone had decided a Victorian comedy was the answer. Imagine the fun The Doctor and Charley would have hiding C’rizz’s Eutermesen face from London’s polite society!

 Not long afterwards, Other Lives was born. Although it has light moments, it also contains some darker-tinged scenes - notably those surrounding C’rizz’s enforced incarceration at the bands of Jacob Crackles, Esq., proprietor of a travelling freak show of the type popular in nineteenth-century England.

 Having recently worked with Mike Holoway on a Tomorrow People CD for Big Finish, director Gary Russell knew he would be right for Crackles, whilst India Fisher had indicated that her sister, actress Francesca Hunt, wanted to do a Doctor Who. Therefore, Georgina Marlow was created especially for her. For the Duke of Wellington, the author had no one else in mind other than the great Ron Moody.

Who's Who?

The Eighth Doctor

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

 The Eighth Doctor’s life has gone through an extraordinary series of events recently. Forced to flee into an alternate universe whilst infected with the Zagreas virus, he recently learned that he had been cared almost as soon as he did so. Therefore, along with his friends Charley and C’rizz, he returned to the ‘real’ universe - the one he terms home. However, as soon as they emerged from the ship’s control room they found themselves face-to-face with Davros. Defeating his old adversary, The Doctor is now free to explore once more...

Charley Pollard

First Big Finish audio appearance: "Storm Warning".

 Charley was rescued by The Doctor from aboard the ill-fated R101 airship in 1930. With scant regard for her own safety, and thus against The Doctor’s wishes, she went with her best friend into the Divergent Universe, knowing that she might never see Earth - or anyone she has known and loved - ever again. However, after resisting a number of temptations to abandon The Doctor and C’rizz, she stuck by them and has been rewarded by returning to her own universe. Whether that proves to be a wise or safer course of action remains to be seen...


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

 A Eutermesan, C’rizz’s natural curiosity made him join The Doctor and Charley and, although an outwardly peaceful man, the truth has slowly been emerging that his past might not have been as pure and innocent as Charley and The Doctor currently believe. Genetically engineered to absorb the colours, emotions and even ideals of those around him, he now fights to stop himself getting lost amongst the myriad personalities that co-exist within his mind. Personalities that may, at times, be stronger and less pleasant than his own. Personalities that his travelling companions remain ignorant about...

Full Cast List:

The Doctor Paul McGann
Charley Pollard India Fisher
C'rizz Conrad Westmaas
Mr Christian Griswold Gary Bakewell
Mr Rufus Dimplesqueeze Maitland Chandler
Mr Fazackerly Michael Hobbs
Jacob Crackles, Esq Mike Holloway
Maxi the Midget Peter Howe
Mrs Georgina Marlow Francesca Hunt
Arthur, Duke of Wellington Ron Moody

The Production Team:

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