first story for 2006 is by Robert Ross and his second
audio play after Medicinal
Purposes that was released in 2004. This
release is titled "Pier Pressure" and is a Sixth
Doctor story starring Colin Baker with Maggie Stables
as companion Evelyn
Smythe. It is directed by Gary Russell
and was recorded on the 21st and 22nd September 2005.
This story features a guest appearance by Roy Hudd
– the famous comedian and actor best known for his
very long-running radio series The News Huddlines.
He has also been in Up Pompeii, and as the undertaker
Archie Shuttleworth in the popular ITV soap opera Coronation
Hudd plays the role of Max Miller - a legendary comedian
enshrined by a statue in Brighton where "Pier Pressure"
is set in the early 20th century.
starring are: Doug Bradley, Sally Ann Curran, Martin Parsons
and Chris Simmons.
holiday is required for The Doctor and his companion Evelyn
Smythe but instead of landing at Blackpool - their desired
location – the TARDIS
takes them to Brighton on the south coast of England in
There, as they stroll down Brighton’s seafront,
a newsboy announces the headline of a local newspaper
"Murder! Cold blooded murder!". The Doctor’s
curiosity leads to an encounter with legendary local comedian,
cheeky chappie Max Miller in a local pub and it is there
that The Doctor and Evelyn learn more about the strange
sounds and mysterious disappearances and that they all
seem to be originating from the West Pier.
Despite Maxie’s public image rivalling The Doctor’s
attire for garishness his career is currently becalmed
and so he is more than willing to become involved in helping
The Doctor and Evelyn to investigate the strange goings-on
around the town.
Doctor and Evelyn soon find themselves in the thick of
things and The Doctor’s attitude changes from petulance
to anger, from quiet contemplation to outright disgust
as they discover the enormity of the threat that they
have uncovered especially with regards to the mysterious
Professor Talbot who it seems is responsible – despite
the fact that he has been dead for fifteen years…
Could the entire town be cursed by something not of this
world? What lies behind the local spate of vanishings
and unearthly screams and whose long-neglected pier stall
is the focus? What is causing the weird glow in the sea
around the pier and saps the strength of anyone who tries
to approach? Could the odd things happening be connected
with The Doctor’s arrival? And will Maxie turn the
air blue tonight?
more deaths occur, including that of Emily who they earlier
also met in the pub and whose possessed body attacked
them while they investigated Professor Talbot’s
stall on the pier, The Doctor confronts Professor Talbot
and discovers that he is in fact working for a much greater
force – a parasite that centuries ago crashed landed
in the sea, in a meteorite, and so now infects the whole
pier. But it seems that Professor Talbot is losing what
little control over the alien parasite and so it is up
to The Doctor to find a way of defeating the parasite.
this enemy is one which The Doctor discovers is very hard
to dispose of completely – lucky for him a comedian
turn by Max Miller and the West Pier itself comes to his
- Featuring the Sixth
Doctor and Evelyn
- Serial Number: 7CMA
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 125 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 29'49", 2 = 36'30",
3 = 26'46", 4 = 31'38"
- Total Story Length: Length: 124'32"
- This story takes place between "The
Trial of a Time Lord" and "Time
and the Rani" and follows on from "Medicinal
- Early Title: "Seventh Heaven".
- Cover Illustration: Stuart Manning
- Recorded: 21st and 22nd September 2005
- Recording Location: The Moat Studios
- Released: January 2006
- ISBN: 1-84435-166-1
|On the Back Cover:
Brighton, West Sussex;
listen, listen, I've got one for you. There once was
this bloke, you see. Good-looking sort of chap. Lovely,
brightly coloured coat. No rubbish. Quality gear. Never
bought a drink neither... or so they say. But his name
wasn't Miller. Oh no, there'll never be another Cheeky
Chappie, lady, there'll never be another. They broke
the mould when they made me you know.
bloke called himself The Doctor. Doctor who you ask?
And may well you. Don't know me self. No one ever knew.
Funny that. He was a real strange one. Odd things happened
when he arrived.
you, them were dark days. No one was laughing. And these
were my people. My public. It was like playing first
house at the Glasgow Empire. Just like the entire town
was cursed it was. Cursed by something not of this world...’
|On the Inside Cover:
been just over a year since Medicinal Purposes,
my first effort for Big Finish, emerged... and I’m
very glad to see how well young Daft Jamie has done
for himself since. As for my second stab, I’ve
been allowed total self-indulgence and this time the
jokes were at the forefront of my mind. Brighton has
always been one of my favourite places since happy childhood
holiday memories of the Theatre Royal, the pebbles,
the piers and, of course, The
Indeed, since this script was commissioned, Brighton
has been the site of an exhibition about a certain science
fiction television series. Brighton was also the hometown
of the cheeky chappie himself, Max Miller.
delighted to be blessed once again with an impeccable
cast, who seemed to have an absolute ball in the studio
- including an unexpected cameo from a Doctor Who
legend! In terms of guest stars, it was a dream come
true when Roy Hudd signed up to play his own comic hero,
Max Miller. Investing the role with a lifetime’s
experience and knowledge of music hall, Roy is Max.
It’s an astonishing performance and marks an enjoyable
reunion between Roy and his Hiss and Boo colleague,
Maggie Stables. Battling the good Doctor, Evelyn and
the Pure Gold of Music Hall is an actor synonymous with
the best in screen terror. Doug Bradley’s Pinhead
from the Hellraiser films remains one of the
great icons of horror cinema. Having attended the recording,
it was an honour to see the cast bring my words to life
and if, as director Gary Russell commented, the whole
piece begins to sound something like Carry On Brighton
at times, then so be it. It’s not a million miles
from my intention!
is one of the foremost experts on British comedy, having
written books on everything from Monty Python
and the Carry On films to Last of the Summer
Wine and Fawlty Towers, as well as numerous
biographies. This is his second audio script for Doctor
Who and he is currently working on a third. Oh, no,
he isn’t. Oh, yes, he is…
The Sixth Doctor
First television appearance: "The
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "Davros"
has been exploring the universe for hundreds of years.
He fights injustice. He defeats evil. He helps people.
The Doctor was travelling alone when he met Evelyn Smythe,
a companion who has had a calming effect on him, and
a deep bond of friendship and respect has quickly developed
between the two. More used to loud, energetic youngsters,
The Doctor has appreciated the change of gear the chocolate-cake-loving
divorcee has brought into his life.
First Big Finish audio appearance: "The Marian Conspiracy"
she first encountered The Doctor, Evelyn Smythe was a
history lecturer at Sheffield’s Hallam university.
He took her on an adventure involving her ancestors in
the sixteenth century - which led to Evelyn joining The Doctor in his travels. Unbeknownst to him, Evelyn was
resisting efforts by the university administration to
retire her due to a possibly fatal heart condition, and
so she took the opportunity to explore both history and
the wider universe with relish. Amongst the many people
and places Evelyn has encountered are Charles Darwin,
Burke and Hare, the planet Világ and, most recently,
an alien invasion of Brighton.
|The Cast Gallery:
| Full Cast List:
| Doug Bradley
| Sally Ann Curran
The Production Team:
|Gary Russell and