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The Nowhere Place

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 The release for July 2006 is "The Nowhere Place" and is a Sixth Doctor story where he has some ghostly encounters. It is written and directed by Nicholas Briggs and was recorded on the 27th and 28th March 2006.

This is Nicholas Briggs’ first audio for Big Finish’s regular Doctor Who range since 2003 – His previous story being "Creatures of Beauty". He also wrote Big Finish’s first ever Doctor Who audio drama, which started this series off, "The Sirens of Time".

 This release also sports two alternative covers. Back in 2003 Big Finish released the story "Project: Lazarus" with two alternative covers, by Lee Binding, each featuring either Colin Baker or Sylvester McCoy.

For 2006, this July's Sixth Doctor release, "The Nowhere Place" will also come with one of two alternative covers. However, as they only feature the Sixth Doctor, the opportunity for subscribers to choose a cover will not this time be an option. But each cover has been produced in identical quantities so no one cover is harder to find than the other and they will be randomly selected for both subscribers, online and store deliveries.

Both covers have been obtained from budding graphic designers who have demonstrated their talents on the web. Producer Gary Russell and cover artist Lee Binding have been keeping an eye on various threads in the Big Finish section of the Outpost Gallifrey forum and a small number of these artists were contacted and were offered the chance to submit cover ideas for "The Nowhere Place". From the subsequent ideas and submissions received, two ideas struck the right chord and they were then worked up by the artists to a finished state, submitted to the BBC for approval (as all covers are) and once they were signed off, the two artists were told that they had been successful.

Thus Simon Holub from East Anglia in the UK and William Cox from West Virginia in the USA have created the two covers below.
Audio - The Nowhere Place
The Nowhere Place
(Nicholas Briggs)
Cover by Simon Holub
Audio - The Nowhere Place
The Nowhere Place
(Nicholas Briggs)
Cover by William Cox

Alongside Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor, and Maggie Stables, as companion Evelyn Smythe, this release guest-stars "Bad Wolf’s" controller, alias Martha Cope, and Dalek actor John Schwab – both from the new Doctor Who television series - plus Andrew Wisher, son of original Davros actor, Michael Wisher. Also starring are: Nicholas Briggs, Stephen Critchlow, Andrew Fettes, John Killoran, Benjamin Roddy and Philip Wolff.

Something has worried The Doctor - enough to make him prevent the TARDIS from materialising in Evelyn’s future all because something was very wrong with the readings on the TARDIS console. But even when he puts the TARDIS in reverse something still worries him especially when they hear the sound of a ring bell that The Doctor identifies is from the 1950’s - but according to the TARDIS readings they are in the year 2197…

 On the fighter-carrier Valiant, as it travels among the outer planets, the crew also hear the same bell - A bell that strikes terror into their hearts - just before the TARDIS lands and so deposits The Doctor and Evelyn onboard.

Captain Oswin, the Valiant’s captain, is expecting trouble from alien raiders as she protects the solar system. Captain Oswin though is not expecting The Doctor and Evelyn and their strange story of being onboard her ship all because of the bell that they heard. And when The Doctor learns that a member of the Valiant has also heard the bell he wants to investigate - despite Captain Oswin not wanting to believe that the illness affecting Armstrong and other members of her crew is connected – but then the Valiant’s captain and crew are distracted by alien raiders as the Valiant crosses Pluto's orbital path.

 But the attack force sent out against the alien invaders are distracted by the sound of the same bell The Doctor and Evelyn heard. Like the mythical sirens, whatever unsettled The Doctor is luring the crew of the Valiant to their doom. But there’s no siren: merely a ghostly bell. Then The Doctor and Evelyn on entering the sickbay to visit Armstrong they follow him to a storage area near to where the TARDIS materialised. There they find an impossible door in the hull of the ship. A door that was not there when they arrived. A door that appears to lead to open space - despite there being no air-lock. A door that leads, according to Armstrong, nowhere. A door that, according to The Doctor, is fifty billion years old…
Sixth Doctor
Sixth Doctor

And then they hear other sounds – the sounds of a steam train from the past…

 This concerns The Doctor even more - especially when the door keeps opening and closing and sucks whoever is nearby to... Well who knows where… He is concerned enough to have to resort to telling Captain Oswin of what he thinks is going on so as to protect his TARDIS which is in its direct vicinity of the door. But even though Captain Oswin agrees to the TARDIS being moved she draws the line to allowing The Doctor and Evelyn access to it - even though it is the only means The Doctor has to solving the mystery of the door - a mystery that requires The Doctor and Evelyn to travel back 250 years and to the source of the bell - The Turret Class locomotive Ivy Lee.

What’s to fear on the Valiant? What is so special about the impossible door and why when that part of the, Valiant is destroyed, does the door still exist - hanging in space? Why does it involve an almost deserted train 250 years previously and why does its presence cause such a reaction of utter dread for The Doctor and, when it opens, such a powerful reaction to those in its vicinity?

Maggie Stables
Maggie Stables

Hopefully all will be answered when The Doctor manages to gain access to his TARDIS and it takes our two time travellers to 1952 and on the Turret Class locomotive Ivy Lee that is hurtling through the night. On board, there should only be two passengers: both of them carrying documents from the War Office. But now, there are also two unexpected visitors on the train. One is a guard with ill-fitting trousers, the other is an excessively dotty old lady.

 The Doctor and Evelyn have arrived and are looking for answers - but will they be able to fulfil their promise to Captain Oswin, and save her ship and crew, when 'Time's End' is approaching.
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  • Featuring the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn Smythe.
  • Serial Number: 6MB
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 27'59", 2 = 27'11", 3 = 27'23", 4 = 36'49"
  • Total Story Length: 119'22"
  • This story takes place between "The Trial of a Time Lord" and "Time and the Rani" and follows on from "Pier Pressure".
  • Early Title: "The End".
  • Cover Illustrations: Simon Holub and William Cox
  • Recorded: 27th and 28th March 2006
  • Recording Location: The Moat Studios
  • Released: July 2006
  • ISBN: 1-84435-174-2

On the Back Cover:

2197. The fighter-carrier Valiant has just crossed Pluto's orbital path. Its captain is expecting trouble from alien raiders. She is not expecting The Doctor and Evelyn.

She does not believe members of her crew when they say they can hear an ancient bell ringing. A bell that strikes terror into their hearts.

1952. The Turret Class locomotive Ivy Lee is hurtling through the night. On board, there should only be two passengers: both of them carrying documents from the War Office.

But now, there are also two unexpected visitors on the train. One is the guard with ill-fitting trousers, the other is an excessively dotty old lady.

The Doctor and Evelyn have arrived and 'Time's End' is approaching.

On the Inside Cover:

 Every now and then, Gary Russell lets me write a Doctor Who story. I think I asked this time. And he just smiled and said, ‘Sure. Colin and Maggie all right for you?’ Some time later, at some Doctor Who convention or other, I suggested to him that I did something a bit scary, supernatural… sort of ‘ghosty’. Gary said he liked that, but thought it would be fun if I did a spooky story in a futuristic, technological environment. ‘Sort of ghosts in the machine,’ Gary suggested. At that point, I was work¬ing on an idea about reincarnation called The Immortal Isle. Gary felt that some of its concepts were being dealt with in other stories he’d commissioned. So that idea bit the dust. I also flirted with the idea of doing a story about sentient plants, called Plant Life. Rob Shearman and I laughed about that one a lot. During all this, Ian Farrington kept asking me how ‘the giant slugs’ were going to feature, since I’d mentioned a story about slugs to him several lunchtimes before! So, I played around with ideas, coming up with stories that may never ever see the light of day - one called The Spark and one called Ghost Driver - but I went off them and never showed them to anyone. In fact, you’re the first person I’m telling. Keep it to yourself.

 Then Rob Shearman helped me, because I had writer’s block. I said I needed a spooky story, possibly in space or the future, and that I was having trouble with spooky stories, because, by their nature, they remain largely unexplained… and I like to explain everything. Rob confirmed for me that spooky stories should remain largely unexplained, then said he’d give me an idea. He sat in silence for a moment, considered, then he began, ‘What if... there’s this door on a space ship...?’ He also gave me a few other bits, but I won’t spoil those for you now. But those ideas first materialised in a storyline called The End, then I changed the title.

Anyway, it’s thanks to Gary and it’s thanks to Rob that The Nowhere Place now exists. Yes, that’s me avoiding the blame if you don’t like it. If you love it, however, it was all my idea and those two blighters are just making it an up! Grrr...

Nicholas Briggs,
May 2006

Nicholas Briggs is a writer, director and actor. But not necessarily in than order. Amongst his huge body of work for Big Finish are the various Dalek Empire and Cyberman miniseries. He also wrote Big Finish’s first ever Doctor Who audio drama, The Sirens of Time, and others, including Sword of Orion, Creatures of Beauty and The Mutant Phase. He’s recently been working on some new BBC TV series called Doctor Who, playing Dalek and Cyberman voices. But we don’t know what that’s all about...

Who's Who?

The Sixth Doctor

First television appearance: "The Twin Dilemma"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "Davros"

 He 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.

Doctor Evelyn Smythe

First Big Finish audio appearance: "The Marian Conspiracy"

 When 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. Recently, they have visited the planet Világ and nineteenth-century Edinburgh.

The Cast Gallery:

The Sixth Doctor & Evelyn Smythe - Played by Colin Baker & Maggie Stables

‘Don’t just sit there “oooh, Doctoring”. This is a two-man job. I scratch... you bash the door.’

 Captain Oswin - Played by Martha Cope

‘I’ve got an ace pilot who’s hearing bells and crying like a baby; and now I’ve got... “odd” people. I do hope there isn’t a pattern emerging here.’

 Executive Officer - Played by John Schwab

‘If they don’s get space-borne in less than four minutes, I will personally fly their asses!’

 Master-At-Arms - Played by Andrew Fettes

‘Security report over thirty people on there way here, all of them under the influence of that… that thing.’

 Armstrong - Played by Andrew Wisher

‘I heard it! I heard it! And I never want to hear it again!’

 Palmer - Played by John Killoran

‘What the hell are you doing, if you don’t mind my asking, Mr Ridgely? That’s classified material in that case of yours...’

 Ridgley - Played by Nicholas Briggs

‘Can’t have old ladies wandering around on our train, can we? I mean, she might be a Russian spy. Didn’t look Russian, though, did she? Probably the lack off fur hat. Cunning disguise, eh? No fur hat. Ingenious. What will the KGB think up next?’

 Operations - Played by Benjamin Roddy

‘Security lockdown! Intruder alert. Security Condition One. We may be under attack!’

 O’Keefe - Played by Stephen Critchlow

‘Four minutes, people. Go, go, go! Come on, Armstrong, don’t just stand there! Move!’

 Hayman - Played by Philip Wolff

‘Bong! Ask not for whom the bell tolls! It tolls for thee!’


Full Cast List:

The Doctor Colin Baker
Evelyn Smythe Maggie Stables
Trevor Ridgely Nicholas Briggs
Captain Oswin Martha Cope
O'Keefe Stephen Critchlow
Master-at-Arms Andrew Fettes
Palmer John Killoran
Operations Benjamin Roddy
EXO Moore John Schwab
Armstrong Andrew Wisher
Hayman Philip Wolff

The Production Team:

Writer Nicholas Briggs
Director Nicholas Briggs
Sound/Music Nicholas Briggs
Theme Music David Darlington
Story Editor Alan Barnes
Producers Gary Russell and
Jason Haigh-Ellery
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