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Circular Time

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Audio - Circular Time
Circular Time
(Paul Cornell & Mike Maddox)

 The first audio release for 2007 was originally going to be "The Year of the Pig". However, "The Year of the Pig" has swapped places with "Circular Time" and so "Circular Time" is now the first release in 2007.

"Circular Time" has been written by Paul Cornell and Mike Maddox and tells four seasonal tales with the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa. It is directed by John Ainsworth and was recorded 6th and 7th September 2006.

 The cover has been completed by Barry Piggott, a designer new to Big Finish Productions. "Even though the new style of covers doesn’t kick in until March," explains Nicholas Briggs, "we were keen to give the old style a boost before our re-launch, and I think Barry’s come up with something rather beautiful for this unique story."

The TARDIS takes The Doctor and Nyssa to the springtime of a distant future where they find themselves embroiled in Time Lord politics on an alien world. A world the population are birdlike and where the siblings of the convicted are punished for their crime.

Fifth Doctor
Fifth Doctor
 Nyssa is horrified by this unfair justice system and blatant cruelty to the children of this planet - and so is The Doctor. Especially when he discovers that the laws on this planet have been set by a member of his own race - Cardinal Zero.

Why is The Doctor’s arrival expected and why are the population ruled by a Time Lord? Why is Cardinal Zero playing God and attempting to give the population the power of flight?

Things though soon take a turn for the worse when Cardinal Zero’s life is threatened - causing him to regenerate and, because he can now fly, is reborn as the Prophet. And so The Doctor and Nyssa find themselves hunted down so that punishment, for the “death” of Cardinal Zero, can be administered. Luckily the TARDIS is not that far away.

 Some time later, during the stifling heat of a summer in the torture chamber in the basement of Tower of London, The Doctor and Nyssa discover that this is not the best of places to be in.

After a mistake in a tavern, where The Doctor accidentally uses currency from the wrong era, The Doctor and Nyssa find themselves prisoners in the Tower of London accused of being either fools, forgers or Catholics.

 There they find themselves in the illustrious company of Sir Isaac Newton who is determined to obtain the truth of who they are and why they have strange metal coins on them.

And then Sir Isaac Newton finds a strange box outside the tavern – but worse, when he looks closer at the coins, he is alarmed to discover that one has the year 2003 stamped on it, another has a harp and another with Queen Elizabeth II and another made with 2 different metals. But worse another is from The United States of America and another is from the Roman Empire. Sir Isaac Newton comes to the assumption that the Blue Box is a time machine – and so will give whoever owns it great power…

By all the symbols on the coins Sir Isaac Newton deduces the future of the world. And is so close to the truth leaving a desperate Doctor with a lot of explaining to do – How is he going to prevent this knowledge from changing established history.



The third recorded story occurs in the recent past in the Hampshire village of Stockbridge where Nyssa spends a romantic golden autumn while The Doctor plays cricket.

Nyssa is spending her time writing a novel – but finds herself distracted by a local lad named Andrew. Andrew offers Nyssa advice which at first angers her but the more time they spend together the more realises that she is falling in love with him.

As The Doctor plays more and more matches and becomes more involved in training sessions the more time Nyssa spends with her lover – which even leads to a trip to Traken – but a Traken on Earth and not Nyssa’s home planet.

The Doctor is not caught up with his cricket not to realise that he and Nyssa’s time together is coming to end. But he has obligations to continue helping his friends win the county championships and so it is up to fate if this could be Nyssa’s final adventure with The Doctor

With the cricket season drawing to an end Nyssa has a huge decision to make and time is running out. Will her book be completed – and if so who will get to read it - before she has to decide if to leave with The Doctor or stay with her newly found love? Will The Doctor be able to fulfil his obligation and help Stockbridge win even if it means the death of one of the players during the winning run?

And finally, many years after their travels together have ended, The Doctor and Nyssa meet again in the strangest of circumstances – via the power of dreams.

A wife, a lost daughter, strange visions in a blizzard and the convergence of dreams with Nyssa – what does it all mean? Whose dream are they both in? Why does Nyssa ask The Doctor about her father and The Master?

The Doctor is confused and is worried that this strange encounter with Nyssa may wake up Peri, Adric and Tegan – his wife and two children all of whom are asleep upstairs!

Both of them have a lot of catching up to do – but will they instead unearth some unwanted ghosts? Are they in a trap or is something more innocent occurring? Could The Master have something to do with this strange encounter or is he an illusion too?

The Doctor is regenerating into his sixth incarnation and needs help for it to succeed. Nyssa is his obvious choice – and they must find The Watcher or else all will be lost and The Doctor will die.

The Doctor and Nyssa find themselves in four separate stories where time becomes circular rather than linear. Where one season revolves into the next. Where The Doctor regenerates so that his existence can continue and where he will always will be...
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  • Featuring the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa.
  • Serial Number: 6CH
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 130 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 29'42", 2 = 28'51", 3 = 27'14", 4 = 32'08"
  • Total Story Length: 117'55"
  • This story takes story takes place during various times in The Doctor’s fifth incarnation.
  • Cover Illustration: Barry Piggott
  • Recorded: 6th and 7th September 2006
  • Recording Location: The Moat Studios
  • Released: January 2007
  • ISBN: 978-1-84435-175-6

On the Back Cover:

 Summer to winter, the seasons turn.

In the springtime of a distant future, The Doctor and Nyssa become embroiled in Time Lord politics on an alien world. During the stifling heat of a summer past they suffer the vengeful wrath of Isaac Newton. In the recent past, Nyssa spends a romantic golden autumn in an English village while The Doctor plays cricket. And finally, many years after their travels together have ended, the two friends meet again in the strangest of circumstances.

 Four seasons. Four Stories.

 Now close the door behind you, you’re letting the cold in…


On the Inside Cover:

 It’s a pleasure to work with someone as talented as Mike. I hope it mizes things up and gives these four one-episode stories a fresh approach. They represent four different sorts of Doctor Who stories: alien planet; pure historical; social realism and shameless fan service. I’ll leave it to you to decide which is which. They’re also all about my love, from childhood, for the work of Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton.

Paul Cornell,
August 2006

I met Paul in summer 2005, at the Greenbelt Arts Festival. Paul had come straight off the place from Dublin with acute bronchitis, and through the chemical haze of incredibly strong antibiotics, he asked if I’d write a play with him. Stunned, and fearing he’d drop dead in front of me, I quickly agreed.

Paul had already written the plots for "Circular Time" as one-paragraph springboards, leaving me to write my episodes up as full script. Working with Paul was a sheer delight from start to finish, with us reading and rewriting each other’s work, and generally having fun as we bounced off each other. If I ever have the chance to replay the favour I surely will.
Mike Maddox,
November 2006

Paul Cornell is a veteran writer of Doctor Who audio dramas and books, as well as being the creator of Bernice Summerfield, the spin-off novel companion who now features in her own Big Finish strand. This is Mike Maddox’s first foray into the world of Big Finish…

Who's Who?

The Fifth Doctor

First television appearance: "Castrovalva"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "The 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 are currently in Monte Carlo 1966 – in search of the Veiled Leopard diamond – allowing The Doctor some time to himself. He’s always meant to explore the Ice Caves of Shabadabadon…


First television appearance: "The Keeper of Traken"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "The Land of the Dead".

 After the death of her father, Nyssa, a young, intelligent woman from the planet Traken, began travelling with The Doctor. She is logical and pragmatic - a great believer in science and reason - but is also compassionate and caring. At first, she and The Doctor shared the TARDIS with others, but lately, it’s just been the two of them. They have recently visited Earth at various points in its history - Alaska in the 1990’s, Switzerland in the 1960’s, America in the twenty-second century - as well as both Traken and Trios in their respective infancies.

Full Cast List:

The Doctor Peter Davison
Nyssa Sarah Sutton
Hoodeye Jamie Sandford
Redklaw Toby Longworth
Carrion Lois Baxter
Snowfire Teresa Gallagher
Zero Hugh Fraser
Guard Jeremy James
Molly Sunny Ormonde
Jailer Trevor Littldale
Sir Isaac Newton
David Warner
Andrew Jamie Sandford
Jack Toby Longworth
Anton Jeremy James
Don John Benfield
Lasarti Jeremy James
Anima Sunny Ormonde

The Production Team:

Writers Paul Cornell and Mike Maddox
Director John Ainsworth
Sound/Music David Darlington
Theme Music David Darlington
Story Editor Alan Barnes
Producer Sharon Gosling
Executive Producers Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery
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