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Audio - Excelis Decays

Excelis Decays
(Craig Hinton)

 Titled "Excelis Decays" this single-CD story stars Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor. The Doctor finds himself for the third time on the planet Artaris and involved again in the events occurring in the city of Excelis.

 This third and final Excelis adventure is the first Big Finish Productions audio story by novelist Craig Hinton and is directed by Jason Haigh-Ellery. David Darlington again provides the music. It was recorded on the 18th March 2002.

 It is a known fact that the whole Excelis series was envisaged as a way of keeping the three 'past' Doctors still in the public's ear while the 6 part season of Eighth Doctor stories took centre stage. However, as this phase of Excelis draws to a close with Excelis Decays it is clear that this experimental mini series has been a success with its three very different but combined tales which form a greater whole when heard together.

 This story is the culmination of the Doctor Who part of the Excelis series (for there is still the Bernice Summerfield centred 'epilogue' - The Plague Herds Of Excelis - to come).

 Alongside Sylvester McCoy again is Anthony Stewart Head who is famous for his role as Rupert Giles in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Guest stars include: Ian Collier, who previously appeared in Doctor Who in "The Time Monster" and "Arc of Infinity", and Yee Jee Tso who played companion Chang Lee in "Doctor Who: The Movie" alongside Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor.

 Also starring are: Stuart Piper, Alistair Lock, Mark Gatiss, Penelope McDonald and Patricia Leventon.

Seventh Doctor
Seventh Doctor
 After giving the TARDIS a thorough refit, the Seventh Doctor decides to treat his old ship to a spot of autonomous control. However, rather than taking him 'somewhere nice' as he hoped for, the TARDIS takes him back to the city of Excelis some centuries after his previous visit. But The Doctor at first is not aware of this.

 The Doctor is rather surprised that the brutal and unwelcoming world in which he finds himself is the planet Artaris, which he last visited in his Sixth regeneration. The Doctor discovers that the city of Excelis has changed radically since his last visit.

 The current leaders have turned Excelis from a city awash with the new science of spiritualism to a brutal totalitarian dictatorship and that a vicious regime, which is at war with the rest of Artaris, is living off the efforts of a beleaguered underclass.

 The Doctor, on discovering his current whereabouts and the state the population is in, gives him the impetus to track down the source behind the changes that have so drastically effected Excelis. With the help of world weary old soldier Commissar Sallis, whose has seen it all, and is torn between his duty and the sense of futility he has begun to feel concerning the never ending war Excelis is engaged in, The Doctor comes face-to-face with dreaded ultimate fighting machines known as Meat Puppets.

Audio - Excelis Decays
 But there is worse to come when The Doctor learns the true and horrific nature of the Meat Puppets and the role they play in the eternal war. He is then shocked to discover a most unexpected reason for why the he finds himself returning to Artaris at regular intervals. The Doctor soon finds that he has unfinished business to attend to...

 Why is the sinister Lord Sutton, a man who will do anything to accomplish his goals, been pushed to the very limits of his sanity? What is the true significance of Lord Sutton, Warlord Grayvorn, Reeve Maupassan and The Mother Superior? And why has the TARDIS become so important?

 The Doctor, who is consumed by the overriding sense of foreboding, is certain that his arrival is the final move in a game that has been aeons in the making...

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  • Featuring the Seventh Doctor.
  • Serial Number: EX/03
  • Number of Episodes: 1
  • Cover Length: 74 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 73'35"
  • This story takes place prior to "Doctor Who: The Movie".
  • Cover Illustration: Lee Binding
  • Recorded: 18th March 2002
  • Recording Location: The Moat Studios and Christchurch Studios
  • Released: June 2002
  • ISBN: 1-903654-65-3

On the Back Cover:

 When The Doctor last visited the city of Excelis, its citizens were about to enter an age of enlightenment and reason. But some centuries later, he discovers a vicious totalitarian regime at war with the rest of Artaris, living off the efforts of a drugged and broken underclass.

 Who is the mysterious Lord Sutton, and what hold does he have over the ruling classes? What are the Meat Puppets, and what role do they play in the eternal war? And why is The Doctor's arrival the final piece in a plan that has been centuries in the making?

 Throughout his lives, The Doctor has fought legends. But some legends refuse to die.


On the Inside Cover:

 When Gary commissioned me to write the final part of Excelis Trilogy, I set myself a few personal goals. My Doctor Who novels are renowned for being replete with continuity - Excelis Decays isn't. They're also renowned for being light-hearted romps - and Excelis Decays most certainly isn't. But the most important goal for me - apart from writing something that people would enjoy - was pinning down the character of the Seventh Doctor.

 Six years ago, I wrote a Seventh Doctor novel for Virgin called GodEngine, and spectacularly failed to get a grip on possibly the most enigmatic of Doctors. But with Excelis Decays - knowing that Sylvester McCoy would actually be saying the lines - meant that getting the Seventh Doctor right became all the more important, and I'd like to think that I've actually done it this time. And knowing that Anthony Stewart Head is the villain has made this Buffy fan very, very happy!

 There are a few people I'd like to thank: Dave Hyslop, Brian Swift and Dave Whittam for proofing; Paul Magrs, David A Mclntee and Jason Haigh-Ellery for creating a world that I could play in; Ian Collier, Andrew Hair, Peter Lovelady and Mike Ramsay for sanity checks, and, above all, Gerard Hall for putting up with me when I was writing this. That bloke is a saint!.

Craig Hinton,
February 2002

Full Cast List:

Part One
The Doctor Sylvester McCoy
Lord Vaughan Sutton Anthony Stewart Head
Commissar Sallis Ian Collier
Major Brant Yee Jee Tso
Mattias Stuart Piper
Reeve Cless Alistair Lock
Deputy Warden Baris Mark Gatiss
Jancis Penelope McDonald
The Mother Superior Patricia Leventon

The Production Team:

Writer Craig Hinton
Director Gary Russell
Sound/Music David Darlington
Theme Music Mark Ayres
Producers Gary Russell and
Jason Haigh-Ellery
Executive Producer for the BBC Jaqueline Rayner
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Excelis Dawns  
Excelis Rising  
Excelis Decays

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