Big Finish has been producing Doctor Who audios since 1999, starring Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, David Tennant, and John Hurt. Now they're kicking off 2021 by celebrating their newest audio drama producers – all of them female – and their forthcoming work on the Doctor Who and Torchwood audio drama lines. To go along with the announcements, there's also some very good news on Russell T. Davies' first-ever 1985 Doctor Who script "Mind of the Hodiac" finding new life.
Jac Rayner, who has worked with Big Finish from its inception, said: "At the moment I'm working with a fantastic close community of writers developing the Sixth Doctor adventures and it's so much fun. That's something I'm loving about Big Finish right now, having access to so many amazing brains and getting to shape a story with them. All those brilliant moments where someone goes 'How about we do this…?' and knowing that might actually become a little bit of Doctor Who, wow!"
"Here's something folk might not know about Big Finish: the lengths some people are willing to go to make you feel part of it. At a Big Finish recording many years ago, Colin Baker held my hand and ran up and down a corridor with me so I could feel like I was in Doctor Who. That is one of my most cherished memories and I will love him for ever (well, I already loved him. But that added to it)! So, I'm looking forward to working with him on this range so much. We've come up with what I hope is a really exciting arc storyline for the Sixth Doctor to get his teeth into, channelling both the compassion and the righteous indignation that fuel Sixie; we're going into new places with companions (and maybe with a familiar face – voice? – or two), and I can't wait to get these stories into the studio and into the listeners' ears!"
Emma Haigh, who has worked across some of Big Finish's best-loved titles, said "One of the things I like most about working with Big Finish is the huge group of brilliantly creative and talented people all working together to take us away on fabulous adventures. And one of the unknown great things about Big Finish are our sound engineers, who have worked miracles in recent months, working and supporting us during these remote recording times, to produce really high-quality recordings despite all the actors being spread hither and yon across the universe. This year I'm really looking forward to working on more Adam Adamant and Callan, with some of my favorite characters, and on an exciting new release – prepare to go swift and join the adventure!"
Emily Cook, known to many Doctor Who fans as their lockdown lifesaver with her tweet-a-longs, said: "I'm relatively new to producing for Big Finish but my favorite thing about it (so far) is having the opportunity to find new stories to tell within the wonderful world of Doctor Who. We have such creative freedom! I love the whole process of seeing an idea come to life and develop into a finished product for fans to enjoy.
"My other favourite thing (can I have two favourite things?!) is the people. Everyone is incredibly lovely! These audio dramas are, of course, huge collaborative efforts and it's great to be part of such a brilliant, talented team. We all have a shared passion, too, which makes working together utterly joyous. As for upcoming projects, I am most looking forward to bringing a long-lost Doctor Who adventure to life. Discovering this script was like finding buried treasure – it has real significance in terms of the show's history – and I can't wait for the story to be told!"
And what "found script" is Cook talking about. Why none other than Russell T. Davies' first-ever Doctor Who script "Mind of the Hodiac," written on a manual typewriter in 1985/1986 and finally unearthed by Davies during December's "Doctor Who Lockdown" tweet-a-long of the 2006 Christmas Special "The Runaway Bride." At the time, Davies had hinted at the script bring brought to life, hinting that it could easily have a home as an audio drama at Big Finish so today's news and Cook's hiring appear to confirm it.
Big Finish Managing Director Jason Haigh-Ellery said: "Over the years, we have been lucky enough to work with some very talented writers and adapters. One of my favorites has always been Jac Rayner. Jac first worked with us 22 years ago, as the adapter of our first-ever production – the Bernice Summerfield adventure Oh No It Isn't. So I am so pleased she has accepted the role of producer for the Sixth Doctor series. I very much look forward to seeing what she and the very talented Emma Haigh and Emily Cook will create next with Big Finish!"
Creative Director Nicholas Briggs added: "With our new Doctor Who ranges unfolding and flowering beautifully, we're very enthusiastic to welcome some incredibly entertaining, thought-provoking storylines, devised and commissioned by a raft of great producers. Some are new to their range, others have been here before, but all of them are brimming with passion for the brand."