Doctor Who: Davies' DW "Trial Run" Dark Season Gets Big Finish Adapt

Dark Season, Russell T. Davies' first-ever TV show, is getting a new lease on life from Big Finish in the form of audio dramas. Davies has said the YA Science Fiction comedy thriller, which premiered in 1991, was his "trial run" for Doctor Who that he got to relaunch 14 years later in 2005 after he became the hottest showrunner in the UK. Dark Season chronicled the adventures of three teenagers who are caught in a conspiracy of brainwashing, kidnaps, and a threat to the whole human race, spearheaded by the sinister Mr. Eldritch. Yes, the plot is very Doctor Who and also strongly influenced by Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The trio of snarky high school heroes was played by Victoria Lambert as the 13-year-old Marcie, Ben Chandler as Tom, and Kate Winslet, in her first major professional acting role, as Reet.

Dark Season: Davies'
"Dark Season", created by "Doctor Who"  producer Russell. T. Davies, cover art from Big Finish

Now, Lambert is returning to Dark Season to narrate a new audiobook adaptation of the series, which is set for release in November 2021. The audiobook will be of Davies' original long out-of-print novelization of the series, so it would in fact be his unfiltered voice being read by Lambert. Davies and Big Finish have also hinted that new sequel series might be on its way.

"When I first got the message, I thought it was someone taking the mick," said Lambert. "But it's surreal, slightly, because when you're sitting here and you're reading the lines, they're almost – in a compartment of my head – is the programme. I can see each scene. It's always in the back of your mind."

"When I wrote my first TV script, 30 years ago, I never dreamt I'd be revisiting it all these years later," said the irrepressible Davies. "To be reunited with its star, Victoria Lambert has been an absolute joy. We both agreed that in 1991, this was my trial run for Doctor Who!

"And it's not just about revisiting the past. With Scott Handcock and Big Finish at the helm, I hope a new and terrifying Dark Season might be about to fall…"

Producer Scott Handcock added: "Dark Season's one of those series that burned itself into the imaginations of a generation of children back in the early '90s. It's full of massive ideas and brilliant characters, not to mention an astonishing cast, and we were thrilled to track down the one-and-only Marcie Hatter – Victoria Lambert!

"We had such a fun time reliving Russell's novelisation of that original TV series as a brand-new audiobook, and it's a perfect introduction to the world… before Big Finish embarks on a few new dark seasons of its own."

Big Finish tends to get the original cast back for their shows whenever possible. So far, there is no news if Kate Winslet will be back as the punky Reet in the new series of Dark Season. The BBC can't even get her for Doctor Who.

Dark Season is now available to pre-order as a limited edition 5-CD box set at £22.99 (limited to 1000 copies) or as a digital download from the Big Finish website at £19.99.

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About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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