With Christopher Eccleston returning as the Ninth Doctor in the series of new audio dramas from Big Finish Doctor Who – The Ninth Doctor Adventures: Ravagers, the actor has been making the rounds to promote his return and offering his thoughts on the long-running BBC sci-fi series' past- and in this case, it's future. In this case, Eccleston is making the case that there needs to be more of a female presence in front of the camera- and that should start with one of the Doctor's oldest foes.
"I think it's high time we had a Cyberwoman, I must say that," Eccleston revealed to Doctor Who Magazine, as reported by Radio Times. "I think we really need to address that. The Doctor with a Cyberwoman… that dynamic, feminine element of himself, which he uses so well, his flirtatious nature, his admiration for Gaia and the female would be great with a Cyberwoman. A malign Cyberwoman." But as the actor sees it, this should just be the starting point for a great female perspective.
"You know, it's great that we now have a female Doctor, and I think we should take that further in the way we look at history. Look at it through a female lens. Russell T Davies writes the Doctor as one Doctor; Steven Moffat writes him as another; Rob Shearman writes him, he's another. Bit of a boys' club, though. We need to address that," Eccleston explained. "We need some more Cyberwomen, we need female writers. It needs to be addressed, particularly as the Doctor has such a pronounced, for want of a better phrase, feminine side, and such an enthusiastic engagement with the female." In fact, Eccleston already has an idea of who he would like to see Jodie Whittaker (or the next female Doctor) meet up with. "I would very much like the Doctor to meet Emily Davison, who threw herself in front of the Epsom Derby winner and was one of the forerunners of the feminist movement and a martyr for it. I think that'd be extraordinary for him to mix with her and Emmeline Pankhurst, and explore that. He is very drawn to the feminine," the actor offered.
Here's a look-listen at another sample of Eccleston's return, this one from Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor Adventures – Ravagers "Sphere of Freedom," where the Doctor introduces yet another newbie to the TARDIS- and makes it clear that he means business, too:
In the clip below, Eccleston answers a number of questions sent in by fans since his return was first revealed- and the questions cover a pretty broad range of topics for coming in at less than eight minutes. So to find out if Eccleston has heard Big Finish Creative Director Nicholas Briggs' impersonation of him, what serious social subjects he would like to see future adventures tackle, if he still has the leather jacket, if he's willing to say that word, and a whole lot more, check out the clip below:
Joining Eccleston are Jamie Parker (Callan, Harry Potter and The Cursed Child) as Captain Halloran, Dan Starkey (The Paternoster Gang, Jago & Litefoot & Strax) as Marcus Aurelius Gallius, Ben Lee (Holmes & Watson) as Lieutenant Farraday, and Clare Corbett (Jenny – The Doctor's Daughter) as the terrifying Ravagers. The four join Eccleston as well as previously-announced cast members Camilla Beeput as Nova and Jayne McKenna as Audrey in the three Briggs-penned adventures. Now here's a look at the official trailer for Doctor Who – The Ninth Doctor Adventures: Ravagers:
On the Sphere of Freedom, the Doctor is about to shut down an evil Immersive Games business empire. He's assisted by a valiant galley chef called Nova. But his plan spectacularly fails…
Now, the Doctor must fight back to discover what could have caused everything to go so badly wrong. His journey takes him via Piccadilly Circus in 1959, Belgium 1815, and far-flung future worlds where machine intelligences regard sentient life as mere biofuel. Where does the mysterious old-timer Audrey fit in? Is the alien beverage Charganzi safe to drink? And is there really anything the Doctor can do to stop the entire universe from being devoured?
Here's a look at the three adventures listeners can look forward to:
"Sphere of Freedom": On the Sphere of Freedom, the Doctor is about to shut down an evil Immersive Games business empire. He's assisted by a valiant galley chef called Nova. But his plan spectacularly fails… And who exactly is Audrey?
"Cataclysm": Nova is dislocated in time while the Time Eddies are out of control. Meanwhile, the Doctor is about to face the end of the universe. Or is that just the Battle of Waterloo?
"Food Fight": The TARDIS is starting to get a little crowded! Audrey finds herself haunted by a ghostly Doctor.
"I mean, it's Doctor Who, isn't it? It's iconic! It's very energetic, it's full of action which I really enjoy doing. And Nova is a very spunky, sparky character, she's got a lot of attitude, she's a lot of fun. And Chris is great, he's so warm and friendly – the kind of person that I instantly felt like I'd known for ages, he's got such an enveloping warmth about him," said Beeput about recording the audio adventures. "It's just such a lovely environment you feel very safe working with someone like Chris who's such a consummate professional – and that's what it's all about!" For McKenna, the first-time experience caught her eye with the script and hooked her in from there. "I loved the script – it's the first time I've been in something like this, it's just fantastic! What's lovely is working with people that are so invested in this, and having a chance to play a character at different stages of her life – that's a great gift to be given as an actor," McKenna explained. "Everybody we're working with, all the cast and the people that's working on this, are so brilliant and efficient at their jobs, that it's felt like we've been flying – everyone's loving doing it!"
So if you're interested in adding Doctor Who – The Ninth Doctor Adventures: Ravagers to your audio drama collection, head on over the Big Finish website (here) to preorder, starting from just £19.99 (currency conversion will take happen at the time of the transaction) and available in three formats – collector's edition CD, digital download, or limited edition gatefold triple LP vinyl. A pre-order bundle of all volumes is available for just £88 (collector's edition box set) or £78 (download)- while the triple LP vinyl (limited to a pressing of 1,000 per volume) can be pre-ordered at £35.99 each (or £132 for the bundle of all four albums). For those ordering vinyl editions, here's a not from Big Finish regarding extras:
Please note: the vinyl editions do not include any behind-the-scenes extras. However, listeners purchasing vinyl LP editions will receive a download of the story automatically and be given access to the CD edits as a bonus download. Episodes will be edited specifically for the vinyl format, presented as 2 episodes, one on each side, each with opening and closing music. In addition, all pre-orders of the vinyls will also receive the behind the extras as a bonus download.