The BBC’s 2005 relaunch of Doctor Who was a gamble. When the show was cancelled in 1989, it was considered old fashioned and outdated, but now it’s given us four regenerations (with a fifth on the way), built a passionate international audience and told a whole bunch of extremely fun adventures across time and space. It was a hard climb to get there, though, especially as the first season back didn’t go as smoothly as the producers had hoped.
Christopher Eccleston was the first new Doctor for over a decade and his casting was announced with great fanfare, but he surprised everybody by departing after just one run. Of course, the nature of Doctor Who meant it was fairly easy to regenerate him into David Tennant, but him leaving was a big speed bump as he hated his time in the TARDIS so much that he vowed he’d never return. But now, 15 years on, he’s back.
Last year we got confirmation that he’s reprising the Ninth Doctor for a round of Big Finish audio adventures. The first series of instalments is titled Ravagers and will comprise three episodes. In fact, we’ve just gotten a plot summary for it, which you can see below:
“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?”
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Eccleston’s return is being written by Nicholas Briggs (Big Finish exec producer and also famous for voicing the Daleks and Cybermen), and when complete, the series will span twelve new stories over four volumes. Ravagers is due out on CD, vinyl and digitally at some point this month.
In the meantime, we continue to await news on Doctor Who‘s thirteenth season. After many COVID-19-induced delays, it’s back later this year, though the shoot is still continuing in Liverpool and a premiere could be a ways off yet. It’s expected to conclude with the next regeneration of the Doctor and speculation is building as to who’s going to step into the TARDIS after Jodie Whittaker, so let’s hope we get some news soon. Watch this space.