And so, a short lull in activity after a very busy time in a variety of recording studios; time to prepare for another very busy phase at the end of the month and on throughout August and into September. At this rate, I'll soon have to start taking Vitamin D supplements to compensate for a lack of sunlight!
A few days ago, Big Finish released a new fourth Doctor adventure, written by Andrew Smith. Andrew is a writer I have a particular admiration for and not only is he a regular contributor to Big Finish's audio output, but he's also written for the Doctor Who series on television. It's always a treat to work on one of his scripts and I'm very much looking forward to listening to The Movellan Grave. My character, Robin Lyon, has a Scottish accent - as does Andrew; it's just that he was born into his and I did my best not to offend him by getting it wrong!
Here are some details of the story:
Doctor Who: The Movellan Grave
When an archaeological dig in 1980s England finds a Movellan power pack
buried amongst Iron Age artefacts, the Doctor and Romana have no choice
but to investigate. And what they discover worries them very much
A Movellan ship is buried under the ground. Soon the robotic enemies of
the Daleks are making their way to the surface, but they are not the
biggest threat humanity faces.
Because on board this ship is the greatest weapon the Movellans have
ever devised. A weapon that could stop the Daleks forever... and
anything else that gets in their way.
Tom Baker The Doctor Lalla Ward Romana
Camilla Power Carrie Pierce Polly Walker Commander Narina Chris Jarman Chenek
John Banks Robin Lyon Jane Slavin Mary
Written by Andrew Smith
Directed by Nicholas Briggs
Some further thoughts and reflections from Andrew via the Big Finish web site:
We caught up with writer of The Movellan Grave, Andrew Smith
, who originally wrote for Doctor Who, Tom Baker and Lalla Ward on TV back in 1980, with the story Full Circle,
“It was a thrill to write for Tom and Lalla again after so very many
years, and to again put words into the mouths of that excellent Tardis
pairing. When I introduced myself to Tom at the recording and pointed
out that I'd written one of his TV stories in 1980, he said, "Oh I was
terribly grumpy back then," and then proceeded throughout the day to be
as sweet and funny as you could imagine. It remains one of my happiest
Big Finish recording days. I look forward very much to hearing the final
"I approached writing the Movellans by re-watching Destiny of the
Daleks with a notebook in hand. It's a story I have great fondness for,
and I have clear memories of watching it in 1979. The Movellans had been
trailed quite prominently in the press, especially actress Suzanne Danielle
as Agella, and their appearance didn't disappoint."
"I found their vulnerabilities in that story a little problematic,
particularly the fact that they could be immobilised by having their
power pack snatched from their belt. So I've addressed that in my
"The Movellans have been great fun to write. It's been a pleasure to - quite literally, as you'll hear - resurrect them."
* * * * *
I recorded an audio book last week; it was quite a 'full on' experience and I very much enjoyed working with a fabulous producer, who I hadn't worked with before. The book and audio book are scheduled for release in September - quite a quick production process - and my fingers are firmly crossed that our intentions have been properly realised. There are occasions when I get a bit of a 'tingle' about a work project and if all has gone as hoped with this particular project, it should be worth listening to. Not long to wait till publication, so I'll talk more about it in September.
* * * * *
Alas, I must end on a sad note. Trevor Baxter died a couple of days ago and I wanted to mention him as he was such a lovely man and was so beloved as 'Professor George Litefoot' in the long running Big Finish series, 'Jago & Litefoot'. I was fortunate to be in the first series of J&L stories - in fact, I'm listening to it now as I write - and I'm sure that Trevor will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him, as well as those who love the stories he recorded for Big Finish.
Again, some thoughts from the Big Finish team:
will always be a familiar name to fans of Big Finish
and Doctor Who
as Professor George Litefoot
. His first unforgettable appearance was in The Talons of Weng-Chiang
, the Doctor Who serial from February 1977, alongside Tom Baker
, Louise Jameson
and his partner-in-crime Christopher Benjamin
After graduating from RADA in 1951, alongside names such as Joan Collins
and Gerald Harper
Trevor Baxter has had an illustrious career on stage and screen, as
well as behind the mike at Big Finish. Notable stage performances
include David Mamet
’s A Life in the Theatre, performing with the RSC, and touring Shakespeare in South America.
Trevor was also a playwright as well as actor, his plays Lies
, Office Games
all opening in London. He also adapted greats from Oscar Wilde
, with a national tour of Dorian Gray
in 2003 and Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime
touring in 2005.
He continued to perform past a typical retirement age and to write and
perform on stage, screen and the mike. Trevor has been an invaluable
part of Big Finish and since May 2009 the Jago and Litefoot series
has delighted listeners and remained a fan favourite, the last volume
to be recorded was released just this year. With 13 series in 8 years,
Trevor and Christopher have been some of our most prolific and joyful
Trevor will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with family and friends at this tragic time.
: “In the nine years that I knew and
worked with him, Trevor Baxter never stopped laughing. Even when he
first joined Big Finish for the Companion Chronicle The Mahogany Murderers
he was not a well man, but his illness never seemed to dampen his joy
of life. He loved reading - he didn’t own a TV but read books on his
Kindle voraciously. He loved classical music, and could talk about it
with passion and at length. He was a hugely intelligent man with great
taste, and yet he never made you feel uncomfortable if you didn’t match
his intelligence or taste. It was simply a joy to listen to him talking
"He also loved Jago and Litefoot, which kept him busy in the final
years of his life, and he would listen to every single episode in every
single release off the press, and write to me and tell me what he loved
(which was usually everything). He adored working with Big Finish, but
most of all he adored his co-star Christopher Benjamin, who he would
tease mercilessly throughout every hour of every recording day. Those
precious days (I think there might have been 60 of them) that I spent in
their company were some of the happiest of my working life."
"Sometimes we would be crying with laughter, tears streaming down our
faces, at the glorious
badinage between takes. I will always remember
Toby, our studio engineer, turning towards me during a break and saying,
‘I absolutely love Trevor. I’ve never met anyone else like him. He’s
unique’ That’s how we all felt, and feel."
"Such a sad day. Doctor Who has lost one of its legends, and we’ve lost a dear friend.”
* * * * *
...all for now, more just as soon as it happens!