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 indeed.
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.
Directed by Nicholas Briggs
"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 story."
"The Movellans have been great fun to write. It's been a pleasure to - quite literally, as you'll hear - resurrect them."
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 and Undertaking 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 performers.
Trevor will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with family and friends at this tragic time.
David Richardson: “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 passionately."
"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.”