Jon Culshaw is the Brigadier!

The Brigadier, Benton and Liz Shaw Return!

When Tim Treloar and Katy Manning return as the Third Doctor and Jo Grant in The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five, they’ll be joining forces with three other iconic characters from 1970s Doctor Who.

In this new audio box set from Big Finish Productions made in association with BBC Studios, several friends of the Third Doctor will be returning for more Doctor Who adventures in this iconic science-fiction franchise.

Jon Culshaw takes on the role of UNIT commanding officer Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, a character appearing under licence from the Haisman Literary Estate.

After an extensive casting process, senior producer David Richardson and executive producer Nick Briggs finally remembered a conversation they’d had with Jon, when he told them the thing he’d most like to do for Big Finish would be to play the Brigadier.

‘After checking his rendition of the character in the BBC Audiobook of The Five Doctors, we just gave him the job!’ explains Nick. ‘It was a very tricky thing casting someone to do justice to Nicholas Courtney’s brilliant, original performance. Jon has done this with honour and love for what the splendid Mr Courtney did all those years ago.’

The Haisman Estate told us about bringing back the Brigadier for the Third Doctor Adventures. “We thrilled at the choice Big Finish have made. We’ve always admired Culshaw’s voice work, and in particular enjoyed his rendition of the Brigadier in The Five Doctors audiobook. We look forward to hearing the Brigadier returning to Big Finish in such a substantial way!”

Tim Treloar, who has portrayed the Third Doctor on audio since 2015, has been at the forefront of a new era of 70s audio Who treats.

“It’s been so rewarding to see how Doctor Who fans have embraced these new Third Doctor stories,” says David Richardson, producer of The Third Doctor Adventures. “We knew Tim’s performance (and it is a performance, not a mere impersonation) as the Third Doctor was extraordinary – and it’s clear that listeners feel the same way too.”

The two adventures in The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five will require the Third Doctor, all his companions AND the full might of UNIT to save planet Earth.

Primord by John Dorney
The Scream of Ghosts by Guy Adams

The Primords (from the Doctor Who TV story Inferno) interrupt the Doctor and Liz Shaw’s reunion, and become one of the fiercest tests of UNIT and the Doctor to date. And in the second, ‘ghostly’ adventure, the population of a village are apparently being spirited away in the oddest of manners.

Katy Manning (who plays Jo Grant) told us during recording what it was like to bring back these beloved characters: “It was a joy working with Jon Culshaw, and working with Tim has been so much fun, watching him become the Doctor more and more. But Jon came in and in an instant (and I won’t tell him how!) caught the Brigadier immediately!”

Doctor Who: The Third Doctor Adventures Volume Five will be released in May 2019, available for pre-order now at £25 on CD and £20 on download.

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The Brigadier Meets Leela

The Doctor Who Short Trips range will continue to be released every month during 2019 and 2020 at £2.99 on download from Big Finish Productions. Featuring new writing talent and a new producer, Alfie Shaw, these quick journeys in the TARDIS are a perfect introduction to Doctor Who on audio.

Also for the first time at Big Finish these new Short Trips will include adventures told from the perspective of the Twelfth Doctor, plus there are first time encounters for classic companions as we continue exploring the Doctor Who universe.

In the first Short Trips coming out in 2019, Leela will be meeting Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in a Fourth Doctor story. Then there’s a Twelfth Doctor (a first for Big Finish) historical tale that sees him meeting a female pioneer of literature, plus the Seventh Doctor – master strategist that he is – will be playing the most deadly game of all of his lives, and finally we’ll find out how the Doctor learnt Venusian Aikido!

The first Short Trips for release next year is:

The Revisionists by Andy Frankham-Allen

Guests at the Hôtel des Rois are being haunted by ancestors that never existed. The Brigadier was only in Geneva to finalise his retirement, but how could he resist? Investigating, the Brigadier quickly finds something unusual. A warrior in leathers. A warrior called Leela…

History is about to catch up with both of them. History that neither of them thinks is real.

Andy says: “Originally I wrote Leela’s sections in first person, knowing Louise Jameson would be narrating, but Alfie rightly suggested jumping from first to third person would confuse things with only one voice actor involved. I have spoken to Louise a few times in the past, and was aware of the kind of things she liked to explore with Leela, so I deliberately picked an aspect of Leela that would greatly appear to her. And it was, of course, a forgone conclusion that the story would explore the differences between the Doctor’s two warrior friends. And, for Lethbridge-Stewart fans, there’s a direct connection between the final chapters of The Laughing Gnome: Scary Monsters and this story.”

Short Trips is one of the many Doctor Who audio ranges produced by Big Finish. After four superb years of being produced by Ian Atkins, the reigns are now being handed over to a new producer, Alfie Shaw.

Alfies tells us more, “Joining Big Finish has been a dream come true. Growing up between the end of the classic series and the beginning of the new one, Doctor Who has always been, to me, a show on audio as much as it was a TV one. Not only did Big Finish provide new stories for a show I love, but introduced me to new favourites, such as The PrisonerJago & Litefoot and Survivors.

“It’s a privilege to be producing new Doctor Who adventures for Big Finish and David, Ian and Nick have all been so supportive and made me feel very welcome.”

Doctor Who on audio is Doctor Who unchained. As a TV show, its storytelling ambitions have, at times, exceeded its budget or the technology available. On audio, there’s none of that. The walls don’t wobble unless you want them to! The sound designers and composers are uniformly fantastic and do such wonderful, evocative work that really highlights how a show like Doctor Who naturally lends itself to audio.”

Short Trips is a range that succinctly showcases the inherent flexibility of the format of Doctor Who. From comedic stories to heart-breaking character studies to more action orientated pieces, and from the First Doctor to the Twelfth, there really is something for everyone! All of writers, whether returning or new, have created beautiful scripts and I’m looking forward to getting them out to the listeners.

Doctor Who Short Trips series 9 and 10 are both available to pre-order now, either at £2.99 an episode each, or save by ordering a bundle of a full series with 12 episodes a year, at £30 per series.

Moon Blink Cover & Blurb Revealed

Candy_Jar_Moon Blink_Cover_SmallCandy Jar Books is pleased to release the cover art for the next Lethbridge-Stewart series novel, Moon Blink by Sadie Miller. It boasts a revamped logo and brand new artwork by Adrian Salmon who has previously worked on covers for the Lethbridge-Stewart titles, The Schizoid Earth and Mutually Assured Domination.

Candy Jar Books launched the fully licensed Lethbridge-Stewart series in February 2015, with Andy Frankham-Allen’s The Forgotten Son kicking off the venture in style. Three more titles were subsequently released; each met with high praise from fans and the press.

The blurb for the book has also been released:

July 1969, and mankind is on the Moon. Both the United States and Soviet Russia have lunar bases, and both are in trouble.

Back on Earth, Anne Travers has learned she is about to be visited by an old friend from America, Doctor Patricia Richards. Lance Corporal Bill Bishop is aware of the visit, and is on hand to meet Richards.

She brings with her a surprise, one which the Americans and Russians wish to get their hands on. But the only man who can truly help Anne, Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, is away in Scotland.

It’s a game of cat and mouse, as Anne and Bishop seek to protect the life of an innocent baby – one that holds the secrets to life on the Moon.

A series of novels from the classic era of Doctor Who, starring Anne Travers and Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart, based on the characters and concepts created by Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln.

Shaun Russell, head of publishing says, “We wanted to do something different this year, and the revamped logo and background colour reflects that. Colin Howard has done a fantastic job of giving Simon Williams’ original design a bit more weight.”

Adrian Salmon began his career painting illustrations for magazines before drawing his first comic strip “Judge Karyn” for Judge Dredd Megazine. Following this, he drew Cybermen for Doctor Who Magazine, and has worked with the magazine for the last twenty years. He dipped his toes into the creator-owned market with writer Robert Tinnell on THE FACELESS: A Terry Sharp Story, starring occult fighter and film director Terry Sharp, which was published by Image Comics. He did the artwork for The Schizoid Earth and Mutually Assured Domination for Candy Jar Books in 2015, and has more covers lined up for later in 2016.

Adrian says: “It was an honour to be chosen to draw Sadie’s cover for Moon Blink. We went for something emblematic, echoing the great Target covers of yore. I ended up sending two colour versions which Shaun brilliantly combined to make the final cover.”

“We are delighted with this latest piece of work from Adrian,” says range editor Andy Frankham-Allen. “And this time, not only do we highlight our co-stars Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers, but we get to show the world Lance Corporal Bishop, a fan favourite from three of last year’s titles, now a regular in the series.”

Sadie Miller enjoyed a career as a child actress through many voice-over parts, making her screen debut when she was eight, playing Penny in the BBC film, Royal Celebration. She is best-known to Doctor Who fans for her role in two series of Sarah Jane Smith audio dramas produced by Big Finish in 2002 and 2006. She won much critical acclaim for the role of the wheelchair-bound Planet 3 researcher, Natalie Redfern, particularly in the story Test of Nerve. She completed courses with the National Youth Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre’s Young Writer’s Programme, and RADA’s Shakespeare Course. She earned a BA in English and Related Literature, and graduated with honours. She is currently working on an original Young Adult novel, having already contributed to anthologies. In 2014 she was a finalist for the Glass Woman prize with Mirandolina.

Sadie’s book headlines the 2016 series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, and is published in the spring, followed by The Showstoppers by Jonathan Cooper and The Grandfather Infestation by John Peel. A further three novels will be released in the autumn.

The usual discounted pre-order bundles will be on offer from Candy Jar, with a new subscription deal for those wishing to get six books for the price of five!

Lethbridge-Stewart: Moon Blink by Sadie Miller is due to be released April 2016. It can now be pre-ordered (individually, or as part of a bundle/subscription) from Candy Jar Books: HERE

SADIE MILLER LAUNCHES LETHBRIDGE-STEWART 2016 RANGE

IMG_1776Candy Jar Books has just released the fourth book in the Lethbridge-Stewart series: Mutually Assured Domination by Nick Walters. Fans who have already received the final instalment may have noticed the very exciting revelation at the end of Walters’ book: Lethbridge-Stewart will return in 2016. And, not only will the publisher be releasing another series of novels, it has been announced that the next book will be written by none other than Sadie Miller!

Candy Jar Books launched the fully licensed Lethbridge-Stewart series in February 2015, with Andy Frankham-Allen’s The Forgotten Son kicking off the venture in style. Three more titles were subsequently released; each met with high praise from fans and the press.

Sadie Miller is set to return to the worlds of Doctor Who with her debut novel, Moon Blink – an exclusive preview of which is printed at the end of Mutually Assured Domination.

Sadie’s book headlines the 2016 series of Lethbridge-Stewart novels, and is published in the spring, followed by The Showstoppers by Jonathan Cooper and The Grandfather Infestation by John Peel. A further three novels will be released in the autumn.

About the books:

Moon Blink by Sadie Miller

A new drug is on the streets, and it appears to have come from the moon. Only, Apollo 11 has only just landed on the moon! Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers are all set to investigate, when Anne receives a very unexpected visitor.

The Showstoppers by Jonathan Cooper

A new TV show is about to hit the airwaves, one connected to a notorious Nazi war criminal. Lethbridge-Stewart and Anne Travers investigate. (Jonathan Cooper is the author of two novels in the Space: 1889 steampunk series, and Doctor Who correspondent for The Independent.)

The Grandfather Infestation by John Peel

Something strange is happening in the North Sea, bringing Pirate Radio to its knees. The Fifth Operational Corps is called in to investigate. (John Peel is the author of countless novels, including several for Star Trek and Doctor Who. But he’s not a DJ.)

Sadie Miller Returns

Gary Russell, former script editor of The Sarah Jane Adventures and long-time family friend of the Millers, said: “When I first heard that Sadie was writing a novel, my initial reaction was ‘ahh, a chip off the old block’– her delightful mum was one of the most creative, sharp and incisive individuals I ever knew. But then I realised I was doing Sadie a disservice, because from the first day I met her, Sadie Miller has always been her own person, utterly talented and rapaciously gifted which, other than encouragement and support, owes nothing to either of her parents and everything to Sadie’s own determination to be brilliant. And with this novel, she’s proven that she is.”

Sadie enjoyed a career as a child actress through many voice-over parts, making her screen debut when she was eight, playing Penny in the BBC film, Royal Celebration. She is best-known to Doctor Who fans for her role in both series of Sarah Jane Smith audio dramas produced by Big Finish in 2002 and 2006. She won much critical acclaim for the role of the wheelchair-bound Planet 3 researcher, Natalie Redfern, particularly in the story Test of Nerve.

She completed courses with the National Youth Theatre, the Royal Court Theatre’s Young Writer’s Programme, and RADA’s Shakespeare Course. She earned a BA in English and Related Literature, and graduated with honours.

Sadie turned from acting in 2011. “After University, I went to drama school and was actually in my final term when mum died. This obviously impacted how I looked at my future and I decided to switch to writing instead so that I could have a little more control and flexibility to be around for my dad.” She is currently working on an original Young Adult novel, having already contributed to anthologies. In 2014 she was a finalist for the Glass Woman prize with Mirandolina.

Sadie is no stranger to Doctor Who, of course. Her father is actor Brian Miller, who has appeared in both Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures, and her mother is Doctor Who legend Elisabeth Sladen, the actress who won the hearts of millions of Doctor Who fans in the 1970s as Sarah Jane Smith, and once again in 2005 when she brought Sarah back to the modern era of Doctor Who. Elisabeth Sladen sadly passed away in 2011, which led to Sadie distancing herself for some time from Doctor Who fandom.

“I needed time to mourn, to be there for my dad. The constant reminders of my mum, obviously very hard to avoid, were just too painful. But now I feel that the time is right to reconnect with Doctor Who, and the fans,” said Sadie. “My dad did so last year with an appearance in Peter Capaldi’s first episode, and so now it’s my turn. It’s exciting to be writing my first novel, and that it features the Brig adds another layer of importance. He, in the form of Nicholas Courtney, was there when mum debuted as Sarah in 1973, and she was there for his very last on screen appearance as the character in 2008. So in many ways this is important.”

“I almost worked with Sadie a good ten years ago on the second series of Sarah Jane Smith,” said series editor Andy Frankham-Allen, “but alas that did not come to be. We’ve kept in touch since, and as soon as I learned she was switching careers I immediately asked if she wanted to write for the Lethbridge-Stewart range, feeling it may be the right time for her to reconnect with Doctor Who fandom. And bless her, she agreed without a second thought!”

Candy Jar’s Publishing Co-ordinator Hayley Cox said: “It’s a great honour to be here at the start of Sadie’s writing career, working with her on her debut novel. She came to us with an amazing idea and it was a case of how could we not do it.”

The usual discounted pre-order bundles will be on offer from Candy Jar, with a new subscription deal* for those wishing to get six books for the price of five!

*A minimum twelve-month subscription is required, and will be paid in two instalments: First instalment (£22.50) will be taken upon placement of the order, and the second instalment (£22.50) will be taken six months later. If you wish to cancel your subscription, you must do so one month before renewal. After which, the next instalment will be taken for the 2017 series of books. As an added bonus, those who subscribe will receive a free novella.

The Lethbridge-Stewart series of books can now be pre-ordered from Candy Jar Books: www.candyjarbooks.co.uk

UNIT: The Series, Characters Announced

1620381_1067252639970584_3817572838332947532_nThe big news today comes from our friends over at Big Finish Productions. They’ve unveiled the new team to feature in their series of audio dramas that focus on the continued adventures of the modern UNIT, an organisation originally headed by Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart from 1969 to 1989. This new team is lead by Kate Lethbridge-Stewart as played by Jemma Redgrave, the daughter of Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, who has appeared several times over the last few years of Doctor Who. She is joined by Ingrid Oliver’s very popular scientist Osgood, who was killed last year by Missy (the Master) in Death in Heaven. Both characters make a return in the forthcoming series nine, transmitted later this year on BBC One, before the UNIT series is launched at the end of the year by Big Finish.

For the full story on this exiting new series, visit the Big Finish news page HERE.