Big Finish Audio Dramas
Trap For Fools
Now available from Big Finish, download only, £2.99
A short trip that Mark recorded in 2015 - hence the story is set in 3016 - set in a school:
‘…St. Neot’s Refuge was founded in 3016 for the education of young men to the service of empire and state. In the quiet shade of Diaz’ world, each boy can develop that true sense of self-worth which will enable him to stand up for himself, and for a purpose greater than himself and, in doing so, to be of value to society; to be a man…’ School Prospectus
‘Want to change the future, Turlough? Use a school,’ The Doctor
Producer Ian Atkins said:
"It took a while to get to studio,
and Lisa had to direct "by wire" as Mark wasn't in the country at the
time. It was a fun afternoon of praying Skype would keep working, while Mark
gave a perfect reading alongside a running commentary of who he was basing all
of the story's many characters on. I think what I took away most from this is
just what a great range of voices Mark has, and what a great ear for dialogue.
He, Stephen and Lisa have ended up producing a wonderfully strong Short Trip, and
it's great to see its release at last!"
The Doctor and Turlough arrive on a planet where to be forgotten is to cease to exist. But the Forgotten leave a gap in the world – and that’s where the monsters are hiding.
The Last Fairy Tale by Paul Magrs
Deep in the heart of old Europe, the village of Vadhoc awaits the coming of a mythical teller of magical tales – but not all such stories end happily, the TARDIS travellers discover.
Repeat Offender by Eddie Robson
The Doctor has tracked the deadly Bratanian Shroud to 22nd century Reykjavík – where he’s about to become the victim of a serial criminal. Again.
The Becoming by Ian Potter
A young woman climbs a perilous mountain in search of her destiny. The Doctor and Turlough save her from the monsters on her trail – but what awaits them in the Cavern of Becoming is stranger, even, than the ravening Hungerers outside.
Here's Jenny Colgan who wrote the two new Turlough "Short Trips" stories "Gardens of the Dead" (released and utterly brilliant!) and "Trap For Fools" which Big Finish expect to release in 2017, both recorded in Edinburgh, November 2015.
Here's Jenny talking about being reunited with Mark after first meeting him as a ten-year-old after winning a competition!
Gardens of the Dead is set just after Mawdryn Undead when Turlough was skulking around the Tardis looking for a blunt instrument. Trap For Fools is set later in Turlough's timeline.
Gardens of the Dead - Turlough has joined the TARDIS - the snake in the orchard - and is trying, with limited success, to gain the others' trust. But when they land in the Gardens of the Dead, the whole team - Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough - will have to join forces and fight together to keep the Doctor safe. And discover what is behind the very last door in the TARDIS.
Performed by the one and only Mark Strickson, this download-exclusive story revisits the era of alien schoolboy Turlough, for a new adventure set immediately after his introduction in the Fifth Doctor classic Mawdryn Undead. Just click to buy for instant download!
Mark recorded three more stories in 2014 with Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton. Released in 2015 Mistfall, Equilibrium and The Entropy Plague chronicle the Doctor's return to E-Space. Here's a podcast from Big Finish where they "gate-crashed" the studio - with Mark telling us a bit about the latest stories:
"I am loving this whole trilogy because: I get to use my tie for the first time, I get to go swimming again and I get a snog. What more could a man want? Turlough's dreams - all achieved in one trilogy!"
The cast have now made more Big Finish stories than they filmed for the BBC. Excellent, pin-sharp recordings, great guest actors and no wobbly sets: Doctor Who is perfect for audio, limited only by imagination.
For details, prices and trailers just click on the covers!
These are all set in the golden period between Resurrection of the Daleks and Planet of Fire, when Turlough was the only companion (unless you count Kamelion who was rusting in a cupboard somewhere). With Peter Davison and full supporting cast, including some impressive guest stars!
Set in England under the Stuarts, where it is dangerous to play cards at the Diabola Club.and a mysterious highwayman walks the streets.
Written by Mark Gatiss of League of Gentlemen fame, this was the second CD that Big Finish released, the first being a multi-doctor story, it's nice that Mark was involved from the very beginning. Turlough changes out of the uniform because it is attracting too much attention (I'll bet). But it is a little out of character for Turlough to want to explore the lair of the evil mastermind. In the dark. David Walliams plays Quincy Flowers, one of the victims.
Brazil, 2080 - Turlough and the Doctor arrive for the Rio de Janeiro carnival. But who is the mysterious Ileana, and what connects her to an infamous mass-murdering werewolf?
The supporting actors (including Eleanor Bron and Bert Kwouk) are excellent in this one, although Mark Strickson said they were surprised by some of the script directions, such as "Turlough is vomited by a wolf". Rosa is an annoying character though, especially with her "You can share my blanket" ploy. Hussy. Available as a download for £2.99 so a great place to start if you are new to Big Finish.
"What am I doing here, anyway, standing in a Moscow back alley talking to myself and trying not to freeze my..."
The Tardis crash lands in Red Square in the near future. Who are the mysterious "sleepers"? This is a very good one, Turlough is both tormented and butch, a killer combination. Big Finish cast genuine Russian actors in the supporting roles. There is an alternative cover for this one - a limited edition photo-shopped Mawdryn promo. Genius. Loups-Garoux is the general fan favourite of the three Five/Turlough stories but for my money this was the best one.
Companion Chronicles - Turlough plus support
These are great for fans as you get more Turlough for your money and he is at the centre of the action throughout.
"I've had three weeks of novelised hell!"
Turlough and the Doctor are trapped in a pocket universe, but what will happen when the murderous aliens catch up with Turlough in his stolen ship?
A two-hander with Alex Lowe as Huxley, a many-legged creature from Verbatim Six who is recording Turlough's every move for posterity. The interplay between the two characters is beautifully done, very funny and makes this one of the best Turlough Big Finish recordings. The bad guys are the Bayennhoffreyanat (phonetic spelling). (Huxley was brought back the following year for another Companion Chronicle called "Find and Replace"). There is also an interview with Mark on the special features. Recommended.
Full Cast Audio Dramas with Mark Strickson, Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton.
The reunion! These are all set between Enlightenment and The King's Demons with some twisty time travelling to bring the older and wiser Nyssa of Traken back to the team.
"In case you've forgotten Doctor, Turlough was trying to kill us!"
Nyssa arrives on the planet Helheim thirty years after saying goodbye to the Doctor, seeking a cure to a disease that has claimed six billion lives.
This one begins from the same point as Freakshow, with Turlough apologising to Tegan and the Doctor for trying to bump them off. Maybe's it an alternate universe...
While he was in the studio to record the Companion Chronicles Mark said "wouldn't it be great if us lot could get together", us lot being Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton and himself. The other actors were approached and Janet Fielding surprisingly agreed to take part, not having recorded for Big Finish for years but recognising that it would be difficult for the reunion to work without her! The characters are all as we know them - Nyssa sounds just as she did in the series, Tegan is as outspoken as ever and there's a sly bit of Turlough in chains. The result was billed as "Saturday teatime all over again" by Big Finish and Cobwebs was a great launch for the new series, with a real sense of giving fans what they want.
The Whispering Forest (2010)
"I'm sure she'll shout should she see Sister Seska!"
The Tardis lands in an alien forest where a small group of humans live in fear of the "Takers" but there are more mysteries at Purity Bay - why are they so afraid of dirt?
Turlough doesn't get that much to do in this one, apart from falling into a river. The music is very good though , there is a proper boo-hiss villain in the shape of Mertil, and the dialogue is tongue-twistingly tortuous. Mark isn't on the interviews either. So - a good story but lacking in Turlough-appeal. Stephen Cole, the writer, kindly made up for this though, by making Turlough the focus of the next year's "Kiss of Death" . (Harry Melling, who played Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films is good in this story, apparently he is Patrick Troughton's grandson which I never knew).
The Cradle of the Snake (2010)
"Where's the old errant Turlough gone, always in trouble, always on the make?"
When Tegan starts to dream of the Mara again, the Doctor takes them to Manussa, the Mara's planet of origin. But the Mara doesn't want Tegan...
It's the return of the Mara, the evil snake previously encountered in Kinda (wonderful) and Snakedance (mostly remembered for Sarah Sutton's blue and white outfit) so it's a matter of time before the cast get possessed, with Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton having fun showing their characters' dark sides and Mark extending his range by playing Turlough as a sheep. (Don't ask). Fun, especially the wicked Doctor's idea of a boys' night out.
Heroes Of Sontar (2011)
The Tardis lands on Samur,a long-deserted battleground of the Rutans and Sontarans. but they are not alone for long; a spaceship explodes overhead, and the escape pods look awfully familiar...
Very funny, basically a Sontaran Dad's Army, there's even a "stupid boy"".
Turlough gets plenty to do, speaking Latin, bickering with a Sontaran and getting deluged by a vat of baby oil, a frankly disturbing image.
Recommended - the five actors playing the seven Sontarans are hilarious and there's a song: altogether - -"Sontar, Sontar, we die for Sontar...
Kiss of Death (2011)
Turlough finds himself in a strange winter palace, reunited with his first love. But with two mercenaries holding a gun to his head can he stay alive long enough to enjoy it?
Stephen Cole dances around the revelations about Turlough's past in "Planet of Fire" and reveals much more of his background on Trion whilst never trespassing on "canon". Turlough is central to the story and goes through the emotional wringer. Mark is on the interviews and reveals how he relished doing this story which gave him much more to do than running through corridors. The monster in this one is very scary, especially if you usually listen to these in the dark! Possibly the best Turlough story since Planet of Fire. Unmissable.
Rat Trap (2011)
In 1983 a journalist and two explorers break into an abandoned secret wartime facility rumoured to have a sideline in vivisection but find more than they expect living in the tunnels below...
OK it's talking rats. But once you get over that it's a good story. Terry Molloy, better known for playing Davros, plays Dr Wallace, whose experiments didn't turn out quite as expected.
Mark gets some good scenes with the feisty Sally Lucas and also plays one of the rats.
The Emerald Tiger (2012)
"When I want your advice Turlough I'll section myself!"
Calcutta 1926 and an expedition to the Carabar Caves to find the legendary Emerald Tiger aboard a train packed with dynamite!
Appropriately enough this one is a real "ripping yarn" which powers forward like the train on which much of the action takes place.
Nyssa gets "youthed" so she can be young and lovely on the sleeves again (although still very lovely in real life)
Turlough takes his tea black, supporting the general fan-fiction view that he is lactose-intolerant.
The Jupiter Conjunction (2012)
"It's not even a proper court! It's a shopping precinct!"
In 2329 the Tardis lands on a comet taking "backers" on the scenic route between Earth and Jupiter. The Doctor and Turlough are framed for a series of thefts while Nyssa and Tegan head out to the unstable zone.
Turlough is paired with the Doctor on this one and takes a much bigger part of the action instead of being dumped in a sub-plot somewhere. On several occasions he takes the lead. Worth buying for the special features alone, with the cast talking about how they work together with lots of banter and even an out-take!
The Butcher of Brisbane (2012)
In the 51st Century the crew meet the Minister for Justice, the infamous "Butcher of Brisbane..."
Another old enemy, Magnus Greel from "The Talons of Weng-Chiang", but this time the Doctor meets him before he travels to Victorian London, making this a prequel and a sequel rolled into one.
There's a great opening scene on a snowy battlefield, Turlough and Nyssa are separated from the others, spending three years together with Nyssa getting engaged and Turlough becoming a sort of secret agent. Marc Platt does a good job fleshing out the Robert Holmes references, the Filipino army advancing on Reykjavik can't have been an easy brief.
Eldrad Must Die! (2013)
This one is a follow-up to the Fourth Doctor story, "The Hand of Fear", making the point that if Eldrad could regenerate from a hand, where is the rest of him?
I always like the opening scenes best, when all the team are together, and in this one the first episode is almost pure fluff, as our heroes head for the seaside. We learn more about Turlough's life at Brendon as he encounters an old schoolmate. Turlough gets possessed for a fair chunk of the story and all he keeps saying out loud is "Eldrad Must Die" although we do get a few glimpses of his memories. This one gets full marks for best cover and the descriptions, such as the glitter berg, and Eldrad's body, are excellent. The writer wanted to link this stylistically to "The Hand of Fear" and Stephen Thorne does a great job giving us his Lear (with his own echo chamber).
The Lady of Mercia (2013)
"I am charming, I am extremely charming".
Dragged back into the dark ages Tegan has to impersonate a warrior queen's daughter.
Unexpectedly this one is the best of the season. Most of the story is set in 1983 at a history conference in the University of Frodsham, which is utterly convincing. There is a lot of humour, the best bit being Turlough and Barry's fight.
Due to other commitments Mark wasn't able to travel to the UK to join the rest of the cast so he had to record his part on his own for the three stories . And get this, he didn't even hear the rest of the recording - he went through the script and knew how Peter, Sarah and Janet would play their lines and reacted accordingly. Amazing, and a testament to how well they all work together as it is impossible to tell this from listening to the trilogy.
Prisoners of Fate (2013)
Nyssa left her children to look for a cure to Richter's syndrome, but never returned. The scene is set for a painful reunion on a penal colony.
It's a clever story which links to Cobwebs and the whole of the Doctor/Turlough/Tegan/Nyssa audio era but overall the tone is rather bleak with an emotional pay-off line at the end.
Due to other commitments Mark wasn't able to travel to the UK to join the rest of the cast so he had to record his part on his own for the three stories . And he didn't even hear the rest of the recording - he went through the script and knew how Peter, Sarah and Janet would play their lines and reacted accordingly. Amazing as it is impossible to tell this from listening to the trilogy.
The return to e-space, and Adric's home planet of Alzarius.
Mistfall is coming. The Marshmen are coming. But while Nyssa and Turlough find themselves caught in the open, in the hands of fanatics who model themselves on the legendary Outlers, the Doctor and Tegan discover that the supposedly secure Starliner affords them no protection from monsters both within and without...
Still looking for a way out of E-Space, the TARDIS crashes to Isenfel - a realm of snow and ice. Snarling beasts stalk the frozen plains, a feisty princess leads the hunt, and a queen in an ice palace rules over her loyal subjects.
A good story with a horrifying central premise. Turlough gets plenty to do with a plot strand all his own. The Doctor and Nyssa actually talk to each other about Adric, love and loss.
The Entropy Plague (2015)
A Great Darkness is spreading over E-Space. Entropy increases. In search of a last exit to anywhere, the TARDIS arrives on the power-less planet of Apollyon, where the scientist Pallister guards the only way out – a mysterious portal. But the portal needs power to open, and the only power Pallister can draw on is the energy contained within the molecular bonds of all living tissue...
A great doom-filled scenario that (spoiler alert) unfortunately brings the team's adventures to a close. And there's space pirates, who are always good value!
A multi-doctor adventure produced to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who (remember the hiatus?) An oddity in that the doctors and companions played other parts, Mark plays Captain Neil Macdonnell, tasked to find out what the mysterious Miss Foster (Sarah Sutton) is really after. It's a very complicated story - I didn't understand it until I read the synopsis on Wikki - but it's fun hearing Mark play another part, albeit including some of the trademark Turlough sarcasm!