Tom Baker returns in two brand new stories set during his final TV season of Doctor Who, as Series 9 of The Fourth Doctor Adventures begins today!
It’s strange to think that it’s been eight years since The Fourth Doctor Adventures began. The audio series began as a great way of getting more Doctor Who stories with Tom Baker’s iconic Doctor. But in recent years, it’s become something even more.
The series still features a strong nostalgic element. But we’ve also been given some amazing new stories and fresh takes from across the whole of Tom’s era. In fact, just last year, we had the excellent The Syndicate Master Plan: a season long epic story which introduced a brand new companion, Ann Kelso, while also acting as a direct sequel to The Daleks’ Master Plan. It was something extremely different and fresh for The Fourth Doctor Adventures, but it also remained true to the spirit of Tom Baker’s era, too.
Today, the ninth series of this popular audio range begins. After a couple of years of telling stories set during or shortly after Season 15 – the middle of Tom Baker’s era – Series 9 jumps ahead all the way to his final season. Not just in the middle of Season 18 itself, but also in the middle of a key arc – the E-Space trilogy…
A return to E-Space
The E-Space trilogy was a great addition to Doctor Who mythology. Along with an interesting new environment and a new arc, the trilogy also introduced new companion Adric (Matthew Waterhouse). Series 9 explores the time when he was travelling with the Fourth Doctor, Romana (Lalla Ward) and K9 (John Leeson). I always felt that Adric worked better with the Fourth Doctor than the Fifth, as there was almost a kind of mentor/student relationship there, so this is an exciting era to explore.
One noticeable change in this series of The Fourth Doctor Adventures is that all the adventures are four-part stories, rather than two-part ones. Before, there’s usually been a mix of two-part and four-part tales for Tom Baker’s audio series, which provided us with more stories per series. It’s nice that they’re moving to just four-part stories, though. It feels more authentic to that era.
Producer David Richardson reveals why there’s a focus on four-part stories this year.
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I was really keen going in that we would be telling four-part stories only. The television season was all four-parters and so anything else would have felt wrong to me. It allowed us to take the E-Space trilogy and expand it to seven tales. What would we call that? A septrilogy, maybe?
With our audio adventures sitting snugly between the TV episodes, we get to explore the relationships between the four leads in more detail – how they fit together and how they don’t. There was so much scope in terms of things for us to play with.
I’m really excited to listen to this series. Honestly, I think that Tom Baker’s final season is underrated (although it has seemed to have gained more recognition since being released on Blu-Ray last year). So I’m really glad that we’re getting the chance to explore more of that particular era.
The first two stories of the series – Purgatory 12 and Chase the Night – are released today individually on download, or as part of The Fourth Doctor Adventures: Series 9 – Volume 1, which is available on both CD and download. Volume 2 will be released next month, which will feature the stories The Planet of Witches and The Quest of the Engineer.
Are you a fan of The Fourth Doctor Adventures? Are you glad that more stories are being told set in the middle of the E-Space trilogy? Are you a fan of the original TV stories from Season 18? Let us know in the comments below.