When Big Finish Productions announced last year that Christopher Eccleston was breaking his self-imposed Doctor Who hiatus with a new series of audio dramas, we were considerably amped. The Ninth Doctor! Returning for more adventures! It seemed too good to be true, in all honesty. Even with pre-orders and box set artwork and title announcements, we still felt like, nah, it couldn’t possible be real. But now we have the trailer for the first release this May and… Friends, he’s still the Doctor. And he sounds absolutely fantastic.
Even though 16 years have come and gone since Eccleston regenerated into David Tennant, he doesn’t sound like he’s aged a day. Good for a Time Lord, to be honest. There’s still the excitement, the swagger, the kind of dopey optimism hiding deep trauma that was present in 2005. We only had an all-too brief 13 episodes with the Ninth Doctor, but with Big Finish’s Ninth Doctor Adventures line, he’s basically going to double that.
Each volume will contain three episodes. The plan is for four volumes to come out between May and sometime early next year. So that’s 12 new Ninth Doctor stories. And I mean, come on! Volume 1 bears the overall title Ravagers; each episode comes from writer Nicholas Briggs, Big Finish’s co-executive producer and the longtime voice of the Daleks. And the beautiful thing is, because we know the Ninth Doctor’s first entanglement with the Daleks was in the TV episode “Dalek,” we’re not getting any Daleks in the audio line. Probably.
The episode descriptions are as follows:
1.1 Sphere of Freedom
On the Sphere of Freedom, the Doctor is about to shut down an evil Immersive Games business empire. He’s assisted by a valiant galley chef called Nova. But his plan spectacularly fails… And who exactly is Audrey?
Nova is dislocated in time while the Time Eddies are out of control. Meanwhile, the Doctor is about to face the end of the universe. Or is that just the Battle of Waterloo?
1.3 Food Fight
The TARDIS is starting to get a little crowded! Audrey finds herself haunted by a ghostly Doctor.
It’s honestly just so lovely to hear the Ninth Doctor again, and utter his famous catchphrase. Eccleston is a lot of people’s first Doctor (myself included). We’re really just over the moon to get to hear more of him in a role we never expected him to play again.
Ninth Doctor Adventures Volume 1 will drop in May.