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39
"Ladies and Gentlebeings, welcome one and all to the 309th Intergalactic Song Contest"  

Audio - Bang-Bang-A-Boom
Bang-Bang-A-Boom
(Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman)

 December 2002's seemingly now-traditional Big Finish Yuletide romp is once again written by Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman, the team responsible for the Christmas 2001 extravaganza and poll-winning hit "The One Doctor". But is this antidote to murder mysteries sillier than their last?

 This story goes under the rather strange title of "Bang-Bang-A-Boom". I think therefore that we have been warned...

 And the difference between this story and last year's seasonal offering - as stated by Gareth Roberts "The One Doctor" was very picaresque: this is a whodunit with The Doctor as detective." He has also described "Bang-Bang-A-Boom" as "a homage to those Star Trek episodes where lots of aliens gather for a conference."

 This story is directed by Nicholas Pegg and it was recorded on the 1st and 2nd October 2002. It has been written for the Seventh Doctor and Melanie Bush and stars Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford. The story also boasts a cast packed with celebrities including:

 The glamorous Sabina Franklyn, who is more familiar from her regular roles in sitcoms Full House and Keep It In The Family, playing the part of Medical officer Dr Eleanor Harcourt. Sabina Franklyn has also appeared in Blake's 7 episode "Moloch" and as the posh girlfriend in the famous "Basil The Rat" episode of Fawlty Towers.

 Playing the part of the absent-minded Professor Ivor Fassbinder is none other than Graeme Garden, who is better known and loved by millions as a member of the classic comedy trio The Goodies. In recent years Graeme Garden has appeared in The Student Prince and Peak Practice. He also regularly appears in the Radio Four anarchic game show I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.

 Taking the role of the warlike Queen Angvia is Patricia Quinn, whose credits include I Claudius, Fortunes of War, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life and The Box of Delights - which also starred Patrick Troughton. However, Patricia Quinn is best known for her performance as Magenta in the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show and, to Doctor Who, fans as Belazs in the 1987's "Dragonfire".

 And finally, the misanthropic interpreter Loozly is portrayed by Nickolas Grace, who has appeared in television shows as diverse as Brideshead Revisited, Survivors, Bergerac, Max Headroom and Absolutely Fabulous. He also played the part of the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham in all three seasons of Robin of Sherwood.

Seventh Doctor
Seventh Doctor
 Also starring are: Vidar Magnussen, Anthony Spargo, Jane Goddard and David Tughan.

 Aboard the giant station Dark Space 8, an advanced monitoring station floating serenely among the stars, representatives of diverse species are gathering. As its crew, a dedicated and highly-skilled group of professionals, calmly going about their vital work, The Doctor and Mel arrive via an incoming shuttle completely unaware that they are in grave danger. Because Dark Space 8 - is hosting the 309th Intergalactic Song Contest…

 Amongst the other arrivals are old enemies: the haughty Angvian Queen and the gaseous gestalt Gholos. There are other amusing entrants, stressed-out translators and a jaded commentator.

 After nearly being blown up The Doctor and Mel find themselves aboard the space station but a case of a mistaken identity means that they don't find themselves incarcerated. Assuming their new identities, The Doctor as a commander and Mel as a pilot, The Doctor soon takes charge and starts liasing with the station's medical officer and chief scientist. Meanwhile Mel gets to meet the galaxy's fifth most famous person: Earth entrant Nicky Newman.


 Tasked with finding the TARDIS the station's science officer, Professor Fassbinder, is having trouble locating it amongst the debris of the destroyed space shuttle much to the alarm of The Doctor. Then death strikes on Dark Space 8

Melanie Bush

Melanie

 But who is causing these deaths. Could the performing rivalries really be to blame for these macabre murders and can events aboard Dark Space 8 threaten galactic peace? Could old political rivalries be manifesting themselves among the contestants? Is this the work of a breakaway terrorist faction? Or has someone just got it in for singer-songwriters?

 There are many suspects for The Doctor to choose from: the haughty Queen Angvia, the gaseous gestalt Gholos, disposable pop idol Nicky Neumann, erratic Professor Fassbinder and the icily-efficient Dr Helena Harcourt. But who could it be and what is the murder's motive?

 Why must The Doctor beware 'The Pits of Angvia' and will Mel be able to stop jumping to hasty conclusions? What role will the Arbiter play and will the contest ever get underway and if it does will it have an explosive finale?

 With peace in the galaxy hanging by a thread will Dark Space 8's unconventional new commander, with the help of his personal pilot, Mel, find the murderer in time to prevent a major intergalactic war?

 Or will The Doctor's new found fame go to his head and will he find himself centre stage?

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Notes:
  • Featuring the Seventh Doctor and Melanie Bush.
  • Serial Number: 7E/A
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 100 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 32'37", 2 = 36'29", 3 = 31'58", 4 = 41'50"
  • Total Story Length: 142'54"
  • This story is takes place between "Paradise Towers" and "Delta and the Bannermen".
  • Early Titles: "Dark Space Flight and "A Song For Death".
  • Cover Illustration: Clayton Hickman
  • Recorded: 1st and 2nd October 2002
  • Recording Location: The Moat Studios
  • Released: December 2002
  • ISBN: 1-903654-77-7

On the Back Cover:

 Dark Space 8 - an advanced monitoring station floating serenely among the stars. Its crew - a dedicated and highly-skilled group of professionals, calmly going about their vital work. Its mission - to boldly host the Intergalactic Song Contest.

 With representatives from myriad worlds competing, the eyes of the universe are on the station. But dark deeds are afoot aboard Dark Space 8... and people are starting to die.

 The haughty Queen Angvia, the gaseous gestalt Gholos, disposable pop idol Nicky Neumann, erratic Professor Fassbinder and the icily-efficient Dr Helena Harcourt ­ all are suspects. Could old political rivalries be manifesting themselves among the contestants? Is this the work of a breakaway terrorist faction? Or has someone just got it in for singer-songwriters?

 With peace in the galaxy hanging by a thread, it's vital that the mystery is solved ­ and fast! Can Dark Space 8's unconventional new commander, with the help of his personal pilot, Mel, find the murderer in time to prevent a major intergalactic war?

 Or will it be null points for the entire universe...?
 

On the Inside Cover:

 Top Five Eurovision Song Contest winners:

  • L'Amour Est Bleu (France, 1968)
  • Ding-A-Dong (Holland, 1975)
  • A Ba Ni Bi (Israel, 1978)
  • Poupee de Cire, Poupee de Son (France, 1965)
  • Waterloo (Sweden, 1974)
 Top Five tedious things that happen in Star Trek/Space 1999/Deep Babylon Voyager Spacescape 9 etc:

  • An Alien force recreates all the standing sets on their own planet
  • An alien claims to be God
  • Aliens similar to Arabs/Israelis appear in a clumsily tasteless and specious political allegory
  • Something funny happens (everyone starts evolving back into fish or a mouldy cheese eats the ship) and everybody takes it incredibly seriously in an attempt to make the dilemma seem realistic, but it backfires by emphasising its ludicrousness
  • Something that happened in the show four years ago is mentioned or no other reason than to make the day of a socially awkward viewer in New Jersey
 We hope we've done justice to all of the above in Bang-Bang-a-Boom!

Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman,
Christmas 2002

Gareth Roberts has written for Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Brookside, Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), and Swiss Toni. He is currently living in the land of development, which is next to the land of fiction but considerable bigger.

Clayton Hickman is the editor of Panni Comics’ Doctor Who Magazine, a freelance graphic designer for Big Finish and BBC Worldwide and the co-author of 2001’s festive romp The One Doctor. He lives in Lewisham.

 

Production Notes:

 After the success of The One Doctor at Christmas 2001, it seemed appropriate to ask the writers of that, somewhat pantomime-esque adventure to submit an idea for Christmas 2002. The only criteria given to them: not to do another parody of the Doctor Who format, although light, funny and romp were used as words of encouragement. Thus Gareth and Clayton turned their wit towards all the kind of programmes with which ITV used to try to steal Doctor Who's ratings at teatime on a Saturday afternoon. Added into that mix, however, was that other perennial favourite, the Eurovision Song Contest, here given a far broader range to include the galaxy rather than one, rather limited, continent on Earth…
 

Full Cast List:

The Doctor Sylvester McCoy
Melanie Bonnie Langford
Dr Eleanor Harcourt Sabina Franklyn
Prof Ivor Fassbinder Graeme Garden
Geri Pakhar Jane Goddard
Mister Loozly Nickolas Grace
Lieutenant Strindberg Vidar Magnussen
Queen Angvia Patricia Quinn
Nicky Newman Anthony Spargo
Commentator Logan David Tughan

The Production Team:

Writer Gareth Roberts
and Clayton Hickman
Director Nicholas Pegg
Sound/Music Andy Hardwick
Theme Music David Darlington
Producers Gary Russell and
Jason Haigh-Ellery
Executive Producer for the BBC Jaqueline Rayner
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