To set the third
audio season for the Eighth
Doctor on its start of a four part run December 2003
sees Robert Shearman's "Scherzo", which has been described
as 'a powerful and highly emotional start to the new run'.
This is Robert Shearman's fifth Big Finish Doctor Who
Audio story and his sixth for Big Finish Productions.
story is a 'two-hander' and follows in the footsteps of
Doctor story "The
Edge of Destruction" by having no additional characters
except for The Doctor and his fellow time travelling companions.
So with no supporting cast "Scherzo" just stars Paul McGann,
as the Eighth Doctor, and India Fisher, as his companion
Pollard. It is directed by Gary Russell and was recorded
16th May 2003.
According to Producer/Director
"Rob Shearman came to me wanting to write another Eighth
Doctor adventure. Always looking for ways to throw a spanner
in Rob's plans, I immediately said to him 'okay, but only
if you write me a two-hander'. He responded by saying
'alright then, but it's called Scherzo and has no incidental
music at all'. Only Rob could give us a music-themed play
with no music!
"Normally when we do Big Finish audios, we do rehearse/record
for each scene, usually wilfully out of order and all
over the shop. As this was a two-hander, I thought it
best to do a straight read-through of all four episodes.
This was then followed by a straight recording of all
four, stopping only to accommodate page turns, line corrections
and the odd fit of the giggles - never has one actor wrung
so many minutes of downtime from one line!
We recorded this one last because I thought after a week's
worth of recording, the actors involved would be more
relaxed and more in-the-swing of things. It's going to
make a powerful and highly emotional start to the new
Doctor it seems is not pleased that his companion, Charley,
has followed him on his latest journey. But why is Charley
so unwelcome? More importantly where exactly are they?
They're alone, frightened and can't see a single thing
in a starkly empty new world. All they have is themselves
and nothing to do but to deal with the emotional ramifications
of both "Neverland"
and how the recent turbulent proceedings have effected
them and the strains it has placed upon their relationship.
To make matters
worse it appears that the TARDIS
has broken down. With nowhere to go they have no choice
but to start walking into the brightness. And so The Doctor
and Charley are left to fend for themselves in a macabre,
unreal environment. They also have to come to terms with
the knowledge that everything they ever knew is now gone,
except that is that they still have each other.
how did they get into this precarious position and how
is The Doctor going to come to terms with the sacrifice
he has made by leaving our Universe so that others might
live? Especially that of Charley who has followed The Doctor into the divergent universe against his wishes.
the conclusion of "Zagreus" it was revealed just how deeply
The Doctor was affected by his experiences. This has left
him a far more bitter and jaded individual who seems to
be resigned to his fate especially as he feels he is redundant
within this new universe. Without any fixed notion of
time, what use is a Time Lord when there is nothing but
a linear passage where time passes and is gone forever
- something which may be normal for a human like Charley.
But for a Time Lord like The Doctor this could be classed
Charley believes wholeheartedly that they need each other
and that The Doctor will still find a way out of the predicament
that they find themselves in and that The Doctor can get
them back to reality. She soon learns though, as they
wander blindly around, that her actions have been perceived
by The Doctor as a betrayal of his own act of sacrifice,
so that she would be safe. Yet while the Eighth Doctor's
attitude may have changed, and that while he doesn't understand
Charley's actions and harbours a degree of resentment
towards her for them, he still cares about her.
can go so smoothly - The Doctor soon realises that the
void that they are in is slowly being destroyed and that
his words and actions nearly drives Charley away. And
then when they find the body of a dead alien Charley has
to come to terms with having to eat its raw flesh if they
are to survive. After discovering more dead bodies it
soon dawns on them that their plentifully supply of food
is infact the same dead corpse and that they have been
going around in circles in more ways then one.
the strange sounds start - which really spooks them especially
when it dawns on them that they themselves have introduced
this creature of sound into the void and that it is composed
purely of the sounds that The Doctor and Charley have
inadvertently made since leaving the safety of the TARDIS.
But worse still The Doctor realises as the creature's
own evolution begins it is leaving The Doctor and Charley
behind and so is jeopardising their own existence. To
Charley's horror he asks her that if she really trusts
him that she must cut his throat and as he screams a cacophony
of music is released
creature of sound though turns out to be their salvation
as it forces The Doctor and Charley to come together and
to work together as the team they once were. Together
they confront their fears regarding their uncertain future
and by doing so they recognise how much they mean to each
other and gain confidence in the fact that they can not
only survive this new universe, but with each other's
help, they can positively thrive within its confines.
Finish Magazine - Issue 4 (Winter 2003)
with this story is a free bonus CD containing
the fourth issue of the "Big Finish Magazine".
- Issue 4
Doctor Who’s newest
companion, Conrad Westmaas, takes us behind the
scenes of Big Finish's more recent releases...
Audio articles in this
Finish would like to thank all those actors, writers,
directors and everyone else who took part, rather
than fleeing in a panic when, the interviewers
Who - Big Finish’s third season
of Eighth Doctor audios kicks off with Scherzo.
In this in-depth feature, the season’s
cast - including Paul McGann, India Fisher,
Conrad Westmaas, Michael Keating and Alan
Rothwell - and producer Gary Russell discuss
how the season shapes up and look ahead to
all four stories.
AD - Mega-City One’s main guy,
Judge Dredd himself (aka actor Toby Longworth),
talks us through Big Finish’s range
of pump-action, diesel-fuelled audios set
in the worlds of 2000 AD.
Who Villains - 2003 saw a loose trilogy
of Doctor Who adventures pitting The Doctor
against three of his old enemies. We hear
from all three returning villains.
Bernice Summerfield - Benny’s
creator, Paul Cornell, discusses the archaeology
adventuress’s audio and book ranges…
Who Unbound - In a follow up the the
behind-the-scenes feature on Big Finish Magazine
#3, we catch up on the final Doctor Who Unbound
play, Exile, which brings us the Female Doctor,
played by Arabella Weir.
Presentation by Conrad
Westmaas. Sound design, post production and CD
mastering by David Darlington. Sleeve by Lee Binding.
Compiled and produced by Ian Farrington. Length
1 hour 13 minutes.
- Featuring the Eighth
Doctor and Charley
- Serial Number: 8N
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 100 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 19'55", 2 = 22'38", 3 =
22'07", 4 = 24'32"
- Total Story Length: 89'12"
- This story takes place after "Doctor
Who: The Movie" and
follows on from last month's "Zagreus".
- Cover Illustration: Steve Johnson
- Recorded: 16th May 2003
- Recording Location: Christchurch Studios
- Released: December 2003
- ISBN: 1-84435-035-5
|On the Back Cover:
Once upon a
were two friends, and together they travelled the cosmos.
They thwarted tyrants and defeated monsters, they righted
wrongs wherever they went. They explored the distant future
and the distant past, new worlds and galaxies, places
But every good story has
to come to an end.
no times or places left to explore, all the two friends
have now are each other. But maybe that's one voyage too
many. Maybe they'll discover things they'd rather have
left undisturbed... hidden away in the suffocating, unfeeling,
Once upon a time. Far,
|On the Inside Cover:
IF MUSIC BE
THE FOOD of love, play on...
I wrote Scherzo
on my honeymoon. Not all of it, of course. (Or else, no
sooner had I got married, than my abandoned wife would
have filed for divorce!) But it seemed a perfect time
to reflect upon love. It batters us and bruises us, but
still we come back for more. It makes us capable of great
acts of heroism and self-sacrifice - but also cruelty,
both deliberate or unwitting.
It seemed to
me the ideal subject for a Doctor Who story.
This is dedicated to my
wife Janie, who did no more than raise an amused eyebrow
when I'd scuttled down to the poolside with my notebook.
And to die other love of my life, Doctor Who -
as its anniversary year ends and a new beginning awaits.
Shearman used to be a top class, award-winning young playwright.
Then he got involved with Big Finish and began writing
Doctor Who audios. His audio dramas, which include
The Holy Terror, The Chimes of Midnight
and Jubilee, have been terribly well received,
and so recently he wrote a Doctor Who Unbound
play, Deadline, about a writer, who used to be
an award-winning young playwright trapped into writing
popularist nonsense. Robert assures us it’s in no
way autobiographical but we’re not sure we believe
asked during an interview to cite their personal favourite
Doctor Who audio adventure, both Paul McGann and
India Fisher had no hesitation in saying that it was The
Chimes of Midnight by Robert Shearman. Indeed,
in 2003 readers of Doctor Who Magazine not only
voted The Chimes of Midnight as their favourite
audio adventure of 2002, but it actually took pole position
as their favourite Doctor Who audio adventure ever!
Therefore, when deciding that he wanted this third run
of Eighth Doctor adventures, set in the new universe,
to commence with a character-led two-hander starring just
Paul and India, producer Gary Russell knew exactly who
to ask. He felt Rob's background in both theatre and more
traditional radio drama, plus of course his enviable ability
to turn the one-line description "a two-hander, Doc &
Charley alone, lost in a new universe and being somewhat
fractious" into four episodes of lyrical, emotional and
exciting drama, made him the obvious choice. The photos
we obtained of him which he doesn't want his wife to ever
see were of some encouragement too, we feel...
| Full Cast List:
The Production Team:
||Gary Russell and
|Executive Producer for the BBC