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Audio - The Juggernauts
The Juggernauts
(Scott Alan Woodard)

 During 2004 Big Finish Productions announced that the initial run of regular Doctor Who releases for 2005 were to be by writers previously unconnected to Big Finish - The first of these is this month’s story by Scott Alan Woodard, a writer/producer for the ‘Kids WB’ animation studios in the USA.

 "The Juggernauts" was due to be the second release of the year but had to swap places with "The Game". This month also sees the return to the traditional double-CD releases.

Directed by Gary Russell this story, that was recorded 20th and 21st April 2004, features Colin Baker, as the Sixth Doctor, and Bonnie Langford as his companion Melanie Bush. This is the first Sixth Doctor and Melanie adventure since the successful "The One Doctor" that was released in 2001. It is also the first Doctor Who Dalek story since Robert Shearman's superlative "Jubilee" and also the first meeting with the Daleks for Melanie.


Sixth Doctor
Sixth Doctor
 "The Juggernauts" also see the return of Davros, played once again by Terry Molloy, (see "Davros" for this evil scientist’s, first Big Finish Productions audio adventure). This time though Davros is joined by his creations the Daleks and their old enemies the Mechonoids - whose first Doctor Who appearance was in the 1965's First Doctor story "The Chase".

 Also on the cast list are Peter Forbe, Paul Grunert, Julia Houghton, Bindya Solanki, Klaus White and - providing the Dalek/Mechonoid voices - Nicholas Briggs.

 After the space vessel, carrying medical supplies, that they are visiting comes under fire, and unable help the crew, The Doctor and Melanie manage to escape but in doing so they become separated. Melanie escapes in a lifepod but as she drifts away, she witnesses the ship's destruction unaware of whether The Doctor has been able to recover his TARDIS or not. Meanwhile The Doctor finds himself a prisoner of the Daleks, who claim not to have incarcerated him but to have recruited him to their cause as they want him to investigate Davros on the planet Lethe - a planet whose atmosphere, The Doctor is informed, is toxic to the Daleks. It seems that the Daleks suspect Davros is up to his old tricks once more on the mining colony and that he is plotting a new threat that could wipe out the Daleks forever.

Melanie Bush

Melanie

 Coincidentally it is this same remote human mining colony that Melanie’s lifepod takes her to. During the three months that she has been there Melanie has been using her computer programming skills to help refine some superior servo robots developed by a disabled scientist who she is unaware is in fact the Dalek’s creator Davros...

Melanie is also unaware that she is being observed and that because of the Daleks intervention that The Doctor is aware of the danger she is in and how oblivious to this, along with all those on Lethe, are to the truth behind Davros and his creations and also to the goings on in a sealed off damaged part of the colony.

After agreeing to help the Daleks, so that he can rescue his companion, The Doctor arrives on Lethe at the same time that some mining investors also arrive to check on Davros’ creations - but one of them knows who Davros really is and is there to stop Davros.

 In the past the benevolent Davros has been motivated by revenge upon his creations who have spurned his genius and offended his ego by outgrowing their maker. But this time could Davros actually be seeking atonement through working for the greater good of humanity or is there something more to the creation of his new service robots - The Juggernauts - and was he alone when his space transporter also crashed landed on Lethe?

Davros
Davros
Being separated from The Doctor and assuming that she is now on her own and that Lethe is now her new home she makes friendships with her colleagues including fellow scientist Geoff whom has a crush on her and whom she starts to have romantic feelings for. She though holds her feelings in check as underneath she still has an unswerving belief that she will eventually be reunited with The Doctor once more. However, despite priding herself on having a good judgement of people, it becomes a shock to her when The Doctor eventually arrives and informs her that the man she has come to admire and respect is actually a diabolical megalomaniac and can not be trusted and neither can The Juggernauts that she has had a hand in creating. While her colleagues Sonali and Geoff try to help the colonists escape Melanie is has to come to terms of who Davros really is and that The Doctor is telling the truth about him. She also has to come to terms that The Doctor is also working for the Daleks!

Worse though is still to be revealed about Davros and his attempts in improving the Juggernauts' effectiveness. Could there be something sinister about them that is related to some mysterious disappearances and deaths within the dingy corridors of the mining colony?

Even The Doctor is not prepared for what is discovered in a damaged and restricted area of the colony. Nor is he prepared when Davros calls upon the assistance from his own Daleks - Daleks who may be damaged but are still just as dangerous. And there is another shock in store for Melanie when Geoff sacrifices himself to save others from a Dalek onslaught.
A Mechanoid

A Mechanoid


With things spiralling out of control, with Davros losing control of his own Daleks and the discovery that Lethe’s atmosphere is not poisonous to the Daleks The Doctor has no choice but to call in those who has been forced to work for. In doing so he may have started a Dalek uprising that can’t be stopped and also fallen for the very trap that the Daleks have orchestrated from the very start and that it is not just Davros that the Daleks are interested in but the secrets of his time machine…

Will The Doctor and Melanie be able to defeat the crippled Kaled, two warring Dalek factions, save the workers and inhabitants in the mining colony and also prevent the Juggernauts from becoming the Daleks biggest foe and a race far stronger, and much more of a danger to humanity and the universe - A mechanical race that will become known as "The Mechonoids"?

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Notes:
  • Featuring the Sixth Doctor and Melanie Bush.
  • This story includes the Daleks and the Mechonoids.
  • Serial Number: 7C/S
  • Number of Episodes: 4
  • Cover Length: 120 minutes
  • Episode Lengths: 1 = 23'02", 2 = 29'50", 3 = 35'39", 4 = 34'25"
  • Total Story Length: 122'56"
  • This story takes place between "The Trial of a Time Lord" and "Time and the Rani".
  • Cover Illustration: Lee Binding
  • Recorded: 20th and 21st April 2004.
  • Recording Location: The Moat Studios
  • Released: January 2005
  • ISBN: 1-84435-101-7

On the Back Cover:

In a small mining colony on the dark and distant planet of Lethe, events are occurring - the results of which could dramatically affect things on a universal scale. For within the dingy corridors of the artificial biosphere, the lone survivor of a devastating crash has expertly wormed his way into the lives of the colony’s personnel.

 A scientist known as Davros.

 Separated from one another across space and time, The Doctor and Mel find themselves in very different predicaments: Mel has been employed on Lethe, while The Doctor has been imprisoned aboard an alien spacecraft. Both situations are inexorably linked, however, and at the apex of the two sits Davros and the terrifying possibility of a new threat even more powerful than the Daleks!

 Rescuing Mel and stopping Davros should be The Doctor’s primary goals, but could it be that this time, Mel does not wish to be rescued? And might Davros actually be working on something for the benefit of the civilised galaxies…?

 

On the Inside Cover:

 BACK IN 2001, I GOT THE chance to submit something to Big Finish for the Excelis series, and whilst my particular proposal was not produced, it did get my size 11 foot in the door. In November 2003 (the month of Doctor Who’s fortieth anniversary), Gary Russell rang me up and asked me to submit something new. The brief was that it should feature the Sixth Doctor and Mel and that the Daleks, Davros and the Mechonoids all be involved! Once I gathered my jaw up from the floor (this was a Doctor Who fan’s dream come true, after all), I immediately set to work on a detailed outline.

 From the outset, I wanted to explore more of Mel’s character. I always felt as though she was a bit short--changed in the series. Introduced as a skilled computer programmer with an astounding sense of recall, her on-screen persona really never rose above that of yet another shrill screamer (in a long line of shrill screamers), which was a shame as Bonnie really is a terrific actress. It made sense to me (and to Gary) to play up her technical prowess and to delve into Melanie Bush’s humanity.

 Also, I wanted to toy with ethics in matters of life and death, exploring it from a number of different perspectives. I always thought that this had been an ongoing theme with the Sixth Doctor, anyway, with him repeatedly reminding his companions of his alien nature throughout his tenure.

 The result was a somewhat darker tale than what one might expect from the Sixth Doctor and Mel: a fairly ‘traditional’ Doctor Who story of manipulation, lies, cruelty, morality and love (in that order).

Scott Alan Woodard,
April 2004

Scott Alan Woodard lives in Los Angeles where he promotes cartoons for Warner Bros Television. He has been a fan of Doctor Who since the mid 1970’s. The Juggernauts is Scott’s first script for Big Finish and proof to his mother and father that has childhood obsession would some day amount to something.
 

Production Notes:

The idea to do a story involving Daleks and Mechonoids actually sprung out of a visit to a terrific Doctor Who convention in Stockton-on-Tees during September 2003. Assembled in the main bar were a group of life-size Daleks and a Mechonoid and while taking a few snaps, producer Gary Russell realised that as Big Finish had done Davros-less Dalek plays and Dalek-less Davros play, surely after waiting five years, one big play with both together couldn’t be a bad thing... And then add the Mechonoids to the mix, stir rapidly and hey presto!

 Having had some success with the CD adventure Davros, a sequel seemed inevitable. Plugging the gap to find out how Davros went from a Dalek prisoner at the end of the TV serial Revelation of the Daleks (1985) to being emeshed inside the casing of the Emperor Dalek in 1988’s Remembrance of the Daleks was the starting point. Add to that the inclusion of Mel (Bonnie Langford never met the Daleks on TV) and the Mechonoids (Gary Russell just loves Terry Nation’s old 771121 comic strips). All the ideas needed now was a writer to shape them into a script.

Enter Scott Woodard…

 

Who's Who?

The Sixth Doctor

First television appearance: "The Twin Dilemma"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "Davros"

 He has been exploring the universe for hundreds of years. He fights injustice. He defeats evil. He helps people. In his sixth incarnation, The Doctor’s propensity for philology, sesquipedalianism and all matters grammatical has developed to a degree of dexterity that puts all others to shame. He has recently found himself travelling with Mel, an energetic and effervescent young woman. Her optimistic attitudes and able-minded attack of problems have helped soften the at times terse and troubled Time Lord.


Melanie Bush

First television appearance: "The Trial of a Time Lord"
First chronological Big Finish audio appearance: "The One Doctor".

 A computer expert from twentieth-century Earth - Pease Pottage, East Sussex, to be specific - Melanie Jane Bush is young, bright and enthusiastic. She enjoys her time with The Doctor and the adventures they have. They met for the first time from Mel’s point of view in 1989 - however, The Doctor had by this point seen his future and had already met Miss Bush! More recently, the pair arrived on the planet Generios where they encountered a couple of con artists attempting to dupe innocent people by pretending to be The Doctor and his assistant.
 

Full Cast List:

The Doctor Colin Baker
Melanie Bonnie Langford
Davros Terry Molloy
Dalek/Mechonoid Voices Nicholas Briggs
Kryson Peter Forbe
Brauer Paul Grunert
Loewen Julia Houghton
Sonali Bindya Solanki
Geoff Klaus White

The Production Team:

Writer Scott Alan Woodard
Director Gary Russell
Sound/Music Steve Foxon
Theme Music David Darlington
Producers Gary Russell and
Jason Haigh-Ellery
Executive Producer for the BBC Jaqueline Rayner
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