DEAR JOHN

John Hurt’s War Doc­tor re­turns in au­dio drama Only The Mon­strous

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John Hurt’s War Doc­tor takes the fight to the Daleks in au­dio drama Only The Mon­strous.

For all his tem­po­ral shenani­gans, the great­est trick Steven Mof­fat ever pulled was un­earthing the War Doc­tor – a dis­graced re­gen­er­a­tion re­spon­si­ble for end­ing the Time War. A new four-vol­ume au­dio drama, start­ing with Only The Mon­strous, tells the story of the War Doc­tor in the thick of bat­tle – some­thing writer/di­rec­tor Ni­cholas Briggs and Big Fin­ish have dreamed of do­ing since Hurt’s scene-steal­ing turn in “The Day Of The Doc­tor”.

“It’s such a fan­tas­tic idea and I think we feel that we’ve had more of the War Doc­tor than we ac­tu­ally have,” Briggs says. “My de­vel­op­ment of the War Doc­tor’s char­ac­ter re­ally feels like an or­ganic thing, and I knew that John Hurt would bring his inim­itable de­liv­ery and ap­proach to it.”

With both the Daleks and the Time Lords re­sort­ing to in­hu­mane mea­sures to avoid extinction, the se­ries will nat­u­rally deal in murky wa­ters. “There’s a Time Lord char­ac­ter played by Jac­que­line Pearce called Car­di­nal Ol­lis­tra, and she re­ally is the em­bod­i­ment of the shades of grey in the whole Time Lord war ef­fort,” Briggs says. “Be­cause of course war al­ways throws up this ap­palling dilemma to which there is no an­swer – that in or­der to wage to­tal war you end up aban­don­ing the prin­ci­ples that you’re al­legedly fight­ing for.”

But it turns out even the Doc­tor’s dark­est in­car­na­tion can be taken too far. “There are strict BBC guide­lines about what we can and can’t do with him,” Briggs says. “Even though he is sup­posed to be steeped in blood and have com­mit­ted some of the worst crimes of the Time War we ob­vi­ously can’t have him go­ing around mur­der­ing peo­ple. But at the same time we have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to him be­ing some­one who has de­nied the iden­tity of the Doc­tor.”

Only The Mon­strous is re­leased on 10 De­cem­ber.

Be­hind you!!!

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