Timely return of monsters
Writer Andrew relishes new play
Rutherglen Doctor Who writer Andrew Smith has had his first taste of writing for a new incarnation of the TV Time Lord.
The former Stonelaw High pupil, who turned 54 last week, has just had his latest audio play released by Big Finish Productions, licensed by the BBC.
Having written for Tom Baker on TV, and Baker, Peter Davison and Colin Baker on audio, Andrew has now added eighth Doctor Paul McGann to his list.
McGann stars in Andrew’s new play, The Sontaran Ordeal, which was released last week. It is one of four full-cast plays in a box set featuring monsters from the revived 21st century TV series, against Doctors from the 20th century.
Andrew’s play is set in the time of the new TV series.
He said: “The idea was to have monsters from the new series with the older Doctors. I was given the Sontarans.
“I think I had delivered the final version of the storyline, and was just about to start on the first draft of the script, when I was told we could go ahead and put the Time War in it. What we now have is a battle across time that intrudes in the real time of this planet where it has a devastating effect.
“The population of the planet aren’t aware of what’s happening but the Doctor is, and we deal with the ramifications of that battle. We also have a Sontaran who has been dishonoured - he wants justice and his honour back.
“It’s got a ‘feel’ to it, a gritty, grainy feel, with this world that they are in.”
Actor Dan Starkey - a regular as Strax the Sontaran on TV - guest stars alongside former Young Ones actor Christopher Ryan.
He said: “Andrew Smith’s script is a great addition to the Sontaran canon. As well as a good paced plot that cracks along, it’s full of really nice details which deepen what we know about Sontaran culture and legal processes. It’s lovely to see a bit of world-building going into it, and, of course, Andrew has form here, having written The First Sontarans a few years ago. Trust me, I was taking notes.”
Andrew enjoyed writing for the monstrous Sontarans.
He explained: “The thing that has struck me about the new series Sontarans is their leaders. They’re very Colonel Blimp-like, very much a caricature - an alien based on an old British officer stereotype. With that in my head, I used it as my template.
“We’ve got Dan Starkey and Christopher Ryan back together again, having played Sontarans on TV. Dan is magnificent as always, and Chris, who is playing the general, is just fantastic. He had a big smile on his face the whole time - he’s one of the loveliest people you’ll ever meet.”
•The Reformer has a digital copy of the Classic Doctors - New Monsters release, worth £30, to give away to a lucky reader. This download features four full-cast stories, and a disc of extras.
To win, just tell us which incarnation of the Doctor Paul McGann played.
Email your entries, with Doctor Who Competition in the subject header, to news@rutherglenreformer. co.uk by next Wednesday, August 10.
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