Doctor Who Radio Plays

Serious readers of this website will wonder why "Doctor Who" gets a mention. To them, my apologies, but "The Doctor" was part of my childhood, and although the original idea has (arguably) been worked to death, there have been some good Doctor Who adventures on audio. They are lightweight, escapism, etc, etc, but the stories are generally good, and they still remind me of a parallel world which, for a time, held me spellbound. As for those who pursue the lost Doctor Who recordings from the sixties - good luck to them. There are worse ways of spending one's time. Anyone working in the UK public sector, constantly scrutinised by inspectors (and photographed on the way to work in the name of road safety) will testify to that.

I know of two radio writers who have written scripts for Doctor Who: Victor Pemberton and Robert Shearman. There are probably more, and I guess some of you will tell me who they are...

In addition to Doctor Who radio plays there are BBC readings; there are also some non-BBC adventures of variable standard done by independent groups, ranging from near-BBC quality to good to appalling. Those who are interested can look on the various Doctor Who websites - they are not difficult to find.

In 2008, a Doctor Who-related play was nominated for a Sony Drama Award - information about this is given lower down the page.

Radio Plays and related programmes
1960s* Fury from the deep (BBC)
1985* Slipback (BBC)
1993* The paradise of death (BBC)
1993* A celebration of Doctor Who, presented by Nicholas Courtney (BBC)
*The Ravagers of Time (non-BBC, date nk; c.1990?)
1996* The ghosts of n-space (BBC)
*The sirens of time (non-BBC, date nk; c.1990?)
1997 *Vengeance on Varos (BBC, reading)


orig. BBC TV soundtrack; narration added by Tom Baker c1990. A good listen.

Originally entitled The Doomsday Project BBCR4 25/7/85 - 8/8/85 6eps x 12min Broadcast as part of Pirate Radio 4. Written by Eric Saward "Odd events are taking place as the Tardis materialises on board a spacecraft: a mysterious killer stalks the ship's ducting; two dubious policemen are investigating the theft of art treasures; and the computer has taken on its own distinctive personality. Soon the Doctor stumbles on a shocking secret, a secret upon which depends the fate of the entire universe....." with Colin Baker as The Doctor. The first Dr Who radio series. 1/6: (25/7/85); 2/6: (25/7/85); 3/6: (1/8/87); 4/6: (1/8/85); 5/6: (8/8/85); 6/6: (8/8/85);

BBCr5 1993 5eps x 30min commercial release written by Barry Letts "When an horrific and inexplicable death occurs at 'Space World', a new theme park on Hampstead Heath, Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart and UNIT are called in to investigate. The Doctor is highly suspicious. Just who controls the Parakon Corporation - the shadowy organisation behind the running of the park? What is 'Experienced Reality'? And what are the limits of its awesome powers?" R5 dates: 1/5: (27/8/93); 2/5: (3/9/93); 3/5: (10/9/93); 4/5: (17/9/93); 5/5: (24/9/93); Originally broadcast mono on Radio5 but was later repeated in stereo on Radio 4. cast:Jon Pertwee(The Doctor),Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart),Elisabeth Sladen(Sarah Jane Smith),


BBC Audio 1995 90min An abridgement of the novel by Eric Saward; Based on the original television script by Paula Moore; Read by Colin Baker " On twentieth-century Earth the Doctor's old enemy, Lytton, appears to have allied himself with the ruthless Cybermen who have devised a scheme to bring the human race to its knees. When the Cyberplanet Mondas was destroyed in 1986, the Cybermen were forced to retreat to the planet Telos. Now they have journeyed back in time to prevent the destruction of their home world and for Mondas to survive, the Earth must die.

Doctor Who Appreciation Society 1999 180min apx (0)
Short story readings:-
The Lake of Possibilities by Nick Walters read by Colin BakS BBC Audio 1998 165min A selection of short stories read by Nicholas Courtney & Sophie Aldred Freedom by Steve Lyons Model Train Set by Jonathan Blum Glass by Tara Samms Degrees of Truth by David A McIntee Stop the Pigeon by Robert Perry & Mike Tucker Old Flames by Paul Magrs

Pickwick Talking Books (GB) c1980? 55min By Terrance Dicks Read by Tom Baker Trapped in an alternative universe the Doctor lands on a sinister planet ruled by an unholy trio of tyrants. Aided by Romana and the faithful K-9, the doctor must discover the deadful descret of the dark tower and face the awakening horror that lies beneath it.

BBC Audio 1995 57min A Watershed Production for BBC Worldwide Publishing BBC re-release of above; not quite the same. Read by Tom Baker The Doctor finds himself on a planet where the inhabitants are peasants. Get your garlic and crucifixes ready.

BBC Audio 1997 90min A Watershed Production for BBC Worldwide Publishing - An abridgement of VENGEANCE ON VAROS novelised by Philip Martin; Based on the original television script by Philip Martin; read by Colin Baker. "Varos is a cruel world where the descendants of a prison planet are force-fed a diet of endless video nasties...where execution is spectacle and torture high entertainment. The TARDIS is desperately short of Zeiton 7 ore to power its engines, and the Doctor and Peri know Varos is the only place they might find it. But soon they become involved in the deadly politics of the planet, and the machinations of the sinister Sil, a slug-like alien who wants the price of Zeiton 7 lowered, and the Doctor - along with the governor of Varos - out of the way for good. Fighting for the freedom of Varos and for the ore he needs to continue his journeys, the Doctor faces death many times - whilst being constantly filmed for the pleasure of the viewers at home...."

BBC Audio 1995 90min A Watershed Production for BBC Worldwide Publishing An abridgement of the novel by Terrance Dicks; Based on the original television script by Johnny Byrne read by Peter Davidson "When the TARDIS materialises on Earth in 2084, the Doctor meets some old enemies, the Sea Devils. Once the masters of this planet they are know forced to live in the murky depths of the sea. But their intention is to reclaim their once-mighty position of dominance, and their associates in this deadly plan are none other than the sinister Silurians.

(Silver Fist) GB 1989/90 4eps
Written and read by David Banks
A history of the Cybermen and their confrontations with the Doctor throughout the ages.

1/4: The Origins of the Cybermen (60min) 1989; 2/4: The Early Cybermen (90min) 1989; 3/4: The Cyber Nomads (60min) 1990; 4/4: The Ultimate Cybermen (90min) 1990

EARTH AND BEYOND BBC Audio(GB) 1998 163min Read by Paul McGann Bounty by Peter Anghelides Dead Time by Andrew Miller The People's Temple by Paul Leonard

KINDA BBC Audio 1997 90min A Watershed Production for BBC Worldwide Publishing An abridgement from the novel by Terrance Dicks; based on the original television script by Christopher Bailey; read by Peter Davidson The Doctor and his friends materialise in the jungle paradise of the planet Deva Loka - but soon discover things are far from what they seem. Members of a Earth suryey team are disappearing one by one. Those that are left suspect the Kinda, a peaceful native tribe. But the Doctor suspects a far more deadly influence is at work. Tegan, the Doctors' companion, is taken over by a sinister force known as the Mara that seeks to plunge Deva Loka into destruction and chaos - a particularly nasty snake in this garden of Eden.

BBC Audio 1997 160min A co-production between BBC Worldwide & Universal Television From the novelisation of the film & abridged by Gary Russell; Read by Paul McGann "Late December, 1999. An anachronistic British Police Box materialises in San Francisco's Chinatown amid a hail of bullets which find an unintentional target - a strange man who walks out of the Police Box. Despite the best efforts of Dr Grace Holloway, the unknown traveller dies and his body vanishes. And soon another stranger appears, claiming to be the same man inside a different body; a mysterious wanderer in time and space known only as the Doctor. But the Doctor is not the only time-traveller in San Francisco. His oldest adversary, the Master, is there as well, desperately trying to steal the Doctor's newly regenerated body. Before long, the Doctor is faced with a choice: to save his own life, or the billions of people who have no future unless the Master is stopped. If only the Doctor could remember how..."

OUT OF THE DARKNESS BBC Audio 1998 130min. A selection of short stories read by Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant. Moon Graffiti by Dave Stone. Wish You Were Here by Guy Clapperton. Vigil By Michael Collier.

PLANET OF THE DALEKS BBC Audio 1995 90min A Watershed Production for BBC Worldwide Publishing. Read by Jon Pertwee. The Doctor and Jo find themselves on a planet where the Daleks have learned the power of invisibility and have a hibernation base with 1000's of Daleks.

The Blinovitch Link by Barry Letts read by Elisabeth Sladen
Help at a Stroke by Steven Wickham read by Colin Baker
The Rain Machine by Nick Walters read by Caroline John
Slings and Arrows read by Colin Baker
Zoe Does It by Crispin Brigham read Wendy Padbury
Tomorrow's Times read by Colin Baker
Savage by Gary Russell read by Louise Jameson

Robert Shearman has been commissioned to do some writing for the new, re-vamped Doctor Who on BBC Television; more information on the Robert Shearman page. Click RADIO PLAYS (above left) followed by WRITERS.

BBC7 step into the Dr. Who market, with a brand new story written by Mark Gatiss. It's linked to the Orson Welles " War of the Worlds" radio hoax in 1938. The premise here is that the people who panicked at the Welles broadcast weren't just imagining things - the Martians really were attacking New York. ....Gillian Reynolds, in Daily Telegraph. BBC7, 29 Oct 05.

Moths Ate My 'Doctor Who' Scarf....2007

Writer / Performer: Toby Hadoke, Producer / Director: Paul Hardy, Studio Managers: Paul Cargill & Denise Else, Broadcast Assistant: Sally Harrison.

Cast: Toby Hadoke, James Quinn, Louise Jameson, Colin Baker, Rebecca Ridgeway, Alfie Joey, Ashley Margolis, Niall Shepherd & George Weaver.

This was a funny, warm and original drama, even for those who can't see what all the Doctor Who hype is about. The judges were also mindful that a small budget had not been an obstacle to producing an excellent piece of radio.

Majority of the above notes assembled by N.D. from VRPCC sources. For more information, see the various Doctor Who websites.

Asterisked plays known to exist in VRPCC collections.

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