Episode 196

Big Finish, Call Me Now

It’s Easter 2009, and here we are, huddling in a bus with Michelle Ryan on the desert planet San Helios, with the sun in our eyes, hope in our hearts and a hundred billion dead people in our hair. It’s the first special episode of David Tennant’s final year: welcome to the Planet of the Dead.

Notes and links

Planet of the Dead was in some ways inspired by Gareth Roberts’s first Virgin New Adventure novel The Highest Science, which was first published in February 1993.

Transport nerds like James will be keen to learn more about the route followed by the 200 bus in our own non-Doctor Who universe.

Although Big Finish is yet to release its series of box sets starring Noma Dumezmeni as Erisa Magambo, Michelle Ryan’s Lady Christina is now an official Big Finish property, with a box set of her own released in August 2018.

Simon points out the similarities between this story and the story of The Flight of the Phoenix by Elleston Trevor, first published in 1964 and turned into a film starring Jimmy Stewart in 1965.

The best source of background information about the 2009 specials is of course Russell T Davies’s own account of their production, The Writer’s Tale. The section on this episode is particuarly harrowing.

And finally, the banterous relationship between the Doctor and Lady Christina is inspired by a similar relationship between Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade (1963).

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Nathan is on Twitter as @nathanbottomley, James is @ohjamessellwood, Todd is @toddbeilby, and Simon Moore can be found at Fine Music 102.5. The Flight Through Entirety theme was arranged by Cameron Lam, and the strings performance was by Jane Aubourg. You can follow the podcast on Twitter at @FTEpodcast.

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And more

You can find Jodie into Terror, our flashcast on the Whittaker Era of Doctor Who, at jodieintoterror.com, at @JodieIntoTerror on Twitter, on Apple Podcasts, and wherever podcasts can be found.

Our James Bond commentary podcast is called Bondfinger, and you can find that at bondfinger.com, at @bondfingercast on Twitter, on Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else as well. We are all still shaken by the death of Dame Diana Rigg, and will soon be releasing the first of a series of commentaries in which we go on and on about how much we loved her.