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Goods with the Seventh Doctor, Chris and Roz
This is a special treat for all ‘Doctor Who’ fans in Big Finish!
I can’t tell you how excited I was when I heard that Russell T. Davies’ first ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘Damaged Goods’, the original novel, was going to be adapted into an audio drama by Big Finish. It was a dream come true for me and I couldn’t wait to listen to this when it got released in May, 2015.
The ‘Novel Adaptations, Volume 2’ limited special edition box set is a 5-disc set and contains two stories. This features ‘Damaged Goods’ by Russell T. Davies featuring Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor and it features ‘The Well-Mannered War’ by Gareth Roberts with Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor.
These two stories are based on the original novels published in the 1990s by Virgin Publishing. ‘Damaged Goods’ was a New Adventure novel with the Seventh Doctor, published in 1996, whilst ‘The Well-Mannered War’ was a Missing Adventure novel with the Fourth Doctor, published in 1997.
Big Finish released standard individual releases and a limited special edition of the two stories. I purchased the limited special edition box set which contains a behind-the-scenes disc; production notes and glossy; stunning photos of the cast including Sylvester McCoy; Tom Baker and Lalla Ward.
Inside the limited special edition, there is a special introduction by Russell T. Davies to ‘Damaged Goods’ as well a special behind-the-scenes interview with the man himself found on Disc 5. This makes the box-set extra-special with having the former executive producer of ‘Doctor Who’ aboard.
I’ve now had the limited special edition of ‘Damaged Goods’ and ‘The Well-Mannered War’ signed by the stars of ‘Doctor Who’. This include Sylvester McCoy; Lalla Ward and John Leeson who’ve signed photos in the box set when I’d met them at the ‘Bournemouth Film and Comic Con 2014’, July 2015.
‘Damaged Goods’ is a 2 x 50 minute story by Russell T. Davies on two discs; adapted by Jonathan Morris. It stars Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor, Travis Oliver as Chris and Yasmin Bannerman as Roz.
I was intrigued about this story once I heard about it from friends who were ‘Doctor Who’ fans and I read reviews about it. I knew this was a darker and grittier story compared to Russell’s ‘Doctor Who’ stories on TV.
Russell T. Davies is well-known as the head writer/executive producer of the revived ‘Doctor Who’ series from 2005-2010. And here’s a story by Russell starring Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor! It’s fantastic!
Jonathan Morris, a regular Big Finish writer, was chosen to adapt ‘Damaged Goods’ into audio. He’s the perfect choice to adapt Russell’s novel into an audio drama, as he writes in a similar style to RTD.
I liked the story’s atmosphere, since it has elements of the new series of ‘Doctor Who’ in it. The story is set on a council estate in 1987 and features a family living at a flat called the Tylers. Familiar, hey?!
The story is also more adult and mature than any other ‘Doctor Who’ story I’ve encountered. It deals with drug themes and more adult issues that make this drama more ‘Torchwood’ than ‘Doctor Who’.
There are also certain references from the new series featured in this audio adaptation of ‘Damaged Goods’. There’s a reference to a certain a future ‘time war’ and even ‘Torchwood’ is involved in this.
Sylvester McCoy is brilliant as the Doctor in this adventure. Russell writes well for Sylvester’s Doctor, balancing the comedy and drama. Sylvester told me he enjoyed playing the Doctor in a story by RTD.
The Doctor is joined by two companions named Chris Cwej and Roz Forrester. These two are former Adjudicators (policemen) who featured in the New Adventures novels that started with ‘Original Sin’.
Travis Oliver stars as Chris Cwej. Travis has appeared in ‘Doctor Who’ before in the new series episode ‘Gridlock’. Chris is a blond-haired man and is this bisexual character travelling in the TARDIS.
Yasmin Bannerman stars as Roz Forrester. Yasmin also appeared in ‘Doctor Who’ in the new series episode ‘The End of the World’. Roz is this tough woman who is helpful and can easily pack a punch.
The Tyler family includes Michelle Collins as Winnie, who appeared in the new series ‘Doctor Who’ episode ’42’. Winnie has two children including Georgie Fuller as Bev and Tayler Marshall as Gabriel.
There’s also Denise Black as Eva Jerricho. Denise has worked with Russell T. Davies before in ‘Queer as Folk’. Eva is this woman who is obsessed with her son Steven and goes totally insane in the story.
There’s Richard Hope as Harry and Daniel Brockleback as David, who live together in a flat. There’s also Peter Barrett as the Capper, who gets possessed by an octopus monster with metal tentacles.
There is a brand-new version of the ‘Doctor Who’ theme tune for ‘Damaged Goods’ by Howard Carter. I’m not a fan of this new theme tune since I prefer the original Sylvester McCoy theme music.
‘Damaged Goods’ has been a fantastic two hours of audio ‘Doctor Who’ to listen to. I’m pleased I’ve heard this story by Russell T. Davies as it is so well-adapted by Big Finish and is one not to be missed!
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 2 of the limited special edition box set of ‘Novel Adaptations, Volume 2’, there is a suite of incidental music from ‘Damaged Goods’ to enjoy!
On Disc 5 of the limited special edition box set of ‘Novel Adaptations, Volume 2’, there are behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews on the making of ‘Damaged Goods’ and ‘The Well-Mannered War’.
In the first half of Disc 5, there’s a section that focuses on ‘Damaged Goods’. There are interviews with Sylvester McCoy; Travis Oliver; Yasmin Bannerman; Michelle Collins and Denise Black. There’s also an interview with Russell T. Davies, the original author of ‘Damaged Goods’, who was so great to listen to on the disc.
There are also interviews with adaptor Jonathan Morris; producer David Richardson and director Ken Bentley. I immensely enjoyed how Travis Oliver; Yasmin Bannerman and Michelle Collins shared their memories of working in the new series of ‘Doctor Who’ and also working with Russell T. Davies.
If you purchase ‘Novel Adaptations – Volume 2’ with ‘Damaged Goods’ and ‘The Well-Mannered War’ from Big Finish, you’ll get the extended extras of the interviews. These extras total the ‘Damaged Goods’ interviews for 90 minutes whilst ‘The Well-Mannered War’ interviews total for 30 minutes.
‘Damaged Goods’ (Audio) rating – 9/10
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