|Main setting:||The R101 over France|
4-5 October 1930
|Publisher:||Big Finish Productions|
|Post production:||Alistair Lock|
|Release date:||January 2001|
|Format:||4 Episodes on 2 CDs|
|Doctor Who -|
Big Finish Audio Dramas
|The Mutant Phase||Sword of Orion|
Storm Warning was the sixteenth monthly Doctor Who audio story produced by Big Finish Productions. Released in January 2001, this was the first audio story to feature Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, his first time reprising the role in a full cast story since the 1996 television movie, which was his first on-screen appearance as the Doctor.
Publisher's summary Edit
October, 1930. His Majesty's Airship, the R101, sets off on her maiden voyage to the farthest-flung reaches of the British Empire, carrying the brightest lights of the Imperial fleet. Carrying the hopes and dreams of a breathless nation.
Not to mention a ruthless spy with a top-secret mission, a mysterious passenger who appears nowhere on the crew list, a would-be adventuress destined for the Singapore Hilton... and a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey.
There's a storm coming. There's something unspeakable — something with wings, crawling across the stern. Thousands of feet high in the blackening sky, the crew of the R101 brace themselves. When the storm breaks, their lives won't be all that's at stake...
The future of the galaxy will be hanging by a thread.
The Eighth Doctor is looking through books by Agatha Christie and others in his library when the TARDIS makes an emergency stop, an event which "hasn't happened in centuries". He discovers a time-space vessel stuck in a glitch in time reliving the same moment over and over again. Vortisaurs arrive to feast on the resulting time energy being released. To save the vessel the Doctor maneuvers his TARDIS in a way to break the glitch.
On the unrelated vessel the R101, an Edwardian adventuress named Charley Pollard is writing in a journal aboard the blimp disguised as a man as a stowaway looking to visit a date in Singapore. She meets the Doctor when the vessel is attacked by Vortisaurs. In the commotion the Doctor reveals himself to Lord Tamworth and Frayling that he is not a normal passenger. Instead he leads the officials to believe he is a German spy.
More added later...
- The Doctor - Paul McGann
- Charley Pollard - India Fisher
- Lord Tamworth - Gareth Thomas
- Lt-Col Frayling - Nicholas Pegg
- Rathbone - Barnaby Edwards
- Chief Steward Weeks - Hylton Collins
- Triskele - Helen Goldwyn
- The TARDIS lands in Dieppe.
- Tamworth mentions the Hindenburg.
- Weeks hints to Charley that he fought at the Battle of the Somme.
The Doctor Edit
- The Doctor finds a signed first edition of the Agatha Christie novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd on board his TARDIS. He also finds War and Peace and The Wizard of Oz. He played Tiddlywinks with Tsarina Alexandra and later with Vladimir Lenin on an overnight train from Switzerland to Petrograd. He has also met Geronimo.
- The Doctor states that he learnt to ride Vortisaurs bareback at the Academy.
- The Doctor uses the alias "Doctor Johann Schmidt."
- The theme arrangement was composed by David Arnold, who has composed a wide range of impressive film scores, such as Stargate, Independence Day, Godzilla, Hot Fuzz, Paul and Sherlock. (David Arnold's IMDB page) This is the Eighth Doctor's second theme; besides the TV Movie arrangement, Nicholas Briggs composed a third one for the 2nd-4th series of The Eighth Doctor Adventures, based on the Fourth Doctor's theme tune, whilst Jamie Robertson composed a rock-inspired arrangement for the 2011 Mary Shelley trilogy of stories. The Arnold arrangement was used again for The Company of Friends and Dark Eyes. This was the first time that an original theme has been used for the Big Finish audios; the first fifteen releases had used the standardised Fourth Doctor theme.
- Alistair Lock's score to this story was released on the CD Music from the Eighth Doctor Audio Adventures, alongside the other three initial Eighth Doctor audios.
- The 2001 Eighth Doctor audio drama covers carry the Doctor Who logo in copper. The BBC only noticed this halfway through the season, and were not happy. Gary Russell persuaded them to let Big Finish keep the logo for these four plays, if he promised never to use them again.[source needed]
- Although the events portrayed are based on an actual occurrence, all of the characters involved are fictional.
- The Doctor states several times that there were no survivors of the R101 crash. In actuality, eight people survived the crash itself. Two of these individuals later died from injuries sustained in the crash, bringing the total number of survivors to six.
- As the first Eighth Doctor audio drama, this was also the first Big Finish audio drama to take place after the events of TV: Doctor Who, then the most recent televised appearance of the Doctor.
- This audio drama was recorded on 18 May 2000 at Christchurch Studios.
- An illustrated preview of this story appeared in DWM 300 illustrated by Lee Sullivan.
- This is the first Big Finish audio drama to feature the sonic screwdriver.
- The story formed part of an Eighth Doctor series on BBC Radio 7 in 2005, alongside the stories Shada, Sword of Orion, The Stones of Venice, Invaders from Mars and The Chimes of Midnight, and has been repeated on multiple occasions since. This led to the commissioning of the original series The Eighth Doctor Adventures, debuting on the digital station in December 2006. Due to a limited timeslot, scenes were edited out of these versions; excluding Shada and The Chimes of Midnight, these were collated into The Eighth Doctor Collection in 2008 with an exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary and booklet. Minuet in Hell was excluded from broadcast due to its adult themes.
- According to AUDIO: Terror Firma, the Eighth Doctor had numerous adventures prior to this story. During this time, he travelled with siblings Samson and Gemma Griffin as well as Mary Shelley (AUDIO: Mary's Story, et al)
- Although this story depicts the Doctor's first supposed meeting with Charley, it is later revealed that, earlier in his personal timeline, she had not only met but became a companion of the Sixth Doctor (AUDIO: The Condemned to AUDIO: Blue Forgotten Planet). The fact that Doctor does not recognise her later in his timeline was due to his memories of travelling with Charley being supplanted by fabricated memories of travelling with Mila. (AUDIO: Blue Forgotten Planet) Still earlier, in an alternative timeline, the Fourth Doctor met both his eighth incarnation and Charley while he was travelling with Leela. On that occasion, he was very impressed by Charley, telling her that he considered her to be very clever. However, he lost all memory of this encounter when the proper timeline was restored. (AUDIO: The Light at the End) Furthermore, the Seventh Doctor informed Charley's parents Lord Richard and Lady Lousia Pollard of her supposed death aboard the R101 but was unaware of her status as a living temporal paradox. (PROSE: The Heroine, the Hero and the Megalomaniac)
- The Vortisaur known as Ramsay stays in the TARDIS until AUDIO: Minuet in Hell.
- In the far future, radio broadcasts concerning the launch of the R101 could be accessed via the Gogglebox inside the Moon. (AUDIO: The Reaping, AUDIO: The Gathering)
- The Doctor recalls his encounter with Mary Shelley and Lord Byron near Lake Geneva in Switzerland in June 1816. (AUDIO: Mary's Story)
- The Doctor finds a copy of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd which is missing its last page. This would later be revealed to have been a birthday present from his former companion Samson Griffin. (AUDIO: Terror Firma)
- The Doctor mentions that he was onboard the RMS Lusitania when it sank on 7 May 1915. (AUDIO: The Sirens of Time)
- In an alternative timeline in which the Nazis won World War II, an alternative version of the Eighth Doctor likewise used the alias "Johann Schmidt." (AUDIO: Colditz, AUDIO: Klein's Story)
- The Doctor compares the R101 to the Sandminer Storm Mine 4 (TV: The Robots of Death) and the Hyperion III (TV: Terror of the Vervoids).
- The Doctor mentions that he was in South Africa during the Second Boer War and met several Afrikaans. (PROSE: Players)
- Charley would later tell the Doctor that she stowed away on the R101 in order to meet a young man named Alex Grayle in the Singapore Hilton on New Year's Eve 1930. (AUDIO: Seasons of Fear)
- At the time that she boarded the R101, Charley was attending a finishing school run by Miss Lime. (AUDIO: Zagreus)
- The R101 was launched from the Cardington airbase. (AUDIO: Zagreus)
- Suffering from survivor's guilt after the crash of the R101, Simon Murchford later became an Anglican minister in the hopes of reconciling his guilt. (AUDIO: The Next Life) He succeeded Reverend Matthew Townsend as the Cardington airbase's chaplain following his death in 1951. (AUDIO: Zagreus)
- Charley would later be haunted by the expression on Rathbone's face as he fell from the R101 to his death. Although he was the first of many people who attempted to kill her, she was eventually unable to even remember his name. (AUDIO: The Next Life)
- The Pollards' cook Edith Thompson was the only person who knew that Charley intended to stowaway aboard the R101 and helped her to prepare for the adventure. (AUDIO: The Fall of the House of Pollard)
- Lord Richard Pollard spent years researching the R101 and can name everyone onboard from Lord Tamworth to "the lowliest cabin boy." Several letters mentioned a rendezvous with a foreign power but he was never able to get to the bottom of it. (AUDIO: The Fall of the House of Pollard)
- Official Storm Warning page at bigfinish.com; note that it is out of print and is available as download only.
- Storm Warning at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- DisContinuity for Storm Warning at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide