The Reaping (audio story)
|Main enemy:||The Cybermen|
|Publisher:||Big Finish Productions|
|Post production:||David Darlington|
|Cover by:||Lee Binding|
|Release date:||September 2006|
|Format:||2 Episodes on 2 CDs|
|Big Finish Doctor Who audio stories|
The Reaping was the eighty-seventh monthly Doctor Who audio story produced by Big Finish Productions. Released in 2006, it featured Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Nicola Bryant as his companion Peri Brown.
It was notable for featuring significant details about Peri's life in Baltimore, Maryland. It was, from the perspective of Peri's mother Janine Foster, a direct sequel to TV: Planet of Fire. It also began a loose trilogy featuring a time-travelling band of Mondasian Cybermen from the future (relative to 1984) with some commonality with the Cybus Industries Cybermen which had recently been featured in TV: Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel.
Publisher's summary edit
On the morning of 9 May 1984, Peri woke up. She was expecting to spend the day relaxing in Lanzarote and, that evening, leave her mother and stepfather to go travelling with some guys she'd only just met.
But things don't always go as expected as her friends and family discover when, four months later, she returns home having travelled further than anyone could have imagined.
to be added
- The Doctor - Colin Baker
- Peri Brown - Nicola Bryant
- Janine Foster - Claudia Christian
- Anthony Chambers - Stuart Milligan
- Kathy Chambers - Jane Perry
- Nate Chambers - Jeremy Lindsay-Taylor
- Daniel Woods - Vincent Pirillo
- Lt. Doyle - John Schwab
- Dominique van Gysegham - Denise Bryer
- Natalie Hamilton - Allison Karaynes
- The Cybermen / Commander Zheng / Alan-56 - Nicholas Briggs
- Recording by - Toby Robinson
- Sound Design, post-production, music, and CD mastering by - David Darlington
- Series theme by - Ron Grainer
- Arranged by - Peter Howell
- Theme remastering by - David Darlington
- Cover illustration by - Lee Binding
- Story Editor - Alan Barnes
- Assistant Producer - Ian Farrington
- BFP Administration - Brenda Smith, Miles Haigh-Ellery, and Chris Eaton
- Marketing Director - John Ainsworth
- Producers - Gary Russell and Jason Haigh-Ellery
- In the scene based on Lanzarote on 9 May 1984, Janine asks Peri whether she has heard that the Soviet Union has withdrawn from the 1984 Olympic Games which are to be held in Los Angeles. This is consistent with the fact that, in reality, the USSR did so the previous day in response to the USA withdrawing from the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
- Advertising for the television series Miami Vice is heard whereas Nate Chambers describes it as "that new show" when attempting to distract the Cyberman which had been his father Anthony Chambers. In reality, the series premiered on NBC on 28 September 1984, the day that the majority of the events of The Reaping take place.
- Peri departs the TARDIS for an unspecified period of time — but it is long enough to re-enrol in university. She rejoins the Doctor when her mother is murdered. There is no indication that she had any contact with the Doctor between leaving and rejoining him.
- At an indeterminate point in the far future, though not before the 52nd century, the British monarchy was abolished and the last monarch was executed. Footage of that event could be viewed via the Gogglebox.
- The Mondasian Cybermen seem familiar with the Anno Domini Gregorian calendar. They understand the reference made by the future Cyber-Leader to the year 1984. This would suggest that Mondas is monitoring transmissions from Earth in anticipation of their planet's approach to Earth and the ensuing attempt to drain its energy, both of which will occur in December 1986. Considerably earlier in his personal timeline, specifically towards the end of his first incarnation, the Doctor defeated this Cybermen plot. However, the strain of the conflict led to his regeneration into the Second Doctor. (TV: The Tenth Planet)
- The phrase "86, 87" may be a reference to the Big Finish number for this story (number 86) and that of The Gathering (number 87), both by Joseph Lidster.
- An illustrated preview by Martin Geraghty featured in DWM 373 for this story.
- The Cyber-Leader is from a point in the distant future where the Cybermen have gained time travel based on a combination of their own systems and Time Lord technology.
- Commander Zheng, one of the earliest Mondasian Cybermen who was introduced in AUDIO: Spare Parts, returns for a brief cameo appearance towards the end of the story. He is depicted as still being operational in September 1984.
- Besides the Doctor, Kathy and Nathaniel Chambers are the only characters to appear in both this story and AUDIO: The Gathering.
- This audio drama was recorded on 20 and 21 March 2006.
- Throughout the story, the Doctor wonders why people are saying "8687". As revealed in The Gathering, this was his fifth self trying to jog his memory about his reunion with Tegan Jovanka at a bar called the 8687, so that he could do his best to save Nathaniel Chambers. Unfortunately, his plan did not work.
- The opening broadcasts refer to the launch of the British airship R101 in October 1930 (AUDIO: Storm Warning), the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy on 22 November 1963 (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy; TV: Rose), the dawn of the year 2000 (TV: Doctor Who), the first manned mission to Mars in the 2000s (AUDIO: Red Dawn), St. Gart's Hospital (AUDIO: The Harvest), the 2012 London Olympic Games (AUDIO: Frozen Time; TV: Fear Her, Good as Gold) and the beginning of World War V in the 49th century (AUDIO: Singularity, The Unquiet Dead).
- Peri had previously requested that the Doctor take her home to Baltimore to let her family know that she was alright but the TARDIS accidentally materialised aboard the USS Eldridge on 26 October 1943. (AUDIO: The Macros)
- The Doctor and Peri previously visited the Moon in 1872. (AUDIO: The First Sontarans)
- Peri mentions almost drowning by Howard Foster's hand the day that she left with the Doctor. This led to the collapse of Howard and Janine Foster's marriage. (TV: Planet of Fire)
- This story is resolved by the events of TV: The Tenth Planet, specifically the destruction of Mondas in December 1986. The original Mondasians of that story are briefly used.
- Janine and Dominique van Gysegham met and became friends while they were both visiting Lanzarote in May 1984. (TV: Planet of Fire)
- The Doctor intends to bring Peri to the Ice Caves of Shabadabadon but the TARDIS instead materialises in the Gogglebox inside the Moon in the far future. His previous attempted to reach the Ice Caves had likewise resulted in the TARDIS materialising in the then newly opened Gogglebox. On that occasion, the Fifth Doctor met Alan-56's progenitor Alan Fitzgerald. (AUDIO: The Gathering) The Eighth Doctor would eventually visit the Ice Caves in the company of Samson and Gemma Griffin. (AUDIO: Terror Firma)
- The Doctor comments that 1984 is "never as good as the book." His eighth incarnation would later meet the novel's author George Orwell in Spain during its civil war in 1937. (PROSE: History 101)
- The fact that the Doctor cannot remember meeting Peri's stepfather Professor Howard Foster on Lanzarote on 9 May 1984 (TV: Planet of Fire) may be designed to foreshadow his inability to remember meeting Kathy Chambers in Brisbane, Australia in September 2006 earlier in his personal timeline (AUDIO: The Gathering).
- The White Rabbit pub on the Embankment, that Mrs Van Gysegham's late husband once owned, is possibly the same "White Rabbit" where the Seventh Doctor's companion Hex would later have his 23rd birthday party on 12 October 2021. (AUDIO: The Harvest) Furthermore, Ace would later meet Henry Noone in the White Rabbit on several occasions between May and August 2027. (AUDIO: A Death in the Family)
- Peri and Kathy reminisce about an embarrassing incident involving their high school classmate Candy which occurred at their senior prom. Peri had previously told her former travelling companion Erimem the same story. (AUDIO: The Veiled Leopard)
- The virus that the Cyberman intended to use had the ability to turn flesh into metal. A similar virus appears in both GAME: Blood of the Cybermen and WC: Real Time.
- The television interview with Lt. Doyle, who is under the control of the Cybermen, in which he states that "the vagrant charged with the brutal murder of father of two Anthony Chambers has escaped. He is believed to be still in the Fell's Point neighbourhood and is on the run with an accomplice known only as 'the Doctor'" is picked up by the Fifth Doctor while he is investigating unusual energy signatures which appear throughout Earth's history. Based on this evidence, he determines that his future self is already in Baltimore in 1984 and therefore decides to travel to the location of the next energy spike, namely Brisbane, Australia in September 2006, where he is reunited with his former companion Tegan Jovanka. (AUDIO: The Gathering)
- Peri refers to her first meeting with the Fifth Doctor and Turlough (TV: Planet of Fire) and the circumstances surrounding the Doctor's most recent regeneration (TV: The Caves of Androzani). The Sixth Doctor would later claim to have experienced problems with his memory since that regeneration (AUDIO: Peri and the Piscon Paradox), which could account for the fact that he does not recognise Kathy on this occasion in spite of having met her future self earlier in his personal timeline (AUDIO: The Gathering).
- The Doctor mentions that he has visited Earth's prehistory on several occasions. (TV: An Unearthly Child, City of Death, Time-Flight)
- Official The Reaping page at bigfinish.com
- The Reaping at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- DisContinuity for The Reaping at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide