a real world point of view
|The Wings of a Butterfly|
Gallifrey, the Rassilon Era
|Publisher:||Big Finish Productions|
|Read by:||Colin Baker|
|Part of:||Short Trips: Vol. 1|
|Release date:||November 2010|
|Format:||1 X 19 min.|
|The Deep||Police and Shreeves|
Visiting Gallifrey to attend an academic conference, the Sixth Doctor's old friend and mentor, Duotheros, requests that he use the TARDIS to examine a temporal anomaly centred on Bixor. The planet, once thriving, appears to have mysteriously eradicated itself, substantially reducing the number of people interested in buying Duotheros' definitive history of that sector of space. Will the Doctor's investigations reveal the cause? Or does Bixor's untimely demise have something to do with a certain blue box?
- As is common throughout Doctor Who televised history, the word Tellurian is used to indicate "Earth-like" or "from Earth".
- Colin Baker talked at length about this story on the 14 September 2010 edition of the Big Finish Podcast.
- In that interview, he claimed the story had originated as a commission by Gary Russell for Doctor Who Magazine. However, it didn't get published, because Russell left DWM before Baker had completed the story. In the Big Finish interview, he claims that the story was originally written "in [Microsoft] Word 2". If true, that would either date the story to around the time of Baker's tenure on the television programme — and well before Russell's editorship of the magazine —or it would indicate that he had a relatively dated computer system in the 1990s. In any event, Baker claimed to have had to go to some special effort to convert the story to a format readable by a modern computer.
- The story was not the same as he had originally devised, because he was originally writing for the shorter word counts of DWM. This suggests that the version printed in the charity anthology Missing Pieces is markedly shorter than the version recorded by Big Finish.
- The podcast interview further positively identifies Nicholas Briggs as the director of this piece.
- An important aspect of this story's continuity is the fact that it was written long before it was recorded. Its total dearth of continuity references is thus understandable, as initial work on the story began before Big Finish even existed. It's unclear exactly when Baker started writing the story, but the fact that it began as a Gary Russell commision for DWM, indicates that it likely predates most, if not all, of the novel ranges, too.
- The Sixth Doctor's attitude towards changing history is the polar opposite of that expressed by the First Doctor in The Aztecs.
- The Wings of a Butterfly contains no reference to any companion or any televised or audio adventure. This indicates general placement somewhere between The Trial of a Time Lord and Time and the Rani, most likely between when the freshly-acquitted Sixth Doctor took Mel back to his older self, and the time that the Doctor first met Mel. Thus, it could be said to take place between TV: The Ultimate Foe and PROSE: Business Unusual.