BBC Radio 4 Extra is to repeat Doctor Who: Hornets’ Nest audio adventure starting Monday, 21st November.
Hornets’ Nest is a five story fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) collection written by Paul Magrs (BBC Books, Big Finish). Each 30-minute episode takes the form of a set of four ‘fireside’ tales told by The Doctor to his old colleague from UNIT, Mike Yates (Richard Franklin), in the run-up to Christmas. The four stories act as a prelude to a real-life adventure for the two of them in Hive Of Horror.
1. Stuff of Nightmares
Now retired, Captain Mike Yates responds to an advert in a paper that seems to be specifically directed at him. This leads him to a small cottage in Sussex and a meeting with his old UNIT colleague, the Doctor, who looks exactly as he did over three decades ago. Once there, the Doctor tells Yates about his recent fight against a swarm of psychic alien Hornets. His first encounter with them involved their possession of an army of taxidermy animals.
2. The Dead Shoes
The Doctor explains that he tracked the Hornets back to 1932, to a pair of ballet slippers in a shop called Cromer’s Palace of Curios. The owner, Mrs Wibbsey, shrinks the Doctor and traps him inside a possessed dollhouse.
3. The Circus of Doom
The Doctor traces the Hornets further back in time. In 1832, a decadent circus run by a bitter dwarf entrances the simple citizens of Blandford.
4. A Sting in the Tale
The Doctor finally finds the earliest infestation of the Hornets in the year 1039. A nunnery in Northumbria is besieged by wild dogs. The Hornets, new to Earth, encounter the Doctor for the first time (from their perspective) and fight to find their lost queen. This leads to a chase through the corridors and strange forgotten rooms of the TARDIS.
5. Hive of Horror
Yates and the Doctor make their final confrontation with the queen of the hive, inside the paper skull of a stuffed zebra.
Other cast include Rula Lenska, Susie Riddell, Susan Jameson, Michael Maloney, Jilly Bond, Stephen Throne, Claire Corbett. The series was produced & directed by Kate Thomas.
The series runs nightly at 6pm on BBC Radio 4 Extra. Those outside the UK can listen on BBC iPlayer Radio.
Hornets Nest was originally released on CD by BBC Audiobooks between September and December 2009. It first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra in December 2011.
Fans of the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) can also catch the 4-part Big Finish series 1963 – Fanfare for the Common Men. The full-cast audio drama written by Eddie Robson and directed by Barnaby Edwards is available for a further 3-6 days.