Doctor Who: Shadow of the Sun, the first full-cast, full-length Doctor Who audio drama to have been recorded entirely during lockdown is out now.
Since before the UK went into lockdown on 23 March 2020, Big Finish has been adapting its recording schedule and practices to accommodate production of new full-cast audio drama remotely via home-recording.
Now, the first Doctor Who story produced using these techniques has been released at the earliest possible opportunity, in order to reassure listeners that even during the pandemic crisis it is business as usual.
Doctor Who: Shadow of the Sun is now available as a collector’s edition CD or download, exclusively at the Big Finish website, from just £8.99.
After an accident, the TARDIS lands on a luxury star-liner. Leaving their ship to repair itself, the Doctor, Leela and K9 find themselves facing a great terror: mingling at a cocktail party.
Something seems awry behind the pleasantries however. Guests are going missing, and equipment is breaking down. When the Doctor investigates further he discovers that the star-liner is literally on course for disaster.
But no-one seems surprised by this information, still less troubled. What’s going on? And can the Doctor and his friends save everyone… when nobody wants to be saved?
The impressive cast list for Doctor Who: Shadow of the Sun includes Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), John Leeson (K-9) and Fenella Woolgar (Lady Malina Rigel-Smythe), all of whom contributed from home studios.
Of the recording process in lockdown, Big Finish creative director, Nicholas Briggs said:
“Once upon a time, audio or radio was recorded around a single microphone, with occasional exceptions. Radio drama evolved from live recording, with effects and music being fed in ‘live’ during the takes. Big Finish revolutionised audio drama recording. We were the ones who championed the idea you could get great recordings of all the actors if they were separated from each other, which also gives maximum flexibility in a longer, more detailed post-production period. So, recording people in their homes is just an extension of our usual working practice. The actors are actually more perfectly isolated from each other because they’re recording in completely different locations.”
Actor Louise Jameson added:
“It’s been hilarious and neurotic in equal measure. I was terribly nervous the first time as I’m not technically adept! I’m not a sound engineer, but I’m learning! With people like Nicholas Briggs and producer David Richardson, who I know so well, it’s just like having them speaking in the room. Toby Hyrcek-Robinson, our engineer at Moat Studios, talked me through the first session the day before the recording. He’s been absolutely amazing. When this is over, I’m definitely going to build a permanent home studio, just in case there are more pandemics in the future.”
Writer Rob Valentine also added:
“When lockdown happened, I have to admit that one of my first (very selfish) thoughts was that my moment writing for Tom Baker, Louise Jameson and John Leeson – the Doctor, Leela and K-actual-9 themselves – had been wrenched away. But when I learnt that the production was going ahead by recording remotely, I was (again, very, very selfishly) utterly overjoyed!”
Doctor Who: Shadow of the Sun is now available to buy exclusively at the Big Finish website, as a collector’s edition CD (priced at £10.99) or digital download (price at £8.99).
Please note that Big Finish is currently operating a digital-first release schedule. The mailout of collector’s edition CDs will be delayed, but all purchases of this release unlock a digital copy that can be immediately downloaded or played on the Big Finish app from the release date.