Story details are today revealed for the first of two full-cast audio dramas released to celebrate International Women’s Day 2023.

A Ghost of Alchemy, written by and starring Louise Jameson (as Leela) is the opening story in a brand-new box set celebrating incredible Doctor Who heroines, The Eighth of March: Strange Chemistry.

The Eighth of March: Strange Chemistry – Holly Jackson-Walters (Marie Curie) (c) Big Finish

Based on real-life events, the adventure finds the brilliant but shy scientist, Marie Curie (played by Holly Jackson Walters), on a very important trip. In the middle of a press conference in New York she happens to bump into the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and his companion, who must save her life.

The Worlds of Doctor Who – The Eighth of March: Strange Chemistry, directed by Helen Goldwyn and produced by Emma Haigh, is now available to pre-order for just £19.99 (collector’s edition CD box set + download) or £16.99 (download only).

The Eighth of March: Strange Chemistry – Penelope Rawlins (Mrs. W.B. Meloney) (c) Big Finish

A Ghost of Alchemy by Louise Jameson

When the TARDIS lands in New York in 1921 the Doctor takes the opportunity to introduce Leela to one of the foremost women of the age – the great Marie Curie, visiting America to be celebrated for her work.

But the time travellers are not the only people interested in the famous scientist. Sinister forces are gathering around her and the TARDIS crew will have to work their utmost to keep her safe on her historic journey through the United States.

The Eighth of March: Strange Chemistry – Louise Jameson (Leela) (c) Big Finish

Quotes

Writer Louise Jameson said: “Marie Curie was just the most extraordinary and fascinating woman who saved many a life. She was also genuinely very shy and didn’t like crowds or public speaking. It was really hard to pare down to the story that we have now.

I tried two or three different scenarios but eventually, with John Dorney, we settled on a slightly melodramatic train journey era of the 1920s. We had to find that one simple journey, where women all over America donated $1, and given that it’s going out on International Women’s Day, it seemed like the perfect fit. I love Marie’s journey in this story, which is brilliantly played by Holly.

Marie and Leela are polar opposites – one is all brain and the other is all heart. Finding common ground between them was very nice to write for. There are gentle scenes with just the two of them that look at how women can relate to and trust each other even when they’re from completely different backgrounds. In a way, I found that the most interesting part of the story.

The Eighth of March: Strange Chemistry – Harry Myers (President Harding) & Susan Penhaligon (First Lady Florence Harding) (c) Big Finish

In the adventure, Marie Curie also encounters her real-life benefactress, Mrs. W.B. Meloney (Penelope Rawlins), First Lady Florence Harding (Susan Penhaligon), President Harding (Harry Myers), the manipulative Dr Rushton (Akshaye Khanna) and chauvinistic Mr Browman (Nicholas Farrell).

Details of the second story in the box set will be revealed soon.

The Worlds of Doctor Who – The Eighth of March: Strange Chemistry is now available to pre-order for just £19.99 (collector’s edition CD box set + download) or £16.99 (download only), exclusively from www.bigfinish.com.

Big Finish listeners can catch up on the first two box sets of The Eighth of March in a bundle for just £45 (collector’s edition CD box set + download) or £40 (download only).

All the above prices include the special pre-order discount and are subject to change after general release.

Big Finish is currently operating a digital-first release schedule. The mail-out of collector’s edition CDs may be delayed due to factors beyond our control, 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.

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