“The name I chose is the Doctor. The name you choose, it’s like a promise you make. He’s the one who broke the promise. He is my secret.”
Big Finish, in association with BBC Studios, today announces the forthcoming full-cast audio drama series, Doctor Who: The War Doctor Begins. Newcomer Jonathon Carley is set to star in four brand-new box sets of adventures. And those adventures will see Carley step into the battered boots and gaiters of the Doctor’s disavowed alter ego. The action starts in June 2021!
The War Doctor was introduced in the 2013 television story, The Name of the Doctor. Originally portrayed by Sir John Hurt, the character appeared in two further stories during the show’s 50th anniversary year, The Night of the Doctor and The Day of the Doctor. Hurt then joined the Big Finish family for twelve audio adventures. The tragic passing of Hurt in 2017 brought the curtain down on his incarnation’s further adventures. But now his origin story can finally be told…
The new War Doctor describes the role as a privilege, an honour and a challenge
Actor Jonathon Carley said: “I honestly can’t tell you how much of a privilege and an honour it is to not only be working with the incredibly talented team at Big Finish but also to be playing the War Doctor. It is more than I could ever have expected.
“Stepping into the sturdy boots of a character established by the late, great Sir John Hurt would be a challenge for any actor. But the team have been so supportive and creative in their approach to exploring further facets of this complex incarnation.
“This is a cracking set of stories so it will be wonderful to put a spotlight on the rarely glimpsed early life of the War Doctor and the trials he faces, finding his new place in the Time War. I hope listeners are as eager to embrace that journey as I am.”
Big Finish’s Nicholas Briggs calls The War Doctor Begins a fitting tribute to John Hurt
Big Finish creative director Nicholas Briggs added: “Jonathon is a real find. Many will be familiar with the uncanny accuracy of his War Doctor vocals from various online projects. But there’s more to a good performance than just an impersonation. You need imagination, emotion, sensitivity… essentially, great acting!
“I worked really closely with John Hurt on our original The War Doctor releases, and although we only worked together for a short time, such was his commitment, charm and openness that he allowed me to feel something of a connection with him. And I can confidently say that what Jonathon is doing here will be a fitting tribute to John, in honour of his great work in the role.”
Doctor Who: The War Doctor Begins is available for pre-order now!
Each volume of the series is now available for pre-order exclusively from the Big Finish website either as a collector’s edition triple CD box set, starting at £19.99 per volume, or as a digital download, starting at £16.99 per volume.
Big Finish listeners can save money by pre-ordering the complete series in a bundle (of all four volumes) from just £66.
Further details about the series, including writers and story details, will be announced nearer the release date.
Doctor Who: The War Doctor Begins
Duration: 180 minutes approx. (per volume)
Released: From June 2021, exclusively from the Big Finish website.
Director: Louise Jameson
Producer: David Richardson
Script Editor: Matt Fitton
Executive Producers: Nicholas Briggs, Jason Haigh-Ellery