Big Finish are expanding its production family, with the addition of Emily Cook, Emma Haigh, and Jac Rayner as producers
Big Finish have announced that three new names will be appearing as producers across various ranges in 2021. All three will be names familiar to Doctor Who fans, either as long term contributors or recent arrivals who’ve already impressed with their talent and dedication. Between them, Emily Cook, Emma Haigh, and Jac Rayner will be producing a range of stories. From Lost Stories by legendary writers, new adventures for the Sixth Doctor, and the Big Finish worlds beyond Doctor Who. Introducing the trio, Big Finish said in a statement “From standing with the Doctor against the Daleks to helping Torchwood save the world (again), these women are some of the best in the business and we love working with them.“
Big Finish’s Creative Director Nicholas Briggs added: “With our new Doctor Who ranges unfolding and flowering beautifully, we’re very enthusiastic to welcome some incredibly entertaining, thought-provoking storylines, devised and commissioned by a raft of great producers. Some are new to their range, others have been here before. But all of them are brimming with passion for the brand.”
Novelist and scriptwriter Jac Rayner will become Producer of the Sixth Doctor adventures
Jac Rayner, has worked with Big Finish from its inception. She wrote their sixth ever release The Marian Conspiracy, in the year 2000. She continued to write for the monthly range across its lifetime, right up to last year’s Time Apart. Other notable projects include the River Song and Donna Noble ranges, starring Alex Kingston and Catherine Tate respectively. Meanwhile, as a script editor, she’s worked on more stories than you could shake a perigosto stick at. Beyond the world of audio she’s written nine Doctor Who novels, and contributed a host of short stories to others. She’s also been a regular contributor to Doctor Who Magazine. There she was one of the original Time Team and wrote the Relative Dimensions column among others. As a Producer she’ll be shepherding the Sixth Doctor’s upcoming adventures.
Describing her new role, Rayner said: “At the moment I’m working with a fantastic close community of writers developing the Sixth Doctor adventures and it’s so much fun. That’s something I’m loving about Big Finish right now, having access to so many amazing brains and getting to shape a story with them. All those brilliant moments where someone goes ‘How about we do this…?’ and knowing that might actually become a little bit of Doctor Who, wow!”
Rayner’s new role continues a long standing relationship with Big Finish and the Sixth Doctor
She also reflected on how much Big Finish has meant to her down the years. “Here’s something folk might not know about Big Finish: the lengths some people are willing to go to make you feel part of it. At a Big Finish recording many years ago, Colin Baker held my hand and ran up and down a corridor with me so I could feel like I was in Doctor Who. That is one of my most cherished memories and I will love him for ever (well, I already loved him. But that added to it)! So, I’m looking forward to working with him on this range so much.
“We’ve come up with what I hope is a really exciting arc storyline for the Sixth Doctor to get his teeth into, channelling both the compassion and the righteous indignation that fuel Sixie; we’re going into new places with companions (and maybe with a familiar face – voice? – or two), and I can’t wait to get these stories into the studio and into the listeners’ ears!”
Big Finish Managing Director Jason Haigh-Ellery expressed his enthusiasm for Rayner and other new producers. “Over the years, we have been lucky enough to work with some very talented writers and adapters. One of my favourites has always been Jac Rayner. Jac first worked with us 22 years ago, as the adapter of our first ever production – the Bernice Summerfield adventure Oh No It Isn’t. So I am so pleased she has accepted the role of producer for the Sixth Doctor series. I very much look forward to seeing what she and the very talented Emma Haigh and Emily Cook will create next with Big Finish!”
Emma Haigh will continue to produce stories beyond Doctor Who, in charge of the Callan and Adam Adamant ranges
Emma Haigh, meanwhile, has already acted as a producer across some of Big Finish’s best loved titles. Now she returns for more in 2021. She was responsible for the main range’s Mags Trilog, as well as recent spine-tingler Genetics of the Daleks. She’s also taken the lead on some of their most popular sets beyond the worlds of Doctor Who. These will include Adam Adamant Lives! and Callan.
“One of the things I like most about working with Big Finish,” Haigh said, “is the huge group of brilliantly creative and talented people all working together to take us away on fabulous adventures. And one of the unknown great things about Big Finish are our sound engineers, who have worked miracles in recent months, working and supporting us during these remote recording times, to produce really high-quality recordings despite all the actors being spread hither and yon across the universe. This year I’m really looking forward to working on more Adam Adamant and Callan, with some of my favourite characters, and on an exciting new release – prepare to go swift and join the adventure!”
Emily Cook steps up as a Producer for a very special Lost Story brought to you by the letters ‘R’, ‘T’ and ‘D’
Emily Cook, will be known to many Doctor Who fans as their lockdown lifesaver with her tweetalongs. She’s worked as part of the Doctor Who Magazine editorial team since 2015. But she came to wider prominence last year as the producer of Doctor Who Lockdown. She successfully herded a plethora of Doctor Who talent online like socially distant cats. From Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat to David Tennant and Matt Smith, she assembled an impressive set of contributors. Along the way providing a real sense of togetherness and community for fans and pros alike. Moreover, she acted as producer on no less than fifteen Doctor Who minisodes to go alongside the tweetalongs. These included animations, readings, and live action scenes, assembled under some of the most challenging conditions imaginable.
Cook’s first job as a Big Finish producer will involve resurrecting a 1980s script submitted to the Doctor Who production office but rejected. A script by a certain writer who would go on to be an awards laden legend. And a regenerator of Doctor Who itself! Hurrah! Speaking about the project, Cook said, “I’m relatively new to producing for Big Finish but my favourite thing about it (so far) is having the opportunity to find new stories to tell within the wonderful world of Doctor Who. We have such creative freedom! I love the whole process of seeing an idea come to life and develop into a finished product for fans to enjoy.
“My other favourite thing (can I have two favourite things?!) is the people. Everyone is incredibly lovely! These audio dramas are, of course, huge collaborative efforts and it’s great to be part of such a brilliant, talented team. We all have a shared passion, too, which makes working together utterly joyous. As for upcoming projects, I am most looking forward to bringing a long-lost Doctor Who adventure to life. Discovering this script was like finding buried treasure. It has real significance in terms of the show’s history – and I can’t wait for the story to be told!”