Big Finish reveals details of The War Doctor Begins Volume 3 – Battlegrounds. Get ready to meet Layla!

Expect mayhem, murder, and a mysterious companion this May. The renegade Doctor is back in the penultimate box set of Big Finish Productions’ The War Doctor Begins range. In three full-cast audio dramas about the tumultuous Time War, Jonathon Carley’s War Doctor is a captive on a Thal ship and faces an astonishingly vicious variant of the Daleks. But his biggest enemy of all might be himself.

Emma Campbell-Jones, best known to Doctor Who viewers as Cass from 2013’s story The Night of The Doctor, guest stars in the box set’s opening adventure. This time the actor plays Layla Bridge, a brave and loyal friend to the warrior Time Lord.

Emma Campbell-Jones, who plays Layla Bridge in The War Doctor Begins (c) Tony Whitmore Doctor Who Big Finish Productions
Emma Campbell-Jones, who plays Layla Bridge in The War Doctor Begins (c) Tony Whitmore

A companion… but probably not the one you were expecting

Script writer Matt Fitton was on hand to describe the new new companion. “In Layla we have someone who might have been ideally suited to travelling with the Doctor in his previous lives. She brings out his best qualities, and in some ways, she reminds him of some of his friends from the past.

“Emma Campbell-Jones is fantastic, and it’s wonderful to bring her back into the world of audio Doctor Who as a companion, but probably not the one you’re expecting!”

Layla herself, actor Emma Campbell-Jones, added, “I think Layla Bridge is a very passionate sort. She’s quite playful and I enjoy that funny little spur she has with the Doctor – the sparky bits and moments of back and forth. She clearly cares a great deal — not just for the Doctor — for everyone they meet along the way.

“She’s bold and I love her courage. She’s very hands on and is off exploring around the corner when she doesn’t know if there are monsters around there. I think the Doctor needs a companion who is unafraid and willing to go on the journey with him.”


Ken Bones at the recording of The War Doctor Begins Doctor Who
Ken Bones (The General) at the recording of The War Doctor Begins

Battlegrounds also features Ken Bones’ return as the General among a stellar guest cast

The incredible cast also includes Adèle Anderson as Dorothy and Tamasan, and Ken Bones as David and Anders Kristiansen. Meanwhile Nicholas Briggs returns as the Daleks, alongside David Warwick as Dylon, Rose Basista as Soolal, and Troy Alexander as Gilder. Sarah Moss as Ignis Abel, Homer Todiwala as Regis Parenthis, and Julian Forsyth as Grei Potemic complete the cast.


The War Doctor Begins: Battlegrounds. Cover by Claudia Gironi (c) Big Finish Productions
The War Doctor Begins: Battlegrounds. Cover by Claudia Gironi (c) Big Finish Productions

The War Doctor Begins – Battlegrounds

The Doctor is no more. In his place, a warrior, finally joining the Time War between the Daleks and Gallifrey. But how far will he go to end the conflict? What lines will he cross? How much of himself will he sacrifice?

The War Doctor is beginning to find out who he is…

The Keeper of Light by Phil Mulryne

The Doctor and his faithful companion are on the trail of strange psionic signals… At a remote costal cottage, holidaymakers David and Dorothy think there’s something strange about the lighthouse. But the Doctor can’t shake the sense of an even bigger mystery to solve…

Temmosus by Rossa McPhillips

Fighting alongside the Time Lords against their common enemy, some Thals have realised that this collaboration is not between equals. When his new battleship is stolen, the War Doctor must convince his old allies that they are on the same side.

Rewind by Timothy X Atack

Lacuna is on the brink of destruction, attacked by a new breed of Dalek. But every day, it is pulled back from that brink, and everyone prepares to live through the end of their world once again. One strange man, alone in his castle, holds the key to Lacuna’s ultimate salvation – or its annihilation.


Doctor Who: The War Doctor Begins – Battlegrounds is available to pre-order at £19.99 as a collector’s edition CD box set. It’s also available at £16.99 as a download from the Big Finish website.


Big Finish listeners can save money by pre-ordering the complete The War Doctor Begins series in a bundle (of all four volumes) from £76 on CD or £66 on digital download.

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. Factors beyond Big Finish’s control may delay the mail-out of collector’s edition CDs. But all purchases unlock a digital copy that listeners can immediate download or play on the Big Finish app.


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