It is all Masters on deck as River Song (Alex Kingston) battles not one, not two but four Masters in the fifth series of The Diary of River Song. Michelle Gomez (Missy) and Eric Roberts (1996 Doctor Who TV movie) will be reprising their roles as Master in the new audio drama that will be released in January 2019. Also returning as the Doctor’s arch-foe are Geoffrey Beevers (Doctor Who: The Keeper of Traken -1981) and Derek Jacobi (Doctor Who: Utopia 2008 and Big Finish).
David Richardson, producer, describes the adventure. “It’s a medley of Masters! In previous box sets, River has been travelling back through the Doctor’s incarnations. This time around she is meeting some of the Masters – and we have some amazing firsts in this box set! Yes, it’s the first time Eric Roberts has returned to the role since the TV movie in 1996, and the first appearance of Michelle Gomez as Missy in a Big Finish production. With Derek Jacobi as the War Master and Geoffrey Beevers as the decayed Master, it’s an unmissable line-up!”
Nicholas Briggs, executive producer, is also excited about the new lineup. “This is something we’ve been so incredibly excited about for so long. It’s been thrilling enough for us to work with Alex for all the River releases, but to put her against the Doctor’s former best friend turned archenemy is not a little mind-blowing. Fantastic that we’re getting an opportunity to work with Michelle again, after her first appearance (at Big Finish) with Sylvester McCoy back in 2007! But somehow strangely incredible that Eric Roberts is back from the 1996 TV movie. It’s frankly ‘clash of the icons’ in a really mind-blowing box set.”
It is 22 years since Eric Roberts battled Paul McGann’s Doctor in the Doctor Who TV movie and the Big Finish team was thrilled to be working with this award-winning Hollywood actor. Jason Haigh-Ellery, executive producer, described the working relationship. “Working with Eric was a complete joy. Firstly, he is such a nice man and so easy to communicate with. Secondly, he likes to work, and he likes to work fast. Scenes whizz by and we are all enjoying yourselves so much that you forget you are directing an Oscar nominee with over 450 movies under his belt (which should be intimidating – but isn’t). He’s very down to earth – no ego or vanity involved. I hope we work together again soon!”
Big Finish has also secured a quite a coup having Michelle Gomez return. The fan favourite was last seen with another Master (John Simm) in the final episodes of Series 11. As Haigh-Ellery states. “Having Michelle Gomez return to Big Finish is wonderful – a lovely lady, who was magnificent as Missy in the past couple of seasons of Doctor Who. I can’t wait for everyone to hear her and Alex Kingston together!”
The four-episode audio series, made in arrangement with BBC Studios, features stories by Jonathan Morris, Roy Gill, Eddie Robson and Scott Handcock.
The Diary of River Song: Series 5
• The Bekdel Test by Jonathan Morris
• Animal Instinct by Roy Gill
• The Lifeboat and the Deathboat by Eddie Robson
• Concealed Weapon by Scott Handcock
The Diary of River Song: Series 5 is available for pre-order now at £23 on CD or £20 on download.
The series can also be purchased as a bundle with The Diary of River Song: Series 4, to be released in August 2018, at the price of £45 on CD and £40 on download (all CD purchases from the Big Finish website unlock a download exclusive from the Big Finish website and app).