Richard Armitage as Rassilon

Time Lord tyrant Rassilon regenerates into Richard Armitage for Doctor Who audio spinoff

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Rassilon regenerated? Yes, there’s yet another incarnation of Gallifrey’s most notorious ruler out there in the universe, thanks to Big Finish Productions.

The Doctor Who spinoff series Gallifrey: Time War will draw to a deadly conclusion with a new Lord High President Rassilon at the helm in a box set of full-cast audio adventures set for release in February 2021.

The Time Lords and the Daleks have opposed one another across millennia. But now, as their conflict tips into an all-out Time War, nowhere across the universe of spacetime is safe. Richard Armitage joins the worlds of Doctor Who for the first time as he assumes the role of the legendary Rassilon in his latest incarnation.

“Rassilon is one of those defining spines of this lore,” the actor said of his casting. “I’ve watched enough sci-fi to know that there has to be an omnipotent being that has a self-aggrandizing mental state which puts him above everybody else, like a malevolent, maniacal dictator.  

“I grew up with Doctor Who. The Daleks and the Cybermen were definitely my “hiding behind the sofa” baddies. But I loved being frightened. Tom Baker was my Doctor Who. He had that voice.

“In a way, what I have tried to do with Rassilon is a little bit Tom Baker-esque.”

On screen, Rassilon has been portrayed by Richard Mathews, Timothy Dalton and Donald Sumpter. Big Finish voice incarnations of the Time Lord leader have included Don Warrington and, most recently, Terrence Hardiman.

Many familiar names will be returning for this final reckoning, including Louise Jameson (Leela from Tom Baker’s run on TV’s Doctor Who), Pippa Bennett-Warner (Livia), Seán Carlsen (Narvin), Miles Richardson (Braxiatel), Samuel Clemens (Mantus) and Nicholas Briggs as the Daleks.

This final chapter of Gallifrey: Time War features four climactic stories: 

  • “Deception” written by Lisa McMullin 
  • “Dissolution” written by Lou Morgan 
  • “Beyond” written by David Llewellyn 
  • “Homecoming” written by Matt Fitton 

More details on this series’ overall story:

Romana is lost to the Time War though Leela and Narvin still fight to survive.

A resistance, caught between Rassilon’s fury and the Dalek Emperor’s mania, have a desperate plan to stop the conflict.

Everything ends. And for some on Gallifrey, the Time War will soon be over.

“It’s been a pleasure to induct Richard Armitage into the Doctor Who universe,” said producer-director Scott Handcock. “He’s such a brilliant actor. I loved him in Hannibal and most recently The Stranger, plus of course Big Finish’s own adaptation of The Martian Invasion of Earth, so he’d been on my wish list for a while. I’d just been waiting for the right role to come along. And he’s fantastic as Rassilon: powerful, headstrong and overflowing with self-conviction.”

Armitage also played Thorin Oakenshield in the Hobbit movie trilogy and co-starred in The Vicar of Dibley.

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