Last year, Big Finish Productions announced Billie Piper’s return as Doctor Who companion Rose Tyler in a series of full-cast audio dramas exploring how the character, exiled to an alternate universe, returned to help the Doctor save the day for the entire multiverse. Today, that set is out.
And “Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon” includes not only Rose and her parents Jackie (Camille Coduri) and Pete (Shaun Dingwall), but also alien investigator Clive Finch (Mark Benton), who appeared in Tyler’s very first TV episode, 2005’s “Rose,” which also relaunched Doctor Who on TV after a 16-yer absence.
But things didn’t end well for poor old Clive Finch in our universe, so why not use the dimension-hopping concept to bring back an entertaining and useful character?
“I approached (Doctor Who TV producer) Russell T. Davies with the idea of Big Finish making a Rose Tyler spin-off,” producer David Richardson said last year. “He was very enthusiastic — as always — and suggested we followed Rose’s journey that ultimately leads to her finding the Doctor in ‘The Stolen Earth.’ I found the proposal irresistible, and instantly script editor Matt Fitton and I were throwing around ideas. There is a whole multiverse of possibilities. Russell suggested including Jackie and Pete, and embraced my idea of including a parallel universe version of Clive — who of course was killed off in the TV series (in the 2005 episode ‘Rose’).
“Russell guided us gently through the development — steering us towards ideas that worked brilliantly, ensuring things that needed improvement were fixed, and also throwing out the ideas that didn’t work. I’m absolutely delighted with what we have — a family drama about the end of worlds. It’s about love and loss and things that might have been – and our brilliant cast have embraced the emotional scripts.”
Richardson spoke more about the return of Rose in last month’s Vortex magazine: “I love this series. I mentioned identity earlier and it really feels unique to the Big Finish catalogue. This is a Doctor Who spin-off that’s principally about characters.
“It’s not about monsters and aliens. There are plenty of threats and lots of thrills. But primarily it’s about the end of the world (in four very different ways) and how characters react to that. It’s not always pretty but sometimes it’s beautiful. And Russell’s help with the story development was invaluable — he got us to this really interesting and special place. I’m so hugely grateful to him.” You can read the full article in August’s free Vortex magazine.
At the announcement of “The Dimension Cannon,” Billie Piper said: “That’s the great thing about Doctor Who. It challenges new-thinking. It’s progressive and it can be political in amongst these human emotions and relationships. I think that’s its greatest appeal.”
Rose Tyler’s world is ending.
As she begins a desperate mission to find the one person who can make a difference, Rose discovers that it’s not only her universe at stake. Across alternate dimensions, parallel timelines – where divergences may be tiny or cataclysmic – every Earth is under threat.
Time is running out, but Rose won’t stop searching until she finds the Doctor…
1.1 The Endless Night by Jonathan Morris
As his parallel universe darkens, Pete Tyler has found a chance of survival. Punch a hole through dimensions and someone can jump through – and maybe find a way to the Doctor’s universe.
On her very first trip, Rose visits an Earth that’s about to get colder. As a long night begins, Rose meets different versions of her parents. And one man who could help her search. His name is Clive Finch…
1.2 The Flood by Lisa McMullin
Making another leap with a new companion, Rose finds a world suffering environmental change. The rain won’t stop, and the government could be hiding the scale of the impending disaster.
While Rose connects with another version of Pete and a strangely compelling young man, Clive Finch meets someone special of his own. In this world, there was no Clive for Caroline to meet, but love can cross dimensions.
1.3 Ghost Machines by AK Benedict
Pete decides it’s time he accompanied Rose on one of her dimension jumps. But he couldn’t have picked a worse time. They arrive in a world where technology took an extraordinary path, and where the recently deceased Pete Tyler had a very different kind of success.
As machines start to break down, Pete meets his widow, and he and Rose must confront truths about their ‘family’. But they may not escape this Earth alive.
1.4 The Last Party on Earth by Matt Fitton
Rose and Jackie Tyler visit a home very close to the one they left behind. But some old friends are missing, and some are unexpectedly present… Rose meets two young men she knows should be together – it can sometimes take the end of the world to see what’s right in front of you.
Meanwhile, the Powell Estate faces Armageddon in the only way it can – by throwing a party.
“Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon” is out now from Big Finish Productions.