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Michelle Gomez, Eric Roberts join a medley of Masters facing River Song in Doctor Who audio spinoff

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Michelle Gomez' last appearance as Missy on televised Doctor Who was in the season 10 finale "The Doctor Falls."
Michelle Gomez’ last appearance as Missy on televised Doctor Who was in the season 10 finale “The Doctor Falls.” (BBC America)

Big Finish Productions’ upcoming The Diary of River Song: Series 5 will bring two of the most important women in the Doctor’s life together — along with a few other familiar faces. Er, voices.

River Song, the Doctor’s wife, will meet not only Missy — the most recent incarnation of the Master — but three other versions of the iconic Doctor Who villain.

Alex Kingston (ER) will joust with Michelle Gomez — but that’s hardly the headline, if you can believe it.

Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight, Julia’s brother…), not seen on the series before or after the 1996 TV movie starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor (after the original series’ cancellation in 1989 and before it returned in 2005), will reprise his role as the turbulent Time Lord. In addition, Geoffrey Beevers returns as the “crispy” version of the Master first seen in 1981’s “Keeper of Traken” storyline, and Derek Jacobi — revealed as the Master in 2008’s “Utopia” and appearing recently in other Big Finish releases.

Kingston has been meeting past incarnations of River’s “Sweetie” in Big Finish plays, including McGann, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker and Peter Davison — and she’ll also meet Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor in August.

The Diaries of River Song, Series 5 will include Jonathan Morris’ “The Bekdel Test,” Roy Gill’s “Animal Instinct,” Eddie Robson’s “The Lifeboat and the Deathboat” and Scott Handcock’s “Concealed Weapon.”

Eric Roberts, Paul McGann and Daphne Ashbrooke in the 1996 Fox TV movie "Doctor Who."
Eric Roberts, Paul McGann and Daphne Ashbrooke in the 1996 Fox TV movie “Doctor Who.”

“This is something we’ve been so incredibly excited about for so long,” said Big Finish executive producer Nicholas Briggs. “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 arch enemy 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.”

Other regenerations of the Master have included, on TV, Roger Delgado, Peter Pratt, Anthony Ainley and John Simm and, for Big Finish, Alex Macquen and James Dreyfus.

What was it like getting Eric Roberts back into the Master’s clutches?

“Working with Eric was a complete joy,” said executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery. “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!

“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!”

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