• PSAudios 2.6. Many Happy Returns


    Doctor Who
    Paul Monk, Steven Alexander and Dave Tudor star in

    PSAudios 2.6. Many Happy Returns
    By Simon Hart
    "We thought we'd get a surprise for you."
    "And here I am!"
    "OH NO!"

    Rob and Nick are taking the opportunity in a quiet moment between their adventures to explore the TARDIS. Deep in the corridors lies a dusty old wooden control room, the perfect venue for a little surprise they have planned for the Doctor.

    Will they be able to pluck Simon and Garfunkel out of their time stream and pop them down in the TARDIS? How will the Doctor's running repairs to his beloved ship affect their plans? What's wrong with the Cloister Room? And who is having the perfect cuppa? Rob and Nick grapple with a little time problem, but just what have they brought to the TARDIS...

    Listen
    Episode

    Download PSAudios - 2.6. Many Happy Returns - Episode.mp3

    Cast List
    Doctor Who - Paul Monk
    Rob - Steve Alexander
    Nick - Dave Tudor
    with additional voices by Tim Hawtin, Simon Hart, Alex Finch, Dave Taylor and Pip Madeley
    Written, Produced and Directed by Pip Madeley and Si Hunt
    Cover by Pip Madeley
    Originally released Friday 14 November 2008

    Extras
    CD Cover


    CD Booklet/Cover


    CD Inlay/Back


    Pre-Production
    This story came about after a lament from PlanetSkaro Audios Supremo, Si Hunt who said it was a shame that he always knew what was coming up for the audio series. There were never any surprises. So Simon Hart decided to surprise him with a special birthday treat; his very own PlanetSkaro Audio.

    Unfortunately for Simon Hart, he only came up with the idea 3 weeks before Si's birthday, so this story probably had the fastest turn around from script to CD of any PlanetSkaro Audios story ever.

    Fortunately for Simon, there was a recording scheduled for the weekend before Si's birthday and the script was written to make use of the people coming to the recording. This and Si's impending birthday gave Simon the idea of Nick and Rob trying to organise a party for the Doctor's birthday and grabbing guests from throughout the PlanetSkaro Audios so far. The guest list was determined by the casts of Curse of Ratanapura and Eye of the Daleks which were recording that weekend.

    With this in mind Simon wrote the play. Very quickly. It had a single draft, looked over by Steven Alexander and was possibly the easiest script Simon Hart has ever written. “It just sort of poured out,” Simon said of it one night a few years later, “I knew the characters really well by this point and it just came together without any problems.” He included lots of in jokes to make Si smile.

    Simon sent an email to the cast with a copy of the script and swore everyone to secrecy. Fortunately the cast were really understanding and were all happy to sneak in lines when Si Hunt wasn't around over the weekend.

    Production
    The script was recorded right under Si's nose on the weekend of the 2nd August 2008, after being sent out to the cast on the Friday before! Fortunately many of the cast arrived before Si did on the Saturday so much of the recording could be done before he even turned up. Si Hunt later recalled, "I remember Dave Taylor seeming particularly interested in talking to me that day. 'I must be being really fascinating today' I thought to myself. It turned out he was just trying to distract me from going upstairs where scenes were being taped in secret."

    Production was by Simon Hart and was completed in the week following the recording. It was a fairly easy story to complete, with no huge hassles, though Simon was unhappy that he couldn't find a suitable table scraping on a wooded floor sound effect for one scene.

    The Simon and Garfunkel clip came from their 1982 reunion concert. The Triumph cue heard in many PlanetSkaro Audios was requested from Si himself and he never twigged why!

    The play was finished on 15th August.

    Pip Madeley rallied round and rustled up a suitably camp cover by August 20th and the completed play was in the post in time to surprise Si for his birthday.

    Si Hunt very graciously agreed that we could use it to take part in the Children In Need audio/video challenge, and so the story went online on Friday 14 November 2008, with a request that anyone downloading make a donation to Children In Need.

    Si now listens to the story every year on his birthday, with a smile on his face.


    Si Hunt's comments on this
    Just listened to this and it's BRILLIANT! Smiled my head off all the way through it. I love the use of the Time Scoop and all the rogues that turn up from other stories (especially Vera!). Ben returns at last! But best of all...

    "Lots of éclairs I see!"

    It was really well edited too (I notice these things!) who did it?

    I thoroughly enjoyed my birthday treat! Thank you all so much for making it for me!!

    Trivia
    • Vera is still married to Father Christmas.
    • The TARDIS's Architectural Configuration once went on the blink and accidentally deleted the bathroom, leading the Doctor to spend 5 days searching for it.
    • The Secondary Control Room makes its first appearance in a PlanetSkaro Audio.
    • The Doctor is usually reticent to mention his birthday.
    • Rob and Nick have both experienced strange birthdays during their travels with The Doctor. Nick's trip to the set of his favourite soap opera, Clear Waters, ended with the show being cancelled in Soap of Fatal Death and Rob was taken to the Dolcis Hyper-Shoe-Mart, where he didn't enjoy the shoes.
    • Nick and Rob allude to the Doctor liking the music of both Simon and Garfunkel and George Gershwin.


    Forum and comments
    Rate, discuss and comment on PSAudios - 2.6. Many Happy Returns

    Other Stories
    The Doctor, Nick and Rob come eye to eyestalk with the dreaded Daleks in 2.5 The Eye of The Daleks
    The Doctor encounters festive terror in 2.7 Christmas Spirits

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