• PSAudios 1.4. Magical History Tour


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

    Magical History Tour
    By Si Hunt and Simon Hart, produced by Si Hunt
    Rob looked at his watch for the umpteenth time.
    Where on earth was the Doctor?
    He turned to his friend Nick, but as he opened his mouth to vent yet another loud proclamation of protest, his words were suddenly lost. Nick was staring at the sky, his face twisted in anguish and surprise. Rob followed his gaze, and then he saw it. The battered blue police box, tumbling and ricocheting across the afternoon sky above them as if it were a toy, a trail of burning vapour hanging in the air as it fell. Rob opened his mouth and cried the single word that filled his thoughts. "Doctor!"

    Listen
    Episode 1

    Download PSAudios - 1.4. Magical History Tour - Episode1.mp3

    Episode 2

    Download PSAudios - 1.4. Magical History Tour - Episode2.mp3

    Episode 3

    Download PSAudios - 1.4. Magical History Tour - Episode3.mp3

    Episode 4

    Download PSAudios - 1.4. Magical History Tour - Episode4.mp3

    Bonus Features
    Consequences - A mini-story by Si Hart, featuring Paul Monk and Dave Tudor

    Download PSAudios-1.4.MagicalHistoryTour-Consequences.mp3

    Making Magical History Tour

    Download PSAudios - 1.4. Magical History Tour - Making Of.mp3

    Making Magical History Interviews

    Download PSAudios - 1.4. Magical History Tour - Interviews.mp3

    Deleted Scenes

    Download PSAudios - 1.4. Magical History Tour - Deleted Scenes.mp3


    Cast List
    The Doctor - Paul Monk
    Rob - Steve Alexander
    Nick - Dave Tudor
    Professor Bonham - Andrew Clancy
    Emma Bonham - Kathy Reidtmann
    Ricky Bonham - Ant Williams
    Brian Epstein - Simon Hart
    Scarface Jake - Wayne Jeffries
    Pegleg Pete / Freddie - Martin Penny
    Harold Harold - Andrew Curnow
    Linda McCow - Trudi Gard
    Jerry Diamond - Dave Lewis
    Scurvy Jack / Doorman - Pip Madeley
    DJ - Si Hunt
    Written by Si Hunt and Simon Hart
    Produced by Si Hunt
    Cover by Pip Madeley

    Extras
    Pictures
    (click for larger versions)
       

    Cover


    CD Booklet/Cover


    CD Inlay/Back


    CD Labels
     


    Pre-Production
    Having written a huge cliffhanger at the end of Soap of Fatal Death, Si Hunt and Simon Hart set about resolving it. It didn't seem fair to give anyone else the task of resolving the loss of Doctor Who's biggest icons The TARDIS and the Doctor himself, so the two of them traded ideas for what was planned as a third PSAudios adventure - which was to become one of the most ambitious the PlanetSkaro Audios team have attempted.

    Simon Hart elaborates: "Of all the many things we mapped out early on in the writing of Magical History Tour was that we wanted it to focus on our two companions, Nick and Rob. They're really capable companions, who were capable of carrying a story on their own, and we wanted a chance to see how theyíd cope without the Doctor there to get them out of the trouble they were bound to find themselves in. We both agreed that Dave and Steven who play them deserved a chance to shine." One of them would cope with life without the Doctor better than the other.

    They also wanted to a time travel story set in three distinctive time zones that didn't seem to be linked. Si Hunt wanted to do a pirate story. Simon Hart wanted to do a fab and groovy Summer of Love adventure in 1967. It was decided pretty quickly that Rob would be stranded in the present day, back home, to emphasise the boring life he was trying to escape from. Nick would be stranded in 1967 and changing history in some way and there would be swashbuckling daring-do in 1716 with lots of pirate-y motifs.

    Now they just had to stitch it all together. Si wanted a big villain in this one after the monsters and gestalt entities that had featured in Protii and Soap. As he said in an email, ďI think it's time to give one of us a chance to do a turn as a scene-chewing, truly evil villain...Ē . Out that initial premise came Professor Bonham. Simon Hart suggested that Bonham be the evil pirate that featured in the Pirate section of the story like Scarlioni in City of Death. As Simon Hart said at the time, "finding his motivation was one of our biggest challenges. We didn't want to make him evil for the sake of it, and the inclusion of his family meant that if he put them in danger through his actions, there would have to be a really good reason why he would do so."

    Towards the end of 2006, Si Hunt began putting together a story breakdown under the working title "Stranded in Time". Originally, events focussed more around Rob's friend (at this point named Mags) who would have been from the pirate era and been revealed to be Anne Bonny, a real historical lesbian of the times. Much was made of the mystery of "The Torn Dog", who would have eventually been unveiled as the Doctor. In this version, Nick and Rob find out the Doctor is alive from a history book, and hold a sťance to bring him back to the present. One sixties cameo idea that was eventually dropped was to feature former Beatles drummer Pete Best.

    The biggest challenge for the script was the inclusion of a real person in the story; Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Both writer did lots of research on Epstein, reading biographies and Beatles books to make sure they did justice to him. Simon Hart says: ďAs is quite well known, Brian Epstein died in August 1967 through the incautious use of prescription drugs. He was quite a sad man in many ways, a bit lost after The Beatles stopped touring and not very sure if he had any place in the world. This fitted neatly with Nickís predicament, as Nick certainly doesnít belong in 1967 either. Brianís cruising in London parks gave us a perfect meeting point for the two and from there on, there was much fun to be had with the two of them. Writing someone real is quite a challenge. What I didnít want to do was to be disrespectful to him by mocking him in the story. That would make all the hard work weíd put into the research a waste of time.Ē

    The Doctor was due to appear early in episode 1 originally, but it was decided that perhaps it was better to spin the illusion out that he really was dead for a longer time and keep him out of the story until halfway through.

    With a storyline all mapped out, the actual process of writing the script was relatively easy. Simon Hart offered to write the first two episodes, preferring to tackle the character development in those episodes and Si Hunt would handle the more action packed final two episodes. Both script edited each other's episodes to make sure the tone was consistent.

    One thing they couldn't agree on was a title for the story. It had many working titles, "Curse of the Fallon", "Stranded in Time", "The Life of Brian", "Time Gash", and "You've Got To Hide Your Nick Away" were all considered for a time, though it was mostly referred to as Story 3 in their emails. In the end the punning "Magical History Tour" seemed most appropriate.

    Production
    The first material for the story was recorded by Simon Hart in Bracknell with Dave Tudor and Steven Alexander. As Dave wasn't able to make the main recording date, the crew took the opportunity to record his scenes a few weeks earlier.

    The bulk of the story was recorded in Sawbridgeworth on the sunny and warm Saturday 28th July 2007. The team again took the customary break for a photo shoot, this time walking further a field to a nearby wood, with Pip Madeley recording an interview on a dicta-phone on the way. Some props (A pirates hat and toy cutlass) were taken to liven up the photographs for the CD cover.

    Trudi Gard once again recorded a cameo as Rob's Mum Linda McCow, and Martin Penny was present at a recording session for the first time; Penny was given the difficult task of imitating Freddie Mercury in his first scenes recording with the team. Dave Lewis once again recorded a remote role as a Radio Announcer.

    Si Hunt did the production on this story, cleaning up the audio files and assembling the story from its various sources. Simon Hart supplied some music to make the 1967 scenes sound suitably authentic. The sound of Bonham's Time Machine was developed from a multitude of different sources, while the Space Time Visualiser sound was used every time he "tuned in" to the past. One of the biggest challenges was the appearance of real-life people Cilla Black (who needed to be shot in the script) and Lulu - Si Hunt scoured hours of interview footage of both, eventually extracting the very sparse amount of usable quotes and fitting the script around them. Steve Alexander ad-libbed an impression of Yoko Ono during recording, and Si Hunt thought it so amusing he used it in full - it wound up as one of his favourite moments in the story. For the climactic moment when Rob and Emma escape the Pirates by playing Celine Dion, a snatch of her biggest hit "My Heart Will Go On" (from the film "Titanic") was used.

    Quote Unquote


    BONHAM: Do Your Wiki, Ricky!

    --

    RICKY: Iíve got better things to do than see yet another of his rubbish inventions! I remember the battery operated football he made me when I was getting too tired exercising. And the nostalgia-powered cooker that exploded when Granny Bonham tried to boil an egg while ďLast of the Summer WineĒ was on.

    --

    BRIAN: So you know what happens to the Boys then? You know about all next yearsí big hits?

    NICK (laughs slightly, in a bittersweet way): Yeah. Letís just say they never get forgotten. But more importantly, I know about you. Your future.

    BRIAN: Oh. I donít quite know what to say.

    NICK: Donít say anything. It means I canít stay here Brian. Knowing everything thatís going to happen to you.

    BRIAN: You make it sound like itís bad! Itís notÖ is it?

    NICK (bites lip): No. Itís fine. But it wouldnít be fair to you, me knowing. We couldnít live like that. Iíve got to leave. Get back with the Doctor again.

    BRIAN: YouÖ you canít! Youíre all Iíve got! Nick, please donít leave me!

    NICK: Donít make this any harder. Youíll be fineÖ just remember, you donít need something to depend on. Not me, not the pillsÖ youíre stronger than that.

    BRIAN (in floods of tears): No, Iím not! I canít cope with this! You canít just walk out!

    NICK (starts retreating): I canít handle this. Iíve got to go. Iím sorry Brian. Goodbye.


    Trivia
    • This story begins with a (shortened) recap from the end of "Soap of Fatal Death", although the previous audio Keepsake had filled in the events for companion Rob.
    • Poor old Paul Monk caught a cold the day before the recording!
    • Dave Tudor was unable to make the main recording, which allowed everyone else to have a go at doing impressions of him. These files have now been deleted, fortunately.
    • Harold the hat-maker makes his final appearance in this story.
    • Nick and Rob's stories fill the first two episodes.
    • Andrew Clancy was unable to grow a thick moustache for the recording date.
    • At the time of production, Si Hunt was not yet on Facebook but still had a My Space page.
    • A specially recorded trailer was made for the end of the story, setting up the next story "Doctor Who and the Christmas Gnomes"


    Existing Material
    Synopsis and early versions of the script survive, but none of the original raw recording footage exists.

    Other Stories
    Find out how the Doctor, Nick and Rob first got in this mess in 1.2 The Soap of Fatal Death
    The Doctor, Rob and Nick visit the festive planet of Tinsel in
    1.5 Doctor Who and the Christmas Gnomes

    Forum and comments
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