|Ken Campbell is The Lost Doctor|
There’s been a lot of talk in recent days about the new Doctors and Daleks series of roleplaying adventures, using Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (5e) rules. I don’t have very strong feelings about either 5e or Doctor Who (if I were to play a Doctor Who game, I’d probably opt for the Lasers & Feelings hack, Day of the Doctors). I do, however, have some very creative friends who are building a really special new Doctor Who multiverse…
In 1987, Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor regenerated. His replacement was Sylvester McCoy. But among others who had been under consideration for the role of the Seventh Doctor was McCoy’s mentor, Ken Campbell. Ken’s version of the Doctor was deemed too dark, and so McCoy got the gig. But what if…
The Lost Doctor is an audio series set in a universe where Ken Campbell is The Doctor (having died ten years before this series started, Ken’s Doctor is played variously by old recordings of the man himself, by professional Campbell impersonator Jeremy Stockwell, and by The Lost Doctor’s own Tom Baker, Tom Baker). Our Doctor has new assistants – Luna and 23 (later 24); new enemies – The Guild of Temporal Assassins; and a bunch of new tech. And a whole bunch of fabulous new arrangements of that theme tune.
I’m no Doctor Who nut, but what I love about this new series is just how creative and playful and smart it is. With cameos from James Joyce, Tristan Tzara, Walter Raleigh, John Dee, John Peel, Robert Anton Wilson, and others, it takes the Doctor’s travels to new and unexpected places. Skip to Episode 5, The School of Night, if you would like to hear Doctor Who in Shakespearean blank verse. The Lost Doctor also plays metagames with the TV series: did you know, for example, that the first ever episode of Doctor Who was broadcast on the day John F Kennedy was assasinated? Listen to Episode 6, The Doctor Does Dallas, to learn more, and for hints as to how the series ever made it onto our TV sets in the first place.
Just as impressive is how professional these productions have become. While early episodes have a fan-made feel to them, the most recent – in particular the Christmas special “Truce” – have scripts and sound-design that are as good as anything the BBC is putting out. (Truce also manages to put the bizarre jingoistic Tory hymn “Strong Britain, Great Nation” to surprisingly good use).
There is a really committed team now working on the series, and it shows. Multiple writers, directors and producers, plus a large roster of actors (many of them professionals). Eight episodes have been released so far – you can listen to them all below – and many more are in the pipeline (the intention is to release one every three months).
Episode 1: released to coincide with the 53rd anniversary of the broadcast of the very first episode.
Ken Campbell finally claims the helm of time and space in an original, fan-made episode that introduces brand new companions, new villains and the TARDIS’ elusive ETERNITY ROOM.
Episode 2: The Doctor (Ken Campbell) is lost in time and space. He exists only as a small, hard-light hologram on the palm of a ‘Love Glove’.
While searching for him, his assistants, Luna Wilson and 23 (a cybernetic organism from the far future), have been attacked by The Guild of Temporal Assassins. 23 is dead and Luna regressed to a small child.
As Terminus closes in for the kill, will Little Luna escape?
What happens when Synchronus unleashes the Coincidence Bomb?
What IS in the Eternity Room?
And how can this unlikeliest incarnation of The Doctor save us all and still have time for a cup of tea and a jammy dodger…?
All questions answered in this thrilling conclusion to the 2-part opening storyline, ushering in the Ken Campbell era.
Episode 3 – The White Rabbit and The Black Chicken: The Doctor meets author and philosopher Robert Anton Wilson.
What is the purpose of the strange transmissions coming from Sirius? Can The Doctor thwart the plans of dog-headed alien Anubis? And what does a black chicken have to do with Luna’s mysterious origins….?
Episode 4 – What Did You Do In The Great War, Dada?: It’s 1917 and World War One grinds mercilessly on. In the Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, a word virus from the future gets out of control, an arts movement rages against the machine, and a man begins to write The Book. Guest starring Tristan Tzara and James Joyce.
Episode 5 – The School of Night: 1595. The Good Doctor Dee tasks our itinerant complement with an investigation into Raleighs’ School
Of Atheism; Solution will lead to
The Americas and discoverie
Of otherworld forces none suspected, And a conclusion revelatory.
Episode 6 – The Doctor Does Dallas: It is November 1963 and The Doctor has lost his purpose, spending days on his favourite seesaw, unaware that history is about to come crashing down all around him. New friends are made, old enemies have a fresh face, and 24 has a disco.
Where were you when you heard The Lost Doctor Does Dallas?
Episode 7 – Truce (part one): Christmas Eve, 1914, Belgium.
The Christmas Truce is derailed by the murderous Skorpiana, for her own evil ends.
The world changes.
In Airstrip One, 2021, a lone sculptor struggles to create a monument to a moment that never was.
The Doctor, Luna and 24 must face the horrors of a fascist Other England; but are they really ready for the Prime Sinister, and what’s brewing in The Foundry…? (1/2)
Episode 8 – Truce (part two): As an old foe unleashes his Nazi Dalek Youth Brigade and Omega Variant on the world, it’s up to The Doctor and a special work of art to save not just this day, but all days. Reeling from the revelations of their homeworld’s destruction, 24 lies broken. With The Guild of Temporal Assassins massing, and The Doctor squarely in their sights, can our heroes overcome this devastating raid on history? (2/2)