The trailer for Series 9 of River Song has just come out. Along with a beautiful cover and details about the cast, and the handy ability to pre-order it on the Big Finish website. And it looks and sounds magnificent!
In the new series, River Song joins Liz Shaw and the Brig at UNIT to do some investigating of the alien and the unexplained. And I was delighted to have the chance to write the first story of the series, The Blood Woods, where Liz and River go for a lovely trip to the country and into a homage to British folk horror. (No Wicker men were harmed during the recording of this audio.)
Liz Shaw is one of my most beloved companions (and the reason I stuck with physics right through to sixth year of high school, and absolutely, totally was going to go do physics at uni…until I did my sixth year and hit my limit with the Coping With Mathematics aspect of things) so getting the chance to write for her for Big Finish was tremendously exciting (and intimidating; very much hope my love of the character and Caroline John’s performance come across, especially as it’s her daughter playing the role). And having Liz team-up with River might have been something I once, back in the day, maybe wrote fanfic about…maybe…
What works so well for me in particular about River and Liz together is that they are these two fascinating characters, both brilliant and confident, but with such contrasting experiences and expectations of the world, and they’ve both had to fight for their places in it, but again, in such very different ways. And what makes the concept of River being in the world of Season 7 doubly compelling is that it’s not just characters meeting up, it’s taking an incredibly well-defined element of modern Who, in the character of River, and putting her into the Doctor Who season with the most strongly defined identity of its own, Season 7. And figuring out how those work together, how to keep both of them feeling authentic, and what they have to say about one another. As well as remembering to have River delight at both the Brig’s moustache and Liz’s dress sense. I’m so excited to listen to the other stories, and find out where we go with them, the Brig and, eventually, the Doctor!
As ever, a huge thank you to my editor, Matt Fitton, who makes me look rather a bit better at writing than I actually am. There’s more info on the release is here, and River Song Series 9: New Recruit is out in October 2021.