TME > Audio > Stories Guide > Television Soundtracks

BBC Radio Collection (1999-2004) / BBC Audiobooks (2004-)


"The Missing Stories had always gone down very well and there was always a steady stream of interest in them, and so I was able to say 'Look, we can't afford to do audio dramas, we don't have the resources or the people to do them, this company [Big Finish Productions] do, let them do that, at the same time we can carry on our Doctor Who audio releases with the missing stories'. And so I'm happy to say that The Massacre will be coming out later this year, (...) and hopefully, if The Massacre goes well on CD and cassette, then the way will be open for further adventures to follow on afterwards..." [Steve Cole, speaking on DWMs "Talking 'Bout My Regeneration", 1999]

Beginning in 1999, this new range of missing episode soundtracks was produced and overseen by Mark Ayres, who took care to print the following disclaimer in each release, despite the excellent quality of the restored soundtracks:
The quality of the recording reflects the age of the material and the off-air nature of the source material. Whilst every attempt has been made to clean up and re-master these archive recordings using the latest technology, the sound quality may vary.
These releases were markedly better than all previous Doctor Who soundtracks, making full use of the CD format to present each story. Each release contained a full cast-listing, with dates of broadcast and a synopsis/production note. There were separate CD tracks for every scene, often resulting in short tracks when fast cutting takes place but allowing the listener unprecidented access to the story. (The booklet lists each track with the scene location and track length, e.g. Scene 5: TARDIS console room (00'46").) The episodes were generally narrated by a companion from the story (except for the re-releases of The Macra Terror, where, purely as an experiment, the original Missing Stories narration was reused), with scripts monitored and recorded by Mark Ayres; unlike the earlier Missing Stories releases, they are not performed in-character. Opening and closing title themes are replaced with the master copy of the relevant edit, with additional sound effects (such as the pulsating web in The Web Of Fear) or incidental music also dubbed from superior sources as appropriate. And every release is lovingly restored to the best possible quality, winning applause and admiration from reviewers and listeners alike.

Over the seven years from 1999-2006, every single missing story was restored and released on CD in this format. The range also included CD issues of radio stories Exploration Earth: The Time Machine, Slipback, The Paradise of Death, The Ghosts of N-Space, Death Comes to Time, Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, the documentary Project: Who? and even the Genesis of the Daleks LP. Initially stories were chosen simply for their popularity, with partially-existing stories (such as The Moonbase and The Faceless Ones) pushed back in the schedules; but soon these were also available, narrated throughout, alongside stories where more episodes existed than were missing. (among them The Ice Warriors, The Reign of Terror, The Tenth Planet and The Invasion - the latter two released, rather apologetically, in a special cyberman tin.)

The range of missing adventures ended with The Reign of Terror in February 2006, but more releases were quickly scheduled: the intention being to create a range of fully narrated audio versions of popular or rare stories (particularly those with out-of-print video equivilents). "Audio is an entertainment format in its own right," commissioning editor Michael Stevens explained to SFX magazine in 2008, "with its own unique benefits: on the practical side, you can enjoy it when you’re driving, washing up or ironing, when you’re fell walking, marathon running or lying in bed with the lights off. On the aesthetic side, there’s something very special about enjoying a story – be it a novel, a drama or a sitcom – through the medium of sound alone. Spend a couple of hours in the company of William Russell as he narrates 'Marco Polo', or Frazer Hines on 'The Enemy of the World', and you’ll see what I mean. You get enveloped in the story. Plus, of course, the imagination compensates for any bugetary restrictions they might have had around sets, costumes and visual effects on TV! With audio, 'Marco Polo' really takes place in China, 'The Abominable Snowmen' in Tibet. And on our latest release, 'The Romans', the TARDIS crew really are lounging around eating grapes in an Italian villa – not sweltering under the arc lights in Lime Grove!" Thus the audiobooks continued with The Tomb of the Cybermen in May 2006 and remained a staple of the release schedules, mostly releasing vintage Hartnell, Troughton and Pertwee serials.

Release
Title
Format
Narrator
ISBN
08/1999
The Massacre
2CD/2cass
Peter Purves
0563 552611
03/2000
The Web of Fear
3CD
Frazer Hines
0563 553820
03/2000
2CD
- - -
0563 553235
06/2000
Galaxy 4
2CD
Peter Purves
0563 477008
06/2000
3CD
- - -
0563 477016
08/2000
The Highlanders
2CD
Frazer Hines
0563 477555
08/2000
The Macra Terror
2CD
Colin Baker
0563 477563
01/2001
The Myth Makers
2CD
Peter Purves
0563 477776
01/2001
1CD
- - -
0563 477946
04/2001
The Celestial Toymaker
2CD
Peter Purves
0563 478551
04/2001
The Moonbase
2CD
Frazer Hines
0563 478543
07/2001
The Abominable Snowmen
2CD
Frazer Hines
0563 47856X
07/2001
1CD
- - -
0563 478578
10/2001
The Daleks' Master Plan/Mission to the Unknown
5CD
Peter Purves
0563 535008
02/2002
The Faceless Ones
2CD
Anneke Wills
0563 535016
05/2002
The Smugglers
2CD
Anneke Wills
0563 535040
08/2002
The Enemy of the World
2CD
Frazer Hines
0563 535032
10/2002
3CD
- - -
0563 528230
11/2002
The Savages
2CD
Peter Purves
0563 535024
02/2003
The Space Pirates
2CD
Wendy Padbury
0563 535059
04/2003
Abominable Snowmen/Web of Fear
MP3 CD
Frazer Hines
0563 494182
07/2003
The Daleks' Master Plan/Mission to the Unknown
MP3 CD
Peter Purves
0563 494174
07/2003
Yeti Attack! [Box Set]
The Abominable Snowmen / The Web of Fear
5CD
Frazer Hines
0563 495359
08/2003
Adventures in History [Box Set]
The Myth Makers / The Massacre / The Highlanders
6CD
Purves/Hines
0563 494948
11/2003
Marco Polo
3CD
William Russell
0563 535083
11/2003
Daleks [Box Set]
The Power of the Daleks / The Evil of the Daleks / My Life as a Dalek
6CD
Wills/Hines
0563 49476X
02/2004
Fury from the Deep
2CD
Frazer Hines
0563 524103
05/2004
The Wheel in Space
2CD
Wendy Padbury
0563 535075
06/2004
MP3 CD
- - -
0563 523670
08/2004
The Power of the Daleks
2CD
Anneke Wills
0563 525037
08/2004
The Evil of the Daleks
3CD
Frazer Hines
0563 525975
11/2004
Cybermen [Box Set]
The Tenth Planet / The Invasion / Origins of the Cybermen
6CD
Wills/Hines
0563 525085
01/2005
2CD
- - -
0563 527641
02/2005
The Underwater Menace
2CD
Anneke Wills
0563 535067
05/2005
The Crusade
2CD
William Russell
0563 523220
06/2005
Reconstructed: The Power of the Daleks
CD-Rom
Anneke Wills
0563 50417X
08/2005
The Ice Warriors
2CD
Frazer Hines
0563 504234
01/2006
The Tenth Planet
2CD
Anneke Wills
0563 523328
01/2006
The Invasion
3CD
Frazer Hines
0563 523271
02/2006
The Reign of Terror
2CD
Carole Ann Ford
0563 523425
05/2006
The Tomb of the Cybermen
2CD
Frazer Hines
1846 070465
05/2006
The Dalek Conquests
2CD
Nicholas Briggs
1846 070805
08/2006
The Ark
2CD
Peter Purves
1846 070457
11/2006
Monsters on Earth [Box Set]
The Silurians / The Sea Devils / Warriors of the Deep
7CD
Caroline John/Katy
Manning/Janet Fielding
1846 07102X
02/2007
The Gunfighters
2CD
Peter Purves
1405 676915
05/2007
The Dominators
2CD
Wendy Padbury
1405 677592
08/2007
The War Machines
2CD
Anneke Wills
1405 676922
11/2007
The Curse of Peladon
2CD
Katy Manning
1405 678186
01/2008
Doctor Who and the Silurians
3CD
Caroline John
1405 676823
01/2008
The Sea Devils
2CD
Katy Manning
1405 676830
01/2008
Warriors of the Deep
2CD
Janet Fielding
1405 677387
03/2008
The Monster of Peladon
2CD
Elizabeth Sladen
1405 678179
05/2008
The Romans
2CD
tbc
1405 687614
07/2008
The Sensorites
2CD
tbc
1405 677844

Some releases contained bonus tracks, including un-used Dalek dialogue (on Power of the Daleks), sound effects (Evil of the Daleks), original continuity announcements (The Daleks' Master Plan), occasional trailers for the following broadcast story (such as The Web of Fear trailer, which features at the end of The Enemy of the World CD), extra tracks of incidental music (The Gunfighters) and even a previously-unheard scene from The Monster of Peladon:1, reinstated from a studio recording. Both Marco Polo and The Daleks' Master Plan included CD-Rom content, with mp3s of the full-length episodes without their narration. And from the Cyberman Tin (Tenth Planet/The Invasion) onwards, each release contained a brief interview with the narrator, where they recalled their experiences of making that particular story and their thoughts on revisiting it for audio.

Several promotional give-aways were issued during the series' run. The first came in October 2001, free inside subscription and WHSmith copies of SFX Magazine #84, and contained the entire first-Doctor episode Mission to the Unknown in promotion of the recently-released Daleks' Master Plan 5-CD set. Another was attached to the cover of SFX Magazine: Special Edition #20 (a Doctor Who special) in March 2005. This bore the title Adventures in Time and Space and featured the complete first episode of Fury from the Deep, alongside extracts from 11 other releases.

The boxed set releases Daleks (in 2003) and Cybermen (in 2004) also contained exclusive single-CDs. The first, My Life as a Dalek, was a light-hearted and affectionate BBC Radio 4 documentary that had aired earlier that year, narrated by Mark Gattis and featuring clips from numerous Dalek stories alongside testimonies from - you guessed it - the actors who had voiced and been inside them. The other CD, Origins of the Cybermen, was a re-issue of a 1989 cassette recorded and produced by David Banks' company Silver Fist/Who Dares - an adapted reading of his own pseudo-history publication, The Cybermen, which re-told the Cybermen's story in chronological order.

This format was then repeated for BBC Audiobook's own pseudo-historical release, The Dalek Conquests, in May 2006. Clips from each and every televised Dalek story (including the 2005 episodes Dalek and Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways) were presented by Big Finish's Nicholas Briggs, in-character as a Dalek historian at Henry Van Statten's underground Utah museum. The CDs came part-way between talking book and television soundtrack, and trod much the same ground as 'My Life as a Dalek' and the BBC DVD documentary 'The Dalek Tapes' (released the same month on the Genesis of the Daleks DVD).