Iris Wildthyme meets Ace, Axos and a load of other Doctor Who stars

All aboard the big red bus with David Benson and Katy Manning
All aboard the big red bus with David Benson and Katy Manning
All aboard the big red bus with David Benson and Katy Manning

Had a great day recording the last two stories for series four of Iris Wildthyme on Monday and Tuesday.

For those who don’t know, Iris Wildthyme is a dotty time traveller who shoots around the multiverse in an inter-dimensional London Routemaster Bus (the 22 to Putney Common to be precise) with a sentient stuffed panda called Panda (just don’t call him bear)!

First up was Whatever Happened to Iris Wildthyme by muggins here and Mark Wright. It introduces two new mysterious companions for Iris and Panda who, as always, are played by the wonderful Katy Manning and David Benson.

First up is Alex played by David Ames (Nathan from the 2009 Doctor Who special Planet of the Dead). Alex is a bit of a rough diamond, a charmer in the Alfie tradition and the new apple in Iris’s eye.

David Ames and Katy Manning
David Ames and Katy Manning who plays Iris

And then there’s Amanda, Panda’s new ghostwriter. She’s played by Ayesha Antoine (best known to Doctor Who fans as Dee Dee in Midnight)

David Benson and Ayesha Antoine
David Benson and Ayesha Antoine

The story was directed by Gary Russell, who first cast Katy Manning as Iris and David Benson as Panda was back in the mists of Big Finish time. But even Gary has to stop for a fire drill that saw us all trudging outside.

The Iris fire drill – David, Ayesha, Toby (sound engineer supreme and the man responsible for the famous Big Finish lunches), Katy, me, David and Gary

On Tuesday, it was the turn of Mark’s Iris at the Oche. Set at the Pondside World Darts Championship, the adventure reunited Katy with Bernard Holley. The pair had, of course, appeared together in the 1971 Doctor Who classic, The Claws of Axos. Here, Bernard plays Ted, an ordinary man who finds himself in an extraordinary scrape as an entire race of extra-terrestrial bovines decide he must die. But why?

Axos calling - Katy Manning and Bernard Holley reunited
Axos calling – Katy Manning and Bernard Holley reunited

Meanwhile, the villain of the piece is played by none other than Sophie Aldred, best known to Who fans as Ace and to my daughters as the voice of Tom in Tree Tom Fu. She gives a moooooving performance as vicious space cow Lady Bow’n.

Ace! It's Katy Manning and Sophie Aldred
Ace! It’s Katy Manning and Sophie Aldred

The cast was completed by Charlie Ross playing Martin ‘The King’ King, a darts player from Glasgow and Paul Jones (known as PJ to his friends) as, well, everyone else – including the bullish Bovians.

From left: David, Charlie, Katy, Bernard, Sophie and PJ
From left: David, Charlie, Katy, Bernard, Sophie and PJ

The day’s recording also featured my favourite Iris Wildthyme out take of all time. Katy was supposed to announce that Iris is a member of the Intergalactic Darts Federation, but instead managed to say that everyone’s favourite trans-temporal adventuress belongs to the Intergalactic Tarts Federation. How true!

And now the editing begins. The completed stories will appear in the Iris Wildthyme series four box set from Big Finish in August which is available to pre-order now. If you pre-order you even get a free Iris Wildthyme ebook featuring short stories by Iris creator Paul Magrs, me and Mark, Stuart Douglas and Ian Potter. Go get it!


About Cavan Scott 935 Articles
Bestselling author Cavan Scott is a writer of novels, comics, audio dramas and non-fiction books for adults and children. He has written for Doctor Who, Star Wars, Tekken, Star Trek, Penguins of Madagascar, Skylanders, Adventure Time, The Beano, Pathfinder, Angry Birds, Judge Dredd, Blake's 7, Warhammer 40,000 and more.

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