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February 8th, 2024 11 comments

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Big Finish Metamorphosis The Fourth Doctor vs the Toymaker

Available to order from

The Fourth Doctor vs the Toymaker!

The Fourth Doctor and his companions are pitted against powerful foes old and new in three new full-cast audio dramas, due for release in June 2024 from Big Finish Productions.

The Metamorphosis box set takes the Doctor (Tom Baker) and his companions, Surgeon Lieutenant Harry Sullivan (Christopher Naylor) and UNIT secretary Naomi Cross (Eleanor Crooks), to the recent past and the far future, where they are caught in a deadly game.

Recently defeated on screen by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Doctors in Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary specials, the Toymaker is resurrected on audio, this time played by Annette Badland (Doctor Who: Aliens of London, Ted Lasso). And Geoffrey Beevers returns to the role of the Master, to face the Fourth Doctor for the first time since 2015’s Death Match.

The box set’s star-studded cast also includes Lydia West (It’s a Sin, Years and Years) as Cahlo, Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Dracula) as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Nicholas Briggs as Padro.

Doctor Who – The Fourth Doctor Adventures: Metamorphosis is now available to pre-order as a collector’s edition 3-disc CD box set (+ download for just £19.99) or as a digital download only (for just £16.99), exclusively at Please note: the collector’s edition CD box set is strictly limited to 1,500 copies and will not be repressed.

The three sensational tales in this set are:

Matryoshka by Aurora Fearnley

When a strange force drags the TARDIS to Earth, it’s clear that the Doctor, Harry and Naomi are up against an incredibly powerful being. And when they encounter Lord Pearson, inventor of games and toys, searching for his vanished daughter… it becomes clear exactly who that being might be. Hide and seek is one of the simplest games devised by man… but in the hands of The Toymaker… it may also become the deadliest.

The Caged Assassin by Matthew Sweet

It’s very unusual to find a tiger in the TARDIS. But it’s even more unusual to find one heavily dosed in radiation. But this is far from the most unusual occurrence the Doctor, Naomi and Harry are going to encounter today. Because they are about to meet Charles Jamrach, supplier of exotic animals to the rich and royal, who is unaware that his famous menagerie conceals a deadly terror. A strange creature out for blood…

Metamorphosis by Lisa McMullin

The people of the planet Jaxus are vanishing. When the Doctor and his friends land, Naomi is snatched away by a mysterious fog and taken to a prison run by a very old foe of the Doctor’s. The Master is here and he has, as ever, a sinister scheme underway… but neither Naomi nor Harry know who he is… Can the Doctor stop his plans and rescue the prisoners? Or will his companions inadvertently aid his enemy’s plans?

Director Jamie Anderson said: “Some of the Doctor’s enemies have an ‘I’m smarter than you‘ vibe about them and it’s always nice to beat villains who really think a lot of themselves. I’m very glad that the Doctor has got another chance to come up against the naughty Toymaker.”

Actor Annette Badland added: “I really engaged with this script and was intrigued from the outset by the idea of Russian dolls and changing personalities. The Toymaker is quite fascinating – complex, unpleasant, seductive!”

Guest star Lydia West added: “It’s great to work with Big Finish again – there’s something about working with audio that’s really powerful, and the privilege of working with Tom is just dreamy!”

All three of 2024’s Fourth Doctor Adventures box sets (including March’s Storm of the Sea Devils, Metamorphosis, and a third, Title TBC, due September) can be pre-ordered together in a bundle for just £54 (collector’s edition CD + download) or £48 (digital download only).

A 15-release bundle (including all of 2024’s Classic Doctor Adventures) is also available to purchase for just £318 (collector’s edition CD + download) or £264 (download only).

All the above prices include the special pre-order discount and are subject to change after general release.

Categorised under: Big Finish, CD, The 4th Doctor



  • Pythia Louise

    February 9th, 2024 - 11:00am

    I love the coincidental timing for this, considering it was recorded in 2020 with an aim to release in 2024. There was another story recorded in 2020 aimed to release this year, but it got pushed forward to 2020 as a way to show off the covid-friendly recording method Big Finish had come up with at the time, Shadow of the Sun. It would have fit in with this release, but it became a standalone thing.

    • Auton

      February 9th, 2024 - 11:38am

      That’s all true but I don’t see how Shadow of the Sun (4, Leela and K9 story) would of fit into any of this years 4th Doctor boxsets as they are all 4, Harry and Naomi stories

  • Doctor Stu

    February 8th, 2024 - 7:23pm

    So the very clear point that was made in the giggle of ‘I haven’t seen the toymaker since my first incarnation so the fact he’s returned is a big thing’ and the very clear point that they’ve had a grand total of three games together is now going to be undone by big finish for some reason. And the toymaker is also……gender swapped. Of course he is.

    • Auton

      February 9th, 2024 - 11:54am

      You forget that’s it’s Russell who wrote the giggle to include that line despite not caring one jot that there has been countless Toymaker stories made for audio, prose and comics in the gap between the Celestial Toymaker and the Giggle. The Nightmare Fair, The Magic Mousetrap, Solitaire, Divided Loyalties and Relative Dimensions to name but a few. If anyone’s to blame it’s Russell not big finish, especially as Matryoshka had been recorded years ago so Russell would of known about it

    • Anon

      February 9th, 2024 - 12:05pm

      The TV series I’d the primary source. Big finish, BBC novels, magazine comic strips despite being authorised by the BBC are not primary source material. Since who returned to TV it has again become the primary source, you cannot limit TV writers with the baggage of years of multi media material. Especially years of multi media material that the vast majority of the TV audience know nothing about. How many of the 8 million viewers of the giggle have read the 1989 book nightmare fair? Or the 1999 divided loyalties? How many read endgame in the comic strips or listened to the big finish stories? A small fraction. No. The TV series could not include those stories as it would be difficult to explain it all in the TV series where the toymaker appears once in 1966.

    • Fin

      February 9th, 2024 - 12:23pm

      Even before this, there have been previous books and audio stories to feature the Toymaker. “The Giggle” only acknowledged TV canon.

      And also, the writer has already confirmed that there is a line in this release which will explain the continuity.

    • Auton

      February 9th, 2024 - 12:38pm

      I think more fans would enjoy the new series of Doctor Who more if the writers respected what came before them rather than attempting to pretend everything they do is new. I didn’t expect Russell to mention every other appearance of the Toymaker but avoiding having such a stupid and limiting line like that would have been much appreciated. Plus the Toymaker’s gender swap really doesn’t matter either as the Toymaker is a God-like being, I know Annette Badland will do an amazing job. For me Big Finish is the best form of Doctor Who at the moment due to it respecting canon a lot more than the new series ever seems to do

    • Anon

      February 9th, 2024 - 1:51pm

      Big finish, the books and everything else is no longer part of the main canon. The TV show is the main canon. What is said and shown on the TV series is the canon. Everything else is extra. Big finish may be your preferred medium but they have a miniscule audience compared to the TV one. Most people watching will never have even heard of big finish let alone be aware of the wider range of books etc. Star trek had it right. Roddenberry said right from the start TV stories are the canon everything else is extra but has no bearing on the TV stories. Who should do that. Besides the comics contradict the books, which contradict the audios. The audios contradict books and on and on. If you like the audios great. But the TV show has to stand alone on the episodes shown on TV.

    • Rory

      February 9th, 2024 - 3:06pm

      @Anon, they could just as easily have made it less specific and said that it had been “many years”, or “several lifetimes” since they’d met, which would be true for both the TV series and the expanded media. No need to explicitly rule out the novels, comics, and unproduced season 23.

      And the series has referenced expanded media before. Night of the Doctor explicitly mentions the Eighth Doctor’s Big Finish companions. The Doctor Falls makes a reference to the comic strip World Shapers. They even reference entirely made up events, such as the Doctor constantly namedropping famous figures they’ve met, or the incident with “the Terrible Zodin”, or Billy the Fish.

      Viewers are not going to be confused that an incident hasn’t appeared on screen. Especially not when the majority of viewers won’t even have seen the Celestial Toymaker before.

    • pb

      February 9th, 2024 - 4:42pm

      We need to keep in mind the fact that Russell doesn’t, and has never, actually cared about even the TV show’s canon, let alone the extra medias’. He’s openly admitted that when he brought Davros back in 2008 he didn’t bother to re-watch any of the previous stories with the character and just wanted to do his own thing with him. (Although he did ‘throw the viewers a bone’ by giving him a robot hand, maintaining the continuity of his hand getting blown off last time we saw it.)

      I doubt Russell even cared to watch the original story in preparation for The Toymaker’s return. He deals in broad strokes, not details. This is seen by the fact that character as seen in The Giggle is vastly different, as an entity, than he is in The Celestial Toymaker.

      I do agree that it *could’ve* been done with more subtlety and more respect to other media (though I personally don’t mind at all that it wasn’t, why limit the impact of the Toymaker’s return for the sake of extra media that a tiny amount of people will know about?) but my point is that Russell is the last guy to expect that from lol. (I feel like Moffat might’ve though. He was generally more respectful to the extra media I think?)

    • Rex F

      February 9th, 2024 - 10:25pm

      Even The Doctor is vastly different in the 2005 onward series, very deliberately so according to the Imagine doc. I know the continuity (continuities?) is very important to some people, for various reasons, but it’s a fool’s errand trying to pretend that there is one definitive, official backstory/history. If you can take the advice from the infamous song from Frozen, break out from that rigid way of thinking and then on just enjoy the stories for what they are, everything will be so much better. Dr Who and rigid continuity don’t mix, and that becomes more true as time goes on. There’s only a vague and/or very fluid continuity that works in the most general terms; you could even call it an illusion of continuity.

      I could genuinely believe that Gary Russell used to lose sleep at night trying to reconcile the most minor continuity errors in the run of classic Who, tossing and turning until he’d constructed a complex backstory to explain something as trivial as the changing shape of an ice warrior’s jawline in episode two. (Whereas Chibbers would write a continuity-heavy storyline based on some vague memory he had of catching half an episode in the 70s before his mum told him they were having early tea – equally but oppositely silly). Who is meant to be fun, and if continuity changes (never mind errors) bother anyone then it’s maybe not the show for them. See the fan reactions to The Deadly Assassin when it went out – a legitimate point of view, but to serious dislike the whole story because of it? Too much.

      (And here endeth the sermon.)

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