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October 21st, 2020 20 comments

Big Finish The 1st Doctor Adventures The Hollow Crown (Wendy Craig)

Wendy Craig to play Queen Elizabeth I in Doctor Who

A sitcom queen will become the real thing when David Bradley’s First Doctor and his time team return in a brand-new box set of full-cast audio adventures due for release in April 2021.

Actress Wendy Craig (Butterflies, Not in Front of the Children) will star as Queen Elizabeth I in the forthcoming Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures story, The Hollow Crown.

Written by multi-award-winning playwright and academic, Sarah Grochala, this thrilling historical audio drama sees the TARDIS materialise in the time of Shakespeare, and thrusts the Time Lord and his companions into the turbulent machinations of the royal court.

On taking the role of Good Queen Bess, Wendy Craig said: “This is really going back into ancient history. I’ve always wanted to play Queen Elizabeth I. I think she’s the most wonderful woman – the most wonderful character. I’ve not played royalty before, as I was always rather more ‘below stairs’ really.”

Producer David Richardson added: “Wendy Craig is one of my acting heroes. She was a huge part of my childhood and formative years. I’m not alone in that – the whole nation watched Butterflies and …And Mother Makes and Nanny because she creates characters you want to spend time with.

“It is surely a shame that she has never – to date – appeared in Doctor Who on TV, but we’ve more than made up for that at Big Finish. And here she is with the First Doctor, giving us a brilliant Elizabeth I – how lucky we are!”

Alongside Wendy Craig and David Bradley, this adventure also features the First Doctor’s companions Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright and Susan as portrayed by An Adventure in Space and Time actors Jamie Glover, Jemma Powell and Claudia Grant.

The Hollow Crown is part of Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures – Volume Five, which can be pre-ordered at the special price of £24.99 as a collector’s edition four-disc CD box set, or £19.99 as a download, exclusively from the Big Finish Website.

Categorised under: Big Finish, CD, The Early Aventures


  • Christoff the Wise

    October 23rd, 2020 - 1:54am

    Just to reply to Auton, who, with respect, clearly has an affinity for buying plastic, I don’t want everyone to think the same as me. I think Doctor Who is a precious thing and the more it is swamped with stories the less precious it becomes. Sadly Big Finish are becoming guilty of swamping by too many spinoffs and releases and ultimately this may scupper them.

  • Doctor Mysterio

    October 22nd, 2020 - 11:53pm

    I really enjoy this range. Looking forward to this release.

  • Anonymous

    October 22nd, 2020 - 10:56am

    Excellent anything that’s new from big finish is good by me if they stopped altogether then you’d realise how good we have it don’t knock it embrace it while it lasts.
    One day there will be no new Dr Who in any format being made and we’ll look back and say I wish they still did them audios ?.

    • Auton

      October 22nd, 2020 - 11:08am

      Exactly we’ll said Anonymous.

    • Christoff the Wise

      October 22nd, 2020 - 8:10pm

      So you’d buy anything they release? Really? Without constructive criticism. Big Finish do some amazing work but recently seem to be putting a lot out. They have multiple boxsets on the way featuring the (thankfully living) 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Doctor actors as well as the War Master, Paternoster Gang, River Song series all featuring the original actors. I would like these to run and run but the frequency is too much for my budget and I fear the quality may be diluted by Big Finish putting resources into projects like these. I also think that this may dilute their sales as fans decide do I buy the 9th Doctor set or dalek universe, for example. As things are getting tougher financially I’m sure a lot of this output will be unaffordable. I love the era’s of the first 3 doctors but can happily put up with them being represented in stories narrated by their original companion actors. I object to constructive criticism being classed as knocking or moaning and feel that feedback like this is more useful to merchandisers than saying that everything is great and by implication that you’d buy it all, which I doubt.

    • Auton

      October 22nd, 2020 - 10:13pm

      Well eventually I would buy it all and I dont want the first 3 doctors being forgotten about as that is my favourite eras of the show. 1st, 2nd and 3rd doctor at this time dont have many releases so I dont think cutting down on them is a good idea at all. If the quality of the stories that are being released are good which, in my opinion, they are I dont think there is need to cut down on them until quality drops but right now everything is fine. I understand your constructive criticism and you may say what you want but I doesnt mean that everyone else thinks the same as you.

    • Voice of Reason

      October 26th, 2020 - 4:53pm

      May I put in my unwanted two cents here? I’ve been a BF subscriber and listener for 15 years and just recently cancelled my subscription because they are just pumping out “sewage” for lack of a better term. It’s true that 20 years ago, they were producing plays of quality just as poor as now, the difference is that for every couple bad ones, there’d always be one or two absolutely astounding, knock-your-socks-off ones that were worth the subscription. For every ‘Jubilee’ or ‘The Holy Terror’ or ‘Scherzo’, there was a “Plague of the Daleks” or “Zagreus” or ‘The Death Collectors’. They balanced each other out. Since this was before massive biased review boards/videos/blogs were known (in that BF could pay the reviewers to say good things via “free early samples”), if you ended up buying a poor quality audio, it was just a luck-of-the-draw, and you could always look forward to probably getting a better quality one next month. The problem is that good plays are now so few and far between that it’s not worth the investment anymore.
      Stubagful interviewed Rob Shearman recently and Rob said in the interview he was questioning why even bother going on making them as far back as 2007 (see his story ‘My Own Private Wolfgang’ from Main Range 100, the whole joke of the story is making fun of the fact that Big Finish kept going even after the return of DW to television, like what happened if Mozart kept composing long after he should have, would his music still be as valuable today?). I don’t agree with him, as much as I adore the man, because the early 2010s really saw some amazing audios, 7 and Elizabeth Klein, the fourth series of the Eighth Doctor Adventures brought us the best companion, Lucie Miller, the Early Adventures Second Doctor sets with Fraser, Wendy Padbury, Aneke, and Elliot Chapman voicing for (may he rest in peace) Michael Craze and for Deobrah Watling (and she), have been my absolute favourites, and the Fifth Doctor’s companion trio have had some absolutely cracking stories, ‘Prisoners of Fate’, ‘The Entropy Plague’, ‘Serpent in the Silver Mask’, ‘Ghost Walk’, etc. But Auton, you’d have to have your head so deep down a barrel in the middle of an unlit room in the basement of a cellar in the middle of a black hole to not see that there’s been a sharp decline in the quality of the audios over the last few years and the quality has been inversely proportional to the amount of plays they’re “pumping” out (again, for lack of a better term).

      Christoff, you have every right to voice your “concern” but be aware there are other people who like the plays, even if they’re not very good, and they’re welcome to spend their money however they want. Maybe it’s like ‘Delta and the Bannermen’, a silly story that need not be taken seriously and if viewed that way ends up being just a barrel of laughs of camp fun. I don’t know, I’m not part of the lot buying these new plays so I can’t really fathom why they would, but that’s not for me, or by extension, you, to decide. 🙂

    • Auton

      October 26th, 2020 - 6:49pm

      Again you have some correct statements but voice of reason I will only say one thing if big finish didn’t exist and the new series that we have now is the only new doctor who stories being made then you and many others with concerns about big finish would realise how important big finish is and yes they do make a lot of new stories but the few bad stories they make are at the very least 100 times better than most of the stories that are shown on TV

    • Voice of Reason

      October 26th, 2020 - 8:38pm

      Hey Auton, I’m glad you think some of my statements are correct and I thank you for considering them, but to be honest with regards to what else you mentioned, not really. I went back and listened to some of the earliest BF stories and, I won’t sugar coat it, they’re bad. Not just bad, I mean REALLY bad, the kind of bad that makes you wonder “Why would I even buy this in the first place?” kind of bad and it’s not just the scripts/plots (which are two hairs and a dust-ball away from being rubbish), but everything, production quality, sound recording, everything. Just (re)listen to ‘The Land of the Dead’ (main range 4) if you don’t believe me. At the very least, the show currently has nice visual effects now so at the very least it’s got that going for it. Obviously that’s not why I or you (if I’m not making any presumptions) watch it and I definitely didn’t like the latest series, but as with everything it’s down to the writing. Because of course when BF started it was just Nick Briggs, Lisa Bowerman, a handful of random other fans/professionals like Mark Gatiss and some of the Classic series actors, so they were all trying to find their feet but were really not constrained by anything and so were free to push the boundaries of the medium. But once they hit their stride, you start getting audios like ‘Spare Parts’, ‘Aquitaine’ and ‘The Peterloo Massacre’ and every time you think it can’t get any better, they just set the bar higher and higher. Which is the problem, because they’ve now set the bar so high that myself and people like Christoff expect stories like ‘The Chimes of Midnight’ or ‘The Natural History of Fear’ every other audio which is clearly never going to happen. Which is unfortunate because maybe the new audios coming out are good in their own right, but we’ll never know because there’s just not enough evidence to convince us to buy the stories. As I mentioned before, it’s about what you ‘potentially’ get. One decent/good story buried in an 100 quid bundle of maybe 12 really bad ones is just not economical or viable anymore for that matter.
      But what I’ve always admired about Doctor Who is its ability to adapt to different media. Sometimes it works (Big Finish) and sometimes it doesn’t (the movie, which I still love but it’s hardly ‘Citizen Kane’). I think they’ve basically explored all they can really do with the audio medium now which is why many of us are no longer interested. Many of their best writers like Rob Shearman and Marc Platt have moved on to other projects (I know Rob is currently promoting his new book that I plan to purchase for Xmas instead of Doctor Who merchandise now!). But I’ve noticed that they’ve been trying to break into the 3-D market with 3-D games and video games. I know there’s a big trend in the industry now to try and find people who make games with really good stories, so it’ll be interesting to see what will happen with that and whether Doctor Who can successfully transition to that medium. I’m sure the “Nic Biggs”s and “Mark Gatiss”-es of the VR Doctor Who world are out there, making good stuff, just at Briggs and co did originally in the 90s, despite not owning the license. I wonder if VR Tom Baker will offer me a jelly baby within my life-time? But that’s just me’ (probably worthless) two-cents. 😉
      Sorry Booboo, don’t mean to ruffle feathers. I just hope Auton and Christoff understand each other’s views and can be more respectful, I know you’ve mentioned it’s becoming a pain to moderate the site because either you allow all comments through or you shut them off completely. I’m sure we can all come to a civil understanding. It’s what the Doctor always tries to do. 🙂

    • Auton

      October 26th, 2020 - 9:44pm

      To reply to both booboo and voice of reason, we do need to try and avoid debates but also allow people who are looking forward to the release or not looking forward to the release to say so if they want to which of course are to opposites which doesnt help but as you have said this is a merchandise site and it is rare that full on debates happen on here. It would be impossible for all Big finish to be as amazing as stories such as The Peterloo massacre, Primord, The invention of death, spare parts and the list continues forever but I am most likely much more of a beginner listener at big finish compared to you as I’ve only been listen for about 2 years now so perhaps the enjoyment of all the big finish stories will decrease over time but at this moment I am still really enjoying most of what big finish releases and hopeful will continue enjoying it for sometime.

  • Christoff the Wise

    October 22nd, 2020 - 8:48am

    Every week these new Big Finish released get more like Dead Ringers with impersonations of former Doctors and companions, this week we’ve had Nicholas Courtney, now this and it’s not even Friday. As the field is open now after the last series why don’t they cast their own Doctors and let actors give their own new interpretations of the roles rather than mimicking (however well) previous incumbents.

    • Auton

      October 22nd, 2020 - 11:12am

      Technically they announced The Grey Man of the Mountain months ago and I personally I think we should stick with doctors that are actually in the show and not make new ones. They can make new doctors in a unbound story perhaps.

    • TARDISWonder001

      October 22nd, 2020 - 12:02pm

      I think the reason they do audios with impressionists is so that they can use well loved characters in their stories. A good example of a massive Nicholas Courtney sized hole being filled messily would be 2017’s Storm of the Horofax, a good story but with the odd inclusion of a UNIT major who never existed.

  • mark687

    October 22nd, 2020 - 6:01am

    I wish Big Finish would leave the Hartnell Era alone. Or else actually use Carole Ann Ford.



    • Auton

      October 22nd, 2020 - 11:07am

      The Hartnell Era is on of the best era of the show and these boxset stories are amazing especially the pure historicals. Of course the original actors are the best but you need to remember that the adventure in space and time cast that are in here aren’t replacing them but doing it in tribute to the originals.

  • Bobby Davros

    October 21st, 2020 - 4:17pm

    Loving these NCP car park pics. Keep em coming.

    • Anonymous

      October 21st, 2020 - 8:02pm

      Ah Bobby your such a card


      October 22nd, 2020 - 12:46am

      Big Finish: We Love Multi-Stories!

    • Anonymous

      October 22nd, 2020 - 9:36am

      He-he very good

  • Auton

    October 21st, 2020 - 4:11pm

    I’m very much looking forward to the pure historical set in Tudor times and the sci-fi story sounds interesting too


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