As a genre fan, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays; vintage radio is one of my favorite media. I was delighted, therefore, to discover that Big Finish had combined these two delights in a Doctor Who audio called “Invaders From Mars” The Eighth Doctor met Orson Welles and they used his infamous War of the Worlds broadcast to foil the plans of real alien invaders.
A year after a mysterious meteorite lit up the skies of New York state, Martian invaders laid waste to the nation. At least, according to soon-to-be infamous Orson Welles they did. But what if some of the panicked listeners to the legendary War of the Worlds broadcast weren’t just imagining things?
Attempting to deliver Charley to her rendezvous in Singapore 1930, the Doctor overshoots a little, arriving in Manhattan just in time to find a dead private detective. Indulging his gumshoe fantasies, the Doctor is soon embroiled in the hunt for a missing Russian scientist whilst Charley finds herself at the mercy of a very dubious Fifth Columnist.
With some genuinely out of this world ‘merchandise’ at stake, the TARDIS crew are forced into an alliance with a sultry dame called Glory Bee, Orson Welles himself and a mobster with half a nose known as ‘The Phantom’.
And slowly but surely, something is drawing plans against them. Just not very good ones…
Loving Homage: Mark Gatiss wrote and directed this story in the same vein as his wonderful Twelfth Doctor episode, “Robot of Sherwood.” With sharp and witty dialogue, he paid tribute to radio, to pulp fiction, to hollywood, and to history. Throughout, David Benson shone as Orson Welles. We’re treated to a deft impression of the man as he took the lead in not one, but two different fateful broadcasts.
- You can purchase “Invaders From Mars” here: http://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/invaders-from-mars-652
Written By: Mark Gatiss
Directed By: Mark Gatiss
Paul McGann (The Doctor); India Fisher (Charley Pollard); Ian Hallard (Mouse / Winkler / Luigi / Heavy); Mark Benton (Ellis); Jonathan Rigby (John Houseman / Thug / Streath); David Benson (Orson Welles / Professor Stepashin / Halliday); Paul Putner (Bix Biro / Noriam / Man); Simon Pegg (Don Chaney / Actor); Jessica Stevenson (Glory Bee / Carla / Women); John Arthur (Cosmo Devine / Hotel Clerk); Katy Manning (Reception Guest); Mark Gatiss (Radio Announcer); Alistair Lock (Thug / Toastmaster).