Wendy Craig (Butterflies, Not in Front of the Children) will star as Queen Elizabeth I in Big Finish’s upcoming Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures story, The Hollow Crown.
Written by multi-award-winning playwright and academic, Sarah Grochala, this thrilling historical audio thrusts the Time Lord and his companions into the turbulent machinations of the royal court in the time of Shakespeare. It’ll be interesting to see how this story develops as of course, we’ve seen Queen Elizabeth I twice in Doctor Who: The Shakespeare Code and The Day of the Doctor, the former having her considerably miffed with the Tenth Doctor for his marrying her in the latter tale, then vanishing!
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!”
Here are the synopses for the two stories in this box:
5.1 The Hollow Crown by Sarah Grochala
When the TARDIS lands in Shoreditch, 1601, the Doctor suggests going to see a play at the Globe Theatre and his friends readily agree.
But this is a turbulent time. There is violence in the street, plots against the Queen, and rebellion is in the air. At the centre of it all stands the most famous playwright in British history – William Shakespeare – who is having troubles of his own.
As tensions mount and wheels turn within wheels, the travellers are about to discover if the play really is the thing…
5.2 For the Glory of Urth by Guy Adams
The TARDIS has barely landed in an alien sewer when a distant scream sends Susan racing to give aid, and the crew split up.
Trying to reunite, the travellers find themselves in something resembling a monastery led by a man half-way between an Abbot and a warlord. They discover that they are in ‘Urth’, a barbaric place clinging on to its former glory.
It’s somewhere its populace are never allowed to leave, somewhere keeping many secrets from its people.
And today those secrets will be revealed…
Alongside Wendy Craig and David Bradley, the new set of stories also features Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright, and Susan as portrayed by An Adventure in Space and Time actors, Jamie Glover, Jemma Powell, and Claudia Grant, respectively.
The Hollow Crown is part of Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures – Volume Five, due out in April 2021, 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, from Big Finish.