The full quadrilogy in the Excelis saga, featuring the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Doctors, is re-released today as a single download from Big Finish Productions.
Originally released on separate CDs in 2002, this miniseries of four full-cast audio dramas chronicles the rise and fall of the city of Excelis on the planet Artaris, and stars Peter Davison (as the Fifth Doctor), Colin Baker (as the Sixth Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (as the Seventh Doctor), Lisa Bowerman (as Bernice Summerfield) and Katy Manning (as Iris Wildthyme).
And, of course, School Reunion and Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Anthony Stewart Head makes special guest appearances across the series, playing three different characters.
Now all four of the action-packed adventures, plus the incredible music suite from David Darlington, have been repackaged as a single collected download for the first time.
Executive Producer Jason Haigh-Ellery said:
“My favourite memory of working on Excelis was meeting and working with Anthony Stewart Head. He is such a lovely person to work with and very entertaining between scenes in the studio.
“I’m so delighted that this series is being presented again as a box set. The original concept was that the Doctor would visit a world repeatedly over time and we would see the consequences of this interaction on the history of the planet. Listened to as a single collection, this becomes more of a unified story and helps to build a better understanding of the world of Excelis.”
The four Excelis adventures are:
Doctor Who: Excelis Dawns by Paul Magrs
That terrible old reprobate and transdimensional adventuress Iris Wildthyme has gone and locked herself up in a nunnery on the savage world of Artaris. Here she is discovered by the Doctor and the reasonably brutal warlord Grayvorn. Together – with a peculiar nun they pick up en route – they must travel the forests and swamps of this ghastly world in Iris’s double decker bus in order to tussle – to the death – with a horde of flesh-eating zombies for a mysterious and holy relic of unfathomable value and questionable pedigree.
But what is the Mother Superior’s part in all this?
Doctor Who: Excelis Rising by David A McIntee
A thousand years after his first visit to the planet Artaris, the Sixth Doctor returns. As the city of Excelis spreads her Empire throughout the globe, death follows a mysterious Relic through the halls of the Imperial Museum.
As the Doctor helps the Curator and the local authorities with this mystery, he finds himself crossing paths with a familiar face from Excelis’ history – but no-one lives for a thousand years, do they?
Doctor Who: Excelis Decays by Craig Hinton
When the Doctor last visited the city of Excelis, its citizens were about to enter an age of enlightenment and reason. But some centuries later, he discovers a vicious totalitarian regime at war with the rest of Artaris, living off the efforts of a drugged and broken underclass.
Who is the mysterious Lord Sutton, and what hold does he have over the ruling classes? What are the Meat Puppets, and what role do they play in the eternal war? And why is the Doctor’s arrival the final piece in a plan that has been centuries in the making?
Throughout his lives, the Doctor has fought legends. But some legends refuse to die.
Bernice Summerfield: The Plague Herds of Excelis by Stephen Cole
The once-proud city of Excelis is a crumbling ruin in a state of siege, as barbarians catapult pestilent animal corpses into the city to spread disease among those trapped inside.
Excelis is a city clinging to life by a thread. But ancient prophecies foretell a final retribution for the past arrogance of its rulers. When the sun is eaten away from the sky, when the ancient relic of Excelis is taken from its rightful resting-place, and when strangers are discovered among the people, then shall the whole world be doomed to die.
Today, the sun is a moth-eaten shadow. Plans are afoot to steal the relic. And a very tired and very fraught Professor Bernice Summerfield just stomped into town in the company of a mysterious traveller in space and time known only as Iris Wildthyme. Pitted against a sinister prophet, the machinations of the Imperial court, and hordes of animal undead, Benny finds herself embroiled in the final stages of an aeons-old plan to commit genocide twice over, with no way out.
Doctor Who: Excelis Collected is now available for £19.99 (as a digital download only).