Ian Potter and Wendy Padbury at the recording of The British Invasion
Ian Potter and Wendy Padbury at the recording of The British Invasion

Big Finish have announced that Wendy Padbury will reprise her role as Zoe Heriot for two upcoming releases. Padbury originally starred alongside Patrick Troughton’s Doctor between 1968 and 1969, and has returned as Zoe on audio a number of times since 2007.

Padbury has recently recorded one of Big Finish’s monthly Short Trips Doctor Who stories – The British Invasion by Ian Potter. These half-hour adventures are only available via download from the Big Finish website for £2.99 each, and have received positive reviews since they began last January. It’s not currently known when The British Invasion will be released but next February would seem likely since the series currently rotates through the first eight Doctors in chronological order. The Second Doctor’s next scheduled appearance, in June, is Lost and Found, written by Penelope Faith and performed by Anneke Wills, who played Polly on television.

The British Invasion is described as follows:

A huge metal dome sits by the side of the river Thames. Within it is a device that might change the entire future of humanity. The Doctor, Zoe and Jamie embark on a small act of kindness but the TARDIS seems oddly unwilling to help. It’s as if it knows the truth. There is something waiting here, something adaptable and cunning, gathering its strength to conquer the stars…

Says the series’ producer, Ian Atkins, of writer Ian Potter, “He came back with an astonishing amount of research, both in the setting and the nature of the story’s villain, and things fell into place very quickly. As ever, it’s been a delight sitting in the booth listening to a Doctor Who actor bringing their era back to such affectionate and accurate life, and Ian’s given the piece a very authentic historical feel.”

It has also been announced that Padbury will appear in June’s box set of Companion Chronicles. All four stories, approximately an hour each, are set in the Patrick Troughton era of the programme, and all star Frazer Hines. Hines of course played companion Jamie between 1966 and 1969, appearing in all but one of Troughton’s television stories. He usually plays both parts of the Doctor and Jamie for Big Finish, and will do so again for this set.

Cover Art for the Companion Chronicles Series 10 by Simon Holub
Cover Art for the Companion Chronicles Series 10 by Simon Holub

The four stories, which have also been produced by Atkins, are as follows:

1. The Mouthless Dead by John Pritchard
The TARDIS arrives in 1920s England, the Doctor, Jamie, Ben and Polly finding themselves in a wintry dusk beside a railway line. The station nearby appears deserted, but there are figures watching from the shadows, all of them waiting for a dead man’s train…

2. The Story of Extinction by Ian Atkins
Civilisations rise and fall – and few planets have seen this happen more often than Amyrndaa. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria join a survey team to find out why on the planet where everything is suited to creating life, nothing lives for long…

3. The Integral by David Bartlett
When tempers fray in the TARDIS, the Doctor struggles to help Jamie and Zoe resolve their differences. Arriving at Aspen Base proves a welcome distraction; but the isolated facility is under siege. Can Jamie’s belief in right and wrong withstand the perspective changing power of the Integral?

4. The Edge by Rob Nisbet
The Edge is the galaxy’s scientific hub of experimentation, theoretical breakthroughs and invention – just the sort of place to interest the Doctor and Zoe. However, a secret lies hidden in The Edge laboratories. Jamie instinctively knows that something is wrong, and it doesn’t take long for him to be proved right…

This four-disc set can be pre-ordered for £20 (plus P&P) on CD or £15 to download here. For more details about the Short Trips series of adventures, including Sheridan Smith’s return later this month, visit the range’s page here.

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