It’s a family affair as Paul McGann’s Doctor reunites with Susan and encounters River Song in ‘The Union’, the Once and Future finale.
Updated 25/10/23: It’s the end of the Doctor Who 60th anniversary audio mini-series, but will it enjoy a suitably big finish?
Once and Future: The Union is led by Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor, with Tom Baker’s Fourth also taking a major role. They’re joined by the Doctor’s first companion, his granddaughter Susan (Carole Ann Ford), and his wife River Song (Alex Kingston).
The Doctor is against the recently revealed series villain The Union, played by former First Doctor companion actor Maureen O’Brien. A glance at the cast list also promises some other fun cameos, but we spoil them here!
As ever, there’s a terrific video trailer for the episode. This one features all the appearing Doctors (that we know about!)
The collective noun for a multitude of Doctors, we hear you ask? A Doctorine, apparently.
Doctor Who – Once and Future: The Union is out now.
Updated 12/10/23: Via social media, Big Finish have dropped the trailer for Once and Future: The Union.
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It’s a frenetic affair, as it appears the Doctor will bounce though numerous faces during the saga’s finale, including David Tennant and Big Finish’s recast first three Doctors, Stephen Noonan, Michael Troughton and Tim Treloar. However, the story’s lead is Paul McGann, with Tom Baker also in the mix.
Additionally, there’s a reunion for Susan (Carole Ann Ford) and River Song (Alex Kingston), who first met in one of River’s audio adventures (albeit with Susan played by Claudia Grant from An Adventure in Space and Time.)
Former Hartnell-era companion actor Maureen O’Brien voices the mini-series’ big bad The Union and it sounds like she’s having a blast!
Oh, and there’s biscuit based surprise right at the end of the trailer which is really worth hanging on for!
Doctor Who – Once and Future: The Union is released later this month and available for pre order now.
Original article (of 13/10/23) continues…
Across seven stories, we’ve heard a degenerating Doctor ricochet though the timelines, meeting up with friends, allies and enemies from across all six decades of the show. The adventure now comes to its climactic conclusion in ‘The Union’.
This story comes from writer Matt Fitton, who has script-edited the series, and will hopefully provide answers to the Doctor’s predicament. It also serves as a family reunion, as the Doctor shares the adventure with both his granddaughter Susan (Carole Ann Ford) and his future wife, River Song (Alex Kingston).
Here’s the synopsis for Once and Future – The Union:
The Doctor responds to a distress call from his granddaughter, Susan, taking him to the Diamond Array: a huge multidimensional space station. Once there, his instability increases, as the Fourth and Eighth Doctors discover the Array’s terrible purpose.
Meanwhile, River Song has made a deadly alliance to try to save her husband. And the truth about the Doctor’s degeneration will finally be revealed.
As with all of the Once and Future stories, there’s also a special edition version. The cover follows the established design, featuring the faces of the Eighth Doctor and Susan.
The 60th Anniversary
The story’s stars have been reflecting on Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary. Alex Kingston said:
“I used to love Doctor Who as a child. I would watch it through a crack in the door from the hallway because I thought it was too scary. I never expected when I first signed up to be in a two-episode storyline way back when that I’d still be doing it today on this incredible journey. It’s wonderful to know that the series has brought so much joy to so many people all over the world.”
Paul McGann added:
“Can you believe it? It seems like was yesterday it was the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. What happens to the time? Even for Time Lords it’s just a shock. Is there another series that’s still out there? Of course, it hasn’t been continuous (in one sense), but it’s still here. It’s survived. And I think that’s due, in large part, to the people who love it keeping it going. Good for them!”
Catch up on the CultBox reviews of Once and Future parts 1 to 5. October’s first release is ‘Time Lord Immemorial’, which sees Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor encounter David Warner’s alternate-universe incarnation.
Doctor Who – Once and Future: The Union, is available to pre-order as a collector’s edition CD (+ download), or on download only, from Big Finish. There’s also a Special Edition series bundle containing extended behind-the-scenes extras and music suites for each story.