|A Time Lord In Prince Henry's Court|
|Season:||"Trip Of A Lifetime"|
|Doctor:||Aron Toman Doctor|
|Companions:||Frobisher, Destina, Death|
|Producer:||Crossover Adventure Productions|
|Release Date:||8 December 2004, 9 January 2005, 21 February 2005, 5 March 2005|
|Running Time:||80 minutes|
|No. Episodes:||4 episodes|
|Previous Story:||A Cause for Carolling|
|Following Story:||Fear Flight|
"Doctor, I don't believe it! How could you be against love?"
Whilst making repairs to the TARDIS, the Doctor manages to take his companions for a bit of a holiday in sixteenth century France at an old farm the Doctor managed to appropriate. Frobisher isn't impressed - he'd much rather be on Florana than on Earth (again) in a time before they even have electricity. Destina, on the other hand, is finding the time period fascinating. Having been brought up on Gallifrey, she's never been exposed to such things as 'apples' before...
However, Destina soon finds something that holds her interest far more than any fruit could do. The palace of King Francis I of France is nearby, and Destina manages to catch the royal prince, Henry, stealing their horses. But royal thieving aside, Destina sees something in the prince, something she's never seen in anyone else before. So when the Doctor announces he wishes to go to court to visit an old friend of his, Destina insists on tagging along.
But why does the Doctor seem so against Destina associating herself with the royal Prince? And who is the dark stranger, who is keeping such a watchful eye on the time travellers? Will this love story end happily ever after?
to be added
to be added
Inspired by the film Ever After, this crossover is another in the adventures of the Nth Doctor, Frobisher and Destina.
The Doctor: Aron Toman
Frobisher: Corey Klemow
Destina: Jennifer Alyx
Death: Andy McQuade
Prince Henry: Mark Kalita
Queen Marie: Jennifer Adams Kelley
Leonardo Da Vinci: Tony Gallichan
The Servant: Nikki Toman
The Guard: David Nagel
Sound Design: Aron Toman, David Nagel, Daniel Burnett and Owen Spratley
Music: George Fenton, Tony Gallichan and David Nagel
Original Theme: Ron Grainer
Arrangement: Richard Vandark
Cover Art: Aron Toman
Director/Producer: Aron Toman
It's amazing what one can achieve when one decides to throw tantrums and decided one will release an episode whether the universe likes it or not. For the longest time, this story had been sitting on my computer in one form or another, untouched and ignored for various reasons while other bits of life took over whoever was supposed to be working with it at any given time. What it seems to take is me to simply say "to hell with it" and start moving oceans to get it going. Which is exactly what I hope I have done in the past few days, with this brand new release.
So, season 3 finally gets off on a roll with this premiere episode. Oddly enough, the curse that plagued the likes of A Cause for Carolling didn't seem awfully far away from this story as well. Various problems cropping up left right and centre dogging its production every step of the way making it almost a miracle it got finished at all. To think there's another three episodes to get through as well...
The earliest major problem to begin with was the issue of casting. Since we started it, we've been through at least two different actors for the title role of Prince Henry before we settled with Mark Kalita (who, you have to admit, does an exceptional job in a very difficult role). Later on in the production, Nigel Peever who was originally to play our regular Death character had to pull out due to work commitments and had to be replaced at literally the last minute by Andy McQuade who also does a stand-up job. Honestly, it was starting to look like we were going to loose most of our original cast and have to replace everyone, but thankfully that was not to be.
Of course, it wasn't just in the cast that we were plauged with problems. This story was originally to be the first "project" to be tackled by the short-lived "Radiophonic Shed", which would see a whole group of fan audio drama personalities working together to help each other on each other's plays. As I was finding less and less time to do post production, Daniel Burnett (of Ultimate Reality) and Owen Spratley were brought in to do some of the post production. Then when both had their own lives take over from the hobbies, ATLIPHC got shelved again until I was able to finish it off. That will be why certain scenes in this episode sound different - everything was done by at least three different people. And finally, in true A Cause for Carolling style, the ultimate hold up was with the musical score. Tony Gallichan (who also plays Leonardo Da Vinci in the play) was supposed to complete it, and indeed managed to do the first two scenes before his computer spontaneously collapsed and he was unable to do anymore. While we did wait for several months to see if he could get his PC back in order, it seems like it could be quite a wait and to stave off history repeating itself, we've released what we have with stock music by George Fenton from the film "Ever After".
Which, as everyone should have guessed by now, this story is a homage to, the film starring Drew Barrymore and Anjelica Huston based on the Cinderella fairy-tale. Those of you who have seen the film will probably recognise certain lines borrowed (ok then, whole scenes in some cases) from the play, not to mention the complete plot with the Doctor and his companions filling certain roles. We, of course, plead most definitively guilty to this - a lot of it is borrowed material, but we hope it's offset by a lot of the original material interspersed with it. Everything is portrayed by original actors, however, no sounds besides the soundtrack has come from "Ever After". It's an attempt to do a different type of crossover, an experiment if you will. Feel free to tell us if it's worked or not.
So, hopefully you'll enjoy the first segment of our big, epic season three. Hope to see you again next month for the second instalment...
Well, the new schedule seems to be holding up well - second month, second episode, bang on target. Give or take a few days. We still got it out in the right month at least.
Unlike the previous episode, the vast majority of this episode was completed by me again, just like in the old days. By the time I got to episode 2 of this, the Radiophonic Shed had folded as far as I knew it (though at the time of writing, there are talks of resurrecting it again), everybody who had previously been involved in the post production side had moved on to other things for various reasons, and I found the only way things would get done was for me to do it myself. Hence this episode has a somewhat different sound to the first one, it's much more like what I usually do.
There is exceptions to this, and that's the sequences set on the lake, which were done by David Nagel. After a while I started having difficulty doing them myself (I've long since come to the realisation that post production is not my strong point), so David kindly stepped in to help (in exchange I gave him some help with a script or two, which is my strength). The result I think is excellent, it meshes with my style very well, so hopefully we can continue a bit of an alliance helping each other out. Certainly, there's some talk along the lines of he finishing Episode 3 while I do the second episode of his Check & Mate. More if it happens ;)
Already I've found I've had to break my new decision of not using any specially commissioned music to get these plays finished, oddly enough. For the most part I've used George Fenton's soundtrack for "Ever After" as before (with a sprinkling of bits of Tony Gallichan's Blackadder-style drumroll for good measure), but there were two bits in the script which I had written in anticipation of a composer to work with this. In one scene, Frobisher bursts into a quick rendition of "Heigh-Ho" while later on Destina begins her first reprise of "In My Own Little Corner" (which was intended to be a theme of hers). To get some sort of music over these bits that fitted what was being sung, I again turned to David Nagel for help, and he's been busily trying to score bits of music to fit the songs (which hasn't been easy, since in both cases neither actor sang to a specified accompaniment and often varied between pitches and keys and tempo), and I have to admit, I think he's done an excellent job. You can barely see the joins!
Hopefully you'll enjoy this episode, it does improve on the first slightly (even if the cliffhanger is weaker - a perfect example of a moment that looks well on paper yet gets a "meh" when realised). I have to offer an apology to Corey Klemow - when I orginally wrote this episode, it didn't occur to me that he would end up spending the vast majority of this episode sounding like a chipmunk. Hopefully it brings a smile to all those who hear it - it's got a lot of my family giggling. Also, while listening to this episode, take note of the many different ways one can pronounce Romana De Voratrelundar (and many other variations in later episodes). It's the result when your cast includes a few non-Who fans...
And with that, time to get on with next month's release. Will Destina get discovered for her fraud? Will Frobisher ever stop whinging about Florana? Will the episode be released on time? So many questions...
Almost threatened to break the schedule for this episode - and it was only through a lucky break and a little help from my friends we got it out before the end of the month. Unfortunately, not too long after the previous episode was released, I ran into a lot of personal issues that stopped me getting around to editing. Then, when I found the time and the motivation to get it finished, it was discovered my own lines, recorded almost a year ago, were rubbish. Honest! I never realised it was possible to rattle off lines that quickly - that long scene in the middle took half the time in the original take. Which is when I discovered a new issue in recording problems that took a bit of fixing, and the month was steadily marching on. However, thanks to David Nagel once again who was able to step in and do some post production work, here it is, released before the due date. If only just.
I'm afraid there isn't all that much to this episode, especially considering the stuff going on in the previous episodes and the upcoming one. Think of it as the calm before the storm, because there most certainly is going to be a big one. Important events are established, such as the ball and pushing the Destina/Henry relationship further. But, like A Cause for Carolling before it, this story's episode three is mostly dedicated to paying attention to the season arc. That conversation about the effects of time will come up again and again throughout the season, so you may want to pay attention to that one. If nothing else, it tells you the rules of my take on the Whoniverse.
This episode also does one other significant thing - has the most significant return appearance of my sister, Nikki to the Crossovers. She's had one or two lines in the previous episodes and had a semi-major role in The Woodsboro Murders when a new actor was desperately needed, but this role was specifically written for her. We have a very special relationship where we can verbally bounce off each other, and the idea was to try and capture some of that in a play. Be prepared for a lot more banter to occur in episode 4. And the irony of the name "Michelle"? There's two sides to it - firstly it adds to the Blackadder subtheme I was going with for the queen (Michelle/Melchett? Geddit?), as well as it also being the name of one of our aunts, whom Nikki has often been compared to. Gotta love in-jokes.
Speaking of Blackadder, that really is me playing that recorder. And no, I'm not really that bad, I deliberatly played it off. Honest. In fact, when I wrote the scene in question I was really that bad, but after all the reheasal working up to recording it I actually found I could play most of it competantly. I had to add in deliberate mistakes. The lesson here my children? Rehearsal doesn't help, it just makes you sound better :P
Anyway, thanks again to David for stepping in, I honestly can't thank him enough. With another episode in the bag and the schedule still intact, will we make it to finish this story before the end of March? Time will tell...
Wow. Four episodes, four months, a fully completed story bang on schedule in a timely fashion – that hasn’t happened for us since at least 1999! (a quick check of our release history says that last time we released an episode regularly was The Woodsboro Murders, released June and July). It’s still sinking in for me that after all this time that we’ve finished one of the main series in a timely manner. Even if the schedule falls apart after this (and I’m going to make damn sure it doesn’t), I feel better about the fact that at least we did this one story on time.
Of course, it wouldn’t have happened at all without the wonderful help from David Nagel (of DAM Productions), who ever-so-nicely stepped in to do the post production for all of this episode (except for the opening scene, which I completed with episode 3). I was having troubles with the script for “My Fair Penguin” (and still am), doing a lot of wiping out big wads of script to start again and realising there was no time to work on this story’s post-production. David stepped in and did a better job than I could have done in record time as well (he finished most of the episode in a few days). I’m still applauding him. And I hope he’s still speaking to me after all the constant sending scenes back with instructions of “make Henry’s reaction just a little bit later after Destina’s cry”. There are some scenes I’m sure he never wants to see again. Big thanks and more applause for David Nagel.
Also, oddly enough this is the first episode to have major cuts to it after it’s been finished. In the past I’ve never worried about running time – it’s an online release, an episode can theoretically go forever (even if it means a whopping huge download). The only concern in the old days was putting it on tape (which, incidentally, is how we got Dalek Slayers, I wanted to fill up side 2 of the tape I put Dimensions of the Doctors on). Now I’m on CD for my own collection (as well as a gift to all participants – sorry, no general release of them), but in the past a story has never really stretched to fill the CD, until now. As David put the story together and sent it to me, I suddenly realised this final episode, pushing 26 minutes, was going to stretch to well over the CD could handle. I really didn’t want to go to a 2 CD set for what was going to be about a four minute overlap, so I had to make a decision. Luckily, a lot of it was made for me. As the scenes were put together, David noticed that Henry’s lines in scene 5 were missing. Whether they weren’t recorded or had gone missing at some point, it meant the scene couldn’t be done without some creative tampering (re-recording wasn’t an option – these lines were done two years ago and getting in touch with Mr Kalita would have been prohibitive) I did consider reworking the scene with Marie’s already recorded lines with the guard character (since he was available and doing the post production), then a silly plan to reveal the true identity of the guard (a hint – he’d be on a mobile phone talking to ‘Mike’) which fell to the wayside when I realised there were enough “what the?” revelations in this episode already. When the episode stretched out as far as it did, I decided to just chop the scene out and hope some simple transition music would bridge the gap between the scenes. It’s a pity, though, as it was the second of only two scenes between Henry and his mother and explains why the King wasn’t doing everything at the ball at the climax. I’ve left it in the script for people to imagine how it would have gone.
So, the TARDIS team is in disarray, what with the Doctor publicly humiliating Destina and ruining her true love and whatnot. The situation actually caused a big discussion between the real-actors of the regulars – Alyx was convinced that this was the end of her character (it’s not – Destina’s still sticking around), and Corey wasn’t happy with how Frobisher was placed in the debate (originally he sided with Destina so to offset the Doctor’s weighty opinion, now he’s taking middle ground). Things were resolved very quickly though (mostly because I cave easily), but I wish I could say the same for these characters. It won’t be an easy reconciliation for them – this is a story arc, after all. And hey, isn’t there a musical coming up?
Ok, story one of Season 3 is in the bag – one down, five to go. Work on “Fear Flight” has already begun, will we manage to get it out on time again?