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Dr. Who Cast Reunited for an Audio Drama Musical

AUK studios reunites cast members from a 1980s Dr. Who Television episode called “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.” This includes the seventh doctor and his companion—Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Arnold, respectively. The result: a Dr. Who musical called “Children of the Circus”

A Dr. Who Musical. Kinda?

A production based on an intellectual property like Dr. Who is complicated. While the BBC owns the bulk of the mythos, side characters from the first iteration of time traveling humanoid alien up until approximately the fifth are owned by the writers who created them. Since this is inspired/based on an episode with the seventh doctor, this isn’t a licensed Dr. Who production from the BBC. The closest you’ll get to an appearance is a mention of the doctor and his companion at that time.

That said, the story’s inspiration comes directly from the particular episode mentioned above. The Producer/Director Barnaby Eaton Jones called watching that episode a “wild mix of horror, science fiction, music, and fantasy, that it blew my adolescent mind; with images and characters forever stuck in my head. Jones went so far as to ask the writer of the Dr. Who episode—Stephen Wyatt—for his blessing. Once receiving it, he convinced the original actor for Bellboy to write the songs for the Dr. Who musical. Christopher Guard—the songwriter—also reprises his role as Bellboy in this musical.

AUK Studios Recent Audio Dramas on CD

In August of 2023, AUK studios acquired Spiteful Puppet Entertainment. The award-winning company responsible for such U.K. audio dramas like “Robin of Sherwood” and “Up Pompeii.” Jones would also become the creative director of AUK studios. A role at AUK that he’d served since 2015 with Spiteful Puppet before the acquisition.

Moving to October 24, 2023 and AUK would produce an audio drama about actor Cary Grant taking LSD. Perhaps more ethereal than the premise is the distribution method. The audio drama, “Cary On” would be released initially on CD rather than digital download. While technically not a podcast studio, AUK seems to be no stranger to releasing their audio dramas on CD. Browsing their website and one can find at least 20 audio drama CDs. Some are new, while others are also repackaged in bundles.

In today’s digitally-focused ecosystem, physical media like CDs and DVDs can’t be as cost effective as a podcast or paid digital download from a website. The price to not only make, but ship (sometimes internationally) is an expense most indie creators aren’t willing, or can’t afford, to spend money on.

“Children of the Circus” will release on December 14, 2023. Exactly 35 years after the episode that inspired it aired.