As we all know, Paul McGann is technically the longest serving official Doctor Who. Although only having done one TV story, he graced the pages of books and comics and, of course, starred in the Big Finish audio plays for the best part of a decade.
During this time, the Eighth Doctor racked up a number of companions, including Bernice Summerfield and Fitz Kreiner in the books and Izzy Sinclair in the comics. He even, apparently, travelled with Mary Shelley for a while, if you believe an off-hand comment he made once. However, until now, we’ve never had actors playing these companions in any of the audio plays (okay, Benny I’ll give you, but she never appeared with the Eighth Doctor).
With a 4×25 minute play featuring the Eighth Doctor to write, it occurred to Big Finish that they could finally give these old companions voices, and flesh out the Eighth Doctor’s range of audio companions. So here comes The Company of Friends, featuring (as always) Lisa Bowerman as Benny, Matt di Angelo (off EastEnders) as Fitz, Jemima Rooper (Hex, Lost in Austen) as Izzy and Julie Cox (Dune, Children of Dune) as Mary Shelley.
What a fantastic opportunity. What a pity it’s mostly been wasted.