John Hurt's War Doctor Returning For Doctor Who Audio Series

John Hurt will reprise his role as the long-hidden Doctor who took part in the Time Wars for Doctor Who: The War Doctor, a new audio play from Big Finish.

The War Doctor was first introduced in the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Speial, “The Day of the Doctor,” alongside David Tennant and Matt Smith’s Doctors. This War Doctor refused to take his proper name because of his role fighting the Time War against the Daleks.

“I have been a huge fan of John since first seeing him in the repeats of I, Claudius in the 1980s and in his Oscar-nominated role as the eponymous The Elephant Man,” says Big Finish executive producer Jason Haigh-Ellery in a press release. ‘Watching his performance in ‘The Day of the Doctor’ I did find myself fantasizing that some far off day we might have the chance to work with him on the audio adventures of Doctor Who and now two short years later it’s happened! John wove a fantastic character together from a great script by Steven Moffat. Now we have the chance to get to know that character more and hear John stretch in the role. We’re all in for a hell of a ride as the War Doctor engages in battle. But who are the greater threat - the Daleks or the Time Lords?”

The War Doctor’s audio adventures will be told over four box sets, each containing three linked hour-long episodes. The first box set is titled Only the Monstrous, and is written and directed by Nicholas Briggs, who worked on the BBC Audio Award-winning Doctor Who: Dark Eyes.

“The story of the Doctor who refuses to call himself the Doctor in order to do the unthinkable upon the ultimate battlefield — all of space and time — was irresistible to me,” says Nicholas. “Such a deeply disturbing and engaging character created by the formidable talents of writer Steven Moffat and actor John Hurt. It’s such a privilege to be working on this.”

The cast of The War Doctor also includes Jacqueline Pearce, who plays Time Lord Cardinal Ollistra — an arch manipulator who is waging the Time War against the Daleks. Pearce’s work includes The Avengers, Callan, Doctor Who: Death Comes to Time, Moondial and Russell T Davies’ Dark Season. She was also Servalan in the cult classic Blake’s 7.

Only The Monstrous will be released in December 2015. The second volume, Infernal Devices, is written by John Dorney, Phil Mulryne and Matt Fitton, and will be released in February 2016. Volumes Three and Four are currently in pre-production.

“What an utter privilege it is to work with such an iconic actor, playing such a brilliantly devised role,” says producer David Richardson. “This is Doctor Who at its darkest — the era in which our hero casts aside his core values in order to try and save the galaxy in its most terrible hour. We promise bold and brilliant story-telling with gripping character drama, and epic and cinematic audio productions.”

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Big Finish has released a string of well received Doctor Who audio dramas, including the return of spinoff Torchwood earlier this year.

The War Doctor also returned for Titan Comics Doctor Who crossover event The Four Doctors, which also featured the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth doctors.