A FULL-CAST DRAMATISED ADVENTURE FOR THE THIRD DOCTOR, JON PERTWEE, WITH COMPANIONS SARAH JANE AND THE BRIGADIER, SPECIALLY WRITTEN FOR BBC READIO BY DOCTOR WHO PRODUCER BARRY LETTS
Fitting seamlessly into television continuity betweer The Time Warrior and Invasion of the Dinosaurs, this made-for-radio adventure reunites the classic cast of Jon Pertwee, Elisabeth Sladen and Nicholas Courtney with television producer Barry Letts.
When a horrific and inexplicable death occurs at Space World, a new theme park on Hampstead Heath, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and UNIT are called to investigate. The Doctor is highly suspicious. Just who controls the Parakon Corporation, the shadowy organisation behind the running of the park? What is 'Experience Reality?' And what are the limits of its awsome powers?
First broadcast on BBC Radio 5.
It was Jon Pertwee who first approached the BBC with the idea of making a new radio adventure for the Third Doctor. He had been working with producer Dirk Maggs on the Superman radio adventures and felt that Dirk would be ideal for a Who story. Unfortunately, by the time the idea had passed through various editorial channels and been accepted, Maggs was already tied up with another project.
The Who idea was then passed onto another producer in the Light Entertainment department, who made little progress with it. Enter Phil Clarke, a BBC radio L.E. producer and Doctor Who fan. Excited by the possibility of a new adventure, escpecially since nobody else in the BBC was doing anything with the show, he immediately went back to Jon Pertwee to check that he was still keen to go ahead. It was two years since Pertwee had made his original suggestion, but he remained enthusiastic. For Clarke, working with Pertwee was ideal. 'Jon Pertwee is my Doctor, if you like,' he said in an interview with Gary Russell for Doctor Who magazine in September 1993. Being thirty-two he's my childhood hero and to also have Sarah Jane and the Bridagier, what more could I want?' Both Lis Sladen and Nicholas Courtney said yes strait away when approached, and so the classic team were reunited.
As far as the script was concerned, Phil Clarke went strait to Barry Letts. He was familiar with Jon Pertwee's character as the Doctor and so would know how to write for him. Originally two stories were written over ten episodes, which were then cut down to six, and finally five.
With the scripts in place, the rest of the casting took place. Barry Letts had written the character of Freeth specifically for Harold Innocent. He also had in mind Peter Miles (Nyder in Genesis of the Daleks) to play Tragan.
A new companion of sorts was created with the character of Jeremy Fitzoliver, Sarah Jane's hopeless photographer. His constant tripping over and making a mess of things provided a riposte to all the dizzy female assistants in the past. A second character with the potential to reappear was Onya, leader of the rebel aliens, who was played by Jane Slavin.
The Paradise of Death is a classic Who adventure - although, as many fans have pointed out, its timeline is a bit suspect. It is set on the Doctor's return to the present after The Time Warrior and before Invasion of the Dinosaurs (the first and second adventures in Pertwee's final television series). The plotline for those two stories indicates that there was no gap at all between one ending and the next beginning, so how could another adventure have taken place in between the two? Well, he is a Timelord!