Ever wanted to know what an adventure with both Sherlock Holmes and The Doctor would be like? Thanks to AM Audio Media, you can! This full cast audio drama brings to life a much darker, edgier Doctor out to help Sherlock stop Jack the Ripper..but is there other darkness at work too??
Like any good investigator, I wanted to know more. So I sought out the Doctor himself (Andrew Chalmers, who is also the writer) and the Director (MA Tamburro) to interrogate them and find out more about this mystery.
Tell us about yourself and how AM Audio got started.
MA) I’m the director and co-producer of Dark Journey. I’m a life long Who fan and lucky enough to be a life long friend with fellow Whovian Andrew Chalmers who wrote and starred in the series. Andrew and I have written and pitched some TV pilots here in Canada in the past and making a Doctor Who audio drama together just seemed like something we had to do.
We formed AM Audio Media in 2014 and recruited a talented team of actors, sound technicians and artists who’ve filled out our ‘by the fans, for the fans’ audio drama company.
How did you come up with the idea for the audio series?
Andrew) I read the Conan Doyle novels when I was a wee lad in Scotland and my Mum introduced me to Basil Rathbone who was the quintessential Holmes on the big screen in the 1940’s. This interest continued when, once again with my parents, I went to see ‘Murder by Decree’ with a fantastic take on Holmes played by ‘sharp intake of breath’ a Canadian! Christopher Plummer no less. In addition to a brilliant and rather human portrayal of Holmes he was on the trail of Jack the Ripper. It was terrifying (everybody go watch it right now!!) but it would have been perfect if only there was a Doctor in it? ( joking of course..it’s brilliant!!) Anyway you can see how all of this might inspire future creative endeavours.
How has the response been to this ‘darker’ version of Doctor Who?
MA) It is dark and rather scary. I get chills just listening back to some of the edits. Strangely though a lot of listeners seem to be latching onto the funny aspects of the series. Our mate Dan Collins who’s written many flattering things about us on Troughton Is My Doctor first surprised us with that fact but it’s been repeated by a lot of listeners and reviewers. You set out to do a drama and it turns into a comedy – what a bunch of drama ! I think it’s actually a complement to the play that it has both dark and light moments. Our cast of Roy Miranda, Kate Elyse Forrest, Rikki Wright and Larissa Benfey were able to bring to life Andrews brilliantly twisted and funny script in a way that is really resonating with fans. In fact we’ve brought the cast to a number of comic cons where fans were wanting their autographs and our team has even been nominated for a won various audio awards.
What do you see as the future for Dark Journey?
Andrew) Well, well..in an ideal world we would be producing series after series but it is a massive undertaking. We are fixated on quality and we have only been able to achieve such high standards with the kind help of absolutely fantastic people. We have a Dark Journey Season 3 mapped out so let’s see what happens? But before that, prepare yourselves for a unique take on Doctor Who fandom. A Doctor Who 6 part audio drama-rom-com that pushes the boundaries. The past was a dark journey but the future belongs to ‘Derek Who?’
Have you had any ‘guest stars’ from the TV show?
MA) We are actually working on some serious guest stars from the tv series.
We’ve recruited some big names for a ‘Who’ related project AM Audio Media has in development that we can’t talk about just yet although Andrew ‘the rule breaker’ has just now so yes serious guest stars coming up including Bob Denver and Dawn Wells. (Sorry wrong fandom but anyone who loves Gilligans Island should seriously sit right back and hear the tale of Derek Who? coming soon from AM Audio Media.)
Andrew) I’m all about story so I would research New Zealandfolk lore and write about a local superstition I think? Give it the Doctor edge. I much prefer that approach to filming somewhere just for the scenery. In saying that, the Tolkien movies were incredibly well suited to the beauty of New Zealand so I suppose it’s a mix. In fact, scratch all that. I have a great pal of mine, Paul aka ‘Rossi’ who has lived in both New Zealand and Australia so I’d set an adventure in both places so I could have a laugh with him!!!
Anywhere in time and space…where would you love to travel and why?
MA) When I was growing up I latched onto the Pertwee run in syndication so the time travel element never really stuck out that much to me to be honest. It was always invasion of the week with motorbikes in the mix.
I was always more interested in space travel, alien invasions and frock coats.
What do you love most about Doctor Who? When did you start being a Whovian (Classic or NuWho)?
This is a question that I’m fascinated with. Even more so after the 2005 revival. I was in HMV recently and the cashier proudly showed me her sonic screwdriver tattoo. This gesture was made after she noticed I was buying Tardis ice cube trays!!! Yes….Who has become ‘in’ which for me, a fan for 40 years, is a great thing indeed. Kids wearing TARDIS hoodies, Matt Smith cakes…John Hurt yoga matts (That’s a blatant lie). It’s a far cry from hunting around the UK ex pat stores looking for Logopolis on VHS and HP sauce that costs $86. On a side note I did this entire interview in bed because of an upset stomach. I had scrambled eggs too! (made for me of course. I didn’t cook them. I learned my lesson after trying to cook lobster in a fold out camp bed).
Before I go here’s the Doctor Who New Zealand story…. There’s a mysterious race who dwell in the barren lands of Auckland called The Tranquils. They were there long before the locals even had a memory of them. Their lands are beautiful, mystical and under attack from a group who want to evict them from their home. As genocide breaks out The Doctor and his companion Cheyene must protect The Tranquils from extinction unaware of a deadly secret.
The eradication of the Tranquils, actually an alien race who act as humanities guardians will start the countdown to mankinds annihilation
…… Keep going!! Lol. I would love to hear how that story continues 🙂
A massive thanks MA and Andrew for your time and I can’t wait to listen to the rest of your podcasts as well as all the future adventures.