Bernice Summerfield: Many Happy Returns is available on the website for only £10, as a download only, with all proceeds to Invest in ME charity, for biomedical research into myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E)
A feature-length tale, it's written by Xanna Eve Chown, Stephen Cole, Paul Cornell, Stephen Fewell, Simon Guerrier, Scott Handcock, Rebecca Levene, Jacqueline Rayner, Justin Richards, Miles Richardson, Eddie Robson and Dave Stone and stars, amongst others, Lisa Bowerman, Stephen Fewell, Ayesha Antoine, Miles Richardson, Katy Manning, Nicholas Briggs, Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred.
Cast: Lisa Bowerman (Bernice Summerfield), Stephen Fewell (Jason Kane), Steven Wickham (Joseph), Miles Richardson (Irving Braxiatel), Louise Faulkner (Bev Tarrant), Harry Myers (Adrian Wall), Thomas Grant (Peter Summerfield), Ayesha Antoine (Ruth), David Ames (Jack), Marcus Hutton (Leonidas), Katy Manning (Iris Wildthyme), David Benson (Panda), Nicholas Briggs (The Curator), Sylvester McCoy (Late Arrival), Sophie Aldred (Dave Stone), Christopher Allen (Adam), John Ainsworth (Casino Robot), Gary Russell (Vice Chancellor)
Big Finish produce an officially licensed range of Doctor Who dramas. Here are some responses from fans of their Facebook page to the exciting announcement above:
"Great news. Having M.E myself, it would be great to see some breakthrough medically . Well Done Big Finish !"
"Amazing! Thanks again to everyone involved in this and being so generous in giving the proceeds to charity x"
"This was a truly amazing release. The scenes with Benny and Jason at the end literally had me sobbing my heart out. This is how to do an anniversary story, Doctor Who producers, I hope you've taken notes."
"I cried my eyes out as well at the end! Well done! Good story.. great characters and a good cause! How about another one next year!!"
"Congrats on money well raised."
Future archaeologist and adventurer, Bernice Summerfield, is the creation of top novelist, comics and TV writer Paul Cornell; an enthusiatic supporter of the Let's do it for ME campaign, having seen the devastating effects of ME first hand. He has already done a lot to raise awareness by featuring characters with ME in his work. Many Happy Returns was directed by John Ainsworth, Gary Russell and Scott Handcock; who also organised, produced, and generally ensured this happened. On its release in November, Scott had said:
'I was overwhelmed by how many people wanted to be involved with the project. Not only actors, but writers, sound designers, Toby at the Moat Studios - everyone! Everyone gave their time for Jac Rayner and her charity, Invest in ME, and this adventure has been truly worthwhile to pull together on every level!'
Upon receipt of the whopping cheque for £4454 earlier this week, Invest in ME said:
"This is quite an amazing achievement on top of what Scott already raised with his marathon running. It is a privilege to be supported by such generous people like Scott and his colleagues".
Many Happy Returns featured in an article in BBC Dr. Who magazine in October - you can see it on our website here - and you can see photos of Let's do it for ME Bear meeting some of the wonderful writers and cast in the photo gallery here.
A huge thank you to everyone involved in this production and to all supporting it!
You might also like:
Justyce Served - A Small Start with a Big Finish - a book by Alun Harris and Matt West about the early days of Audio Visuals: Audio Adventures in Time & Space - the majority of the creative team went on to be involved with Big Finish. The authors' profits from this book will be donated to Amnesty International and Invest in ME.
Running To Stand Still - an audio play about M.E. written by Barnaby Eaton-Jones.