Bang-Bang-a-Boom! was the thirty-ninth story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman and featured Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor and Bonnie Langford as Melanie Bush.
As with the prior Mel story, The One Doctor, it was in many ways a parody — though this time of Star Trek, the Eurovision Song Contest and the Gerry Anderson 1970s show Space: 1999. Indeed, the title itself is a pun on "Boom Bang-a-Bang", the 1969 song by Lulu that gave a Eurovision win to the United Kingdom.
Dark Space 8 — an advanced monitoring station floating serenely among the stars. Its crew — a dedicated and highly-skilled group of professionals, calmly going about their vital work. Its mission — to boldly host the Intergalactic Song Contest.
With representatives from myriad worlds competing, the eyes of the universe are on the station. But dark deeds are afoot aboard Dark Space 8... and people are starting to die.
The haughty Queen Angvia; the gaseous gestalt Gholos; disposable pop idol Nicky Newman; erratic Professor Fassbinder; and the icily-efficient Dr Eleanor Harcourt — all are suspects. Could old political rivalries be manifesting themselves among the contestants? Is this the work of a breakaway terrorist faction? Or has someone just got it in for singer-songwriters?
With peace in the galaxy hanging by a thread, it's vital that the mystery is solved — and fast! Can Dark Space 8's unconventional new commander, with the help of his personal pilot, Mel, find the murderer in time to prevent a major intergalactic war?
Or will it be nul points for the entire universe...?
to be added
- The Doctor - Sylvester McCoy
- Melanie Bush - Bonnie Langford
- Dr. Eleanor Harcourt - Sabina Franklyn
- Professor Ivor Fassbinder - Graeme Garden
- Lieutenant Strindberg - Vidar Magnussen
- Loozly - Nickolas Grace
- Angvia - Patricia Quinn
- Nicky Newman - Anthony Spargo
- Geri / Cyrene - Jane Goddard
- Logan - David Tughan
- News anchorman - Gareth Jenkins
- Robot waiter / Tannoy voice - Barnaby Edwards
- Ice Warrior juror / Announcer - Nicholas Pegg
- The Breebles - Gareth Jenkins
- The Breebles - Andy Hardwick
- Continuity announcer - Nicholas Briggs
- The Doctor previously placed a whistle in Mel's pocket.
- Mel jokingly suggests that the Doctor may be having "a mid-regeneration crisis."
- The Doctor describes the Tudors as "splendid chaps, all of them."
- Dr Eleanor Harcourt enjoyed a close personal relationship with Commander Keele before his death.
- The readers of Entropy Magazine voted Nicky Newman as the fifth most famous person in the galaxy.
- Both Mel and Commentator Logan refer to Queen Angvia as a "valkyrie."
- The Doctor refers to René Descartes as an "old friend."
- Angvia is the fourteenth queen of the House of Silcitor.
- Dark Space 8's previous commanding officer Paul Keele died of the Orion flu. He was infected with it while in the process of defeating a silicon-based lifeform which intended to enslave all carbon-based lifeforms.
- Achilles 4 is the host to the All Worlds Peace Convention. Golos and Angvia are parties to the convention.
- Star Island 12 contains the Earth embassy of the Shak'Rok Empire.
Intergalactic Song Contest
- There have been 308 previous Intergalactic Song Contests.
- Contestants in the 309th contest include Earth (represented by Nicky Newman), Mars, Ferazferon, the Cissadian Cephalopods, Drahva (represented by Maaga 29), the Architects of Algol, the Breebles and the Freznixx of Braal.
- Songs featured include Drahva's Clone Love, Argol's Don't Push Your Tentacle Too Far (sung by Billionus Groo-Fang of the Arkol star cluster), and Angvia's Gozraj-a-dett (My Love is as Limitless as a Black Hole, and I'm Pulling You Over the Event Horizon).
- Representing Earth in lieu of Nicky Newman, the Doctor wins the Intergalactic Song Contest by playing the spoons.
- Ice Warriors vote in the Intergalactic Song Contest.
- During their conflict, Golos broke the Tenebros IV peace treaty and the Fringe Worlds of the Zordon Nebula were settled by Angvia in violation of this treaty. However, Queen Angvia claims that they were invited in by the natives.
Foods and beverages
- The Doctor recalls the delights of the pastry chefs on Barastabon.
- The Intergalactic Song Contest and its commentator Logan spoofs the Eurovision Song Contest and its long-serving BBC commentator Terry Wogan.
- Dr Harcourt's line about the contest being "the last, best hope for peace" between Angvia and Golos is a direct quote from the opening monologue of Season 1 of Babylon 5. However, the way it is spoken, as well as the character's voice itself is reminiscent of the Dr Helena Russell character from Space: 1999. During that show's second season, her character often gave a medical status report featured in many episodes. Her character was also romantically attached to the base's commander - John Koenig. Professor Ivor Fassbinder was an affectionate nod to the first season Space: 1999 character Victor Bergman.
- At one point, a character mentions the Zordon Nebula, a reference to the character of Zordon from Power Rangers. This returns the favour to franchise instalment "Power Rangers Lost Galaxy", which mentioned the Kasterborous constellation and the galactic coordinates of Gallifrey in the episode "Green Courage", which was partially set in a meteoroid field at that location.
- Angvia (the name of Patricia Quinn's character) is a deliberate anagram of "vagina".
- This is the second Christmas comedy release, the first being AUDIO: The One Doctor.
- There is a false ending during Part 4 where the theme music starts and then cuts out as Mel points out that the supposed resolution was "too easy."
- The title is a reworking of Lulu's winning 1969 Eurovision entry Boom-Bang-A-Bang.
- This was the first audio production to feature the period appropriate arrangement of the Doctor Who theme, in this case, that arranged by Keff McCulloch.
- The cover colour scheme echoes the poster for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
- This audio drama was recorded on 1 and 2 October 2002 at The Moat Studios.
- aHistory arbitrarily dates this story to 3950, as it seems to take place during the Federation period.
- Russell Stone's score to the story, alongside the scores to Dust Breeding and The Rapture was released on the CD Music from the Seventh Doctor Audio Adventures.
- The Ninth Doctor would face the Breebles (mentioned for the first time in this story) in the 2005 puzzle game/short story Robot Rose, featured in the Doctor Who Annual 2006.
- This story is set between Paradise Towers and Delta and the Bannermen.
Star Trek parodies
However This story generally spoofs the Star Trek franchise and its storytelling styles. The more direct examples of this include:
- "Dark Space 8" is a direct spoof of Deep Space 9, both in name and in function as an outpost serving as a hub to many species.
- The "Captain's log" style voiceovers.
- The United Federation of Planets-style command structure and clearly-defined crew.
- The repeated catchphrases of the crewmembers.
- Over the course of the previous seven years, the crew had dealt with a sweat vampire, an alien claiming to be God, a plague which stripped them of their inhibitions and a silicon-based lifeform which threatened to enslave all other lifeforms. Furthermore, Dr. Harcourt's reference to the space station's senior officers being sent back in time to medieval Wales would appear to be a reference to the numerous time travel episodes of Star Trek but is more likely a direct allusion to the space:1999 season 2 story, Journey to Where in which alpha members are transported to medieval Scotland
- Fassbinder's made-up technobabble echoes Star Trek's style. The name "Fassbinder" may be deliberately similar to the term "Feinberger" in Star Trek, which was the behind-the-scenes term to refer to Dr. McCoy's diagnostic instruments and other such props (after property master Irving Feinberg). However it may just be an allusion to the Bergman character in Space:1999 since Fassbinder and Bergman are both film directors.
- Several of the musical cues deliberately echo elements from Star Trek: The Original Series.
- Pakhars first appeared in PROSE: Legacy.
- The Third Doctor previously impersonated a commanding officer in order to salvage a peace process on Peladon in the 39th century. (TV: The Curse of Peladon)
- Mel describes the Doctor's propensity to mangle and combine Earth proverbs as "really annoying." (TV: Time and the Rani)
- The Doctor refers to the Masterbakers of Barastabon. (AUDIO: The Church and the Crown, The One Doctor)
- The Doctor remembers Mel's problems with lifts. (TV: Paradise Towers)
- The Breebles and Earth's anthem both featured among Mentos' Super Brain questions. (AUDIO: The One Doctor)
- Nicky Newman subsequently won the Intergalactic Song Contest. The renegade Time Lady Iris Wildthyme was in attendance and met her future husband Sam Gold. (AUDIO: The Sound of Fear)
- Official Bang-Bang-a-Boom! page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for Bang-Bang-a-Boom! at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide