Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



audio stub

Medicinal Purposes was the sixtieth story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Robert Ross and featured Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Maggie Stables as Evelyn Smythe.

This story marked the first appearance of Robert Knox played by Leslie Phillips. This is the second and final Big Finish audio drama in the main range in which David Tennant appears.

Publisher's summary[]

Edinburgh, 1827.

The infamous body snatchers William Burke and William Hare are at large. The local prostitutes dull their fear with cheap whisky. The graveyard owls are hooting. Business is good.

When accidental tourists the Doctor and Evelyn Smythe stumble upon one of Britain's most lurid, illuminating chapters in history, a simple case of interest in the work of dedicated man of science Doctor Robert Knox, quickly turns sour.

Just what is that time-bending Scots mist? Whatever it is may put the very fabric of the universe under threat...

As always.


to be added




  • Daft Jamie's name and nationality causes the Doctor to recall his former companion Jamie McCrimmon.
  • The Doctor refers to the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
  • The Doctor mentions Dr Christiaan Barnard.
  • Evelyn mentions Roger Bannister.
  • Knox is contemptuous of the Time Lords and their 'dominion' over time, and says it doesn't exist.


Literature from the real world[]


Illustrated preview by Martin Geraghty from DWM 347.

Illustration by Roger Langridge (DWM 351)

Textless cover art

  • This story was featured in the preview section of DWM 347 with art by Martin Geraghty.
  • Although it is not stated in the story itself, Daft Jamie's real name was James Wilson and he was 18 years at the time of his murder in October 1828. Mary Patterson was the same age when Burke and Hare killed her on 9 April 1828.
  • This audio drama was recorded on 18 and 19 March 2004 at the Moat Studios.
  • Although the back cover of the CD dates this story to 1827, it is actually set in 1828.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson was apparently born in a different year in the Doctor Who timeline than in the real world. The Date is given as December 1828 and the Doctor says it is "a full 30 years" before his birth, which would put his birth in 1858 or early 1859. In real life, Stevenson was born 13 November 1850.


External links[]