The Five Companions was the ninth Doctor Who bonus story released by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Eddie Robson and featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, Sarah Sutton as Nyssa, William Russell as Ian Chesterton, Peter Purves as Steven Taylor, Jean Marsh as Sara Kingdom and Anneke Wills as Polly Wright.
It was one of only two bonus releases which aren't available for general purchase and can only be obtained by a subscription including a main range release (in this case, Army of Death), the other being The Four Doctors.
Inside a cluster of fused-together derelict spaceships, four of the Doctor's oldest friends — and one of his newest ones — are lost and confused. They don't know how they got there or what they're meant to be doing — but as the place is infested with Daleks, Sontarans and dinosaurs, their first priority is staying alive.
To their collective relief, the Doctor turns up and has a reasonable idea of what's going on. If the six of them work together, they can escape this place and get home. But, unexpectedly, others may be working together to ensure they all die here...
to be added
- The Doctor - Peter Davison
- Ian Chesterton - William Russell
- Steven Taylor - Peter Purves
- Sara Kingdom - Jean Marsh
- Polly Wright - Anneke Wills
- Nyssa - Sarah Sutton
- The Daleks - Nicholas Briggs
- The Sontarans - Dan Starkey
- The Doctor mentions to Polly that he is attempting to get into contact with the Capitol.
- Steven encountered the Sontarans when one of their scout ships crashed on the Elders' planet several years earlier in his personal timeline. This experience taught him that a Sontaran could be incapacitated by striking their probic vent.
- A Tyrannosaurus rex is transported to the alternative Death Zone, where it kills several Daleks before it is exterminated.
- This is a special release given away to Big Finish subscribers who have the audio story Army of Death as part of their subscription.
- This marks the first time that Peter Purves and Anneke Wills have reprised their roles as Steven Taylor and Polly Wright respectively for Big Finish outside of the Companion Chronicles range. Similarly, it is the first time that William Russell has reprised his role as Ian Chesterton in a full cast Big Finish audio drama.
- The Fifth Doctor is the only character to appear in both this story and the television story The Five Doctors.
- This audio takes place during the events of The Five Doctors. The Fifth Doctor is diverted to an alternative Death Zone after using the Master's transmat recall device and discovers that some of his other companions have ended up there as well.
- The Doctor tells Ian that he had intended to visit him several months earlier. This is a reference to the original plans for Mawdryn Undead, which had envisaged Ian taking the part ultimately allocated to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.
- This story was recorded at The Moat Studios.
- It was released on 11 December 2011.
- Ian and Steven previously met in the Mechonoid City on Mechanus. (TV: The Chase)
- Ian sets a trap for a Dalek by placing a sheet of metal on the floor in the hopes of disrupting the static electricity supply by which they are powered and subsequently disguises himself as a Dalek. He did both of these in his first encounter with them on Skaro. (TV: The Daleks)
- Ian, (TV: The Daleks, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Chase) Steven, (AUDIO: Across the Darkened City, The Dalek Occupation of Winter, TV: The Daleks' Master Plan) Sara, (AUDIO: The Destroyers, TV: The Daleks' Master Plan) Polly (TV: The Power of the Daleks) and Nyssa (AUDIO: The Mutant Phase, Renaissance of the Daleks, Plague of the Daleks, Dalek Soul, The Elite) have all previously encountered the Daleks.
- The Sontarans have records of all the Doctor's incarnations. They recognise the Fifth Doctor from their encounter with him on Samur. (AUDIO: Heroes of Sontar)
- The Doctor initially believes that he and his former companions are trapped in an artificial construct which has been created by the Master. (TV: The Five Doctors)
- Nyssa would later encounter the Fifth Doctor in her mind shortly before his regeneration into the Sixth Doctor. (AUDIO: Winter) Later still in her personal timeline, she would meet the Fourth Doctor in 3488 (PROSE: Asylum) and subsequently rejoin the Fifth Doctor as one of his companions. (AUDIO: Cobwebs) From the Doctor's perspective, the latter two events have already happened.
- This is the Doctor's first encounter with each of his first incarnation's companions since they left the TARDIS. (TV: The Chase, The Daleks' Master Plan, The Savages, The Faceless Ones) None of them know that the Doctor is a Time Lord nor are they familiar with the concept of regeneration. Even Polly, who witnessed the Doctor's regeneration into his second incarnation, remains uncertain of the process. (TV: The Tenth Planet) With reference to Ian Chesterton, this will be contradicted in COMIC: Hunters of the Burning Stone, where the Eleventh Doctor meets a younger version of the science teacher and attends his wedding.
- Polly claims sarcastically that making coffee was usually her main contribution to the proceedings. (TV: The Tenth Planet, The Moonbase, AUDIO: The Selachian Gambit)
- The Doctor refers to Polly challenging the Cyber-Leader Krail in the Snowcap in December 1986 (TV: The Tenth Planet) and destroying a squadron of Cybermen on the Moonbase in 2070. (TV: The Moonbase)
- Commander Skaal refers to the Sontaran invasion of Gallifrey. (TV: The Invasion of Time)
- The fact that Ian is an elderly man would seem to disprove the rumour, as related by Sarah Jane to her friends Clyde Langer and Rani Chandra in 2010, that he and Barbara have not aged since the 1960s. (TV: Death of the Doctor)