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The Gathering was the eighty-seventh story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Joseph Lidster and featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka.

It was the Fifth Doctor's entry in a loose trilogy of stories surrounding an attempted Cyberman invasion of Earth, further detailed in The Harvest and The Reaping. It also takes place concurrently with The Veiled Leopard.

As an individual story, however, it was certainly most notable for being the first monthly Doctor Who audio story to feature the Fifth Doctor travelling alone (due to his companions being engaged in the events of The Veiled Leopard), and the first to feature Janet Fielding as Tegan. It was thus the first time she had reprised the role since 1985's A Fix with Sontarans. As of 2019, it remains the only performed Doctor Who story to feature only the Fifth Doctor and Tegan alone, without any other companions. It was also set later in Tegan's life than any other performed story, occurring in Jovanka's middle age, and was further unusual for showing Tegan in her native Brisbane, Australia.

At the time it was released, it was thought to be Fielding's "one and only" audio story, and the marketing reflected that. However, in the light of her more regular audio appearances in the 2010s, that aspect of the story became less well-remembered.

Publisher's summary[]

On the morning of 22 September 2006, Tegan woke up. She was expecting to spend the day relaxing at home and, that evening, tolerate a party thrown to celebrate her 46th birthday.

But things don't always go as expected. It's been over twenty years since she chose to leave the Doctor. She's got a job, mates...a life.

Meanwhile her friend, Katherine Chambers, makes a decision that could change all their lives, and Tegan discovers that you can never really escape the past...


to be added



Real world[]

The Doctor[]

  • Alan claims that there is no record of the Doctor travelling alone during his fifth incarnation. He is somewhat disappointed that it was not the Seventh Doctor who travelled to the Gogglebox, as he believes that he "knows everything."


  • Tegan has taken over her father's stock feed company Verney Food Supplies, which he presumably inherited from her maternal grandfather Andrew Verney. Her mother is still alive and calls to wish her a happy birthday.


Illustrated preview in DWM 374 by Martin Geraghty.

  • An illustrated preview of this story with artwork by Martin Geraghty featured in DWM 374.
  • The Doctor's comment about hating celery is a reference to the fact that Peter Davison hates celery in real life.
  • The story states that something will cause the Doctor to lose some of the memories of his fifth incarnation, seemingly after his next regeneration. The cause of this has not yet been revealed, although it has been hinted that it was due to his subsequent regeneration. (AUDIO: Peri and the Piscon Paradox)
  • This audio drama is part of a loose trilogy encompassing The Reaping, The Gathering and The Harvest.
  • Besides the Doctor, Kathy and Nathaniel Chambers are the only characters to appear in both this story and AUDIO: The Reaping.
  • Both this story and its sequel AUDIO: The Harvest take place on the relevant companion's birthday. 22 September 2006 is Tegan's 46th birthday whereas 12 October 2021 is Hex's 23rd birthday.
  • Released in September 2006, this is one of the few Big Finish audio dramas to take place at the time of its release. Another example is AUDIO: The Condemned, which was released and takes place in February 2008.
  • This audio drama was recorded on 29 and 30 June 2006 at The Moat Studios.
  • This story is set between Planet of Fire and The Caves of Androzani.
  • This story was originally released on CD and download. It is now available as a download only.


External links[]