In addition to the eight Doctors and five main companions, a whole host of other former TARDIS travellers will be making brief cameo appearances in The Light at the End. “I have to say, that was entirely David Richardson’s idea,” reveals writer Nicholas Briggs. “He kept coming back to me and saying ‘Why don’t we put so-and-so in?’, so all those bits with all the other old companions swirling round, that’s written by David. He just kept sending me new versions of the scene, and I just kept going ‘Yes, whatever, fine!’ - it’s a lovely little bit of self-indulgent nostalgia.”
The guest appearances are from (deep breath): Susan Foreman (played by Carole Ann Ford), Ian Chesterton (William Russell), Vicki (Maureen O’Brien), Steven Taylor (Peter Purves), Sara Kingdom (Jean Marsh), Polly (Anneke Wills), Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines), Zoe Heriot (Wendy Padbury), Jo Grant (Katy Manning), Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding), and Vislor Turlough (Mark Strickson), in a string of brief moments the Big Finish team has been calling ‘kisses to the past’.
There’s also a brief tribute to a couple of companions who couldn’t feature - such as Sarah Jane Smith, as played by the late Elisabeth Sladen - with dialogue directed at them by Doctors, indicating that they’re present during part of the story even though we’re unable to hear them. “We were so nearly going to work with her,” laments Nick, of Big Finish’s plans to reunite Sladen with Tom Baker in new audio adventures, which were sadly cut short by her death in 2011. “She really wanted to do it, and it’s only because she got ill that she didn’t. I really love Doctor Who, and I want to do things that are lovely, that make me feel warm inside, and i just thought it would be nice, just to mention those people. Especially Lis.”