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Creator / BBV Productions

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BBV Productions was founded by Bill Baggs in 1991 and created direct-to-video and direct-to-CD science fiction adventures. The key personnel were fans of the then-recently-cancelled Doctor Who (most of them, including Baggs, had previously worked on the amateur Doctor Who Audio Visuals series), and many of BBV's products featured Who stars, or were built around characters licenced from the series, or both.

One of its early productions was the direct-to-video film The AirZone Solution, which starred a number of actors from Doctor Who but was an original near-future conspiracy thriller. (Specifically, it starred Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Sylvester McCoy, and Peter Davison, with Jon Pertwee and former Who villain Michael Wisher in supporting roles. Also appearing in a supporting role was a young Scottish actor named Alan Cumming, who went on to international stardom and incidentally a guest star role in the revived Doctor Who.)

BBV also produced several series that were attempts to create spiritual successors to Doctor Who. Two of these, the video series The Stranger and the audio series The Time Travellers, featured actual Doctor Who stars playing characters very similar to their Doctors. Colin Baker's character in The Stranger developed into a distinct character as the series progressed and more of his backstory was revealed; Sylvester McCoy's character in The Time Travellers didn't, to the point that the series was the subject of official attention from the BBC. A third attempt, The Wanderer, starred Nicholas Briggs, who had played the Doctor in the Audio Visuals mentioned above; it only lasted two installments.

BBV also produced several works featuring aliens and other supporting characters from Doctor Who under legitimate licence deals:

  • P.R.O.B.E. (video): Series about the further adventures of the Doctor's companion Liz Shaw, with Caroline John reprising the role. No relation to Probe.
  • Auton Trilogy (video): Series about the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce fighting off another invasion by the alien Autons.
  • Adventures in a Pocket Universe (audio): Series about the further adventures of Doctor's companion K-9 after he went off into E-Space with Romana. John Leeson reprised his role as K-9. They didn't manage to acquire a licence to use Romana as well, but coincidentally the audios co-starred Lalla Ward, the actress who played Romana in the TV series, as a character whose name is never mentioned.
  • The Faction Paradox Protocols (audio): Series featuring an organization that originated in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, written by the author who created them.
  • Various one-off video and audio dramas featuring original characters facing off against aliens such as the Zygons, the Sontarans, the Wirrn or the Krynoid.

The audio production arm of BBV was wound down after Big Finish was awarded the licence to produce official Doctor Who spin-off audios with the actual Doctor in them. The video production arm continued on a bit longer, though more intermittently, ending up with a final chapter of the P.R.O.B.E. series in 2015.

Several people who worked on BBV productions, including Nicholas Briggs, Mark Gatiss, Nigel Fairs, and Gary Russell, went on to be involved in Big Finish's Doctor Who range and/or the revived TV series.

BBV Productions works include examples of:

  • Alternate Timeline: In "Republica", the Professor and Ace discover that someone has changed history so that Charles II was never restored to the throne after the English Civil War and England has remained a republic ever since.
  • Audio Adaptation
  • Bottle Episode: Auton (part one of the trilogy) is set entirely inside a warehouse building.
  • Conspiracy Thriller: The AirZone Solution revolves around a group of journalists and environmental activists investigating a company that claims to be working on reducing air pollution but actually has another more sinister purpose.
  • Derivative Differentiation
    • As The Stranger series progressed, the main characters' backstories were revealed to be quite different from those of the characters they were modelled on: the Stranger was a reformed terrorist, and his travelling companion was actually a case officer assigned to keep an eye on him for signs of relapse.
    • The Time Travellers didn't do anything to distinguish its characters from their models (if anything, the similarity got more noticeable over time) until the BBC threatened legal action, at which point all the differentiation happened in a single unsubtle lump, mostly consisting of the Professor deciding he preferred to be called "the Dominie" and Ace revealing that her name was really Alice.
  • Doctor Whomage
    • The Stranger: The Stranger for the Doctor and Miss Brown for Peri Brown, at least initially.
    • The Time Travellers: The Professor for the Doctor and Ace for Ace.
    • The Wanderer: "Fred" the amnesic wanderer for the Doctor.
    • Several stories feature a race of hostile alien cyborgs called Cyberons, who are clearly inspired by Doctor Who's Cybermen.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: In The Stranger series, the Estrangement process is used by the Protectorate as an alternative to capital punishment; it suppresses the recipient's memories of their crimes and the criminal tendencies which motivated them. It's revealed that the hero of the series is a former terrorist who was the first person to successfully undergo the process. (A flashback shows that he agreed to it of his own free will, as part of a bargaining process, because he was confident it wouldn't work on him.)
  • Mechanical Animals: When the company's rights to K9 expired, he was replaced with B.E.S., a sarcastic robotic ferret companion to The Mistress.
  • Name Amnesia:
    • The lead character of The Stranger doesn't remember his name at first, along with his past. When his past is revealed, it's also revealed that his name is Solomon.
    • The lead character of The Wanderer has amnesia and doesn't remember his name.
  • No Name Given: K-9's mistress in Adventures in a Pocket Universe.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • The Professor and Ace in The Time Travellers. Ace eventually reveals that her real name is Alice, but the Professor just reveals a different nickname.
    • The lead character of The Wanderer has Name Amnesia. On his first appearance, somebody starts calling him "Fred" for the sake of having something to call him, and it sticks.
  • Playing with Syringes: Part of AirZone's true plan in The AirZone Solution.
  • Questioning Title?: The on-screen title card for The AirZone Solution renders it as The AirZone Solution? to reflect that the driving question of the story is "Does AirZone have a solution, and if so what is it?". However, in most other places, including the video cover, official catalogues, etc., the question mark is usually omitted.
  • Secret Government Warehouse: The Auton series starts out in a warehouse storing alien artifacts collected by UNIT in the course of its world-saving duties; a scientist studying the artifacts kicks off the plot by inadvertantly reactivating an Auton control sphere.
  • Self-Parody: One of BBV's last video releases was Do You Have a Licence to Save This Planet?, in which Sylvester McCoy starred as the Foot Doctor, a mysterious traveller attempting to save a planet while avoiding the notice of the Licensed Reality Corporation™.
  • Toxic, Inc.: In The AirZone Solution, AirZone claims to have a solution to the worsening air pollution situation, but the heroes' investigation shows they're actually making the pollution worse. It turns out their planned solution is to carry on pumping out pollution, but genetically engineer the population (without obtaining their consent first) to be able to breathe the polluted air.
  • Trade Snark: The Licensed Reality Corporation™ in Do You Have a Licence to Save This Planet?.
  • Twice-Told Tale: "Prosperity Island" is a science fictional riff on The Tempest.
  • Unstable Powered Child: The backstory of "Prosperity Island" involves a geneticist developing a way to give humans psychokinetic powers. Unfortunately, the powers manifested in infancy, and chaos ensued as society struggled to cope with young children with powers they lacked the wisdom or restraint to control.

Alternative Title(s): The Air Zone Solution