Obviously there are few things as mind blowing as hearing that Tom Baker will actually be playing the Doctor again, in an audio story after throwing roughly three Amazonian rainforests presented to him by Gary Russell into the bin. And kicking Russell in the face. Before throwing a cow at him. And insulting his manhood in Doctor Who conventions for a full decade. Oh, yes, you don't want to fuck with the T-Bone.
Of course, reading further into the story once you've scraped your jaw off the floor or recovered from some form of squee-induced heart attack or, heaven forbid, fangasm, or maybe even in the case of this blog's dear friends Larry Miles and Alan Stevens a full on ragegasm, you would find out that this isn't quite all that. Firstly, it is not with Big Finish but the BBC - a small detail, I know, but the BBC themselves only have Ghosts of N-Space and The Paradise of Death to their credit along with PMG's first 'new series' if you extend it in broader terms, which doesn't really inspire much confidence.
Add to this that instead of there will be five stories in a New Series style arc released once a month on CD. Who would they get to craft this beautiful arc? Why of course, you'd get Paul Magrs.
PAUL MAGRS? It's impossible for the guy not to be given work, clearly. If he ever walks into a brothel with vacancies they'll be wrapping him up in fancy silk dresses and punters will paying through the nose for a night with the lovely Pauline. He's some sort of job-magnet in any circumstances regardless of qualifications.
I'm not saying Magrs is a bad writer, but he's a long way from the best. His post-modern leanings are something he clearly has trouble leaning in - even when he's creating something of a serious work by his standards he can't help making characters deliberately shallow or idiotic to unrealistic proportions to lampshade some aspect of DW he finds hi-hi-hilarious. Or he won't bother with any sort of reality at all. Most of his books left people scratching their heads wondering what the fuck the point of it all was, and recently he's shown a good knack for writing audios that fandom finds in roughly equal measures dull or rage-inducing.
Worse still, compounding his desire for silliness is what seems to be a confusion of how to integrate that humour into certain circumstances. The Zygon Who Fell to Earth has an abundance of characters and situations that are clearly meant to be implements of humour, but in practice fail to actually erupt into humour at any stage - making the bit where said implements of humour tear a poor woman's throat out just plain depressing rather than shocking as was no doubt the intention.
Of course, The Stones of Venice is a real masterpiece and if you tear out the last couple of pages Verdigris can be counted among the best of the tie-in novels - he lectures on English literature for god's sake so the bloke's no muppet, he's just so wildly experimental that he's inevitably inconsistent.
For these reasons, I think of the established writers out there Magrs would be the choice least suited to writing this project. I'd put Gary Russell, Allan Barnes, Gareth Roberts, Steve Lyons and Rob Shearman well ahead of him. Probably the oft-maligned Dave Stone as well for his ability to intertwine silliness with epicness into a magnificent self-loving monster.
All that said, Paul Magrs may well be the only author crazy enough for Tom to work with, so it's understandable on at least one layer.
However.. Mike Yates as the companion?? It worries me that the Beeb were either unable to get anyone actually from his seven year tenure, or decided that the Pertwee pseudo-companion who has undergone quite a bit of ribbing on fandom's part over his questionable sexuality and inept heroics was the best one to bring in to give Tooth-and-Curls support.
In short: good news, with a chance of "Awww, god, why did it have to be this way? WHY??!?!?"