If you’ve been following along with us for a while, you’ve probably seen announcements for Big Finish and their incredible Doctor Who audio plays, and we have another great announcement!
Big Finish announced a new audio play from Doctor Who‘s past that’s never been seen before in a full-cast audio drama. The Lost Stories is a series of stories written for the television series but was never produced until now. Some of these dramas include Mission to Magnus, The Daleks-The Destroyers, Thin Ice, and The First Sontarans.
Now Tom Baker returns to star in Doctor Who: Return of the Cybermen, which was written by Gerry Davis is created in its original story for the first time. This audio play was originally written for Tom Baker’s first season in 1974. It was rewritten by Robert Holmes, who was script editor for Revenge of the Cybermen. Big Finish producer David Richardson talks about how Return of the Cybermen came to life:
“I’d known of Return of the Cybermen for many years, but it was only relatively recently that I was able to source Gerry Davis’s script thanks to some great detective work by archivist Richard Bignell!
“John Dorney’s adaptation stays true to the original script and the era, though there have been some very minor changes to bring it in line with the kind of amends we believe Robert Holmes would have asked for. Little things that make it sit comfortably in Season 12.
“It’s rather different in tone to Revenge of the Cybermen – darker, scarier and more reminiscent of claustrophobic 1960s Cybermen tales like The Moonbase and The Invasion.”
Nicholas Briggs, director for Big Finish also said:
“It was interesting working with Tom on this, because he noticed the difference in style immediately. This is Doctor Who as Gerry Davis imagined it in 1974, and it’s very much like he wrote Doctor Who in the mid-1960s. So the script didn’t quite have the same levels of emotional sophistication and wit that was present either in what Robert Holmes eventually crafted into Revenge of the Cybermen, or certainly the more recent Fourth Doctor Adventures we’ve made on audio.
“I imagined what it would have been like, back in the day, if Tom had been presented with this script to rehearse and record. If you look at the script book of the first Tom Baker season, you can see masses of line changes that were added by the cast or director during rehearsals and shooting in all those stories. Some of them are the best, most memorable moments, so I reasoned that it would be a faithful process to take on board Tom’s suggestions for this production of Return of the Cybermen.
“We had loads of fun, as usual, with Tom finding it particularly amusing when I was directing him with a Cyberman voice effect. At one point, he asked, ‘Is he talking to me?’ which made us all laugh out loud!”
You can now purchase Return of the Cybermen for pre-order as a collector’s edition 2-disc box set or download from just £12.99 on the Big Finish website. Watch out for the April 2 episode of Doctor Who magazine for more information about this special audio. For £25 listeners can pre-order the bundle of more stories from The Lost Stories, including The Doomsday Contract and Return of the Cybermen.