There are many missing Doctor Who stories—and some have even found new life getting remakes as audio dramas or even animated episodes. But Big Finish’s latest adventure for Tom Baker’s Doctor is a peculiar one: It’s an unseen version of a story we actually got.
“Revenge of the Cybermen,” first broadcast in 1975 as part of Baker’s debut season as the fourth incarnation of the Doctor Who, told a tale of a small space station around an asteroid near Jupiter being riddled with plague. The plague, it turns out, was being disseminated by minions of the Cybermen ahead of an impending invasion by the last remnants of cyborg race—who’ve discovered the asteroid is actually a planet of gold, one of their deadliest weaknesses.
But it’s actually radically different to the story that was originally pitched by Gerry Davis, the co-creator of the Cybermen, as “Return of the Cybermen.” Davis’ script was heavily rewritten by script editor Robert Holmes, giving it a new name and a new life when it eventually made its way to screens. But now “Return” is, well, returning, with Big Finish adapting Davis’ original storyline as a full-cast audio drama.
Featuring Tom Baker reprising his role as the Doctor, “Return of the Cybermen” is penned by John Dorney, and while it’s more heavily inspired by Davis’ darker, spookier original script, there will still be some tweaks to it. No cast beyond Baker has been confirmed yet, for example, but there’s a chance the Doctor may not be joined by his season 12 companions, Elisabeth Sladen and Ian Marter’s Sarah Jane and Harry, as both actors have sadly passed away at this point.
What other tweaks could come to this famous “lost” script? We’ll have a while to wait and see—Return of the Cybermen won’t release until November 2021, but is available for pre-order now.
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