Thursday, 12 February 2009

Doctor Who: The Lost Stories

Big Finish is to launch a new series of audio adventures in January 2010 with Doctor Who: The Lost Stories. Colin Baker stars as the Sixth Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri in these adaptations of scripts that were commissioned but never made for television in the mid-80s.

“It’s well known that, when Doctor Who was given an enforced hiatus in 1984, plans were very advanced on the upcoming Season 23,” says Lost Stories producer David Richardson. “None of those scripts ever made it to the screen.

“Some of them - like The Nightmare Fair by Graham Williams and Mission to Magnus by Philip Martin - were novelised. Others, however, have remained locked away in their respective writers lofts for well over 20 years. It’s taken a lot of (very enjoyable) detective work, but I’ve managed to source seven unmade adventures that will now finally come brilliantly to life on audio.

“When I phoned Colin Baker to propose the idea he couldn’t have been more delighted. In fact, he’d actually planned to suggest the very same thing to me a couple of weeks beforehand during the recording of The Raincloud Man, but had just been distracted by the day’s work.
“The writers too responded enthusiastically, without exception. Many of them said that these scripts represented unfinished business, and this was a welcome chance to finally air them to an audience of Doctor Who fans.”

The full line-up will be revealed in a forthcoming issue of Doctor Who Magazine, but Richardson has confirmed that the first two entries in the Lost Stories will be the aforementioned The Nightmare Fair (which features The Celestial Toymaker) and Mission to Magnus (in which profit-hungry slug Sil allies himself with the Ice Warriors).

Mission to Magnus has been adapted for audio by original author, Philip Martin. However, as the author of The Nightmare Fair, Graham Williams is sadly no longer with us, the adaptation has been handled by Big Finish director, John Ainsworth. “Working on the script has been great fun. I have made every effort to remain true to the original TV script but have also been able to include extra material from Graham’s own novelisation of the story. Hopefully listeners will get a good sense of what the story would have been like had it been made for TV.”

News of the project broke first in DWM, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I’ve spent the last week fielding emails from many people, all desperate to know what the final five stories are!” says Richardson. “And, you know, I’d love to tell them. I’d just like to get it off my chest! But for now we can’t say I’m afraid - not until final scripts are delivered, and studio dates are booked, and everything is set in stone. But keep looking at the DWM news pages, as we’ll be announcing the Final Five in there first!”

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