Two (sort of) unmade Fourth Doctor stories will be released by Big Finish later this year, starring Tom Baker as the Doctor, Sadie Miller as Sarah Jane Smith, and Christopher Naylor as Harry Sullivan. And the audio company has revealed the great covers, and synopses for them.
Doctor Who and The Ark unveils the original script for The Ark in Space — before it was extensively rewritten by the series’ then-script editor, Robert Holmes.
In Daleks! Genesis of Terror, listeners can hear Terry Nation’s first draft for episode one of the iconic TV story, Genesis of the Daleks, with Nicholas Briggs reading the original stage directions.
Here are the synopses for them:
Daleks! Genesis of Terror
Duration: 120 minutes approx.
Released: May 2023, exclusively from the Big Finish website.
In a paved garden outside time, the Doctor is presented with an awful prophecy: the conquest of all time by the Daleks. To prevent this terrible fate, the Time Lords have decided on a radical course — to weaponise time themselves and destroy the Daleks before they were ever created. And they want the Doctor to carry out this extraordinary task!
Soon, he and his companions Sarah and Harry are on the battle-ravaged planet Skaro, where a war has been raging for centuries. The war is now waged by teenagers using the last surviving weapons. Everything is desperate. But the Kaled’s chief scientist has a new weapon that he thinks might just change everything…
A full cast bring to exhilarating life Terry Nation’s original draft for what became the first episode of Genesis of the Daleks — voted by readers of Doctor Who Magazine to be the greatest Doctor Who story of all time!
As a bonus extra, BBC broadcaster and journalist Samira Ahmed also interviews Philip Hinchcliffe – Doctor Who‘s producer at the time.
Doctor Who and The Ark
Duration: 120 minutes approx.
Released: June 2023, exclusively from the Big Finish website.
A space station orbiting Earth has lain dormant for 8,476 years. Its systems are clogged with dust, so the human crew kept frozen in cryogenic storage have never woken up.When the Doctor, Sarah and Harry arrive to resuscitate the sleepers, they discover something else on board. A small, golf-ball like object gives Harry an electric shock, and has a more sinister impact on the awakening crew. Soon, the Doctor and his friends are battling to save the space station — and Earth — from a ravenous puffball!
Now you can hear the original version of the story that became TV classic The Ark in Space, adapted by Jonathon Morris from the scripts by John Lucarotti.
Producer Simon Guerrier said:
“The Daleks! Genesis of Terror script is largely the same basic story [as seen on TV] but with some key differences that are really striking – which I won’t spoil here! This has been thrilling to work on and quite unusual.
“Normally, we’d adapt the original scripts to make them work on audio. But here the actors worked from the pages Terry Nation typed himself, which we’ll include with the story so you can read them yourself!
“For Doctor Who and The Ark, we’ve worked from the original scripts written by John Lucarotti, which are very different from what ended up on TV. The script editor at the time, Robert Holmes, effectively rewrote it from scratch. But there’s a ghost of the original in what made it to TV. Plus, Doctor Who and The Ark includes one of the best cliff-hangers ever!”
Adapter Jonathan Morris added:
“This is the chance to hear a Doctor Who story from the writer of [the TV stories] Marco Polo, The Aztecs, and The Massacre. It’s a story that was presumed to be completely lost and it paved the way for one of the all-time classics, The Ark in Space.“
It has the same basic setting, and a couple of similar set-pieces, but it’s otherwise a very, very different story. Even if you think you know what it’s about from summaries given in behind-the-scenes guides you don’t know it at all. It is a strange and wild ride along a road not taken.”
Doctor Who – The Lost Stories: Doctor Who and The Ark is available to pre-order for £14.99 (as a CD box set and download) or £12.99 (download only).
Daleks! Genesis of Terror can also be pre-ordered from £10.99.