Third Doctor meets Cybermen as Big Finish upgrades Doctor Who audiobooks

Doctor Who - The Audio Novels: Scourge of the Cybermen
Claudia Gironi artwork

Big Finish Productions already redefined audio drama with its full-cast Doctor Who adventures that kept the dream alive for fans in the lean years between the sci-fi TV show’s original run in 1963-89 and its return in 2005. Now it’s giving the audiobook an upgrade, with original Doctor Who audiobooks that may not have a full cast but aren’t lacking in the star power or production values.

Set for release in July 2021, “Scourge of the Cybermen,” written by Simon Guerrier and narrated by Jon Culshaw, is the first of six titles in the new Doctor Who – The Audio Novels range. This six-hour epic tells the terrifying story of the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith as they battle the cybernetic monstrosities on a futuristic off-world sea base.

This enhanced audiobook also features specially composed music and sound effects, plus a guest appearance by Nicholas Briggs as the voice of the Cybermen. 

Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor never faced the Cybermen on screen, except for brief cameo appearances in “Carnival of Monsters” and “The Five Doctors,” and another Big Finish tale. This first installment in Big Finish’s new range of original Doctor Who audiobooks is a great way to rectify that oversight.

“I grew up reading the Doctor Who Target novelizations,” said producer David Richardson. “They were, and remain to this day, very close to my heart. And it occurred to me – what if we were to do audiobooks of brand-new adventures that are authentic in every way to the era? The kind of stories that we could have had on TV. And here they are! ‘Scourge of the Cybermen’ is the first, a dark, thrilling tale that absolutely drips with atmosphere and menace. And there are many more treats to come!

“These stories are huge not only in their imagination, but also in their duration. Each will last at least six hours, with each script lasting 60,000 words. A huge undertaking – but one suited to the immense talents of our chosen narrators, with the brilliant and versatile Jon Culshaw headlining the first.”

Culshaw added: “There are so many stand-out moments in this script. It’s a story which builds tremendous atmosphere; it’s very ominous, very brooding and it really stirs the theatre of the mind. You do see the scenes playing out in your imagination. Some of them are as beautiful as they are tantalizing and mysterious.” 

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