Big Finish dusting off 1980s Doctor Who stories left on the drawing board

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Television

Big Finish Productions is no stranger to re-creating “lost” Doctor Who stories that never made it to the TV screen. Now, the production company specializing in full-cast audio dramas is dusting off a pair of unused stories from the Fifth Doctor and Sixth Doctor eras of the 1980s.

“Nightmare Country” and “The Ultimate Evil” didn’t get past the pre-production stage, but they’re coming back in November 2019 as full-cast audio productions starring Peter Davison and Colin Baker, respectively.

In “The Ultimate Evil,” Colin Baker’s colourful Sixth Doctor and Nicola Bryant’s Peri are on a holiday gone awry, while “Nightmare Country” reunites Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor with companions Tegan, played by Janet Fielding, and Turlough, played by Mark Strickson.

“The Ultimate Evil” by Wally K Daly:
Doctor Who: The Ultimate Evil

The Doctor and Peri’s holiday plans go awry when they cross paths with the slimy super-salesman Mordant and his scheme to start a war.

Wally K Daly said: “I wrote ‘The Ultimate Evil’ for TV in 1984 but sadly it was never made because Michael Grade decided to take Doctor Who off the air. I adapted it as a novel some years later, but am delighted to bring it back now as an audio play. It’s proof that it’s impossible to kill Doctor Who!”

“Nightmare Country” by Stephen Gallagher:

The Doctor wakes up on a planet of relics, a dead world, a hostile world… He has no memory of who he is, or how he got to be here.

Doctor Who: Nightmare Country

He’d better remember soon, because the very structure of reality is at risk and it all has something to do with that strange blue tomb with the light on top.

Stephen Gallagher said: “’Nightmare Country’ was my detailed pitch for Season 21 and would have been my third story for the show, but for a terse note from the production office that read, ‘You’ve sent us another million-dollar movie and we just can’t do them’. Some ideas you can recycle, some parts you can reuse; but where do you find another show like Who? So my million-dollar movie went into the files and I moved on, until the day my and the Doctor’s paths crossed again. Sometimes, it seems, you just have to stay ready and keep the faith.”

David Richardson, producer of Doctor Who – The Lost Stories, added: “Can it really be 10 years since The Lost Stories range began? It was one of my first commissions as a producer at Big Finish as I’d proposed to Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery the idea of bringing these missing treasures from Doctor Who’s history to audio. The original intention was to make all of the episodes that would have been Season 23, and although ‘The Nightmare Fair’ and ‘Mission to Magnus’ were adapted and released on audio, at the time we were unable to secure ‘The Ultimate Evil.'”

“Wind forward to 2019 and we now have Wally adapting his own script of ‘The Ultimate Evil,’ which will be released alongside Stephen Gallagher’s ‘Nightmare Country.’ The latter was brought to me by Guy Adams who has script edited Stephen’s adaptation, and it’s a wonderful piece of Season 21 mind-blowing fantasy. How brilliant to be able to launch them both in the range’s 10th anniversary year!


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Jayson Peters
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