Doctor Who fans will finally get to experience a story developed but never made for television in the 1970s – a Fourth Doctor adventure written by famed TV producer John Lloyd.
Lloyd is now known as creator of Not the Nine O’Clock News and co-creator Spitting Image, as well as for producing Blackadder and QI.
But in the late 1970s, Lloyd was the flat-mate of Doctor Who script editor Douglas Adams (of Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy fame) and pitched a story for the BBC sci-fi series, The Doomsday Contract.
Though the story was never produced, it will finally see the light of day as an audio play produced by Big Finish, with Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and John Leeson reprising their roles as the Doctor, Romana and K-9 and writer Nev Fountain adapting Lloyd’s pitch.
A synopsis for The Doomsday Contract reads:
Earth – a small, insignificant planet. Entirely devoid of intelligent life.
At least that’s according to the legal documents. The Doctor, Romana and K9 find themselves at the centre of a most unusual trial.
A intergalactic corporation want to bulldoze the planet for a development project. Only a previous court’s preservation document is standing in their way. The Doctor has been summoned as an expert witness. If he can prove Earth contains intelligent life, the whole world will be saved.
But with a fortune at stake… it was never going to be that simple.
Director Nicholas Briggs said: “The Doomsday Contract is a tremendous example of the best kind of story from that era of Doctor Who where the brief was to veer from overt violence and threat to wit and fun.
“When I was a teenager, I was far too serious for this sort of thing. But what we have in this story is a tremendously witty script by Nev Fountain that made me laugh out loud when I read it. But it’s not simply a comedy. It’s loaded with threat and adventure and brilliant characters all mixed up in a really special story. I loved it.”
Doctor Who: The Doomsday Contract is due for release in 2021 and is now available for pre-order exclusively at bigfinish.com.
Big Finish recently announced that it would be temporarily suspending studio sessions to help combat the coronavirus pandemic, though the company is still in active production using remote recording.
It has also postponed its annual Big Finish Day event and will be adopting a ‘digital-first’ strategy with a delay to physical releases in order to safeguard the health of warehouse workers.
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