Christopher Eccleston had a surprisingly short run playing Doctor Who’s time-travelling lead, with the Ninth Doctor bowing out after just 13 episodes before David Tennant’s Time Lord took over.
And this short TARDIS tenure meant that Eccleston didn’t actually face some of the Doctor’s most classic foes. Sure, he tackled Autons and Daleks, but for years, fans have been wondering what it’d be like for him to take on the deadly Cybermen, a mainstay of the series faced by (almost) every Doctor at one time or another.
And now these fans will have their questions answered, with Eccleston’s much-hyped return to Doctor Who – for a series of Big Finish audio adventures – featuring a clash between Mondas’ deadliest export and the Ninth Doctor. And for some reason, the Cybermen are hanging out on the set of Fritz Lang’s celebrated 1927 sci-fi movie Metropolis…
“I know everyone was very keen for the Ninth Doctor to have an encounter with the Cybermen, and as they were the only Doctor and monster I hadn’t written for at Big Finish, I was very keen to be the one to write it!” writer John Dorney said in a release.
“It was a real honour getting to script their meeting… particularly as it gave me the chance to dive into my love for the movies and write a bit of a celebrity historical.”
Voiced by Nicholas Briggs (who plays both the Cybermen and the Daleks in the TV series), the Cybermen will face the Ninth Doctor in the third volume of The Ninth Doctor Adventures, which will be available for purchase in November, a few months after the earlier volumes are released.
But the return of old foes isn’t the only fan-friendly team-up coming our way – because Big Finish has also revealed that a later volume of the series (released next February) will see the Ninth Doctor join forces with none other than Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, an iconic figure from Doctor Who history who appeared alongside Doctors from the 1960s through to the 1980s including Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Sylvester McCoy.
Played by the late great Nicholas Courtenay in the series (and for a cameo in the Sarah-Jane Adventures in 2008), the Brigadier will be played by impressionist and actor Jon Culshaw for the Ninth Doctor Adventures.
“The Brigadier is an iconic character from the Classic Series, whereas the Ninth Doctor arrives at the very forefront of the New Series,” said writer Roy Gill.
“They may initially seem very different, but there’s an interesting connection: both forthright and deeply decent, they’ve been through conflict and are still fighting for what’s right… It was a privilege to write their first meeting for Big Finish.”
“It’s been so enjoyable creating a whole new era for the Ninth Doctor, and I think the scripts really succeed in defining that bold new start,” added producer David Richardson.
“We are talking the Ninth Doctor pre-Rose. These are the adventures some time after his regeneration, travelling alone, starting to discover himself after all that time being the War Doctor.”
In other words, we’re in uncharted territory for Eccleston’s Doctor – which leaves plenty of room to fill in a few monster and ally-shaped gaps on his Time Lord CV.
The Ninth Doctor Adventures will be released by Big Finish between May 2021 and February 2022, with volumes available as physical purchases and digital downloads via the Big Finish website. If you’re looking for something to watch, check out our TV Guide or visit our Sci-Fi hub for all the latest news.