The first ever Doctor Who story written by Russell T Davies is finally seeing the light of day, with a full cast audio adaptation courtesy of Big Finish.
Mind of the Hodiac was written by Davies back in 1986 for Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor and Bonnie Langford’s companion Melanie Bush, both of whom are returning to lend their voices to the production.
A second episode will also be included in the Big Finish release to conclude the story, written by Scott Handcock and based on the detailed original notes made by Davies at the time.
The synopsis reads: “In the depths of space, the mysterious Hodiac is manipulating the Galactic Stock Exchange to raise money. His aim? To hire mercenaries for a deadly quest across the stars.
“Meanwhile, on Earth, an ordinary British family is plagued by a series of psychic events. The one thing connecting these events is a magnificent patchwork coat –which just so happens to belong to the Doctor!”
Of course, Doctor Who super-fan Davies ultimately went on to become showrunner for the sci-fi drama, revitalising it for a new generation in 2005 with stars Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper.
Meanwhile, Baker starred in three series of the show between 1984 and 1986, with Langford joining him for two episodes before sticking around for several more adventures alongside Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor.
Baker said: “The fact that one of our stories was written by Russell T Davies who, as a young fan of the show in the 1980s, was sufficiently enthused to write a story for the original ‘Mel B’ and me which has emerged blinking into the 21st century, is the icing on the cake. No one could deny that Russell is a master storyteller and even in his embryonic writing form has summoned from the imaginative ether a firecracker of a yarn.”
He continued: “And I am so glad he wrote it for me and Bonnie and was not tempted to ‘update’ the Doctor or the companion. What is extraordinary is that that you can see the future writer of The Second Coming, Casanova and Cucumber flexing his young creativity to examine what happens when the ordinary and the everyday suddenly come face to face with the extraordinary and the far from every day.”
Langford added: “Doctor Who is such a huge community and it’s a community that’s not only worldwide, it’s also generation wide. It brings families and generations together. When you think that someone with such a wonderful and extensive and luminous body of work such as Russell remembers this show (which involved Colin and me) with such fondness, it reminds you of how privileged we are to be part of that history –and that personal history of so many people.
“To think that Russell – who is such a lovely, lovely person – watched the show when he was a kid and then got the opportunity to reimagine it and bring it back to the world it’s in now, to give it new life (which it needed), and yet still has great affection for the old days, the classic lot that we are. Nothing is ever over.”
Mind of the Hodiac is available to pre-order from the Big Finish website, either as a collector’s edition CD box set (£14.99) or as a digital download (£12.99).