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March 19th, 2020 23 comments

Doctor Who The Lost Stories Return of the Cybermen

A new lost story from the distant past of Doctor Who will emerge from the shadows as a full-cast audio drama due for future release by Big Finish.

The Lost Stories range is a series of adventures originally written for the television series but never produced – until now. Previous releases include stories featuring many familiar enemies of the Doctor, including The First Sontarans, Mission to Magnus, Thin Ice and The Daleks – The Destroyers.

Now it’s the turn of the Cybermen, as an unmade script from the pen of their creator Gerry Davis, Return of the Cybermen, is realised in its original form for the very first time. Initially submitted in 1974 for Tom Baker’s first season, it was substantially rewritten by the series’ then script editor, Robert Holmes, before airing as Revenge of the Cybermen.

Return of the Cybermen is now available for pre-order as a collector’s edition 2-disc box set or download from just £12.99, exclusively at

Producer David Richardson explained how the production came about: “I’d known of Return of the Cybermen for many years, but it was only relatively recently that I was able to source Gerry Davis’s script thanks to some great detective work by archivist Richard Bignell!

“John Dorney’s adaptation stays true to the original script and the era, though there have been some very minor changes to bring it in line with the kind of amends we believe Robert Holmes would have asked for. Little things that make it sit comfortably in Season 12.

“It’s rather different in tone to Revenge of the Cybermen – darker, scarier and more reminiscent of claustrophobic 1960s Cybermen tales like The Moonbase and The Invasion.”

Director Nicholas Briggs added: “It was interesting working with Tom on this, because he noticed the difference in style immediately. This is Doctor Who as Gerry Davis imagined it in 1974, and it’s very much like he wrote Doctor Who in the mid-1960s. So the script didn’t quite have the same levels of emotional sophistication and wit that was present either in what Robert Holmes eventually crafted into Revenge of the Cybermen, or certainly the more recent Fourth Doctor Adventures we’ve made on audio.

“I imagined what it would have been like, back in the day, if Tom had been presented with this script to rehearse and record. If you look at the script book of the first Tom Baker season, you can see masses of line changes that were added by the cast or director during rehearsals and shooting in all those stories. Some of them are the best, most memorable moments, so I reasoned that it would be a faithful process to take on board Tom’s suggestions for this production of Return of the Cybermen.

“We had loads of fun, as usual, with Tom finding it particularly amusing when I was directing him with a Cyberman voice effect. At one point, he asked, ‘Is he talking to me?’ which made us all laugh out loud!”

Further information about this unique release will be in the forthcoming issue of Doctor Who Magazine, due for publication on 2 April 2020.

Return of the Cybermen is now available for pre-order as a collector’s edition 2-disc box set or download from just £12.99, exclusively at the Big Finish website.

Big Finish listeners can save money by pre-ordering a bundle of forthcoming adventures from The Lost Stories range, including both Return of the Cybermen and The Doomsday Contract, from just £25.

Categorised under: Big Finish, CD, The 4th Doctor


  • James Paul

    March 30th, 2020 - 11:43am

    I am profoundly pleased in millions and billions of ways to learn that this story is been released, on CD in its original form I have read Gerry Davis,s original script for this story millions and billions of times and in my serious and honest view it is millions and billions of times better than the bloody terrible and bloody awful broadcast version which was shoddy, crap and also a piece of melted chocolate it was a bloody mess. In the original script the Cybermen took control of space station nerva in an attempte to destroy the nearby planet of gold which was nameless in Gerry Davis,s original storyline an dalso the planet off gold was only featured in episode 3 of the original script and it was populated by human gold prospectors whow ere trapped on the planet of gold and trying to get back to Earth. It is a damn shame in millions and billions of way we never got the original script that Gerry Davis wrote for this Cybermen story.

  • Anonymous

    March 21st, 2020 - 9:59am

    Do Big Finish still offer discounts on ‘bundles’? I can find no links on their website. I’m thinking of catching up with the 4th Doctors adventures.

  • Jason Z

    March 20th, 2020 - 1:31pm

    At the very end it mentions The Doomsday Contract too, which I didn’t know about… unless I missed another announcement…

  • Dunc

    March 20th, 2020 - 1:30pm

    Do big finish take the payment upfront or when it’s ready for dispatch?

    • Whofan44

      March 20th, 2020 - 2:59pm


    • Ryan

      March 20th, 2020 - 3:10pm

      Depends how you pay – if it’s by paypal then upfront, if it’s by card then when it’s dispatched! 🙂

    • booboo

      March 20th, 2020 - 3:13pm

      I believe big finish take the money up front regardless?

    • Anonymous

      March 20th, 2020 - 8:58pm


  • Nick r

    March 20th, 2020 - 10:30am

    Nov 2021 we’ve hit plenty of time then

  • Dalek Z

    March 19th, 2020 - 6:12pm

    I never knew about this, I love Revenge of the Cybermen so I’d be interested to hear this one especially as Tom is doing it!

  • Anonymous

    March 19th, 2020 - 5:12pm

    I’m very interested in this one. Considering how bad the version we got was. The Older 60’s Cybermen stories are much better and Revenge has never felt right, I would have preferred a direct recreation of the original script and not adapted. Also Recasting Sarah Jane?. I don’t think so.

    • Gordon

      March 19th, 2020 - 6:58pm

      Probably be Her daughter sadie

    • Anonymous

      March 19th, 2020 - 7:29pm

      Wouldn’t mind then

    • SJF

      March 19th, 2020 - 9:42pm

      She was at the recording so it’s looking likely.

    • Anonymous

      March 19th, 2020 - 11:35pm

      I am just worried big finish would go a little bit further and try doing the Sarah Jane adventures without Liz. Cause this is nearly verging that.

  • Anonymous

    March 19th, 2020 - 4:25pm

    Fits into series 12? Does that mean a Sarah and Harry recast?

    • Anonymous

      March 19th, 2020 - 4:32pm


    • Anonymous

      March 19th, 2020 - 5:14pm

      I can’t picture anyone doing an Ian Marter voice.

    • Anonymous

      March 19th, 2020 - 6:40pm

      Since the recast of Daisy Ashford (daughter to Caroline John) as Liz Shaw, I’ve always thought that if Sadie Miller were to agree, it’s only a matter of time before they put her in her mother’s shoes to play (young) Sarah Jane. And as soon as they’ve recast Sarah, there’s no reason not to recast Harry since Ian Marter passed away much longer ago – it’d be just like the Barbara, Ben and 3rd Doctor recasts in that respect and the only thing stopping it from happening is the fact that there’s no Sarah so no existing continuity gap they could fit him into.
      Having said that, they also said that if Daisy had said no, they wouldn’t have gotten a different actor for Liz – I imagine the same would be true of Sadie and Sarah-Jane. We did see the full cast of a Fourth Doctor Adventure in Big Finish’s 2019 Merry Christmas montage, which included Tom, Sadie (on the edge of shot, only visible when the camera zoomed out, as though they were teasing us with a subtle spoiler) and no other recognisable companion actors – which would support the theory that she has been employed as the new Sarah-Jane!

    • Anonymous

      March 19th, 2020 - 8:01pm

      I forgot that Sadie was an actress/writer. I can see that working. I haven’t listened to Daisy as Liz Shaw, but I’ve heard good things. Who would voice Harry though?

    • Jasper Teoh

      March 19th, 2020 - 10:00pm

      I would love for Sarah Jane to be played by Sadie Miller (Elizabeth Sladen’s daughter). I ain’t sure who would fit Harry Sullivan.

    • The Ergon

      March 21st, 2020 - 9:35am

      Nigel Havers could voice Harry.

  • Dr who 101

    March 19th, 2020 - 4:01pm



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