The first-ever Doctor Who story written by Russell T. Davies is getting a full-cast audio adaptation courtesy of Big Finish. Davies first wrote Doctor Who: Mind of the Hodiac back in 1986 for the 6th Doctor (Colin Baker) and his second companion Melanie Bush (Bonnie Langford, the most chipper person in British show business), who were the reigning Doctor and Companion on the TV show at the time. Both Baker and Langford will star in the audio drama production. Davies' original script will be adapted to audio, and the second concluding episode will be written by Scott Handcock from detailed original notes written by Davies at the time for how the story would end.
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!"
Back in 1986, Davies might have written "Doctor Who: Mind of the Hodiac on spec or as a tryout, since he was still working as a graphic artist at the BBC and had yet to sell his first script. He finally got his first TV series produced in 1991, a YA Science Fiction comedy-thriller at the BBC called Dark Season, which featured a teen Kate Winslett in her first TV role. As everyone knows, Davies ultimately went on to become the first showrunner of the revived Doctor Who in 2005
"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," said Colin Baker. "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."
Bonnie 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."
Doctor Who: Mind of the Hodiac is available to pre-order from Big Finish as a collector's edition CD box set (£14.99) or as a digital download (£12.99).
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