Former and forthcoming Doctor Who boss Russell T Davies's lost story is finally being released.
Some 20 years before he brought The Doctor back to screens, Davies wrote his first Doctor Who adventure that… went nowhere for a long time. It's called 'Mind of the Hodiac', written in 1985.
Davies adapted his 1980s screenplay into an audio drama with director Scott Handcock, and it's now available to listen as both a physical CD (£14.99) and a digital file (£12.99) from Big Finish in both the UK and the US.
In this serial, a mysterious creature known as The Hodiac is manipulating the global stock market to raise some quick cash for a nefarious purpose — to hire out the galaxy's most notorious mercenaries.
The Doctor (Colin Baker) and his trusty companion Mel Bush (Bonnie Langford) get involved when they find an unusual connection between The Hodiac and an ordinary family on earth experiencing psychic trauma.
"Who would have thought, as I sat there in that little flat in Roath in Cardiff, bashing away on an electric typewriter my mother had bought me for my 21st birthday…?" Davies announced in Doctor Who Magazine.
“Obviously I was writing it in the hope it would be made – and here we are, all these years later. This whole thing… it's very strange that I'm coming back to Doctor Who [on television] at the same time, because none of this was planned. But it feels all as one. It feels like a whole. It feels like it was meant to be."
Sixth Doctor actor Colin Baker also shared his excitement about bringing RTD's lost vision to life: "When I heard Russell T Davies had found a script he'd written in the 1980s and that it was going to be released by Big Finish, I honestly didn't think it was going to be for me – but it was!
"Bonnie Langford and I were playing our parts on TV when he wrote it so it was a genuine honour to know that I was the first Doctor he had written a script for.
"'Mind of the Hodiac' is a jolly good adventure. It was also interesting as in the script you can see the germs of the writer he would become. It's a very simple but clever construction with ordinary people and extraordinary things."
This audio drama is a hint, perhaps, of what's to come when RTD returns as Doctor Who producer for the show's 60th anniversary next year.
The writer recently promised "brand new ways of telling the stories" on the way, adding to Radio Times: "I wouldn't go back if it wasn't feeling new. But that's the thing about Doctor Who – every episode is new. Every single episode."
Doctor Who's next special, 'Legend of the Sea Devils', premieres on April 17 on BBC One in the UK. In the US, the show airs on BBC America, with series 1-12 available on HBO Max.