It’s time for the one and only Third Doctor lost story: The Mega. Told across six parts and featuring the full UNIT crew, the story could’ve been a lost classic for my favourite era of the show. Sadly it’s a good example of the occasional really dull and overly long stories you used to get in the era. It’s not a total lost cause or anything, but this could’ve stayed lost and I wouldn’t have been all that bothered…Continue reading
So we had a bad 2nd Doctor Lost Story, then a good one, then a bad one, so sure enough the next (and final) one is a good one again! “Lords of the Red Planet” is an Ice Warriors origin story of sorts and was originally written by Brian Hayles, the man who created the Martian species, but it was eventually dropped in favour of a more traditional “base under siege” Ice Warriors story instead (“The Seeds of Death”) It has a larger cast than most of these earlier Lost Stories and generally is great fun, so let’s take a look!
A sense a pattern emerging, as the first Troughton era Lost Story was pretty awful, the second was good, and now… Yeah. This isn’t good. While it’s not as bad as Prison in Space, and certainly not as painfully insulting to the senses, Queen of Time instead commits the cardinal sin of being boring. Really, really boring. It was originally written by Brian Hayles, the same man who originally wrote the similarly boring Dark Planet Lost Story… so let’s take a look!
After the bit of a disaster that was “Prison in Space” (by which I mean complete disaster), it wasn’t hard for Rosemariners to be good, or at least an improvement. I’m happy to say that although the story didn’t light the world on fire, it was a fun story, and not sexist to the extreme! Hooray! Let’s take a look then, at this story from Donald Tosh, the script editor of several latter First Doctor stories, and is also the man who re-wrote his original script into this audio, so extra authentication!
The Lost Stories range reaches the Second Doctor and boy… it gets off to some kind of start, that’s for sure. I can only imagine how this story would’ve came across on TV at the time, let alone retrospectively. Credit to Simon Guerrier for not changing much of the original script because I can now truly look back on this and go “Yeah, I’m glad that didn’t get made”. So with all that being said, let’s take a look at the frankly sexist Prison in Space, and then suddenly gain a new respect for The Krotons (the story that ended up replacing it when this script was rejected after author Dick Sharples refused to do re-writes).
Before we get to the Second Doctor’s Lost Stories, I want to cover this “Lost Story”, which was a pilot Terry Nation wrote for a standalone Dalek TV Series. It was bundled with the first Second Doctor Lost Story, but given its strong ties to First Doctor TV Serial “The Daleks’ Master Plan” I thought I’d include it here, in between the first two Doctors, although it will be stored in the Spin-Off section, obviously. So how can you have The Daleks in their own TV story? Well, just have them as the central antagonists and build a cast of characters to fight them! But does it work?
The run of First Doctor Lost Stories comes to an end with a story set during that rare Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki period of the show, and a script that was clearly shot down at the due to budget! (Actually turns out it was shot down due to being too similar to another story they were developing, The Hidden Planet by Malcolm Hulke, which ironically also wouldn’t see the light of day) Large crystal cities, people literally made of light and shadow, several scenes of people flying… It just wouldn’t have worked. At all. Still, does it work as an adapted “advanced audiobook”? That’s the main question! Let’s find out…
When it comes to lost Doctor Who stories that were actually made, Marco Polo is often held in high regard, and it’s fair to say that Farewell, Great Macedon shares a lot with it. Not just as a historical story, as many Hartnell stories were, but as a longer story with lots of political intrigue, murder (of which our leads are often falsely accused) and a knowledge of history that must not be changed. With just three cast members and six episodes of mostly talking, does Macedon manage to hold your attention? Read on!
Next up on our look at the Lost Stories is the very oddly named “The Fragile Yellow Arc of Fragrance”, and is actually quite the oddity. It was completely scripted and pitched as a single-episode story (the serial format hadn’t been set in stone at the time of writing) but the pitch was shot down. Really it was only adapted here because the original script still existed and Big Finish was adapting writer Moris Farhi’s other story (Farewell, Great Macedon) so why not? Well… why not indeed, I guess! It’s an odd story, but is it a good story? Let’s find out!
Time to kick off my look at the whole of Big Finish’s Lost Stories range. Although after the First Doctor I’ll be looking at them in the order they were released (per Doctor) I wanted to start off with Luxor, even though this story contains references to two other Lost Stories, because it was originally going to be the 2nd ever story before it was replaced with a little known story called “The Daleks”! That makes it extremely interesting and technically the earliest Lost Story to be recreated … It’s a shame it’s a bit crap, really…