Former Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss teases that an unmade episode he penned from David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor era may find new life as an expanded media production in the Whoniverse. The Sherlock co-creator and actor has penned nine episodes throughout the show’s revival, writing for Tennant, Christopher Eccleston, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi’s incarnations of the Time Lord, alongside several expanded media novels and audio dramas. Gatiss has also appeared in many on-screen roles, including season 3 villain Professor Lazarus and Captain Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart, grandfather to Nicholas Courtney’s classic companion Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart.
When speaking to RadioTimes.com, Gatiss revealed how a scrapped Doctor Who story concept he developed for the latter half of Tennant’s tenure could be revived in a new format. Originally conceived for season 4, “The Suicide Exhibition” was a World War II-set story where the Doctor would face Nazis in the British Museum in an Indiana Jones-inspired adventure. While the story was passed over in favor of “The Fires of Pompeii,” Gatiss revealed that he still has an original draft that audio drama production company Big Finish has expressed interest in adapting. Read his comments below:
“[I wrote] two drafts – one set in the First World War, then Nazis… I just moved a war on. It’s called The Suicide Exhibition, set in the British Museum, it’s a sort of Indiana Jones-type story. It’s rather good, I think. I do [still have a copy]. Big Finish has expressed an interest. It’s all gone very quiet, though. I’m waiting for that emergency phone call!”
Big Finish Have Brought Various Unproduced Doctor Who Tales To Life
Big Finish has a history of bringing Doctor Who stories that were never brought to television screens, delving deep into the history of the Whoniverse to revive scrapped stories. These include original drafts of Tom Baker’s celebrated Dalek origin tale, Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor’s long-lost season 23 battle with the 60s and 60th-anniversary villain The Toymaker (voiced by David Bailie), and scrapped post-season 26 adventures featuring Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor. Therefore, Big Finish’s Doctor Who – The Lost Stories range has helped restore classic-era tales that were omitted for one reason or another. With releases continuing to this day, Big Finish’s dramas give classic Doctors the chance to further flesh out their respective eras.
Though “The Suicide Exhibition” may have been developed for the revived series, The Lost Stories range is not just limited to unmade classic era scripts. During the Doctor Who: Lockdown!, returning showrunner Russell T Davies shared various pages from Sixth Doctor and Mel Bush’s (Bonnie Langford) adventure script, “Mind of the Hodiac,” which he envisioned early in his writing career. Big Finish produced a 2022 audio adaptation of Davies’ script featuring Baker, Langford, and The Fall of the House of Usher‘s T’nia Miller.
While Gatiss would eventually pen WWII-set Doctor Who adventures with season 5’s “Victory of the Daleks,” there are questions about what foes “The Suicide Exhibition” could have thrown at the Tenth Doctor. But with Big Finish expressing interest in seeing the tale brought to life, it may not be long to see the adventure brought to life. Furthermore, while Tennant may be leading Doctor Who‘s 60th-anniversary, his previous experience with Big Finish could see him reprise his role for Gatiss’ adventure.