On the 55th anniversary of the form-shifting Doctor Who, one of the alien’s former portrayers is trying his hand at a new story for the Doctor that he’s been working on for a long time. Tom Baker, the 84-year-old who played the fourth Doctor, dreamed up a slightly insane idea for an adventure back in the ‘70s with Ian Marter, who played his on-screen companion. It was shelved, possibly for being too intense, for decades. Now it’s finally coming to fans.
According to io9, the story of Doctor Who and the mysterious Scratchman is becoming a novel. Adapting their ‘70s film script into a novel, Baker is working with BBC Books to bring the story of Scratchman (who was basically the Devil and was to be played by horror icon Vincent Price) to the modern age. When we say basically the Devil, we mean it.
The official synopsis for the book includes the line “With the fate of the universe hanging in the balance, the Doctor must battle an ancient force from another dimension, one who claims to be the Devil.” So, yes, the remote Scottish island on which the fourth Doctor and his allies are vacationing is definitely in for some spooky -- and possibly religious -- turmoil. Evil scarecrows, robotic Cybors, and a demonic villain are the new foes supplementing the familiar Daleks and Cybermen in this story.
Apparently, the climax of the story takes place in the universe’s largest pinball machine. Stephen King this ain’t -- though Scratchman does have a Pennywise-esque ability to know and exploit his target’s fears.
The 300-page Scratchman comes out on Jan. 24 at the same time as an audiobook version read by Baker.