When Big Finish recently announced that it would be bringing the original, previously untold version of the Doctor Who season 12 Tom Baker story Revenge of the Cybermen to life as an audio drama, there were questions as to whether the Doctor would still be joined by his companions of the era, Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan. Now we know they will, and they’ll be played by new, but familiar voices.
Elisabeth Sladen and Ian Marter, who played Sarah Jane and Harry on Doctor Who, have sadly passed away at this point, but Big Finish has now confirmed that Sadie Miller and Christopher Naylor will play the roles in Return of the Cybermen, alongside the returning Tom Baker as the fourth incarnation of the Doctor.
Naylor has worked with Baker before across multiple Big Finish Fourth Doctor adventures, but Miller is taking on a special role: she will be lending her voice to the iconic Who character inhabited by her mother since 1973, across TV and audio dramas, including her own children’s show after returning to the modern incarnation of Who, until her passing in 2011.
Beyond her familial relation, it’s not Miller’s first professional association with Doctor Who. She performed alongside Sladen as Natalie Redfern, a TV researcher who appeared in several entries of Big Finish’s own Sarah Jane Smith audio series in the early 2000s and has even written a spinoff novel in the Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart book series, published by Candy Jar Books. But it does mark the first time Miller has ever directly stepped into her mother’s career-defining character.
“When Big Finish asked me to play Sarah Jane for this story, I was very nervous. I didn’t want to create a performance from someone else’s,” Miller said in a provided press release. “So I tried to approach it as I would with any other role. I’ve tried to find my own piece of Sarah—the part of my mum that’s in me. But I have had a quick look on YouTube for Sarah Jane Smith screams, because I wasn’t quite sure how she would want me to do those. Other than that I just tried to keep it as separate in my mind as possible from the original.”
Return of the Cybermen is set to debut as part of Big Finish’s Doctor Who: The Lost Stories range this November, releasing digitally first with a physical CD release arriving after.
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