Last night's BBC Radio 2 documentary, "Doctor Who: Regeneration", exclusively revealed that the first of the four episodes to feature the long-awaited return of one of the series most popular adversaries is entitled "The Rise of the Cybermen". This will appear fifth in the run of thirteen episodes likely to air from the end of March 2006. The title of the concluding episode of this two-part story is still unknown while both episode titles of the Cybermen story that concludes the second season are now known. Episode twelve is called "Army of Ghosts", as stated in a previous post, and is followed by the apocalyptic sounding "Doomsday".
The first of the two two-part Cybermen stories is set on an alternate Earth doomed to disaster, making it sound like a reworking of the Jon Pertwee classic "Inferno" which incidentally is due out on DVD next year. The second outing sees the Cybermen awaken in our universe where they have allied themselves with something from the Doctor's past. All four Cybermen episodes are directed by Graeme ("The Caves of Androzani" and "Revelation of the Daleks") Harper, as seems likely is the other two-parter. Set on a nightmarish alien world, and opening with the episode "The Satan Pit", this would make a total of six episodes, almost half the season under the helm of the classic series director. Good news indeed.
Other news concerning the next run is that the Face of Boe, originally seen in second episode "The End of the World", will be making a return appearance and this time in a speaking capacity apparently having "some important words for the Doctor"! Stephen Fry's episode is being held over to season three because of the demands it makes on the effects department. His episode, the eleventh, is now being written by Matthew Graham. Episode ten will feature the Abzorbaloff, the creature created by a "Blue Peter" viewer.
Meanwhile, returning to the Cybermen episodes, Roger Lloyd Pack was worried he wouldn't be able to take on the role of enemy John Lumic after he fell down the stairs at home and broke a leg. Scripts have been rewritten to accommodate his injury and now sees him wheelchair-bound. Apparently, this has had the effect of adding to the mystery and intrigue surrounding his character! Let's hope he makes a speedy recovery.