Return to the Web Planet was the fifth Doctor Who bonus story released by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Daniel O'Mahony and featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and Sarah Sutton as Nyssa.
This is the first audio to feature the Zarbi and the Menoptera and a return to Vortis. It is also the first story since the novel Twilight of the Gods in 1996 to feature either race in a prominent role.
"It's an ancient name. From the dark time..."
This now green and pleasant land isn't the paradise it first appears. Something malevolent is living out in The Desolation... And the Doctor and Nyssa must solve the mystery before the City of Light is overrun.
to be added
- The Doctor - Peter Davison
- Nyssa - Sarah Sutton
- Acheron - Sam Kelly
- Hedyla - Julie Buckfield
- Yanesh - Matthew Noble
- Speaker / Xanthe - Claire Wyatt
- The Doctor tells Nyssa that he could imagine relaxing on Vortis but he has never had the opportunity to do so.
- The Doctor tells Nyssa that Pictos and Vortis' other moons are not native to its star system and arrived in a very particular order. He implies that he was present for their arrival.
- Acheron is the father of Hedyla.
- The Menoptera refer to space travellers as "Sailors of the Great Ocean."
- The Menoptera digest their food at least twice and drink acids.
- In Menoptera mythology, Hruskin is said to have created the Zarbi to act as slaves.
- This was a special release given away to Big Finish subscribers who had AUDIO: The Girl Who Never Was as part of their subscription. It was made available commercially a year later.
- Though this is the fifth subscriber-only special, the cover spine calls it the sixth (in Roman numerals VI). This is due to the two Big Finish-produced webcasts Real Time and Shada being the first and second.
- This is the first and only Big Finish audio drama to take place on Vortis., as well as the only appearance of the Zarbi and the Menoptera in an audio drama to date.
- Somewhat unusually, the names of the story's supporting cast appear nowhere on the front cover.
- This story is unusual in that it does not feature the TARDIS.
- Author Daniel O'Mahony wrote this audio while working on his Faction Paradox novel Newtons Sleep.
- This audio drama was recorded on 22 August 2007 at The Moat Studios.
- After the 2019 redesign of the Big Finish website, this release was added to The Fifth Doctor Adventures range.
- This story is set between Time-Flight and Arc of Infinity.
- This is the Doctor's seventh known visit to Vortis. The First Doctor previously visited the planet in the company of Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright and Vicki Pallister (TV: The Web Planet), on his own on two further occasions (PROSE: The Lost Ones, The Lair of Zarbi Supremo) and finally once more in the company of John and Gillian (COMIC: On the Web Planet). The Second Doctor visited it in the company of Jamie McCrimmon and Victoria Waterfield (PROSE: Twilight of the Gods) while the Fourth Doctor did so in the company of Sarah Jane Smith (COMIC: The Naked Flame). However, the Doctor tells Nyssa that it has been "several regenerations" since his last visit to Vortis.
- Nyssa tells the Doctor that Vortis' trees remind her of the forests on Traken. (TV: The Keeper of Traken)
- During his fourth incarnation, the Doctor met another female wingless Menoptera, Jresta, on Vortis. (COMIC: The Naked Flame)
- Acheron refers to the end of the Animus' control over the Menoptera and the Zarbi and the temporary migration to Pictos. (TV: The Web Planet)
- The Doctor's Zarbi steed is named "Arbara," possibly after Barbara. (TV: The Web Planet)
- Hedyla tells Nyssa that some Menoptera worship the Gods of Light. (PROSE: Twilight of the Gods)
- The First Doctor previously encountered a Zarbi queen during one of his visits to Vortis. (PROSE: The Lost Ones)
- Official Return to the Web Planet page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for Return to the Web Planet at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide