Landing in Alaska, the Doctor and Nyssa encounter a group of people in a most unusual house, cut off not only by the harsh climate but by their individual secrets and obsessions.
Millionaire Shaun Brett is utilising chunks of the local area to construct a shrine to his dead father. But when deadly creatures start roaming outside, and a terrifying discovery is made inside the house, the Doctor realises that Brett has unleashed an unimaginably ancient force.
A combination of unforeseen events and shifting schedules left me with only a week to come up with the scripts for The Land of the Dead. Luckily, a friend had just edited a book about mythology, and I'd had a quick read through. The gory Inuit story of Sedna the sea spirit stuck in my mind and that, combined with research I'd been doing into the prehistoric world for a range of BBC dinosaur books, gave me a few ideas and inspired the Alaskan setting.
Of course, it never occurred to me when writing the thing that casting a fifty-year-old Eskimo character might be a little tricky! Luckily Andrew Fettes rose to the challenge, and indeed all the cast seemed to have fun during the hectic weekend of recording. But the real thrill of the proceedings was seeing Sarah Sutton and Peter Davison back together. Sarah recreated Nyssa as if she'd been away a couple of days, not sixteen years, and Peter, as ever, excelled at maintaining the frenzied sense of rising panic he brought across so well on screen. His theory that the character of Monica Lewis was actually Monica Lewinsky incognito in Alaska to avoid publicity, whilst not 100% convincing, certainly had us all entertained.
You know, it really is enormous fun, making Doctor Who.
Stephen Cole, July 1999