Greetings fellow sapient beings, and welcome back to Big Finishing Move, the cool little series I do covering Big Finish audio dramas! Sorry it has been so long since I’ve done one of these, I meant to do this months ago but life and several other topics I wanted to cover got in the way. On a positive note, this unintentional break from the series helped recharge my batteries and now I’m hungry to dive back into Big Finish!
What better way to get things going again then with my favorite classic series incarnation, the Fourth Doctor (who was last featured here in May of last year) once again paired with my favorite companion of his, Leela. This first volume covers the first four stories of this series, so let’s get going because we have a lot to cover.
TARDIS TEAM: The Fourth Doctor, Leela, and K9 Mark 1
First up we have a follow up story to the classic Doctor and Leela yarn, The Robots Of Death, with The Sons of Kaldor. Once again hip deep in a web of intrigue with the Kaldorians and there famous robots, can the Doctor and Leela get to the truth and advert the genocide of a new race? Next we have a Leela-centric story as she battles for her very sanity, can she escape the mysterious Crowmarsh Institute in The Crowmarsh Experiment? Lastly we have a two-parter as the Doctor, Leela, and K9 must unravel a literal worldwide conspiracy with The Mind Runners and The Demon Rises. What is causing a rash of recent murders, what is the Night Mind, and how does this all fit into the fate of the dying planet, Chaldera?
While the final two-parter is its own separate story, the first two are full of references and callbacks to other Doctor and Leela stories. The Sons of Kaldor follows up on one of the classic series most well known entries while The Crowmarsh Experiment mines the rich history the Doctor and Leela have had in Big Finish’s Fourth Doctor Adventures. This allows an easy access point for classic fans new to Big Finish followed up with something more for the Big Finish faithful. Both stories have enough on there own so that even if the listener is unfamiliar with these other stories they can get the essential points necessary to understand what is going on, but these pieces are meant to encourage fans new and old to visit those older stories for added texture.
Tom Baker and Louise Jameson haven’t lost a step together, I wish I had some criticism of their work only because it would give me something else to say other than how they work so amazingly together. The Crowmarsh Experiment provides Jameson a chance to show the depth of her talent as she gets a chance to explore things with Leela in ways and situations we don’t normally see from the character. Hats off to regular Big Finish writer and editor John Dorney as he gets to flex his excellent acting muscles as the Kaldor robots. I also have to praise Josette Simon in her role as Taraneh, a cop who is pushed well past her patience with the Doctor and Leela. She takes what could have been a very basic character and gives her so much personality that I couldn’t help but like her.
What we have here is a series of four stories that are real good, but not great. Everything is well executed and this set of tales is a fun listen from top to bottom, but there isn’t anything that stands out making it a must have. I still think people who are interested should pick it up, but when sold as part of a set like this I’m always of the mind that you either need an entertaining through arc and/or at least one notably standout story, and this has neither. That all said, no Who fan will not be entertained by this set so if you need a little more Doctor Who in your life this collection will satisfy that itch.
Purchase Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures: Series 7, Vol 1 Here:
Hey, if you haven’t already why not give the rest of One Of Us a quick perusal. We’re a lot more than just my pretty words, there are even more articles, reviews, interviews, and podcasts to enjoy. Go ahead, you know you want to!
Check out my introduction to this series as well as all my previous reviews. Links are below:
Big Finishing Move Special Edition: An Introduction To The Series
Phantasmagoria, The Fearmonger, The Light At The End, The Spectre of Lanyon Moor, Storm Warning, Blood of the Daleks, The Chimes of Midnight, Seasons of Fear, The King of Sontar, White Ghosts, Dark Eyes II, The Crooked Man, Project: Twilight, The Evil One, The Harvest, The Last Of The Colophon, The Council Of Nicaea, Destroy The Infinite, Afterlife, The Abandoned, Zygon Hunt, Revenge Of The Swarm, Philip Hinchcliffe Presents Box Set, Dark Eyes 3, Mask of Tragedy, The Fourth Doctor By Gareth Roberts, The Exxilions, The Darkness of Glass, Dark Eyes IV, Requiem for the Rocket Men, Signs And Wonders, Death Match, Suburban Hell, The Burning Prince, The Cloisters of Terror, The Acheron Pulse, The Fate of Krelos, The Shadow Heart, Return to Telos, The Sixth Doctor – The Last Adventure, Doom Collation I, The Yes Men, The War Doctor: Only The Monstrous, Wave of Destruction, The Labyrinth of Buda Castle, The War Doctor Volume 02: Infernal Devices, Doom Coalition 2, The Paradox Planet, Legacy of Death, The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Volume 1, Gallery of Ghouls, The Trouble with Drax, The Pursuit of History And Casualties of Time (dual review), Aquitaine, The Peterloo Massacre, Doom Coalition 3, The War Doctor Volume 03: Agents of Chaos, The Beast of Kravenos, Colditz, A Thousand Tiny Wings, Survival of the Fittest, The Architects Of History, Doom Coalition 4, Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Adventures Vol. 2, Bang-Bang-a-Boom!
All images © Big Finish Productions and/or the BBC