Liz Shaw looks back on her days with UNIT and the Doctor, recalling an adventure that began with the disappearance of several prominent scientists. The Doctor and the Brigadier are on the case, and Liz goes undercover to see if a suspicious dentist’s office has any connection to the disappearances. The Doctor figures out that the Cybermen are once again trying to stage a quiet takeover of the human race…and Liz herself may be the next victim of their new conversion process.
Cast: Caroline John (Liz Shaw), Nicholas Briggs (Cyberman voices)
Timeline: after Inferno and before Terror Of The Autons
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: In almost ten years of Big Finish audio adventures, we’ve gotten truly spoiled – new stories, and frequently good ones, dramatized by members of the original cast. When it was announced in 2006 that Big Finish was going to try its hand at solo audiobook-style productions delving into the previously unmined territory of the first four Doctors, I picked up the “Companion Chronicles” series with some trepidation. Did I really want to encourage garden-variety audiobooks over full-cast audio theater?
It turns out that the Companion Chronicles aren’t that bad, but they’re not a patch on Big Finish’s main range either. Caroline John does her best with the material at hand, which is an interesting enough story, but there are structural flaws (Liz has to recount what other people told her happened after she passes out at various points in the story), and one major problem in that we’re teased with something – learning the reason that Liz left the Doctor and UNIT between seasons 7 and 8 – that isn’t solidly delivered. (In reality, a change of heart among the show’s producers was the reason Caroline John and the character of Liz made an unprecedented off-screen exit for a companion; the following season saw the introduction of the slightly more accessible Jo Grant.)
I listened to this one first because the lack of a showdown between the third Doctor and the Cybermen has always struck me as another intriguing gap in the TV series. The Blue Tooth tries to fill that, but while there are nice flavorings to it, the meat of it just isn’t that satisfying. I’ll listen to some of the other titles in this series, but this tooth lacks bite.