Dragonfire

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Mel pay a visit to Svartos, an ice planet with an enormous habitation complex which extends far above the surface. Though it seems innocuous enough on the surface – the TARDIS materializes in a frozen goods store – a chance encounter with Sabalon Glitz, bumbling intergalactic treasure-seeker not-so-extraordinaire quickly leads the Doctor into trouble, and introduces him to Ace, a sarcastic teenager from Earth who inexplicably found herself on Svartos and now works as a waitress. Glitz has obtained a map of the caverns beneath the planet’s surface, where a dragon is rumored to lurk, guarding a priceless treasure. The Doctor agrees to accompany Glitz on his search, more curious about the dragon itself than what it may be guarding. Mel, left behind with Ace, finds herself in very deep trouble when the younger girl runs afoul of the authorities and brings herself to the attention of Kane, an alien who cannot leave the sub-freezing portions of the complex. Little do the Doctor and Glitz realize that the dragon is all that stands between the people of Svartos and Kane’s plans for a bloody reign of terror.

Order the DVDwritten by Ian Briggs
directed by Chris Clough
music by Dominic Glynn

Guest Cast: Sophie Aldred (Ace), Tony Selby (Glitz), Edward Peel (Kane), Patricia Quinn (Belazs), Tony Osoba (Kracauer), Stephanie Fayerman (McLuhan), Sean Blowers (Zed), Stuart Organ (Bazin), Nigel Miles-Thomas (Pudovkin), Shirin Taylor (Customer), Miranda Borman (Stellar), Ian Mackenzie (Anderson), Chris MacDonnell (Arnheim), Leslie Meadows (Creature), Daphne Oxenford (Archivist), Lynn Gardner (Announcer)

Broadcast from November 23 through December 7, 1987

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Remembrance Of The Daleks

Doctor WhoDaleks have converged on a junkyard in 1963 London, hot on the trail of a renegade Time Lord who possesses an amazingly powerful weapon from ancient Gallifrey. The Daleks’ quarry has left Earth after being discovered by a pair of curious humans, but unknown to the aliens, that same Time Lord has returned to conclude his business, six lives hence. The Doctor and Ace quickly throw their lot in with Group Captain Gilmore and his team of soldiers and scientists, who have discovered the Daleks and are trying to flush them out of hiding. Gilmore begins accepting the Doctor’s strategic advice, which is devised largely to keep the human race out of trouble – but the Daleks have already found like-minded allies on Earth, in the form of a group of fascist sympathizers led by Mr. Ratcliffe. The Daleks themselves are divided along a line of loyalty or disloyalty to the Emperor Daleks – who, as the Doctor discovers, has changed a little bit over the years too. The Doctor is actually playing a dangerous game, trying to ensure that the Hand of Omega does fall into the wrong hands – but which faction of the Daleks is actually worthy of this kind of power?

Season 25 Regular Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace)

Order the DVDwritten by Ben Aaronovitch
directed by Andrew Morgan
music by Keff McCulloch

Guest Cast: Simon Williams (Gilmore), George Sewell (Ratcliffe), Dursley McLinden (Mike), Pamela Salem (Rachel), Karen Gledhill (Allison), Michael Sheard (Headmaster), Harry Fowler (Harry), Joseph Marcell (John), William Thomas (Martin), Jasmine Breaks (The Girl), Peter Hamilton Dyer (Embery), Peter Halliday (Vicar), Derek Keller (Kaufman), Terry Molloy (Emperor Dalek/Davros), John Scott Martin, Cy Town, Tony Starr, Hugh Spright, David Harrison, Norman Bacon, Nigel Wild (Daleks), Royce Mills, Roy Skelton, Brian Miller, John Leeson (Dalek voices), Kathleen Bidmead (Mrs. Smith), John Evans (Undertaker), Richie Kennedy (Mailman), Ron Berry (Gravedigger)

Broadcast from October 5 through 26, 1988

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

The Happiness Patrol

Doctor WhoThe Doctor brings Ace to the planet Terra Alpha, a planet whose dark secrets are barely concealed by a thin coat of bright, playful colors. The megalomaniacal Helen A keeps her subjects happy by enforcing happiness itself – any public display of grief, doubt or disapproval are punishable by summary execution. Ace, with her almost permanent scowl, is quickly arrested by the Happiness Patrol, while the Doctor meets a fellow alien named Earl Sigma and has a near-fatal encounter with the robotic, psychotic Kandyman. A census representative from Earth has uncovered evidence that Helen A’s regime has caused the unspecified “disappearance” of thousands of people. The Doctor has one night to stir a revolution in the streets of Terra Alpha…but Helen A’s downfall may be caused by someone closer to her than she expects.

Order the DVDwritten by Graeme Curry
directed by Chris Clough
music by Dominic Glynn

Guest Cast: Sheila Hancock (Helen A), Ronald Fraser (Joseph C), David John Pope (Kandy Man), Harold Innocent (Gilbert M), Lesley Dunlop (Susan Q), Georgina Hale (Daisy K), Rachel Bell (Priscilla P), Richard D. Sharp (Earl Sigma), John Normington (Trevor Sigma), Tim Barker (Harold V), Jonathan Burn (Silas P), Philip Neve (Wences), Ryan Freedman (Wulfric), Mary Healey (Killjoy), Steve Swinscoe, Mark Carroll (Snipers), Tim Scott (Forum Doorman), Annie Hulley (Newscaster)

Broadcast from November 2 through 16, 1988

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Silver Nemesis

Doctor WhoThe Doctor is horrified when Nemesis, a statue carved from a living metal from the world of the Time Lords, arrives on Earth in 1988, falling from an orbit into which the Doctor launched it 350 years ago. At the same time, a creepy neo-Nazi group led by De Flores (Anton Diffring) plans to take control of the Nemesis, as does Lady Peinforte, a 17th century would-be sorceress which concocts a potion for time travel. he spearhead of a Cyberman invasion fleet also arrives, also looking for the statue. Its destructive power will be granted to whoever returns the Nemesis’ bow and arrow, and it seems unlikely that the Doctor himself would have any use for that kind of power – unless, as Lady Peinforte claims, the Doctor has his own dark agenda.

Order the DVDwritten by Kevin Clarke
directed by Chris Clough
music by Kevin Clarke

Guest Cast: Fiona Walker (Lady Peinforte), Gerard Murphy (Richard), Anton Diffring (De Flores), Metin Yenal (Karl), Leslie French (Mathematician), Martyn Read (Security Man), David Banks (CyberLeader), Mark Hardy (Cyber Lieutenant), Chris Cherin (First Skinhead), Symond Lawes (Second Skinhead), Dolores Gray (American Tourist), Courtney Pine, Adrian Reid, Ernest Mothie, Frank Tontoh (Jazz Quartet), Brian Orrell, Danny Boyd, Scott Mitchell, Bill Malin, Tony Carlton, Paul Barrass (Cybermen), Dave Ould, John Ould (Walkmen), Mary Reynolds (Her Majesty the Queen), Vere Lorrimer (Tour Guide)

Broadcast from November 23 through December 7, 1988

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

The Greatest Show In The Galaxy

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS is invaded – not by Daleks, Sontarans or Cybermen, but by a satellite delivering junk mail to any passing vessels. This particular satellite brings good tidings from Segonax, home of the Psychic Circus, and the Doctor is intrigued – while Ace is repulsed, primarily by the thought of circus clowns. The Doctor decides to go anyway, and finds Segonax less inviting than its sales pitch promised. From the curious variety of other circusgoers, to the abandoned bus manned by a homicidal robot tram conductor, to the mysterious explorer known only as the Captain and his exotic sidekick Mags, the Doctor immediately senses that something is wrong. Upon arriving at the Psychic Circus at last, the Doctor discovers the truth: those coming to visit the circus are not there as spectators, but as the entertainment – and the penalty for failing to entertain the unusual audience, a seemingly bland family of three, is death.

Order the DVDwritten by Stephen Wyatt
directed by Alan Wareing
music by Mark Ayres

Guest Cast: T.P. McKenna (The Captain), Jessica Martin (Mags), Christopher Guard (Bellboy), Dee Sadler (Flowerchild), Ian Reddington (Chief Clown), Deborah Manship (Morgana), Ricco Ross (Ringmaster), Chris Jury (Deadbeat), Daniel Peacock (Nord), Gian Sammarco (Whizzkid), David Ashford (Dad), Janet Hargreaves (Mum), Kathryn Ludlow (Little Girl), Peggy Mount (Stallholder), Dean Hollingsworth (Bus Conductor)

Broadcast from December 14, 1988 through January 4, 1989

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Battlefield

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Ace arrive in Britain in the late 90s, near a stranded convoy carrying a nuclear missile. Strange weather and power outages seem to be taking place all of a sudden, and the Doctor himself is mystified at the coincidences – especially since all of this is happening on the shores of the lake where, according to legend, the dying King Arthur returned Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. The legend turns out to have a solid foundation in reality – but a different reality where one of the Doctor’s future selves was trapped for a time, assuming the identity of Merlin. Now that warriors on both sides of the ancient battle are entering Earth’s dimension, the Doctor must take on a role he doesn’t even know how to play.

Season 26 Regular Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace)

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Ben Aaronovitch
directed by Michael Kerrigan
music by Keff McCulloch

Guest Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Jean Marsh (Morgaine), Christopher Bowen (Mordred), Angela Bruce (Brigadier Winifred Bambera), Marcus Gilbert (Ancelyn), Ling Tai (Shou Yuing), Angela Douglas (Doris), June Bland (Elizabeth Rowlinson), Noel Collins (Pat Rowlinson), James Ellis (Peter Warmsly), Marek Anton (The Destroyer), Dorota Rae (Flight Lieutenant Lavel), Robert Jezek (Sergeant Zbrigniev), Paul Tomany (Major Husak), Stefan Schwartz (Knight Commander)

Broadcast from September 6 through 27, 1989

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Ghost Light

Doctor WhoThe Doctor brings Ace to a house called Gabriel Chase in the year 1883 – a house which a younger Ace firebombed in 1983, long before she joined the Doctor but long after anything had lived in the house. Gabriel Chase’s original owner is a very unusual man named Josiah Samuel Smith, infamous in the 19th century for his controversial theories of evolution, and these theories have brought the Reverend Matthews to Gabriel Chase. But something else has brought the missing explorer Redvers Fenn-Cooper there – a offer of glory in exchange for an assassination. At the heart of all of these events lies a sinister secret of a far less earthly nature, something which could result in the destruction of Earth…but the Doctor’s hands are already full when Ace discovers that he has brought her to her dreaded home town of Perivale a century before her birth.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Marc Platt
directed by Alan Wareing
music by Mark Ayres

Doctor WhoGuest Cast: Ian Hogg (Josiah Samuel Smith), Sharon Duce (Control), John Hallam (Light), Carl Forgione (Nimrod), Sylvia Syms (Mrs. Pritchard), Katharine Schlesinger (Gwendoline), Michael Cochrane (Redvers Fenn-Cooper), Frank Windsor (Inspector Mackenzie), John Nettleton (Reverend Matthews), Brenda Kempner (Mrs. Grose)

Broadcast from October 4 through 18, 1989

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

The Curse Of Fenric

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Ace arrive at a soggy British naval camp in 1943, into which the Time Lord confidently strides, not even attempting to conceal his presence. He mingles with the base’s disturbed commander and the brilliant but paranoid Dr. Judson, creator of the Ultima code-breaking device. The Doctor and Ace later encounter a small platoon of Russian commandos who plan to steal Ultima – a move which has been anticipated. In the background lurks a devious alien presence with whom the Doctor has an old score to settle – provided that the humans in the naval camp, merely pawns in a much more complex game, don’t destroy their own world first.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Ian Briggs
directed by Nicholas Mallett
music by Mark Ayres

Doctor WhoGuest Cast: Dinsdale Landen (Dr. Judson), Alfred Lynch (Commander Millington), Tomek Bork (Sorin), Joann Kenny (Jean), Joanne Bell (Phyllis), Peter Czajkowski (Sergeant Prozorov), Nicholas Parsons (Reverend Wainwright), Cory Pulman (Kathleen Dudman), Marek Anton (Vershinin), Stevan Rimkus (Captain Bates), Marcus Hutton (Sergeant Leigh), Janet Henfrey (Ms. Hardaker), Anne Reid (Nurse Crane), Mark Conrad (Petrossian), Christien Anholt (Perkins), Aaron Hanley (Baby), Raymond Trickett (Ancient Haemovore), Cy Town (Haemovore)

Broadcast from October 25 through November 15, 1989

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Survival

Doctor WhoThe Doctor brings Ace to present-day Perivale to visit her friends, but she discovers that most of them have gone missing. Perivale is now a tense place where parents fear for their children’s lives and Sergeant Paterson teaches self-defense classes in hopes that the residents of Perivale can help themselves when the time comes. Unusually vicious black cats stalk the streets, marking their territory in the deadliest ways. When Ace joins the ranks of the other missing teenagers, the Doctor follows her, finding himself on the planet of the feral Cheetah People, a hostile world whose inherent violence infects all who go there. The Master has also somehow become trapped here, enslaved by the Cheetah People’s primitive bloodlust, and hoping to escape by using the new visitors from Perivale. The Doctor is left to face the dilemma: where is the Master more dangerous, on this alien world which will soon destroy itself, or running loose on Earth?

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Rona Munro
directed by Alan Wareing
music by Dominic Glynn

Doctor WhoGuest Cast: Anthony Ainley (The Master), Julian Holloway (Sergeant Paterson), Lisa Bowerman (Karra), Will Barton (Midge), Sakuntala Ramanee (Shreela), David John (Derek), Sean Oliver (Stuart), Gareth Hale (Harvey), Norman Pace (Len), Kate Eaton (Ange), Adele Silva (Squeak), Michelle Martin (Neighbor), Kathleen Bidmead (Woman)

Broadcast from November 22 through December 6, 1989

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Dimensions In Time

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Ace find themselves in London’s East End (instead of their intended destination, the Great Wall of China). Soon they find themselves switching identities, as the Doctor flits from one incarnation to another and his companions constantly change. Behind it all is The Rani, who hopes to trap the Doctor so he can never interfere in her plans again…

written by John Nathan-Turner & David Roden
directed by Stuart McDonald
music by Keff McCulloch

Cast: Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Tom Baker (The Doctor), Peter Davison (The Doctor), Colin Baker (The Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Kate O’Mara (The Rani), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier), Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Louise Jameson (Leela), Caroline John (Liz Shaw), Ross Kemp (Grant Mitchell), Bonnie Langford (Mel), John Leeson (K-9), Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchell), Philip Newman (Kiv), Mike Reid (Frank), Wendy Richard (Pauline Fowler), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Pam St. Clement (Pat Butcher), Nicola Stapleton (Mandy), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Gillian Taylforth (Kathy Beale), Deepak Verma (Sanjay), Lalla Ward (Romana II), Deborah Watling (Victoria Waterfield), Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale)

Broadcast November 26 & 27, 1993

LogBook entry & review by Philip R. Frey Read More

The Fearmonger

Doctor Who: The FearmongerIn the present day, the Doctor and Ace arrive in a London gripped by fear. Terrorists seem to be going to extreme lengths to rid Britain of the ultra-right-wing New Britannia party and its Parliamentary candidate, Sherilyn Harper. The Doctor unceremoniously bursts in on Mick Thompson’s political talk radio show to make contact with a man named Walter who, with an accomplice who is now institutionalized, attempted to assassinate Harper and barely escaped with their lives after being attacked by…something. The Doctor postulates that the deadly entity is a non-corporeal creature which incites fear among its victims – and then feeds off that fear, often leaving the victims traumatized for life. Walter says that he can hear this creature in the voice of Sherilyn Harper, but as the crisis worsens and the streets become even more infested with terrorists – some of whom are not political agitators, but hired guns – it becomes apparent that the Fearmonger could be using anyone as its host… even, as Ace comes to believe, the Doctor himself.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Blum
directed by Gary Russell
music by Alistair Lock

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Jacqueline Pearce (Sherilyn Harper), Mark McDonnell (Walter Jacobs), Vince Henderson (Mick Thompson), Hugh Walters (Roderick Allingham), Jonathan Clarkson (Paul Tanner), Jack Gallagher (Alexsandr Karadjic), Mark Wright (Stephen Keyser), John Ainsworth (Tannoy voice)

Timeline: between Survival and The Genocide Machine

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

The Genocide Machine

Doctor Who: The Genocide MachineThe Doctor and Ace arrive on the rainforest world of Kar-Charrat, where expatriate Time Lord Elgin has become the librarian of the largest storehouse of knowledge in the universe. Elgin eagerly shows the Doctor his latest innovation: a wetworks facility which has assimilated all of this knowledge into a single consciousness. The Doctor is alarmed by this development, as it means that any invading force could take over the facility – and with it, all of the knowledge of the universe. Elgin admits that some races have tried to do exactly that, including the Daleks, but none have been successful. But the Doctor and Ace quickly learn on a first-hand basis that the Daleks haven’t given up – they intend to take over the library of Kar-Charrat and use the wetworks facility to create a new, all-knowing, all-powerful breed of Daleks. But the Daleks don’t achieve the desired results, even when the Doctor is forced to help – and everyone soon discovers that an even greater power than the Daleks exists on Kar-Charrat…a power which, if unleashed to rid the world of the mechanical invaders, could also exact revenge on a Time Lord guilty of enslaving Kar-Charrat’s indigenous creatures.

Order this CDwritten by Mike Tucker
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Nicholas Briggs

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Bruce Montague (Chief Librarian Elgin), Louise Falkner (Bev Tarrant), Alistair Lock (Dalek voice), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek voice), Daniel Gabriele (Rappell), Nicholas Briggs (Cataloguer Prink)

Timeline: between The Fearmonger and Dust Breeding

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

The Shadow Of The Scourge

Doctor Who: The Shadow Of The ScourgeThe Doctor, Ace and Bernice arrive at a hotel in Kent which is playing host to three simultaneous conventions: one for a cross-stitch club, another for a con artist holding a seance, and the third for the demonstration of a physics experiment that could lead to time travel. But the seance actually does make contact with something otherworldly – an alien group consciousness hell-bent on emerging into Earth’s dimension to feed upon the despair and guilt of the human race. The time travel experiments provide a convenient interdimensional conduit through which the Scourge travel. The Doctor, of course, has orchestrated all of this very carefully…but this time, whether he’s planned it or not, whether he wants it or not, the Scourge have him, and can consume his mind on their whim. With the Doctor out of the way, only Ace and Benny stand in the way of the Scourge…but they, like everyone else on the doomed Earth, have their own personal demons which will render them helpless to the power of the Scourge.

Order this CDwritten by Paul Cornell
directed by Gary Russell
music by Alistair Lock

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Lisa Bowerman (Bernice), Michael Piccarilli (Doctor Michael Pembroke), Holly King (Annie Carpenter), Nigel Fairs (Gary Williams), Lennox Greaves (Michael Hughes), Caroline Burns-Cook (Mary Hughes), Peter Trapani (Scourge Leader)

Timeline: between the New Adventures novels “The All-Consuming Fire” and “Blood Harvest”

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

Dust Breeding

Doctor Who: Dust BreedingThe Doctor brings Ace to a distant desert world called Duchamps 331 to look for a painting – Edvard Munch’s “Scream” – which he hears will be destroyed under mysterious circumstances. He hopes to rescue it from whatever fate awaits it, but a more serious event is already underway there. A murder has occurred on one of the planet’s refueling stations, and the dust seems to be coming to life. Ace is delighted to see an old friend there – Bev Tarrant, one of the survivors of the Doctor’s clash with the Daleks on Kar-Charrat – but the Doctor is more concerned when he autopsies the murder vicrim and finds no blood and no organs – only dust. In orbit, the patrons of a lavish spaceborne art gallery are unwittingly bringing an evil presence to Duchamps 331 to fulfill one of his most diabolical plans – a plan that can only be foiled by his arch enemy, the Doctor.

Order this CDwritten by Mike Tucker
directed by Gary Russell
music by Russell Stone

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Caroline John (Madam Salvadori), Louise Falkner (Bev Tarrant), Mark Donovan (Klemp), Geoffrey Beevers (Mr. Seta), Johnson Willis (Damien Pierson), Ian Rickett (Guthrie), Gary Russell (Jay Binks), Jane Goddard (Maggie), Jez Fielder (Skredsvig), Alistair Lock (Albert Bootle)

Timeline: after The Genocide Machine and before Colditz

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

Death Comes To Time

Doctor Who: Death Comes To TimeThe planet Santiny is overrun by a massive invasion by a Canisian fleet. Even suicide runs don’t prevent the Canisians, as their leader, General Tannis, seems to be able to forsee every possible tactic. Almost as if in answer to the prayers of the survivors on Santiny, the TARDIS arrives, and the Doctor and his blue-skinned companion Antimony emerge to begin helping Santiny’s resistance movement. Meanwhile, Ace – planted in a strategic position by the Doctor – has been rescued by a Time Lord named Casmus, who begins training her for the next step in her own evolution. Elsewhere, a group of Time Lords called the Fraction, dedicated to interference in time on the side of good, begin falling one by one to a stealthy killer. Finally, the string of deaths draws the Doctor’s attention away from the Canisian problem, and also gets the attention of Casmus. On Gallifrey, Casmus accelerates Ace’s training, speeding her evolution into a new breed of Time Lord. Time is running out, as Tannis is also revealed to be a Time Lord who is using his conquests to disguise his identity. But will Ace learn to use her powers for good soon enough to confront Tannis, or will the Doctor – having witnessed Antimony’s death at the general’s hands – be forced to use his Time Lord powers to a degree that will not only kill Tannis but himself as well?

Order this CDwritten by Colin Meek
directed by Dan Freedman
music by Nick Romero

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Kevin Eldon (Antimony), John Sessions (General Tannis), Leonard Fenton (Casmus), Jon Culshaw (Golcrum / Senator Hawk / President), Jacqueline Pearce (Admiral Mettna), Stephen Fry (The Minister Of Chance), Britta Gartner (Senator Sala), Anthony Stewart Head (St. Valentine), Dave Hill (Nessican), Charlotte Palmer (Dr. Cain), Stephen Brody (Speedwell), Gareth Jones (Campion), Andrew McGibbon (Captain Carne), Michael Yale (Lieutenant Suneel), Peggy Batchelor (The Kingmaker), David Evans (Pilot), Robert Rietti (Premier Bedloe), Julienne Davis (Computer), Emma Ferguson (Megan), Huw Thomas (President of Santiny), Nick Romero (Major Bander / Prime Minister), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), David Soul (Bob)

Originally broadcast from July 13, 2001 to May 30, 2002

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

Colditz

Doctor Who: ColditzThe TARDIS has brought the Doctor and Ace to Colditz Castle, the legendary German prison camp, at the height of World War II. The time travelers are captured almost immediately, and the Doctor is shot in the shoulder. Ace instantly attracts the interest of Kurtz, the head of the guards – more interest than she would like. She also befriends English prisoners of war who are already planning their next escape attempt, but are reluctant to let her in on the plot unless she gives them more concrete information about where she’s from. In the meantime, the Doctor – and his TARDIS, which the guards witnessed materializing the courtyard – have gotten the interest of someone who appears to be very closely connected to the upper ranks of the German war effort. When the Doctor is given a choice – hand over the keys to the TARDIS or spare Ace’s life – he gives the Nazis his time machine, setting ripples in motion which will change history forever unless he can regain control of the situation.

Order this CDwritten by Steve Lyons
directed by Gary Russell
music by Toby Richards and Emily Baker

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Tracey Childs (Klein), Nicholas Young (Flying Officer Bill Gower), Toby Longworth (Hauptmann Julius Schafer), David Tennant (Feldwebel Kurtz), Peter Rae (Timothy Wilkins)

Note: This audio story marks David Tennant‘s first Doctor Who appearance, though obviously not in the role for which he would become most famous later…

Timeline: between Dust Breeding and The Rapture

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

The Rapture

Doctor Who: The RaptureThe Doctor and Ace arrive in Ibiza on the eve of an international broadcast from a recently-opened nightclub called The Rapture. The club’s two DJs, Gabriel and Jude, have established a reputation for throwing quite a party – and that suits Ace just fine, following her harrowing experiences in Nazi Germany. As Ace joins some other people her age for a night of clubbing, the Doctor meets his old friend Gustavo, who warns him that something sinister is afoot at The Rapture. When the Doctor goes to investigate, he finds that Jude and Gabriel’s trance music is living up to its name quite literally – the two DJs who claim to be angels are slowly exerting mind control over their club’s patrons…including Ace.

Order this CDwritten by Joseph Lidster
directed by Jason Haigh-Ellery
music by Jim Mortimoreand Jane Elphinstone, with Simon Robinson and Feel

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), David John (Liam), Anne Bird (Caitriona), Daniel Wilson (Brian), Carlos Riera (Gustavo), Matthew Brenher (Jude), Neil Henry (Gabriel), Tony Blackburn (himself), Jeremy James (Bouncer)

Timeline: after Colditz and before The Harvest

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

The Dark Flame

Doctor Who: The Dark FlameHaving left Bernice on a research facility on Orbos to visit a colleague of hers, the Doctor and Ace are on their way back to Orbos when an unusually powerful distress call washes over the TARDIS’ telepathic circuits – powerful enough that even Ace picks up on it. The message, which the Doctor believes to come from his old friend Remnex, warns of the Dark Flame…and ends abruptly in a scream of agony. As it happens, Professor Remnex is also conducting research on Orbos, and the Doctor is relieved to find him in perfect health. Bernice, on the other hand, has waited two weeks for her colleague to arrive, to no avail, and no one can account for his whereabouts. The Doctor discovers that a pair of scientists on Orbos are planning to trigger a black light explosion in a nearby star, an ill-advised experiment that could have far-reaching consequences if not properly contained. Soon after his warnings about the impending experiment fall on deaf ears, the Doctor discovers that Remnex has been murdered, having sent his warning through time to the Doctor at the time of his death. The Doctor and Bernice recognize the hallmarks of the Cult of the Dark Flame, a group (thought to be extinct) which worships an energy being from a parallel, but dark, dimension. And if that cult gains control of Orbos and its black light experiment, the universe is in imminent danger. What the Doctor and his friends don’t know is that the cult is already in control.

written by Trevox Baxendale
directed by Jason Haigh-Ellery
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Lisa Bowerman (Bernice), Michael Praed (Slyde), Steven Wickham (Victor / Joseph), Andrew Westfield (Remnex), Hannah Smith (Lomar), Toby Longworth (Broke)

Timeline: between the novels “The All-Consuming Fire” and “Blood Harvest”

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

The Harvest

Doctor Who: The HarvestThe Doctor and Ace have insinuated themselves into the staff of a London hospital in 2021, trying to discover what they can about a top secret project called “C Program,” which the Doctor suspects is using alien technology. The Doctor’s nasty suspicions about the origins of that technology come into sharp focus when Ace befriends a young medic nicknamed Hex in an effort to find out more about C Program, and a hulking humanoid tries to kill both of them shortly afterward. Ace lets Hex into the TARDIS, and he quickly becomes involved in the time travelers’ plans to find out what’s going on. He might even join Ace and the Doctor for more of their travels, if any of them survive the harvesting of the human race for the organs needed by an invasion force that could overrun Earth in mere weeks.

Order this CDwritten by Dan Abnett
directed by Gary Russell
music by David Darlington

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), William Boyde (Subject One), Richard Derrington (Dr. Farrer), David Warwick (Garnier), Paul Lacoux (Dr. Mathias), Janie Booth (System), Mark Donovan (Polk)

Timeline: after The Rapture and before Dreamtime

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

Dreamtime

Doctor Who: DreamtimeThe TARDIS arrives on what appears to be an asteroid with a city on it, a city where the cars, the people and even the buildings have turned to stone. Some of the human colonists on the asteroid have escaped that fate – some of them steeped in Australian Aboriginal lore, and others much more determined to return the colony to normality, by brute force if necessary. The strange situation is not helped by the arrival of a Galyari ship, its crew determined to salvage something from the asteroid before they leave. When the Doctor vanishes into something called the Dreaming, and Ace is knocked out cold, Hex finds himself on his own in a situation he can barely even begin to fathom.

Order this CDwritten by Simon Forward
directed by Gary Russell
music by Steve Foxon

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Tamzin Griffin (Trade Negotiator Vresha), Jef Higgins (Coordinator Whitten), Brigid Lohrey (Dream Commando Wahn), Josephine Mackerras (Toomey), Andrew Peisley (Dream Commando Mulyan), Steffan Rhodri (Commander Korshal), John Scholes (Baiame)

Timeline: after The Harvest and before Live 34

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: Well…I guess it looked like a good idea on paper. For the first time in quite a while, a Doctor Who audio has left me not elated, not annoyed, but just simply nonplussed. There are some interesting ideas in Dreamtime, including references to “cultural terraforming,” and perhaps a message about preserving cultures even in the face of progress and industrialization, among other things, but somehow the cumulative effect of the four episodes were to leave me…well, a bit uninterested. Actually, a straightforward discussion on the latter issue would likely prove to be more interesting than this story’s subtle-as-a-sledgehammer attempt at topical storytelling.

DreamtimeUnless it was of Hex’s scenes, that is. Philip Olivier continues to make his new TARDIS traveler likeable, and when he’s thrust into danger that’s beyond what he can grasp, his part of the story quickly becomes the most compelling thing to follow. Ace has to deal with an uncooperative brute determined to gain control of the situation by any means necessary – hardly a situation she hasn’t been in before – while the Doctor finds himself in bizarrely unfamiliar circumstances to which he reacts with what almost seems like calm familiarity. Sophie Aldred and Sylvester McCoy turn in fine performances, and the first episode is gripping stuff, but it gets a bit muddled after that, leaving the cast to do the best they can with what the script gives them. There are even tantalizing hints that we’ll follow up on the Galyari’s relationship with the Doctor – something explored much more deeply in The Sandman – but even that doesn’t materialize.

Somewhere in Dreamtime, there are fascinating ideas and an interesting story to be told – but it could be that both of those things were crowding each other out here, and not leaving adequate room to full explore either. Sadly, the weakest Doctor Who audio release in quite some time.

Live 34

Doctor Who: Live 34A radio broadcast unfolds live on the disant Colony 34, recounting the day’s events, including another in a string of terrorist bombings. The incumbent leader, Premier Leo Jaeger, denounces the violence, promises further crackdowns in the name of security, and openly accuses his opponents, the Freedom & Democracy Party, of being behind the attacks. The FDP’s new leader, known only as the Doctor, has a different story to tell: he criticizes the bombings, but also claims that Jaeger is trying to divert attention away from the upcoming elections that the FDP has forced through legal channels – elections that have been delayed for five years. Other news broadcasts profile the “Rebel Queen,” a young woman calling herself Ace who says she’s leading the resistance, and a bewildered paramedic named Hex who stumbles onto a secret during a live broadcast – a secret which could get Live 34 shut down by the government.

Order this CDwritten by James Parsons & Andrew Stirling-Brown
directed by Gary Russell
music by David Darlington

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Andrew Collins (Drew Shahan), William Hoyland (Premier Jaeger), Zehra Naqvi (Charlotte Singh), Duncan Wiseby (Ryan Wareing), Ann Bryson (Gina Grewal), Joy Elias-Rilwan (Lula)

Timeline: between Dreamtime and Night Thoughts

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Night Thoughts

Doctor Who: Night ThoughtsThe TARDIS brings the Doctor, Ace and Hex to a stormy island, where Hex admits to experiencing strange visions of an incident in an operating room that he’s never personally witnessed, and Ace has a vision of her own near a body of water, and falls in. Spotting a nearby house, the Doctor decides they should seek shelter there, but the handful of people in the house are as unsettling as any of the strange things they’ve seen so far. Everyone there seems to be trying to keep some kind of a secret under wraps, but when one of them turns up dead, they’re all suspects…and so are the time travelers. It turns out that the TARDIS may not be the only time machine on the island, and that none of the residents of the house may have chosen to be here – and every layer of the secret that is revealed seems to cost another life.

Order this CDwritten by Edward Young
directed by Gary Russell
music by ERS

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Bernard Kay (Major Dickens), Joanna McCallum (The Bursar), Andrew Forbes (Dr. O’Neil), Lizzie Hopley (Sue), Ann Beach (The Deacon), Duncan Duff (Joe Hartley)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

The Veiled Leopard

Doctor Who - The Veiled LeopardIt’s Monte Carlo, 1966, and Peri and Erimem are on an assignment: the Doctor has sent them to steal the Veiled Leopard, a spectacular diamond with unusual markings at its center. But this time, the TARDIS travelers are on their own, and the Doctor isn’t there to help them deal with someone else who’s there for the same reason, to say nothing of the other shady characters populating the casino. Two of the other guests in particular stick out like a sore thumb, which is an odd coincidence, because their names are Hex and Ace – and they’ve been sent by the Doctor to make sure that nobody steals the Veiled Leopard.

written by Iain McLaughlin & Claire Bartlett
directed by Gary Russell
music by David Darlington

Cast: Nicola Bryant (Peri), Caroline Morris (Erimem), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Lizzie Hopley (Lady Lillian Hawthorne), Alan Ruscoe (Peter Mathis), Steven Wickham (Gavin Walker), Stephen Mansfield (Jean, the Commisionaire)

Notes: Alan Ruscoe appeared in almost half of the episodes of the first season of the revived Doctor Who, playing heavily-costumed parts such as Autons, Slitheen and assorted androids; he also appeared in the first two movies of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. Steven Wickham was Lister’s blushing GELF bride in the Red Dwarf episode Emohawk: Polymorph II. If you’re trying to fit written and audio Doctor Who into the same continuity, the fifth and seventh incarnations of the Doctor met up again both before and after this story; the Missing Adventures novel “Cold Fusion” takes place further back in the fifth Doctor’s life (when he’s traveling with Tegan, Nyssa and Adric), and much later in the seventh Doctor’s (when he’s no longer traveling with Ace or Hex, but instead shares the TARDIS with Chris Cwej and Roz Forrester).

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

The Settling

Doctor Who: The SettlingThe Doctor, Ace and Hex arrive in Ireland, 1649, to the sound of thunder…only it’s not thunder. The TARDIS has brought the time travelers to Drogheda, just before Oliver Cromwell and his New Model Army raze the town to the ground, and there are almost no survivors. The Doctor befriends a pregnant widow named Mary, after sternly telling Ace and Hex not to get involved in historical events. But when the moment comes, Hex and Ace take up arms alongside the Irish. Ace is injured in battle, and Hex is captured by Cromwell’s forces. Hoping he can change history and prevent another massacre like Drogheda, Hex becomes Cromwell’s personal advisor, trying to steer him toward more humane treatment of prisoners, civilian and otherwise. Hex tries to get Cromwell to be more concerned with how history will see him. As the Doctor tries to help Mary bring a new life into the world, Hex is helpless to watch as his best efforts only ensure that Cromwell will continue carving a bloody path through history at Wexford.

Order this CDwritten by Simon Guerrier
directed by Gary Russell
music by David Darlington

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Clive Mantle (Oliver Cromwell), Roger Parrott (Doctor Goddard), Hugh Lee (Fitzgerald), Clare Cathcart (Mary), Ian Brooker (Colonel Sinnott)

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

No Man’s Land

Doctor Who: No Man's LandThe TARDIS deposits the Doctor, Ace and Hex in harm’s way on the front lines of World War I. After a close call with a German shell, they wind up in a makeshift military hospital, and as soon as the Doctor is fully recovered, he’s startled to find that there are orders awaiting him: they ask the British commanding officer to accord the Doctor and his associates full access to the hospital in order to investigate a murder that has yet to happen. Completely mystified, the Doctor begins investigating, but not before Hex warns him of one disturbing possibility: the future murder victim could be one of the time travelers. Hex discovers first-hand that horrifying experiments in mind control are taking place at this hospital, far ahead of their time, and crude – but effective. The Doctor and Ace find themselves on the receiving end of a none-too-subtle warning about poking around where they’re not welcome. They find an ally in a man who’s being kept off the front lines for fear that his pacifistic views will send him running into the arms of the enemy, but with the rest of the soldiers turned against him, he can’t offer the Doctor much help. When the murder finally takes place, however, it seems that the base commander has his own ideas as to who should face the music for the killing, whether his suspicions are founded in truth or not. But who knew about the murder ahead of time?

Order this CDwritten by Martin Day
directed by John Ainsworth
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Michael Cochrane (Lt. Col. Brook), Rob Dixon (Sgt. Wood), Rupert Wickham (Captain Dudgeon), Oliver Mellor (Private Taylor), Ian Hayles (Lance Corporal Burridge), Michael Adams (Private Dixon)

Timeline: between The Settling and Nocturne

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: A dark historical story with nary an alien influence anywhere, perhaps the only weakness of No Man’s Land is that – if you’re listening to the seventh Doctor audio adventures in their intended order – it follows on from another dark historical story with nary an alien influence anywhere (The Settling). The reality is that there were a few months between the two releases, but even the characters comment on the slight similarity – Ace warns Hex against causing another debacle like the one he precipitated in The Settling. Read More

Nocturne

Doctor Who: NocturneThe Doctor brings Ace and Hex to Glast City on the planet Nocturne, home of the Artists’ Enclave, a community of poets, musicians, writers and other creative types, which happens to be one of the Doctor’s favorite places in the universe. But death seems to arrive on the Doctor’s heels: one of the community’s prominent artists is murdered and his home is set ablaze. Hex arrives to try to help, but he’s found by the authorities and arrested on suspicion of murder. The Doctor arrives to vouch for him, but that only brings the Time Lord – and his history of unauthorized visits to Nocturne – to the attention of the city’s security forces. He discovers that someone has been conducting experiments in bioharmonics, the science of living sound, and may have summoned a dark force to Nocture. But by the time there are more deaths for the security forces to investigate, they’ve already decided that the Doctor is their prime suspect.

Order this CDwritten by Dan Abnett
directed by John Ainsworth
music by Steve Foxon

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Trevor Bannister (Korbin Thessinger), Paul David-Gough (Will Alloran), Eric Potts (Lothar Ragpole), Ann Rye (Lilian Dillane), Helen Kay (Cate Reeney)

Notes: Nocturne was the final Doctor Who audio to use the centered-logo cover template established in the earliest Big Finish releases. The following release, Renaissance Of The Daleks, began using a new cover template inspired by the covers of Virgin Publishing’s Doctor Who Missing Adventures novels, although that cover design had already appeared on the first Companion Chronicles CD releases.

Timeline: between No Man’s Land and The Dark Husband

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: The Doctor, Hex and Ace finally get back to the future, so to speak, and it’s a welcome departure after a string of trips into Earth history. Since the earliest days of Big Finish’s Doctor Who license, all the way back to Whispers Of Terror, there’s been a conscious effort to do stories that would work well in audio form but not necessarily on television, and the various stories that have tried to accomplish that have either been very good or very bad, but very seldom “eh, that’s okay.” Nocturne is one of the better attempts. Read More

The Dark Husband

Doctor Who: The Dark HusbandAfter a particularly harrowing adventure, the Doctor promises to take Ace and Hex somewhere where they can all relax, and by virtue of having both a spa and a beer tent, the Festival of the Twin Moons of Tuin wins the toss. But of course, the Doctor hasn’t shared everything he knows about Tuin: the societies of its twin moons, despite being very closely related biologically, are locked in a seemingly endless war, from which the Festival is the only break in hostilities. Furthermore, the Doctor takes it upon himself to bring that war to an end, having read some local lore. He declares himself the suitor to an unknown bride, the marriage of whom will bring peace to Tuin at last. But instead of being one step ahead of the game, this time the Doctor’s information is woefully incomplete, as he has no idea who he’ll be marrying. And even when the bride is revealed, the Doctor discovers that the peace their wedding vows will bring will not be the peace of a war ended, but the peace of a dead world.

Order this CDwritten by David Quantick
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Steve Foxon

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Danny Webb (Ori), Andy B Newb (Irit), Benny Dawb (Tuin), Katarina Olsson (Bard), Sean Connolly (Bard)

Timeline: between Nocturne and Forty-Five

LogBook entry and TheatEar entry by Earl Green

Review: A bizarrely dark metaphysical comedy, The Dark Husband is a bit misleading at several points in the story, but it certainly keeps you on your toes. It’s not like anything that’s been done in Doctor Who before, audio or television, though some longtime fans might find some similarities to the logic trap posed in the classic series phrase “Who who loses shall win, and he who wins shall lose” – it’s that kind of crafty misdirection. Read More

Forty-Five

Doctor Who: Forty-FiveThe Doctor, Ace and Hex arrive just in time to see famed archaeologist Howard Carter unearth one of the more interesting Egyptian tombs he would excavate prior to discovering the tomb of Tutankhamun. But what Carter finds here startles the TARDIS crew: evidence that another time traveler may be nearby, altering the course of human history. A distress call then leads the Doctor and his friends to a remote laboratory where Dr. Verryman is trying to crack a genetic code that could lead to the mental improvement of the human race – whether the human race wants it or not. The code turns out to be a mathematical virus which infects the Doctor’s mind: kill and cure could be the same thing. The TARDIS next lands in England on V-E day, where a man from 1945 has procured alien technology allowing him to control others’ minds. The device has attracted the attention of not only the Doctor, but of the Forge as well, and the consequences hit close to home for both Ace and Hex. At a top secret base in Antarctica in 2012, the time travelers arrive just after a murder that should never have happened with the base’s tight security measures…and of course, this means the Doctor and his companions are now the prime suspects.

Order this CDwritten by Mark Morris (False Gods), Nick Scovell (Order Of Simplicity), Mark Michalowski (Casualties Of War), Steven Hall (The Word Lord)
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Richard Fox and Lauren Yason, Matthew Cochrane, and Steve Foxon

False Gods: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Benedict Cumberbatch (Howard Carter), Lucy Adams (Jane Templeton), Paul Lincoln (Robert Charles), Jon Glover (Creodont), Paul Lincoln (Robot)

Order of Simplicity: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Jon Glover (Dr. Verryman), Lucy Adams (Mrs Crisp), Benedict Cumberbatch (Thing 2), Paul Lincoln (Thing 1)

Casualties of War: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Paul Reynolds (Joey Carlisle), Linda Marlowe (May), Beth Chalmers (Audrey), Beth Chalmers (Miss Merchant), Andrew Dickens (PC Miller)

The Word Lord: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Linda Marlowe (Commander Claire Spencer), Paul Reynolds (Nobody No-One), Andrew Dickens (Captain James Hurst), Paul Lincoln (Private Fenton), Beth Chalmers (System)

Timeline: between The Dark Husband and The Magic Mousetrap

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

The Magic Mousetrap

Doctor Who: The Magic MousetrapA strange gathering takes place in a sanitorium in the Swiss Alps in 1926. Among the strangest patients there is a man known only as the Doctor, who seems not to have the slightest idea who he is – and anytime he seems to stray anywhere near finding out the truth, there always seems to be something handy to prevent him from remembering too much: chloroform here, a powerful electric shock there. Other patients go through the motions of playing an endless series of games, and being subjected to similar memory-erasing tactics by the shadowy couple calling the shots from the sanitorium’s attic. These two mysterious people are named Ace and Hex, and they’re keeping the patients – and their Doctor – imprisoned for a reason: to rid the universe of a malevolent presence. But it turns out that the Doctor, even without his memory, doesn’t take kindly to being imprisoned.

Order this CDwritten by Matthew Sweet
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Richard Fox & Lauren Yason

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Paul Anthony-Barber (Ludovic Comfort), Joan Walker (Lola Luna), Nadim Sawalha (Swapnil Khan), Nadine Lewington (Queenie Glasscock), Andrew Fettes (Harry Randall), Andrew Dickens (Herbert Randall)

Timeline: between Forty-Five and Enemy Of The Daleks

Notes: Spoiler-heavy notes are placed below the review.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

Enemy Of The Daleks

Doctor Who: Enemy Of The DaleksOn the planet Bliss, an isolated human research base is besieged by both the local insect life and by an approaching attack force of Daleks. The TARDIS arrives outside the base, and the Doctor, Ace and Hex demand shelter from the deadly insect swarm. Once inside, the time travelers find that the base’s crew is demoralized and on edge. Something is drawing the Daleks’ attention to this otherwise unremarkable outpost – and the Doctor discovers that it could be something even more horrifyingly destructive than the Daleks themselves. Will he actually join forces with his dreaded enemies to keep it contained?

Order this CDwritten by David Bishop
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Steve Foxon

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Kate Ashfield (Lieutenant Beth Stokes), Bindya Solanki (Sergeant Tahira Khan), Eiji Kusuhara (Professor Toshio Shimura), Jeremy James (Sistermatic / Kiseibya / Male Patient / Male Voice), Nicholas Briggs (Daleks)

Timeline: between The Magic Mousetrap and Angel Of Scutari

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More