Doctor WhoUNIT scientific advisor Elizabeth Klein is discussing work performance issues with her recently-hired assistant, Will Arrowsmith, when the dreaded “Umbrella Man” is sighted nearby. Klein orders Will to stay put while she tries to follow the Doctor to ask him why he’s there; Will, naturally, follows them both right into the TARDIS, which then proceeds to take off. It lands in postwar Germany, where something decidedly strange is happening. A couple speaking entirely in couplets seems to have the nearby village in their thrall, while a man named Schalk, the developer of a prototype mind-control device called the Persuasion Machine, hides out among the locals hoping to escape the notice of anyone who would wish him to build such a device for them; sure enough, a spacecraft does turn up looking for him, as does the Doctor, who is aware of Schalk’s past as a wanted war criminal. The Persuasion machine could conceivably end free will throughout the universe, and more than one party would do nearly anything to claim either the machine or its inventor. The Doctor must be prepared to be even more ruthless, and this, he reveals, is why he has brought Klein with him.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Barnes
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Elizabeth Klein), Christian Edwards (Will Arrowsmith), David Sibley (Kurt Schalk), Jonathan Forbes (Lukas Hinterberger), Paul Chahidi (Shepherd / Bondsman Tango-Veldt), Miranda Raison (Shepherdess / Acquisitor Prime), Gemma Whelan (Casta / The Sylph / Khlecht)

Timeline: after UNIT: Dominion and before Starlight Robbery; the Doctor seems to be aware that he will regenerate soon, so probably not long before the 1996 TV movie for the Doctor.

Notes: Apparently Klein has finally convinced UNIT to hire an assistant for her (UNIT: Dominion). Persuasion‘s opening scenes with Klein and Will are said to take place in 1990.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Starlight Robbery

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, Klein and Will discover that Schalk’s Persuasion Machine design – and possibly even Schalk himself – are up for grabs in an auction of rare weapons of mass destruction. Such a sale of salacious merchandise has already drawn the attention of such unsavory suitors as the Sontarans and other assorted warmongers. Hosting the auction is the equally unsavory Garundel, unaware that his own underling, Ms. Ziv, is planning a double-cross of her own. The Doctor adopts a curiously hands-off approach to this TARDIS trip, assigning Klein and Will to stage a heist of their own to steal the Persuasion machine and Schalk himself. But things quickly go wrong, leaving the Doctor with little choice but to take a more direct hand in events, and risking the lives of his companions.

Order this CDwritten by Matt Fitton
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Elizabeth Klein), Christian Edwards (Will Arrowsmith), Stuart Milligan (Garundel), Dan Starkey (Marshal Stenn / Major Vlaar / Sergeant Gredd / Asallis), Jo Woodcock (Ziv), Lizzie Roper (Krakenmother Benarra)

Notes: Actor Dan Starkey is the voice of the Sontarans for both Big Finish and the BBC, having played the eleventh Doctor’s well-meaning-but-still-Sontaran ally Strax in television Doctor Who, and having appeared as other Sontarans since the creatures’ return to modern Who in The Sontaran Stratagem (2008). Starkey also plays the magical imp Randal Moon in Russell T. Davies’ CBBC series Wizards Vs. Aliens. Stuart Milligan, who appeared in previous Big Finish audio stories The Reaping and Lurkers At Sunlight’s Edge, also appeared in televised Doctor Who as President Richard Nixon in The Impossible Astronaut and Day Of The Moon; he first played Garundel in 2012’s audio story Black And White.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Daleks Among Us

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, Klein and Will return to Earth, now certain that Schalk is still hiding there and perhaps never left. What they find instead is a Dalek, which Klein manages to destroy with her usual ruthless efficiency. The trail then leads them to Azimuth, a world the Doctor previously visited in the company of Ace, where he helped the locals fend off a Dalek invasion. But Azimuth is strangely changed: even saying the word “Dalek” out loud violates the law, since the government of Azimuth has declared that no invasion ever took place, and no Daleks ever landed there. Will immediately runs afoul of this law and discovers that there is an underground movement on Azimuth that not only believes that the Dalek invasion happened, but that it never ended. This resistance movement’s leader is known only as “Father”, a wizened, damaged man whose life support system resembles the lower half of a Dalek – a man known to the Doctor by another name. And the Daleks do indeed still have Azimuth under their control, thanks to their new leader… a particularly persuasive man known to the Doctor and Klein as Schalk. Klein’s destiny and her origins are inextricably linked to Schalk’s, though discovering precisely how may be as dangerous as fighting the Daleks.

Order this CDwritten by Alan Barnes
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Wilfredo Acosta

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Elizabeth Klein), Christian Edwards (Will Arrowsmith), Terry Molloy (Davros), Jonathan Forbes (Hinterberger), Nicholas Briggs (Ralf/The Daleks), Tim Delap (Falkus), Jessica Brooks (Qaren), Paul Chahidi (Entity)

Notes: Will says he’s seen UNIT archival film of Daleks from incidents in Shoreditch (Remembrance Of The Daleks, in this case said to have been filmed by the Countermeasures group) and at Auderly House (Day Of The Daleks). Under Dalek torture, the Doctor recounts, somewhat disjointedly, events chronicled in the television stories The Twin Dilemma, The Sensorites, and The Happiness Patrol. When the Doctor and Will disguise themselves as members of the SS to rescue Klein, she asks “Aren’t you a little short to be stormtroopers?” (a Star Wars gag).

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]