Serpent Crest (starring Tom Baker)

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    How odd. Even while Big Finish is getting ready to storm out of the gates in 2012 with full-cast Tom Baker stories, AudioGo (formerly the BBC’s in-house audiobook division) is still doing not-quite-full-cast Tom Baker stories along the lines of Hornets’ Nest and Demon Quest. The “overall title” of this series is Serpent’s Crest, and the first story in the series is…

    The Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey are catapulted from present day Earth to a futuristic civilisation in a distant galaxy. At the Robotov Palace they find the Tsar and Tsarina ruling over their empire whilst human workers toil on satellite moons. The Doctor is mistaken for an old ally of the Tsarina’s, but then suspected of treason when the Palace comes under attack. Dark secrets are lurking in the shadows, and the mysterious Father Gregory will set off a chain of events which have long-lasting consequences for the Doctor and Mrs Wibbsey.

    Featuring a dual role for Tom Baker, Tsar Wars features a superb line-up of guest actors including Michael Jayston, Simon Shepherd, Suzy Aitchison, Paul Chequer, Gabriel Vick, Grant Gillespie and Sam Hoare.

    It’s probably a total coincidence, but Michael Jayston played the Valeyard in Trial Of A Time Lord as well as one of Big Finish’s Doctor Who Unbound audios. I’m gonna go out on a limb and bet that he isn’t playing that character here. Tsar Wars is out September 8th. The rest of the stories in Serpent’s Crest will be out around the first weekend of each succeeding month:

    Tsar Wars
    The Broken Crown
    Aladdin Time
    The Hexford Invasion
    Survivors In Space

    So here’s the question… let’s say you’ve got a bit of money burning a hole in your wallet (see, this is science fiction!), and it’s earmarked for Tom Baker audio in some form. Are you going to spring for Serpent’s Crest, or hold out for whatever Big Finish has on the menu even though we don’t know much about it?

    Steve W
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    I’d go with the one that has a more compelling story. What if Big Finish has some really duff scripts for Tom Baker’s stories? Who knows, Serpent’s Crest might be a far better listen. Although there are some things that concern me. Tsar Wars? Really? And his companion is… Mrs. Wibbsey? That sounds like a retiree following the Doctor around in a motorized cart. We know how many problems K-9 had in negotiating terrain, we really don’t want to go that route again. I’m guessing that’s the Misses on the cover, standing behind Tom who seems to be holding a very small Lightsaber (really, Tom, it’s not the size of the saber, it’s how you use it!) and next to a spaceship that looks like some kind of fanmade Star Trek Romulan ship design from the mid-’90s internet. The robots behind him look cool, though. The painted cover is pretty good other than those niggles.

    So how much will these go for in dollars? And will I have to go to just to order it?

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