Antidote To Oblivion

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS picks up a distress call from another TARDIS, and the Doctor and Flip follow the signal to 24th century London, a near-wasteland in which it is no longer the capitol city of the UK, but is instead part of a geographical area govened by ConCorp, a corporate entity which runs the once-great nation like a huge company. But ConCorp’s chief benefactor is Sil, a profiteering Mentor who has extended enough loans that he and his species stand to own the entire country if those loans are defaulted upon. The Doctor and Flip learn that ConCorp (at Sil’s urging) is embarking on a genocidal plan to reduce the numbers of the unemployed to whom it must pay benefits: Sil and his chief scientist, Cordelia Crozier, are about to unleash a deadly plague to wipe out most life on Earth. And they’ve duped the Doctor into coming to Earth so they can mine an antidote from his Time Lord immune system… a cure for which they’ll happily charge the plague’s survivors a princely sum.

Order this CDwritten by Philip Martin
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Fool Circle Productions

Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Lisa Greenwood (Flip Jackson), Nabil Shaban (Sil), Dawn Murphy (Miss Cordelia), David Dobson (Pan / Lord Mav), Mary-Ann Cafferkey (Cerise), Scott Joseph (Boscoe / Voda / Knight Marshal), Mandy Weston (Kristal / Mistress Na / Velena)

Notes: Cordelia Crozier is the daughter of “young Crozier,” whose mind-transplantation process resulted in the direct intervention of the Time Lords and Peri’s removal from the timeline. The Time Lord Anzor was first mentioned in the scripts of the unmade 1986 television adventure Mission To Magnus, which established his past relationship with the Doctor. Mission To Magnus was novelized in the late ’80s and then recorded as a full-cast adventure in the Lost Stories range in 2009, so Antidote To Oblivion effectively canonizes that story. A disease known as Lasarti’s Wasting is mentioned, which may be a reference to Nyssa’s husband Lasarti (Circular Time, Cobwebs, Prisoners Of Fate).

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: It’s hard to pin down what story Antidote To Oblivion is telling, but in that regard it resembles Philip Martin’s Doctor Who debut, 1985’s Vengeance On Varos, to a great degree. You have a borderline-unscrupulous victimized head of state held to Sil’s whims (Varos‘ Governor, Antidote‘s President); you have a married couple with differing views acting almost like a Greek chorus, commenting on the rest of the story’s developments (Arak and Etta in Varos, Cerise and Pan in Antidote), and the life of the Doctor’s companion hangs in the balance (Peri’s transmogrification in Varos, Flip’s intentional infection in Antidote). At the very least, Antidote is Varos‘ close spiritual cousin.

And yet, surprisingly, Antidote is the second story in a row (if one is counting the December 2013 subscriber bonus story, Trial Of The Valeyard) to follow up on elements of The Trial Of A Time Lord, setting up what appears to be the opening volley of a “quest to find out what really happened to Peri” story arc (which is actually something of a good idea – keep in mind that the Doctor is in the dark on the specifics of what happened to Peri after the Time Lords’ interference in Trial, and has only the Inquisitor’s word for what happened to Peri in reality). After an entire trilogy centering on her recklessness, Flip doesn’t get to display quite as much bravado this time around, though she’s certainly mouthy even in the face of death.

The sheer amount of connecting tissue leading to The Trial Of A Time Lord is a bit surprising, as is the link to a story that was written for, but never filmed for, TV. For a story that many regard as far from Doctor Who’s finest hour, between Big Finish follow-ups and the spectre of the Valeyard (or at least his name) being raised on TV, Trial is suddenly getting a lot of attention.