Industrial Evolution

Doctor WhoThomas Brewster is back in his element, laboring at a factory as the rise of unions and workers’ rights begin to gain a foothold in the early industrial era. One of his fellow workers loses a hand on the job, and Brewster is surprised when the Doctor and Evelyn arrive to investigate, believing that they had left him and continued their travels. In the basement levels below the factory, an entirely different kind of machinery lurks, intelligent and capable of building more like itself, centuries ahead of human technology. Not everyone is oblivious to the silent spread of the self-replicating machines, and once again the Doctor and Brewster have to form an uneasy alliance to keep history from being rewritten. But this time, Brewster will take measures to save Earth of which the Doctor would never approve. Is their tenuous partnership done at last?

Order this CDwritten by Eddie Robson
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Fool Circle Productions

Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Maggie Stables (Dr. Evelyn Smythe), John Pickard (Thomas Brewster), Rory Kinnear (Samuel Belfrage), Warren Brown (Stephen Gibson), Joannah Tincey (Clara Stretton), Hugh Ross (Robert Stretton), Paul Chahidi (George Townsend)

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: Concluding the unexpetedly fascinating trilogy pairing on-again, off-again audio companion Thomas Brewster with a new Doctor, puts Brewster almost back where we found him, except that in that context, we find that he might actually be wiser and not just older. And Brewster really is trying to save the world here, though that also puts him in the position to be led astray again, this time making a decision to wipe out the intelligent machines trying to invade Earth for the sake of their own survival. This puts Brewster completely at odds with the Doctor WhoDoctor, though it could be argued that, in changing from the man Brewster first met into the man he is now, the Doctor has also changed – into someone more judgemental and less tolerant of Bewster’s faults, resulting in an explosive combination.

Interestingly, Brewster elects to leave the 19th century again (though not in the Doctor’s company), meaning that he may yet bump into the Time Lord (or another of his incarnations) down the road. With such an obviously open-ended fate for the character, it would seem that we’re almost certain to encounter Thomas Brewster again. And that’s okay – his brief series of adventures with the fifth Doctor seemed so tentative that it was hard to get a grasp of the character when he was introduced, but Brewster became much more sharply defined in his trilogy of adventures with the sixth Doctor. It will be interesting to see where, and when, he turns up again.