A time displacement brings the TARDIS down for a hard landing in 21st century Moscow, stranding the Doctor and Turlough there until they can find the source of the distortion and put an end to it. While Turlough complains bitterly about the cold, the Doctor explores the enormous glass tower erected by the mysterious Somnus Foundation. Turlough hears a woman’s cries for help, and despite trying to talk himself out of it, runs to help her, finding that she’s looking for her brother, who has gone missing after joining the cult-like Foundation. The Doctor and Turlough help her get to safety, and become even more interested in her stories of the Somnus Foundation causing its enemies to “disappear.” The Foundation claims to be advancing human evolution, but the Doctor soon discovers that it’s something much more twisted than that – something that will bring power that the human race isn’t ready for.
Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Eve Polycarpou (Qel), Maitland Chandler (Seo), Michael Cuckson (Cord), Natasha Radski (Lena Korolev), Oleg Mirochnikov (Alexi Korolev), Max Bollinger (Pavel Fedorin), Dominika Boon (Natalia Pushkin), Billy Miller (Tev), Marq English (Xen)
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Notes: Qel talks about conducting advanced experiments with “stone knives and bear skins,” an in-joke on the classic Star Trek episode City On The Edge Of Forever, in which Spock complained about the same thing (with exactly the same phrase). An alternate cover was devised for sale through the Tenth Planet web site, and it is seen at right.
Review: This is actually one of the more interesting Big Finish audios released in 2005, with a fairly high concept SF underpinning, and the long overdue return of Mark Strickson as Turlough. Turlough’s presence actually helps the story a great deal, simply because of the character’s trademark unpredictability. You can never be quite sure which way Turlough will jump, and that plays into this story’s plot perfectly.
The entire cast is uniformly excellent, with Maitland Chandler and Eve Polycarpou teaming up for a nasty villainous double act. The concepts of the story, which touch on everything from Scientology and cults to a nifty time paradox that marks, in a post-story coda, a rather huge pivotal moment in the Doctor’s life, kept me intrigued throughout, and the part three cliffhanger – “You’re killing my ship!” – ranks among the very best Big Finish moments with Davison’s Doctor. Hopefully James Swallow is on board for future stories with Big Finish, and hopefully Mark Strickson can be convinced to bring Turlough back to the TARDIS more often, because between the two of them, this really was one of the best Doctor Who audio stories released in 2005.