Serpent Crest Part 5: Survivors In Space

Doctor WhoThe entire village of Hexford, buildings and all including Nest Cottage, has been ripped out of the Earth and transported to the rebel moon by a huge Skishtari spacecraft. For three months, Mike Yates has been struggling to keep the peace among the residents of Hexford as their food supply dwindles and they have to make do without electricity or any other artificial energy source. The second Doctor continues to make attempts to signal the outside universe for help – or so he says. The fourth Doctor and Mrs. Wibbsey arrive in the TARDIS, but the Doctor insists that it isn’t as simple as just taking the residents of Hexford back to Earth in his time machine. He wants to know what his younger self’s part is in these events, and he already has a hunch that it hasn’t been trying to send distress signals for months. But when robots converge on the dome protecting Hexford from an uninhabitable moon begin to take over the village, help will still have to come from outside, perhaps from a source whose life the Doctor has saved in the past.

Order this CDwritten by Paul Magrs
directed by Kate Thomas
music by Simon Power

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Susan Jameson (Mrs. Wibbsey), David Troughton (The Visitor), Richard Franklin (Mike Yates), Cornelius Garrett (Reverend Tonge), Nerys Hughes (Deirdre), Joanna Tope (Tish), Sam Hoare (Lucius), Paddy Wallace (The Tsar)

Notes: Mrs. Wibbsey says that months of adventures in the TARDIS occurred between the taking of Hexford and the Doctor’s arrival there (possibly leaving the door open to further fourth Doctor/Wibbsey adventures from either the BBC or perhaps Big Finish). The cover art gracing both this release and The Hexford Invasion is based on the visual style of British comic illustrator Frank Bellamy, whose dynamic illustrations graced Doctor Who listings in the Radio Times in the early 1970s and were later collected in the art book “Timeview: The Complete Doctor Who Illustrations Of Frank Bellamy”. This was the final AudioGo fourth Doctor adventure before Tom Baker’s first “season” of Big Finish adventures began early in 2012.

Timeline: after The Hexford Invasion and prior to The Ribos Operation

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green

Review: The Serpent Crest pentalogy brings it all in for a landing, and even though the hornets get a mention, this time it’s not their fault! Plot developments back to Tsar Wars are neatly paid off, and the status quo is restored… just in time for Tom Baker to go work for Big Finish.

The BBC Audio/AudioGo series has been good fun, and if there’s one element of the entire thing, just one element, that could or should be transferred to Big Finish’s fourth Doctor adventures, it can be summed up in two words: Mrs. Wibbsey. Originally a truculent character with an aversion to being dragged away from her housekeeping duties to have to deal with the rest of the universe (sometimes on a more literal level than she realized), Mrs. Wibbsey became a capable member of the TARDIS team. Paul Magrs wisely leaves a mysterious gap of “several months” here, during which it is hinted that Wibbsey and the fourth Doctor had countless adventures, leaving the door open to the possibility that we may hear her again. Not every companion has to be able to break into a dead run to be qualified for time travel.