The Wasting

UNIT: The WastingIn the wake of Colonel Dalton’s death in the London incident, Colonel Chaudhry is on the mend, having only just come out of a two-week coma. Lethbridge-Stewart comes out of retirement yet again to try to inspire Chaudhry to fight back against ICIS once and for all – and to offer his help. But before they can put their plans for ICIS into action, UNIT is assigned to look into a virus that is quickly spreading around the world. Initially displaying flu-like symptoms, the disease eventually leaves its victims in a violent, zombie-like state. Lethbridge-Stewart calls in some old favors and has the virus analyzed, discovering that it’s a devastating, alien-engineered bioweapon that attacks and alters its victims at the genetic level. Persistent reporter Francis Currie comes to Chaudhry with videotape he and his cameraman have just filmed, showing armed soldiers in UNIT uniform killing victims of the plague in cold blood. But while Currie has brought this copy of the tape to UNIT, his cameraman has put it on the air – and the Army moves in to arrest UNIT, according to a carefully orchestrated ICIS plan. ICIS wants nothing less than to sieze control of the British government and institute a foreign policy steeped in xenophobia. Chaudhry and Lethbridge-Stewart find that they have friends they didn’t know they have – and enemies who have been watching from just over their shoulders all along.

Order this CDwritten by Iain McLaughlin and Claire Bartlett
directed by Nicola Bryant
music by David Darlington

Cast: Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier), Siri O’Neal (Colonel Emily Chaudhry), David Tennant (Colonel Ross Brimmicombe-Wood), Nora Brande (Sergeant Willis), Sara Carver (Andrea Winnington), Michael Hobbs (Francis Currie), Adrian McLoughlin (George), Steffan Rhodri (Prime Minister), Alex Zorbas (Corporal McLeish)

Notes: The Brigadier cites the Silurians’ expertise in biological warfare, which he got to see for himself in Doctor Who and the Silurians (1970). The Brigadier’s reference to “an old blood-and-thunder like me” could be a reference to the fan-made 1993 video drama Wartime, which also used that term to describe him, though a little less flatteringly. Colonel Chaudhry says she’s met more than one of the Doctor’s incarnations, though it didn’t occur during this audio series. The Brigadier calls on the services of Commodore Harry Sullivan to analyze the virus; Harry traveled with the fourth Doctor and Sarah for a time and was played by the late Ian Marter, who died in 1986 on his 42nd birthday from complications from diabetes. Director Nicola Bryant was herself a former Doctor Who companion, starring as Peri from 1984 through 1986; she has also directed other Big Finish audio projects, such as the Judge Dredd series.

This was the first Big Finish audio featuring David Tennant to be released after it was announced that he would succeed Christopher Eccleston in the role of the Doctor shortly after the revived TV series premiered. What Tennant was unable to tell any of his UNIT co-stars during recording was that he had already been cast as the next Doctor. This story, and the unrelated comics audio adaptation The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, represent Tennant’s final Big Finish appearances to date.

LogBook entry by Earl Green