Kingdom Of Silver / Keepsake

Doctor Who: Kingdom Of Silver / KeepsakeThe Doctor arrives on the planet Tasak, a pre-nuclear industrial civilization struggling to recover from years of civil war. The nation of Argentia helped to bring the fighting to an end by sharing medical and technological advances based on alien technology discovered on a remote island. Having arrived just before a grand summit meeting of all of Tasak’s nations, the Doctor is scrutinized, especially since he’s providing cover for the first person he met on Tasak, an android agent named Temeter. Scouting reports of Cyberman technology that have survived the Orion War, Temeter thinks he knows where the Argentia are getting their unusually advanced technology…and he doesn’t entrust the Doctor with this fact until it’s too late to escape the truth: the island is the site of a Cyberman tomb, and the technology used and distributed by Argentia is helping to prime the entire planet for a Cyberman takeover.

Order this CDwritten by James Swallow
directed by Ken Bentley and Nicholas Briggs
music by David Darlington

Kingdom Of Silver Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Neil Roberts (Temeter), Kate Terence (Sara), Terry Molloy (Magus Riga), James George (Merel), Bunny Reed (Ardith), Holly King (Etin), Nicholas Briggs (Cybermen)

Keepsake Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Neil Roberts (Temeter), Kate Terence (Sara), Terry Molloy (Examiner 2), James George (Corvus), Nicholas Briggs (Examiner 1)

Timeline: between The Death Collectors and…

Notes: The audio Cybermen have suddenly developed a clanking mechanical march – obviously inspired by the sound of the new TV series Cybermen, whose voices are also provided by Big Finish producer Nicholas Briggs.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Forty-Five

Doctor Who: Forty-FiveThe Doctor, Ace and Hex arrive just in time to see famed archaeologist Howard Carter unearth one of the more interesting Egyptian tombs he would excavate prior to discovering the tomb of Tutankhamun. But what Carter finds here startles the TARDIS crew: evidence that another time traveler may be nearby, altering the course of human history. A distress call then leads the Doctor and his friends to a remote laboratory where Dr. Verryman is trying to crack a genetic code that could lead to the mental improvement of the human race – whether the human race wants it or not. The code turns out to be a mathematical virus which infects the Doctor’s mind: kill and cure could be the same thing. The TARDIS next lands in England on V-E day, where a man from 1945 has procured alien technology allowing him to control others’ minds. The device has attracted the attention of not only the Doctor, but of the Forge as well, and the consequences hit close to home for both Ace and Hex. At a top secret base in Antarctica in 2012, the time travelers arrive just after a murder that should never have happened with the base’s tight security measures…and of course, this means the Doctor and his companions are now the prime suspects.

Order this CDwritten by Mark Morris (False Gods), Nick Scovell (Order Of Simplicity), Mark Michalowski (Casualties Of War), Steven Hall (The Word Lord)
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Richard Fox and Lauren Yason, Matthew Cochrane, and Steve Foxon

False Gods: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Benedict Cumberbatch (Howard Carter), Lucy Adams (Jane Templeton), Paul Lincoln (Robert Charles), Jon Glover (Creodont), Paul Lincoln (Robot)

Order of Simplicity: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Jon Glover (Dr. Verryman), Lucy Adams (Mrs Crisp), Benedict Cumberbatch (Thing 2), Paul Lincoln (Thing 1)

Casualties of War: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Paul Reynolds (Joey Carlisle), Linda Marlowe (May), Beth Chalmers (Audrey), Beth Chalmers (Miss Merchant), Andrew Dickens (PC Miller)

The Word Lord: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Linda Marlowe (Commander Claire Spencer), Paul Reynolds (Nobody No-One), Andrew Dickens (Captain James Hurst), Paul Lincoln (Private Fenton), Beth Chalmers (System)

Timeline: between The Dark Husband and The Magic Mousetrap

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Magic Mousetrap

Doctor Who: The Magic MousetrapA strange gathering takes place in a sanitorium in the Swiss Alps in 1926. Among the strangest patients there is a man known only as the Doctor, who seems not to have the slightest idea who he is – and anytime he seems to stray anywhere near finding out the truth, there always seems to be something handy to prevent him from remembering too much: chloroform here, a powerful electric shock there. Other patients go through the motions of playing an endless series of games, and being subjected to similar memory-erasing tactics by the shadowy couple calling the shots from the sanitorium’s attic. These two mysterious people are named Ace and Hex, and they’re keeping the patients – and their Doctor – imprisoned for a reason: to rid the universe of a malevolent presence. But it turns out that the Doctor, even without his memory, doesn’t take kindly to being imprisoned.

Order this CDwritten by Matthew Sweet
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Richard Fox & Lauren Yason

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Paul Anthony-Barber (Ludovic Comfort), Joan Walker (Lola Luna), Nadim Sawalha (Swapnil Khan), Nadine Lewington (Queenie Glasscock), Andrew Fettes (Harry Randall), Andrew Dickens (Herbert Randall)

Timeline: between Forty-Five and Enemy Of The Daleks

Notes: Spoiler-heavy notes are placed below the review.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Enemy Of The Daleks

Doctor Who: Enemy Of The DaleksOn the planet Bliss, an isolated human research base is besieged by both the local insect life and by an approaching attack force of Daleks. The TARDIS arrives outside the base, and the Doctor, Ace and Hex demand shelter from the deadly insect swarm. Once inside, the time travelers find that the base’s crew is demoralized and on edge. Something is drawing the Daleks’ attention to this otherwise unremarkable outpost – and the Doctor discovers that it could be something even more horrifyingly destructive than the Daleks themselves. Will he actually join forces with his dreaded enemies to keep it contained?

Order this CDwritten by David Bishop
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Steve Foxon

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Kate Ashfield (Lieutenant Beth Stokes), Bindya Solanki (Sergeant Tahira Khan), Eiji Kusuhara (Professor Toshio Shimura), Jeremy James (Sistermatic / Kiseibya / Male Patient / Male Voice), Nicholas Briggs (Daleks)

Timeline: between The Magic Mousetrap and Angel Of Scutari

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Angel Of Scutari

Doctor Who: The Angel Of ScutariThe Doctor takes Hex to the Crimean War, in the wake of the costly and ultimately futile charge of the Light Brigade. Ace understands why the Doctor has brought them here all too well: Hex can, at least temporarily, make a difference and regain his confidence about traveling in the TARDIS. But this adventure becomes more than any of them can handle when the three time travelers are separated; Hex takes charge of battlefield medicine at the front of the war, but when the TARDIS is lost at sea, Ace and the Doctor are captured by Russian soldiers. The Doctor is treated like a visiting diplomat, while Ace gets to recover from her injuries in a cell. The three time travelers have to use what they know about this juncture in history to try to reunite with each other without changing recorded events. For Hex, avoiding interference with history becomes doubly difficult when he is introduced to Florence Nightingale herself, and is then accused of collusion with the enemy. Hex’s accuser is eager to see Hex dead for this crime, whether he actually committed it or not, and this time the Doctor isn’t there to help him.

Order this CDwritten by Paul Sutton
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Toby Hrycek-Robinson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Hugh Bonneville (Sir Sidney Herbert / Tsar Nicholas I), Jeany Spark (Florence Nightingale), John Paul Connolly (William Russell / Russian Dungeon Guard), Alex Lowe (Brigadier-General Bartholomew Kitchen), Sean Brosnan (Sir Hamilton Seymour), John Albasiny (Lev Tolstoy / Preston)

Timeline: between Enemy Of The Daleks and Project: Destiny

Notes: Most of the characters portrayed in The Angel Of Scutari – minus the time travelers and their interference in history, of course – were real people, including Florence Nightingale herself, journalist William Russell, Tsar Nicholas I, Sir George Hamilton Seymour and Sir Sidney Herbert. At the end of the story, the Doctor says he’s taking the wounded Hex to St. Gart’s Hospital, the near-future hospital where Hex was working in his first story, The Harvest.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

A Thousand Tiny Wings

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS lands in Kenya, during the native Mau Mau uprising against British colonialists, where the Doctor finds an isolated community of women awaiting either an end to the fighting or a rescue party. But among them is Elizabeth Klein, the Nazi scientist from an alternate future that the Doctor first met during his internment at Colditz Castle. Now trapped in a timeline where the Third Reich fell, Klein is living in exile among fascist sympathizers, making her own plans. When an alien influence is found to be waiting for its chance to invade, the Doctor and Klein are forced into an uneasy alliance.

Order this CDwritten by Andy Lane
directed by Lisa Bowerman
music by Richard Fox & Lauren Yason

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Elizabeth Klein), Ann Bell (Mrs. Sylvia O’Donnell), Abigail McKern (Mrs. Denise Waterford), Joannah Tincey (Miss Lucy Watts), Chuk Iwuji (Joshua Sembeke), Alex Mallinson (Abraham)

Notes: Klein, played by Tracey Childs, first appeared in the 2001 audio drama Colditz, which revealed only that she was from an alternate, Nazi-dominated future Earth, and had the capability of piloting the TARDIS. Between her first and second appearances as Klein, actress Tracey Childs made an appearance in the Doctor Who TV episode The Fires Of Pompeii, as the matriarch of the only family to survive the eruption of Vesuvius. Chuk Iwuji also made an appearance on TV Doctor Who, as a Secret Service agent in The Impossible Astronaut (2011). Klein is apparently acquainted with exiled Nazi de Flores (Silver Nemesis, 1988).

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Survival Of The Fittest

Doctor WhoKlein’s Story: The Doctor is curious as to how Klein went from the future to Colditz Castle, the first time he encountered her. He learns of an alternate Doctor’s grisly fate, and the very precise guidance of a young man named Johann Schmidt in helping Klein learn how to control the fallen Doctor’s TARDIS. And Klein learns, to her alarm, that the Doctor has been pulling the strings of her life all along.

Survival Of The Fittest: The Doctor and Klein arrive on a planet whose native insect population, the Vrill, has been decimated by chemical weapons. The time travelers split up, with Klein following the trail of clues back to the mercenary humans who prey upon this planet’s populace, while the Doctor discovers that even chasing the humans away may not stave off the insects’ doom due to the tightly-regimented nature of their society. But in sparring with the genocidal humans, who claim to be eradicating pests in advance to make much-needed space for a human colony, Klein has a revelation about the nature of many of the perils that the Doctor faces… and decides to take the TARDIS for herself.

Order this CDSurvival Of The Fittest written by Jonathan Clements
Klein’s Story written by John Ainsworth and Lee Mansfield
directed by John Ainsworth
music by Simon Robinson

Survival Of The Fittest Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Elizabeth Klein), Adrian Bower (Steffen), Hannah Smith (Rose), Evie Dawnay (Lilly), Mark Donovan (Jackson), Alex Mallinson (The Carrion)

Klein’s Story Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Elizabeth Klein), Rupert Wickham (Faber), Paul McGann (Johann Schmidt)

Notes: Klein’s Story is a single-part story which tries to reconcile various loose ends left dangling in Klein’s first audio appearance, Colditz (2001). In Survival Of The Fittest, the Vrill race communicates by smell, which may be a sly reference to the decidedly outside-of-accepted-canon charity spoof The Curse Of Fatal Death (1999), in which an alternate ninth Doctor played by Rowan Atkinson had to communicate via the “carefully modulated breaking of wind”. There’s no indication that this story involves any such summoning of the posterior winds. This was the finish Big Finish release to pair a three-part story with a single-part secondary story, and the only occasion upon which the single-part story presented before the “main feature” in the CD track order.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Architects Of History

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS is now in Klein’s hands, and she has rewritten history as she pleases. Whenever threats arise to challenge her “Fourth Reich”, she simply goes further back in time and prevents those threats from existing. The web of time is stretched to its breaking point. In a cell in Klein’s headquarters, a Time Lord called the Doctor is kept in chains, because he remembers events that Klein wiped from history, from meeting her in in Kenya during the Mau Mau uprising to taking her to an alien world to thwart genocide. To anger Klein is to risk being erased from time itself; even though she’s not the nominal Fuhrer of the Fourth Reich, few dare to cross her. But when a Selachian attack force arrives with its own time travel technology, the Doctor instantly becomes a suspect – and, it turns out, he helped to plan the Selachian invasion in advance. Or maybe he did that in another timeline. In any case, Klein and her “Bureau of Temporal Affairs” have met their match, and her own place in history is subject to revision.

Order this CDwritten by Steve Lyons
directed by John Ainsworth
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Elizabeth Klein), Lenora Crichlow (Rachel Cooper), Ian Hayles (Sam Kirke), Jamie Parker (Major Richter), Lloyd McGuire (Generalleutnant Tendexter), Chris Porter (Selachian Leader), Rachel Laurence (Feldwebel/Computer Voice), David Dobson (Pilot/Selachian)

Notes: The Doctor’s TARDIS is disguised from the Selachians, and everyone else, by means of a perception filter, a decidedly new-series Who of terminology (The Sound Of Drums, Torchwood: Everything Changes). The other Doctor’s TARDIS is reduced to the dimensions of a mere police box in a scene that instantly recalls the ninth Doctor’s discovery of the gutted TARDIS in Father’s Day. The end of this story, which sees Klein in a new role as UNIT’s new scientific advisor, sets up the sprawling chain of events of UNIT: Dominion. The Selachians were introduced in the BBC Books Past Doctor Adventures novel The Final Sanction, written by Steve Lyons, who scripted this story as well as Klein’s introduction in Colditz.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Project: Destiny

Doctor Who: Project: DestinyThe Doctor and Ace rush the critically injured Hex back to his own time, to St. Gart’s, the hospital where the time travelers first met Hex. The TARDIS slips a little too far forward in time, however, and arrives in 2026. St. Gart’s is closed down at the heart of a quarantine zone, and the streets of London are deserted. Using his sonic screwdriver, the Doctor breaks into the hospital and gets ready to operate on Hex himself, only to be interrupted by armored soldiers in the employ of Department C4 – once known as The Forge. Nimrod, now a public figure using his real name or Sir William Abberton, is still in charge, seeking a solution to a widespread mutation of humans into insect-like life forms. In the absence of a cure, Nimrod is happy to treat the outbreak as a pest control situation, and he’s also delighted to learn that the Doctor has never told Hex about how his mother died. When the Doctor himself becomes infected with the mutation, Hex fights to keep the Doctor calm to prevent the mutation from taking hold. Nimrod, on the other hand, wants to see the mutation process first-hand and eliminate his arch-enemy at the same time…

Order this CDwritten by Paul Sutton
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Toby Hrycek-Robinson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Stephen Chance (Sir William Abberton), Maggie O’Neill (Captain Lysandra Aristedes), Philip Dinsdale (Sergeant Jarrod), Ingrid Oliver (Helen / Oracle)

Timeline: between The Angel Of Scutari and A Death In The Family

Notes: Hex is taken to St. Gart’s Hospital, the near-future hospital where he first met the Doctor and Ace in his first story, The Harvest. Hex’s mother, Cassie Schofield, appeared in the first two Doctor Who audio stories featuring the Forge, Project: Twilight (2001) and Project: Lazarus (2003). The Doctor’s future adventure with Aristedes is chronicled in the 2012 Companion Chronicles release Project: Nirvana.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

A Death In The Family

Doctor Who: A Death In The FamilyHis curiosity piqued by the mention of an artifact in the Forge’s vaults bearing the seal of Rassilon, the Doctor discreetly sticks around as UNIT shows up to clean up the Forge’s mess. Hex, still plagued by his doubts that the Doctor ever would have told him the truth about his mother, unwittingly encounters Nobody No One, in a regenerated form, verbally giving the Word Lord the means to take revenge on the Doctor. The Doctor perishes in his attempt to stop Nobody No One from destroying Earth, and Ace and Hex are left to pursue somewhat normal lives. But Hex’s idea of normal isn’t to wind up on an alien world when any mention of space or time travel is considered heresy; he does befriend a fellow time traveler, a woman named Evelyn who claims to have traveled with the Doctor in the past. Ace must learn to accept an even more terrifying fate: married life. Even though he appears to have been beaten by the Doctor, the Word Lord still waits for his chance to strike again, only to discover that the former companions of the Doctor have learned much from their mentor.

Order this CDwritten by Steven Hall
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Richard Fox & Lauren Yason

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Maggie Stables (Evelyn), Ian Reddington (Nobody No One), John Dorney (Henry / Corporal / Novice), Alison Thea-Skot (Ayl-San / Faber / Nurse), Andrew Dickens (Captain Stillwell / Applin / Tour Guide), Harriet Kershaw (Ann the Van / Story Speaker / Webster)

Timeline: for the Doctor, Ace and Hex, between Project: Destiny and Lurker’s At Sunlight’s Edge; for Evelyn, years after Thicker Than Water.

Notes: The Doctor implies that he has a calendar which tracks when his former companions die, but the eleventh Doctor’s shock at receiving word of the death of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (The Wedding Of River Song) would appear to be a hint that his calendar is incomplete.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Lurkers At Sunlight’s Edge

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS, still apparently bleached white, arrives on the Alaskan coastline in the 1930s, and the Doctor, Hex, and Ace encounter an explorer named Corbin who is in possession of a large crystalline key… and what little remains of his mental faculties. Before long, they encounter another party of explorers – disturbingly well-armed explorers led by Emerson Whitcrag III, who has no qualms about sacrificing Corbin or the time traveling interlopers to gain entry to what he describes as a vault of ancient, forbidden secrets. Ace and the Doctor run afoul of Whitecrag’s vicious temper, and Hex believes he has seen his fellow TARDIS travelers die. Held hostage along with the wounded Corbin, Hex has no choice but to be the “guinea pig” for Whitecrag’s attempts to enter the icy structure – a structure whose built-in defenses have killed several men already. The Doctor and Ace survive Whitecrag’s attempt to kill them, but find a mental institute in close proximity, one where famed horror author C.P. Doveday is kept sequestered away from the rest of the world. Dr. Gabriel, who runs the institute and seems deeply concerned for Doveday’s well being, is very worried that Doveday may be upset by the new arrivals – particularly when Ace escapes the institute with Doveday in tow. The truth is finally revealed to the Doctor: impossibly powerful ancient beings with nearly godlike powers slumber in the icy citadel currently being explored by Whitecrag and a terrified Hex. And the man Ace has just helped escape knows their secrets, making him the most dangerous man alive.

Order this CDadapted by Marty Ross
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Steve Foxon

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Michael Brandon (C.P. Doveday), Kate Terence (Dr. Freya Gabriel), Stuart Milligan (Emerson Whytecrag III), Alex Lowe (Professor August Corbin), Sam Clemens (Slade), Duncan Wisbey (Captain Akins)

Timeline: after A Death In The Family and before Robophobia

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Thin Ice

Doctor Who: Thin IceThe Doctor responds to Ace’s request to experience the Summer of Love in 1967 by bringing her to Soviet Russia in 1967, where strangely-helmeted motorcyclists are trying to track down a man who’s stolen classified experimental weaponry. Immediately recognizing the weapon, the Doctor knows that it’s unsafe not just in civilian hands, but in any human hands. At an official reception, the time travelers home in on wildly out-of-place businessman Markus Creevy, who has both personal and professional reasons to be mingling with members of the KGB. He’s employed by the owner of the alien weapons: Ice Lord Hhessh, on a mission to retrieve some of the Ice Warriors’ most sacred relics before humans can defile them with further experimentation. But Hhessh isn’t the only alien on the scene. A Time Lord is operating incognito on Earth, and the Doctor is doing his bidding by letting Ace do most of the work.

Order this CDwritten by Marc Platt
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Ricky Groves (Markus Creevy), Beth Chalmers (Raina Kerenskaya), Nicholas Briggs (Hhessh), John Albasiny (Major Felnikov), Nigel Lambert (Adjudicator / Wolshkin / Glarva), John Banks (Yevgeni / Yasha Lemayev)

Notes: Originally titled Ice Time, Thin Ice was conceived as the opening story for the ultimately unmade fourth season of Sylvester McCoy’s tenure ads the Doctor, though past interviews and articles have indicated that the goriginal story would’ve taken place in ’60s London. The “Time Lords assessing Ace” plotline was originally a major feature of Earth Aid, which would have been the second story of the unmade 1990 season.

Timeline: after Survival

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Crime Of The Century

Doctor Who: Thin IceThe Doctor pays a visit to Markus Creevy’s daughter, Raine, 23 years after her birth. Markus has largely gotten out of organized crime, but despite his best efforts to ensure Raine has an education, she has turned her considerable intelligence toward such pursuits as safecracking. She’s been stealing some very specific items for an unknown client who pays very well; it turns out that the Doctor is the mystery benefactor who’s been engaging her services. He needs the Creevys to help him do one last “job” – and the stakes are high: the survival of humanity itself. An old enemy of the Doctor and Markus is trying to tip the balance of the Cold War by inviting alien mercenaries called the Metatraxi to demonstrate their gift for warfare. But the Metatraxi are losing track of which humans they’ve been hired to assist or attack. The Doctor has an ace up his sleeve to keep the Metatraxi busy…

Order this CDwritten by Andrew Cartmel
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Beth Chalmers (Raine Creevy), Ricky Groves (Markus Creevy), Derek Carlyle (Nikitin / Parvez), John Albasiny (Colonel Felnikov / Waiter), John Banks (Metatraxi / Walnuf), Chris Porter (Sayf Udeen / Valentin)

Notes: In the original plan for Doctor Who’s 1990 season, Crime Of The Century would have been the third story, introducing Raine (originally named Kat Tollinger according to some sources) as Markus’ daughter, with Markus being envisioned as a recurring earthbound ally for the Doctor, a la the Brigadier (and anticipating new series characters like Jackie Tyler, Wilfred Mott and Craig). This story would not have featured Ace in its original form.

Timeline: after Thin Ice and before Animal

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Animal

Doctor Who: AnimalIntrigued by the robot guardians employed by the Metatraxi and built at Margrave University, the Doctor and friends follow the trail to that university in the year 2001. Brigadier Winifred Bambera and UNIT are already on the scene, conducting an investigation that they’re more than happy to recruit the Doctor’s companions for. Undercover as new students, Ace and Raine both meet Scobie, a brilliant science student whose fight-the-power mentality stretches from an elaborate scheme to free the school’s lab animals, to contacting an alien race and inviting them to Earth to share their enlightened mentality with humanity. One thing Scobie hasn’t counted on is that these beings see Earth as a ready-made feeding ground full of docile creatures. Fortunately, UNIT and its former scientific advisor are on hand to alter that perception.

Order this CDwritten by Andrew Cartmel
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Beth Chalmers (Raine Creevy), Angela Bruce (Brigadier Winifred Bambera), John Banks (Henrick / Metatraxi), Anthony Lewis (Scobie), Dannielle Brent (Willa), Alex Mallinson (Percy), Amy Pemberton (Juno)

Timeline: after Crime Of The Century and before Earth Aid

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Robophobia

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, traveling alone in his TARDIS (which seems to have darkened from blue to black), arrives on a ship bound for the planet Ventaris, carrying a cargo of tens of thousands of robots. His arrival coincides with the beginning of a series of murders, of which he naturally becomes the chief suspect while trying to help the crew. The bodies keep piling up until the ship’s small crew is outnumbered by prematurely activated robots. Ever polite, the robots obliviously try to help the human crew, until a robot is exposed as the killer – and is then exposed to be a killer of a different kind. Now the ship is on a collision course for a heavily populated planet, and if it collides, the robots will be held responsible and others of their kind will be deactivated en masse, unless the Doctor can convince the real murderer to reveal what has driven him to these depths.

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Nicola Walker (Liv Chenka), Toby Hadoke (Farel), William Hazell (Bas Pellico), Nicholas Pegg (Selerat), Dan Starkey (Cravnet), Matt Addis (Tal Karus), John Dorney (Leebar / Computer Voice)

Notes: Robophobia happens within months of the robot incident aboard the Sandminer (The Robots Of Death), which has apparently been swept under the rug. Robophobia sems to steer clear of most of the elements of the spinoff audio series Kaldor City, which was not produced by Big Finish but did have the blessing of Robots Of Death author Chris Boucher. Dan Starkey, the actor behind the Sontaran mask of the eleventh Doctor’s ally Strax, plays Cravanet here. Medtech Liv Chenka resurfaces alongside the eighth Doctor in the Dark Eyes 2 box set (2014).

Timeline: after Lurkers At Sunlight’s Edge and before Project: Nirvana and Black And White; possibly simultaneous with Protect And Survive

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Doomsday Quatrain

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, still flying a TARDIS that has turned black, visits the time of the seer Nostradamus, only to discover alien researchers operating in close proximity, studying Nostradamus’ precognitive ability. When yet another alien expedition appears – this time a platoon of brutish aliens called the Phalanx of Kro – the Doctor begins to suspect that Nostradamus isn’t really Nostradamus, and the TARDIS hasn’t really landed on Earth. But the famed clairvoyant and all of the people around him are alive, even if they’re not human. When the Doctor seems unable to convince any of the beings responsible for creating this scenario and its occupants that they have the right to survive rather than being shut down like a simulation, he takes it upon himself to save the world… as has been prophesied by Nostradamus himself.

Order this CDwritten by Emma Beeby and Gordon Rennie
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), David Schofield (Nostradamus / Conclave Leader), John Banks (Brors / Captain of the Guard / Bernardo), Caroline Keiff (Garilund / Computer Voice), Derek Carlyle (Kren / Second Nuncio), Nicholas Chambers (Larrett / Milo / First Nuncio)

Timeline: after Robophobia and before Project: Nirvana and Black And White; possibly simultaneous with Protect And Survive

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

House Of Blue Fire

Doctor WhoFour complete strangers are greeted at Bluefire House, where they seem to be expected, but they have no memories of their lives before now other than what their most deeply ingrained phobias are. With their memories wiped, each one of the visitors to Bluefire House has only a number, except for a fifth guest who calls himself the Doctor. The Doctor seems to have far more answers about what’s going on than he’s willing to part with, but in an instant they discover that they’re not in a mysterious hotel at all… nor is the Doctor in control of the situation. The “house” is the virtual representation of a computer system designed to strip soldiers of their fear, and then to project that fear onto their victims via a psychic weapon. Worse yet, the Bluefire computer system has been inhabited by an ancient godlike being, leaving the Doctor to deal with both military skullduggery and a horror from the dawn of time.

Order this CDwritten by Mark Morris
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Fool Circle Productions

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Timothy West (Dr. Magnus Soames), Amy Pemberton (#18), Miranda Keeling (#5), Ray Emmet Brown (#16), Howard Gossington (#12), Lizzy Watts (Eve Pritchard / Mi’en Kalarash)

Timeline: after The Doomsday Quatrain and before Project: Nirvana and Black And White; possibly simultaneous with Protect And Survive

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Protect And Survive

Doctor WhoThe Doctor is missing from the TARDIS, which is particularly alarming since the TARDIS is in flight. While Hex takes what seems like the most reasonable course of action – panic – Ace tries to land the TARDIS, bringing the timeship down in England in 1989. Oddly, the TARDIS’ police box exterior has turned white, and Hex and Ace find a couple preparing their cottage for the unthinkable: the world is on the brink of nuclear war, and the government has sent out pamphlets describing how its citizens can build and stock their own fallout shelters within their homes. Ace and Hex discover that history is following a different course than the 1989 they remember, but when they try to go back to the TARDIS and leave, they discover that it has dematerialized on its own, leaving them trapped. Ace decides to “borrow” the couple’s car to drive to London to contact UNIT to help her reach the Doctor, but she’s caught red-handed… just as sirens signal the beginning of World War III. An uneasy alliance becomes a necessity, especially when Hex is blinded by the blast of the bomb, but survival becomes a luxury – one that won’t be afforded to all four of them… unless, of course, they do things differently the next time.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Morris
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Wilfredo Acosta

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Ian Hogg (Albert), Elizabeth Bennett (Peggy), Peter Egan (Moloch / Announcer)

Notes: The radio announcements that recur throughout the story are based on real radio scripts and pamphlets that were prepared by the British government as part of the real “Protect & Survive” public information campaign to be deployed ahead of an imminent nuclear attack on British soil. The pamphlets mentioned were actually designed and printed, but not distributed until their existence was revealed by the newspapers, and public outcry forced disclosure of the campaign in 1980. This story shares that title with the first episode of Gerry Anderson’s Space Precinct (a space police series which played on the phrase’s similarity to “protect and serve”).

Timeline: after Lurkers At Sunlight’s Edge and before Black And White; possibly simultaneous with House Of Blue Fire

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Black And White

Doctor WhoNo sooner have Ace and Hex found refuge in the black TARDIS then they realize they’re not alone inside it: Captain Lysandra Aristedes, formerly of the Forge, seems to be in control, along with Private Sally Morgan, a soldier the Doctor once rescued from the Bluefire Project. Aristedes and Morgan claim to have been traveling with the Doctor for some time, hunting down and fighting the same kind of elder gods from which Ace and Hex have only just escaped. The black TARDIS then materializes within the white TARDIS, but neither pair of the Doctor’s companions trusts the other enough to let them take off with a working TARDIS. Aristedes allows Ace to accompany her, while Morgan is assigned to go with Hex. Each TARDIS, black and white, arrives several years apart on seventh century Earth; Ace and Aristedes meet a brash future warrior king named Beowulf, while Hex and Morgan meet Beowulf at the end of his reign (and his life). An alien arms dealer named Garundel is also on Earth in this time period, peddling wares beyond human understanding. With teams from the TARDIS at the beginning and end of his rule, King Beowulf’s life could become a tale beyond belief…

Order this CDwritten by Matt Fitton
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Maggie O’Neill (Lysandra Aristedes), Amy Pemberton (Sally Morgan), Stuart Milligan (Garundel), Michael Rouse (Young Beowulf), Richard Bremmer (Old Beowulf), John Banks (Weohstan), James Hayward (Wiglaf)

Notes: The white TARDIS first appeared in The Angel Of Scutari, while the black TARDIS first appeared in Robophobia. Garundel recovers from this story and encounters the seventh Doctor much later in Starlight Robbery (2013).

Timeline: after Protect And Survive and before Gods And Monsters

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Gods And Monsters

Doctor WhoThe Doctor is trapped in an unfamiliar realm with Fenric, once again playing chess against the elder god. The TARDIS, once again its original shade of blue, materializes with Ace, Hex, Aristedes and Private Morgan aboard, and they promptly run into trouble: a Persian prince with an enchanted hammer, pursued by Fenric’s hordes of haemovores. Ace, familiar with Fenric’s games, goes rogue with the help of the prince’s hammer, while Hex finds himself protecting Weyland’s shield. Fenric sends Aristedes and Morgan away with a time storm, isolating the Time Lord from his small army of pawns. But only when the blacksmith to the gods, Weyland himself, appears, does the Doctor realize that he isn’t one of the players in this game. He isn’t even one of the pieces critical to the game, but Hex is – and the bearer of Weyland’s shield may become a sacrifice in the endgame.

Order this CDwritten by Mike Maddox and Alan Barnes
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Maggie O’Neill (Lysandra Aristedes), Amy Pemberton (Sally Morgan), John Standing (Fenric), Blake Ritson (Hurmzid), Gus Brown (Weyland), Tim Treloar (The Ancient One)

Notes: Fenric was first encountered on TV in 1989’s The Curse Of Fenric, though the Doctor claimed to be aware of Fenric’s manipulations as early as Dragonfire (1987) and Silver Nemesis (1988). The novels carried forward the idea of the Doctor battling Lovecraftian “elder gods” and established the notion that they were powerful beings left over from a previous iteration of the universe; in the Missing Adventures novel Twilight Of The Gods, such enemies as the Great Intelligence (known by its elder god name, Yog-Sothoth), the Gods of Ragnarok (The Greatest Show In The Galaxy) and Fenric were part of a pantheon of enormously powerful beings. Big Finish has carried that idea forward from there: the seventh Doctor’s recent series of battles with elder goes include the Karnas’Koi (Lurkers At Sunlight’s Edge), the Mi’en Kalarash (House Of Blue Fire), Moloch, “Albert”, and “Peggy” (Protect And Survive), and arguably earlier stories could be part of this long battle between the Doctor and the gods, all the way back to Primeval (2001), which implied that the fifth Doctor’s defeat of the godlike being Kwundaar at Traken had “sounded a dinner bell” for other ancient and powerful beings.

Timeline: after Black And White and before Afterlife

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

UNIT: Dominion

Doctor WhoOn Earth, a seashell-like organic mass appears in London, burrows its roots into the city’s power grid, and slowly begins growing in size as it feeds. UNIT has been called in to deal with it, though UNIT’s scientific advisor, Dr. Elizabeth Klein, is unable to discover much about it.

The Doctor’s TARDIS follows a telepathic trail into an alternate dimension, landing on the world of the Tolians. They, too, are dealing with a seashell-like organic mass draining their power, though this one has taken things to a more advanced stage: having brought Tolian civilization to its knees, it now drains the life force from the Tolians themselves for lack of a more potent power source. The Doctor recongizes it as an interdimensional node, but when another TARDIS materializes and a younger, more brash incarnation of the Doctor strides out, the “new” Doctor warns the seventh Doctor not to help the Tolians. The Doctor ignores the future Doctor’s warning and tries to help, only to find himself ensnared in a trap: the Tolians force the Doctor to use the interdimensional node to drain energy from other dimensions.

The Doctor and Raine escape with their lives, emerging through a dimensional gateway to Earth, where they discover that the future Doctor has been helping Klein and UNIT battle a series of alien incursions in rapid succession. Klein is less than thrilled when the “Umbrella Man” returns to her life, and UNIT’s Major Wyland is concerned that the two Doctors don’t appear to be getting along very well – the “new” Doctor seems concerned only with getting back to his TARDIS as soon as possible, and seems to have an unusual rapport with nearly every interdimensional invader to appear. The Doctor discovers, far too late, that the man claiming to be his future self is acting only in his own interests, and has already taken steps to turn Klein against him… and every living thing on Earth may pay the price.

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs and Jason Arnopp
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Martin Johnson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Dr. Elizabeth Klein), Beth Chalmers (Raine Creevy) Alex Macqueen (The Other Doctor), Julian Dutton (Colonel Lafayette), Bradley Gardner (Sergeant Pete Wilson), Miranda Keeling (Sylvie/Liz Morrison), Ben Porter (Private Phillips/John Starr), Sam Clemens (Major Wyland-Jones), Alex Mallinson (Private Maynard/Arunzell), Sophie Aldred (Ace)

Notes: Alex McQueen played Julius in the British political comedy The Thick Of It; fellow cast member Peter Capaldi was cast as the Doctor just a few months after the release of UNIT Dominion.

Timeline: after Animal and before the 1996 TV Movie

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Love And War

Doctor Who: Love And WarThe Doctor, having taken Ace to a funeral for one of her Perivale friends, takes her to the planet Heaven to recuperate as he goes on an abrupt quest to retrieve the Papers of Felsecar. Ace encounters a band of gypsy-like Travelers, some of whom hide extremely dark secrets; she begins to fall in love with Jan, their ringleader. During a group linkup to a virtual reality mechanism, Christopher, the most mysterious of the Travelers, is apparently killed as his comrades see their first glimpse of an enemy who is closer than they think. The Doctor, growing increasingly aware of a grave threat to Heaven and everyone on it, meets archaeologist Bernice Summerfield, who currently holds the Papers of Felsecar. At the center of the growing danger is Ace, confused by her love for Jan and her intense loyalty to the Doctor, and determined to bring the two together. But by the time the Hoothi – an enormous, self-contained necrosphere consciousness who reanimate and absorb the dead – are finished with Heaven, Ace will have lost both.

Order this CDadapted by Jacqueline Rayner
from the novel by Paul Cornell
directed by Gary Russell
music by Steve Foxon

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Lisa Bowerman (Bernice Summerfield), James Redmond (Jan Rydd), Riona O Connor (Máire Mab Finn), Aysha Kala (Roisa McIlnery), Ela Gaworzewska (Christopher), Bernard Holley (Brother Phaedrus), Maggie Ollerenshaw (Audrey McShane), Christopher Allen (Clive Aubrey), James Unsworth (Julian Milton), Scott Handcock (Piers Gavenal), Charlie Hayes (Death), Peter Sheward (Eros)

Timeline: placement among other Big Finish audio stories uncertain; after the New Adventures novel “Nightshade” and before “Transit”

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Shadow Heart

Doctor WhoFifty years after his reprogramming of the Wrath, the Doctor is on the run from them, and has fallen into the clutches of the Wrath’s hired mercenary, Vienna Salvatori. A number of close calls forces the Doctor to rely on the crew of a modified, space-faring snail to help him escape. The Wrath are never far behind, and the Earth warship Trafalgar, taking part in Earth’s war against the onslaught of the Wrath across the galaxy, is only a step behind them. The Wrath want the two men responsible for their existence: their creator, Tenebris, and the man who turned them into an unstoppable force of flawed justice, the Doctor. Tenebris has been preparing for this reunion with his deadly creation for decades. But it turns out that the Doctor has been working toward the end game even longer.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Morris
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Wilfredo Acosta

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), James Wilby (Tenebris), Chase Masterson (Vienna Salavatori), Eve Karpf (Talbar), Alex Mallinson (Horval), John Banks (Captain Webster / Starbaff / Wrath Emperor), Jaimi Barbakoff (Lt. Dervish)

Notes: When Vienna remarks that the Doctor isn’t dead, he tells her he’s “merely pining for the fjords”, providing that moment for which we’ve all been waiting for decades, the meeting of Monty Python and Doctor Who. Chase Masterson also appeared in the subscriber bonus release Night Of The Stormcrow, starring Tom Baker, released the following month in 2012, though she has reprised the role of Vienna in an audio spinoff series revolving around that character for Big Finish.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Persuasion

Doctor WhoUNIT scientific advisor Elizabeth Klein is discussing work performance issues with her recently-hired assistant, Will Arrowsmith, when the dreaded “Umbrella Man” is sighted nearby. Klein orders Will to stay put while she tries to follow the Doctor to ask him why he’s there; Will, naturally, follows them both right into the TARDIS, which then proceeds to take off. It lands in postwar Germany, where something decidedly strange is happening. A couple speaking entirely in couplets seems to have the nearby village in their thrall, while a man named Schalk, the developer of a prototype mind-control device called the Persuasion Machine, hides out among the locals hoping to escape the notice of anyone who would wish him to build such a device for them; sure enough, a spacecraft does turn up looking for him, as does the Doctor, who is aware of Schalk’s past as a wanted war criminal. The Persuasion machine could conceivably end free will throughout the universe, and more than one party would do nearly anything to claim either the machine or its inventor. The Doctor must be prepared to be even more ruthless, and this, he reveals, is why he has brought Klein with him.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Barnes
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Elizabeth Klein), Christian Edwards (Will Arrowsmith), David Sibley (Kurt Schalk), Jonathan Forbes (Lukas Hinterberger), Paul Chahidi (Shepherd / Bondsman Tango-Veldt), Miranda Raison (Shepherdess / Acquisitor Prime), Gemma Whelan (Casta / The Sylph / Khlecht)

Timeline: after UNIT: Dominion and before Starlight Robbery; the Doctor seems to be aware that he will regenerate soon, so probably not long before the 1996 TV movie for the Doctor.

Notes: Apparently Klein has finally convinced UNIT to hire an assistant for her (UNIT: Dominion). Persuasion‘s opening scenes with Klein and Will are said to take place in 1990.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Starlight Robbery

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, Klein and Will discover that Schalk’s Persuasion Machine design – and possibly even Schalk himself – are up for grabs in an auction of rare weapons of mass destruction. Such a sale of salacious merchandise has already drawn the attention of such unsavory suitors as the Sontarans and other assorted warmongers. Hosting the auction is the equally unsavory Garundel, unaware that his own underling, Ms. Ziv, is planning a double-cross of her own. The Doctor adopts a curiously hands-off approach to this TARDIS trip, assigning Klein and Will to stage a heist of their own to steal the Persuasion machine and Schalk himself. But things quickly go wrong, leaving the Doctor with little choice but to take a more direct hand in events, and risking the lives of his companions.

Order this CDwritten by Matt Fitton
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Elizabeth Klein), Christian Edwards (Will Arrowsmith), Stuart Milligan (Garundel), Dan Starkey (Marshal Stenn / Major Vlaar / Sergeant Gredd / Asallis), Jo Woodcock (Ziv), Lizzie Roper (Krakenmother Benarra)

Notes: Actor Dan Starkey is the voice of the Sontarans for both Big Finish and the BBC, having played the eleventh Doctor’s well-meaning-but-still-Sontaran ally Strax in television Doctor Who, and having appeared as other Sontarans since the creatures’ return to modern Who in The Sontaran Stratagem (2008). Starkey also plays the magical imp Randal Moon in Russell T. Davies’ CBBC series Wizards Vs. Aliens. Stuart Milligan, who appeared in previous Big Finish audio stories The Reaping and Lurkers At Sunlight’s Edge, also appeared in televised Doctor Who as President Richard Nixon in The Impossible Astronaut and Day Of The Moon; he first played Garundel in 2012’s audio story Black And White.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Daleks Among Us

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, Klein and Will return to Earth, now certain that Schalk is still hiding there and perhaps never left. What they find instead is a Dalek, which Klein manages to destroy with her usual ruthless efficiency. The trail then leads them to Azimuth, a world the Doctor previously visited in the company of Ace, where he helped the locals fend off a Dalek invasion. But Azimuth is strangely changed: even saying the word “Dalek” out loud violates the law, since the government of Azimuth has declared that no invasion ever took place, and no Daleks ever landed there. Will immediately runs afoul of this law and discovers that there is an underground movement on Azimuth that not only believes that the Dalek invasion happened, but that it never ended. This resistance movement’s leader is known only as “Father”, a wizened, damaged man whose life support system resembles the lower half of a Dalek – a man known to the Doctor by another name. And the Daleks do indeed still have Azimuth under their control, thanks to their new leader… a particularly persuasive man known to the Doctor and Klein as Schalk. Klein’s destiny and her origins are inextricably linked to Schalk’s, though discovering precisely how may be as dangerous as fighting the Daleks.

Order this CDwritten by Alan Barnes
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Wilfredo Acosta

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Elizabeth Klein), Christian Edwards (Will Arrowsmith), Terry Molloy (Davros), Jonathan Forbes (Hinterberger), Nicholas Briggs (Ralf/The Daleks), Tim Delap (Falkus), Jessica Brooks (Qaren), Paul Chahidi (Entity)

Notes: Will says he’s seen UNIT archival film of Daleks from incidents in Shoreditch (Remembrance Of The Daleks, in this case said to have been filmed by the Countermeasures group) and at Auderly House (Day Of The Daleks). Under Dalek torture, the Doctor recounts, somewhat disjointedly, events chronicled in the television stories The Twin Dilemma, The Sensorites, and The Happiness Patrol. When the Doctor and Will disguise themselves as members of the SS to rescue Klein, she asks “Aren’t you a little short to be stormtroopers?” (a Star Wars gag).

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Light At The End

Doctor Who: The Light At The EndThe Doctor is startled when a flashing red light appears on the TARDIS console. The surprise isn’t that the light has never flashed before, but that it is there at all, where there was no light on the console before. And it’s not just one Doctor, but all of the Doctor’s incarnations.

The eighth Doctor and Charley, after witnessing a strangely disjointed collection of images from the Doctor’s past (and past Doctors), try to follow a trace through time to a London suburb at three minutes after five in the evening on the twenty-third day of November, 1963, but the TARDIS instead deposits them on an alien planet in the middle of a live demonstration of a weapons system capable of immense destruction. The two time travelers are separated, and Charley makes her way back to the TARDIS, just in time for a strange phenomenon to change the TARDIS around her. She finds herself in a different (and yet similar) console room, occupied by a savage woman named Leela and another man who claims to be the Doctor. The eighth Doctor follows, and he and his fourth incarnation try to combine their talents and knowledge to get the TARDIS safely away from this planet. The escape attempt doesn’t go as planned. Charley and Leela inexplicably vanish from the TARDIS.

The sixth and seventh Doctors also find each other on this planet, but are in a different region, where a conference is taking place: a showroom demonstration for other weapons created by the same alien race, the Vess. The seventh Doctor and Ace discover the Master is somehow involved, but then Ace vanishes. The sixth Doctor finds a delegation of Time Lords are an unofficial presence at this weapons sale – members of the Celestial Intervention Agency, led by Straxus, without the knowledge of the High Council of Gallifrey. Peri vanishes, and only then does the sixth Doctor discover the truth: the Master discovered the unauthorized Time Lord expedition and demanded a bribe for their silence. That bribe came in the form of a weapon of the Master’s choice from the Vess arsenal. Straxus knows nothing beyond this, but the Doctor knows enough to threaten to expose Straxus’ presence to the Time Lords; in exchange for the Doctor’s silence, Straxus helps reunite as many of the Doctors as he can.

The fifth Doctor and Nyssa follow the same time trace, but the Doctor is suspicious enough to change the time coordinates, arriving instead at 5:02pm in November 23rd, 1963. The TARDIS crashes through a shed belonging to a man named Bob Dovie, whose wife and children have gone missing. To the Doctor and Nyssa, it is obvious that Dovie has suffered some sort of trauma that has left him in an agitated, distracted state. Dovie’s family are closer to him than he thinks, murdered by the Master. Why has the Doctor’s old enemy chosen to victimize a perfectly average suburban family, how is it connected to the evil Time Lord’s endless quest for vengeance against the Doctor, and what is happening to the Doctor’s companions?

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Peter Davison (The Doctor), Colin Baker (The Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Paul McGann (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Sophie Aldred (Ace), India Fisher (Charley), Geoffrey Beevers (The Master), John Dorney (Bob Dovie), William Russell (Ian Chesterton / The Doctor), Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Maureen O’Brien (Vicki), Peter Purves (Steven), Jean Marsh (Sara Kingdom), Anneke Wills (Polly), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon / The Doctor). Wendy Padbury (Zoe), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Oliver Hume (Straxus), Nicholas Briggs (The Vess), Benedict Briggs (Kevin Dovie), Tim Treloar (The Doctor)

Notes: Straxus first appeared in part one of Blood Of The Daleks, the eighth Doctor audio adventure which introduced Lucie Miller, but the sixth Doctor would appear to have met Straxus first… at least in the timeline created by the Master, which the Doctors later eliminate. Since Straxus is played here by Oliver Hume, it’s safe to assume that this is an earlier incarnation of Straxus than the incarnations that have been encountered by the eighth Doctor.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Assassination Games

Doctor WhoIt is late 1963, and one of the leading figures in a project to reposition Britain as a major player in the nuclear arms race is assassinated before the eyes of dozens of witnesses at a press conference. Among those witnesses is Group Captain Gilmore, who draws his weapon and pursues the assassin into an underground station. The assassin draws a bead on Gilmore, but his aim is thrown off at the last second by a man Gilmore has met before – the Doctor. But even this is not a guarantee of bringing the assassin to justice: he jumps in front of the next underground train after dropping a hint that he may be a member of a radical group of nuclear disarmament activists. The Doctor has assumed the identity of a public servant and a position within the British government, keeping a low profile while trying to observe the activities of a mysterious group operating within the government itself. Ace, in the meantime, is also undercover, and encounters Dr. Rachel Jensen, Gilmore’s scientific advisor, and the two are soon embroiled in a plot being carried out by a shadowy agency that has radically unpeaceful intentions. The race is on to start or prevent a war, and this time, the Doctor doesn’t have all the facts.

Order this CDwritten by John Dorney
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Wilfredo Acosta

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Simon Williams (Group Captain Gilmore), Pamela Salem (Rachel Jensen), Karen Gledhill (Allison Williams), Hugh Ross (Sir Toby Kinsella), Oliver Cotton (Sir Gideon Vale / Handler), Gemma Saunders (Eleanor Vale / Amanda Caulfield), Gerald Kyd (Martin Regan / Sir Robert Devere / Mulryne), Alisdair Simpson (Sir Francis White / Ritchie)

Notes: This story is meant to serve retroactively as a “pilot” for the Big Finish audio spinoff Counter-Measures, involving Gilmore, Dr. Jensen and Allison Williams, a group of characters introduced in the 1988 television story Remembrance Of The Daleks. By the time The Assassination Games saw release, there had already been two box sets of Counter-Measures adventures released by Big Finish. This also concludes the loosely-linked trilogy of 1963-themed stories released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who in 2013.

Timeline: after Remembrance Of The Daleks and before The Harvest

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Afterlife

Doctor WhoTraumatized by Hex’s selfless sacrifice of his own life, Ace is boiling over with rage and grief. She cripples the TARDIS until the Doctor agrees to treat Hex’s death as a tragedy on a human scale, complete with a memorial for the one remaining member of Hex’s family. The Doctor can barely face Hex’s grandmother with the news, and even then he isn’t able to divulge what truly happened to Hex. Ace saves a woman from what seems like a mugging, only to discover that a gang war is overrunning Hex’s home town, and that war is being fought with seemingly supernatural weapons far beyond human technology. She also discovers that the other major rival in this gang war is a man who is, at the very least, Hex’s identical twin: Hector Thomas. At Hex’s memorial, the Doctor is relieved to see Sally Morgan in attendance, and she briefs him on the unnatural warfare threatening to consume the city. As the Doctor steps into the fray, he discovers that he is once again playing games against gods…and the stakes are an old friend’s soul.

Order this CDwritten by Mike Fitton
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Philip Olivier (Hex), Amy Pemberton (Sally Morgan), Jean Boht (Hilda Schofield), Mandi Symonds (Lily Finnegan), Jonathan Forbes (Barry Finnegan), Andrew Dickens (D.I. Derek Mortimer)

Notes: Hex died at the end of Gods And Monsters (2012) saving his friends aboard the TARDIS, though that story’s post-end-credits “coda” made it clear that Hex still existed in some (possibly spiritual) form. Private Sally Morgan was introduced in House Of Blue Fire, returning in Black And White and Gods And Monsters; she also appeared in the Companion Chronicles story Project: Nirvana. Hex’s mother, Cassie, encountered the sixth Doctor twice (Project: Twilight, Project: Lazarus).

Timeline: after Gods And Monsters and before Revenge Of The Swarm

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]