Cobwebs

Doctor Who: CobwebsHaving just escaped the machinations of the Black Guardian, the Doctor finds himself in unsettled company. Tegan doesn’t trust Turlough, and Turlough is tired of being reminded that Tegan doesn’t trust him. His request to return home meets with the same fate as most requests for specific stops in the TARDIS: instead of going to Turlough’s home, the TARDIS is pulled off course and makes a rough landing on the planet Hellheim, the site of a quarantined genetic engineering facility. To the time travelers’ amazement, someone else is here: Nyssa, now 70 years old, still crusading for the cures to plagues that are ravaging the galaxy. With her security robot, Loki, Nyssa landed at this base to find the cure to a virulent disease, hoping that perhaps the long-dead crew had found a cure before they died. But what the reunited friends find there is far more disturbing: a base crawling with robotic spiders, projected memories of what seem to be the original crew’s grisly deaths, a computer who insists that the Doctor and his friends have been here before… and four decayed bodies, dressed exactly like the TARDIS crew.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Clements
directed by Lisa Bowerman
music by Simon Robinson

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Helen Griffin (Director Cardell / Ship’s Computer), Raymond Coulthard (Loki / EDGAR / Hawks), Adrian Lukis (Enforcement Officer Bragg), Charlotte Lucas (Bio Technician Valis / Echelon)

Timeline: for the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough: between Enlightenment and The King’s Demons; for Nyssa: 50 years after Terminus.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Whispering Forest

Doctor Who: The Whispering ForestTrying to track down the surviving carrier of Richter’s Disease from Hellheim, the TARDIS brings the Doctor and his friends – with Nyssa once again aboard the TARDIS – to an alien forest. The Doctor and Tegan are taken to Purity, a village in turmoil in the wake of its leader’s disappearance. While the locals are concerned with the implications of two “unclean” visitors, they also fear the Takers and observe almost-ritual hygenic cleansing practices. Nyssa and Turlough meet more locals from Purity, but they also encounter the Takers, who seem to be far more advanced and powerful. The Doctor and Tegan are caught up in the succession struggle in the village of Purity, and their lives are threatened at every turn by a pretender to the throne who thinks they’ll bring infection and death with them.

Order this CDwritten by Stephen Cole
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Richard Fox & Lauren Yason

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Hayley Atwell (Seksa), Sue Wallace (Mertil / Woman), Paul Shelley (Jestan / Man / Taker), Harry Melling (Hervey / Taker / Demi-Taker), Lennox Greaves (Anulf / Taker), Aneurin Barnard (Antan / Taker)

Timeline: for the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough: between Enlightenment and The King’s Demons; for Nyssa: 50 years after Terminus.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Cradle Of The Snake

Doctor Who: The Cradle Of The SnakeWith the Mara once again forcefully asserting its dominance over Tegan’s personality, the Doctor tries to go into his companion’s mind to excise the evil influence once and for all. But the Doctor’s best intentions have even worse results: the Mara takes over his mind instead. The Doctor, under the Mara’s influence, pilots the TARDIS to Manussa, the homeworld of the Mara’s empire… over a century before that empire will come into being. While Tegan is found to be free of the Mara’s influence, the possessed Doctor is working behind the scenes to ensure that the Mara will hold thrall over the entire planet, using Manussa’s mass media as the vehicle for the Mara’s message. Slowly gathering allies and power, the Mara prepares to take over the minds of the Manussans, even if it rewrites history by bringing the Sumaran Empire about too early. In the meantime, Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough watch helplessly as the Doctor becomes an agent of evil, leaving it to them to save Manussa.

Order this CDwritten by Stephen Cole
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Richard Fox & Lauren Yason

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Dan Stevens (Rick ausGarten), Hugh Fraser (Dr. Hanri Kerrem), Madeleine Potter (Yoanna Rayluss), Vernon Dobtcheff (Dada Desaka), Toby Sawyer (Baalaka)

Timeline: for the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough: between Enlightenment and The King’s Demons; for Nyssa: 50 years after Terminus. This story takes place after The Whispering Forest and before Heroes Of Sontar.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Demons Of Red Lodge and Other Stories

Doctor WhoThe Demons Of Red Lodge: The Doctor and Nyssa awaken in the dark, surrounded by creatures that almost certainly mean them harm. Even the Doctor has to fight down a panic response to find a way out of the situation, until the time travelers encounter a seemingly friendly face who offers them shelter. They quickly discover the truth: they’re now locked in with something even worse.

The Entropy Composition: The Doctor, sensing that Nyssa is missing pleasant reminders of her home planet, takes her to the vast archives of recorded music on the planet Conchordia. But before they can explore the history of Traken’s music, they encounter another piece of music, a wall of sound capable of ripping living matter apart. The Doctor must track it back to its origins as a lost prog rock opus created under alien influence.

Doing Time: The Doctor, thanks to his suspicious use of the alias “John Smith”, is sentenced to serve time in a prison facility whose governor has loftier political ambitions. The Doctor came here to warn of a devastation explosion a few months into the future; he’s horrified when the prison’s corrupt governor decides to ensure that the explosion happens as part of an arranged election year publicity stunt.

Special Features: Recording commences on a DVD commentary for an early ’70s horror film, with two of the troubled movie’s surviving cast members, its director, and historical advisor Doctor John Smith in attendance. The movie is a heavily fictionalized chronicle of a legendary haunting at Red Lodge. Two of those participating in the commentary were there to witness the actual events: the creature who inhabited helpless victims to ensure its survival, and the Time Lord who tried to stop it. Their battle is not finished until the end credits roll.

Order this CDThe Demons Of Red Lodge written by Jason Arnopp
The Entropy Composition written by Rick Briggs
Doing Time written by William Gallagher
Special Features written by John Dorney
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Richard Fox & Lauren Yason

The Demons Of Red Lodge Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Susan Kyd (Emily Cobham / Ivy Cobham), Duncan Wisbey (Villager), John Dorney (Villager)

The Entropy Composition Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Andree Bernard (Erisi), Ian Brooker (Naloom), Joanna Munro (Mrs. Moloney), James Fleet (Geoff Cooper)

Doing Time Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), John Dorney (Janson Hart), Susan Kyd (Governor Chaplin), Duncan Wisbey (Dask / Judge / Jabreth / Hobbling Pete)

Special Features Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), James Fleet (Martin Ashcroft / Sir Jack Merrivale), Ian Brooker (Professor Bromley / Narrator), Joanna Munro (Johanna Bourke / Carlotta), John Dorney (Mr. Pinfield / Yokel / Running Man / Carriage Driver)

Notes: In The Entropy Composition, the Doctor and Nyssa discuss primal acoustic echoes of the creation of the universe, also known as “the music of the spheres.” That also happens to be the title of a humorous short starring David Tennant as the tenth Doctor, shown live to an audience at the BBC Proms Doctor Who concert in 2008, and while your mileage may vary as to whether the Tennant short (or, indeed, this audio) are “canon”, the may both involve the same “music of the spheres.” The single-episode story Special Features required multiple scripts and recording sessions: one for the sound and dialogue of the “movie” running in the background throughout the story, and one for the foreground story involving the Doctor, resulting in what was considered one of the most complex productions Big Finish had ever assembled at the time of its release.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Heroes Of Sontar

Doctor Who: Heroes Of SontarThe TARDIS arrives at the planet Samur, a strategic location in Rutan space which was once the site of fierce fighting between the Rutans and Sontarans. The planet is now coated in a colorful form of mold, with no other signs of life, at least until a Sontaran ship crashes. Only a few of its warrior crew is left alive, but they’ve lost their sealed order. When the Sontarans round up the TARDIS travelers and learn that one of them is the Doctor, they assume that their orders are somehow related to the capture and execution of the Time Lord and his companions. There are only things that save the Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa, and Turlough: this platoon of Sontarans is more inept than most, and Samur may not be as uninhabited as it looks.

Order this CDwritten by Alan Barnes
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Jamie Robertson

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), John Banks (Fleet Marshal Stabb / Trooper Jorr / Witch Guard), Duncan Wisbey (Field-Major Thurr / Adjutant / Orbital Command), Alex Lowe (Sergeant Mezz / Trooper Nold), Andrew Fettes (Corporal Clun), Derek Carlyle (Trooper Vend)

Notes: This is the first Big Finish audio story to feature the Sontarans (an enemy Peter Davison’s Doctor never met on television), though they had appeared in a few stand-alone stories (Silent Warrior, Old Soldiers, Conduct Unbecoming) in Audio Adventures In Time & Space series produced by BBV, a company whose audio releases came to an end a few years after Big Finish picked up the Doctor Who license. Nyssa mentions her husband and children (hinted at in part four of Circular Time), but keeps them a secret from the Doctor because of the events of that story, which remains in the Doctor’s future. TV Sontarans Linx (The Time Warrior) and Styre (The Sontaran Experiment) are also mentioned, as is the Sontarans’ defeat at Gallifrey (The Invasion Of Time). Sontarans were shown to be vulnerable to coronic acid in The Two Doctors.

Timeline: for the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough: between Enlightenment and The King’s Demons; for Nyssa: 50 years after Terminus. This story takes place after The Cradle Of The Snake and before Kiss Of Death.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Rat Trap

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and his entourage arrive in 1983 and join an expedition into a network of man-made (but abandoned) subterranean tunnels teeming with rats, but they’re no ordinary rats: these rats show signs of intelligence, and the ability to communicate. Furthermore, they have plans for conquest, including a plan to release a plague capable of wiping out the human race. The Doctor must try to broker some sort of peace with the rats, a task made harder by the presence of Dr. Wallace, the scientist who initially experimented on the rats to augment their intelligence. Unwilling to compromise, the rats intend to destroy humanity and take over the world. Wallace, who was declared dead when his entire research project lost communication with the outside world in the 1960s, feels it’s his duty to deal with the threat, regardless of the cost, even after discovering that one member of the expedition into the tunnels is the daughter he left behind.

Order this CDwritten by Tony Lee
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), John Banks (Clifford Andrews), Alison Thea-Skot (Sally Lucas), Terry Molloy (Dr. Wallace), David Seymour (Kevin), Andrew Dickens (Matthew / Major Harris), Charlie Norfolk (Caitlin Jones)

Timeline: for the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough: between Enlightenment and The King’s Demons; for Nyssa: 50 years after Terminus. This story takes place after Heroes Of Sontar and before Rat Trap.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Five Companions

Doctor WhoThe Doctor’s companions find themselves united and in deep trouble. Steven and Ian barely have the time to reintroduce themselves before they are pursued through a mazelike structure by a Dalek, while Polly and Sara Kingdom get to know each other while being pursued by dinosaurs. Nyssa, imprisoned in a cell, has only Daleks for company. The Doctor’s friends and allies join forces, certain that their time-traveling old friend is involved. When the Doctor finally makes an appearance, having just escaped from a platoon of Sontarans, his friends who knew his first and second faces are startled by his youthful appearance, and explanations ard in order. The Doctor has just escaped from the Death Zone on his home planet, Gallifrey, and believes that this place and its combatants – former companions and enemies alike – were also intended to be taken there, but were misplaced by whoever controls the Time Scoop. Now the Doctor must find a way to help his friends escape… without also releasing his enemies.

Order this CDwritten by Eddie Robson
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Richard Fox & Lauren Yason

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), William Russell (Ian Chesterton), Peter Purves (Steven Taylor), Jean Marsh (Sara Kingdom), Anneke Wills (Polly), Dan Starkey (Sontarans), Nicholas Briggs (Daleks)

Notes: The Five Companions was the subscriber-only exclusive released in 2011 alongside the audio story Army Of Death. Dan Starkey has played numerous Sontarans since they began appearing in the current Doctor Who TV series, as well as playing the part of the imp Randall Moon in Russell T. Davies’ series Wizards vs. Aliens, but most Who fans know him best as the Doctor’s Sontaran ally, Strax.

Timeline: from the Doctor’s perspective, this entire adventure happens during The Five Doctors, between the Doctor’s escape from the Cybermen and his appearance in the transmat in the Time Lords’ capitol.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Emerald Tiger

Doctor WhoThe Doctor brings his friends to Calcutta, India to sit back and watch a cricket match, but things almost immediately take an unexpected turn when a fellow spectator shows signs of being infected with rabies. As Nyssa tries to tend to the man, a British soldier steps forward and ends the man’s suffering with a gunshot to the gut – but not before the rabid man has bitten Nyssa. Appalled, the Doctor and Turlough confront the shooter, Major Haggard, only to find he has no pity for the victim (or, indeed, for anyone else). Tegan, sent to the TARDIS to get a medical kit, returns to the Doctor with the alarming news that the TARDIS has been removed from where it landed. The TARDIS is spotted on a train, and Turlough and Tegan manage to climb aboard the train as it leaves the station, while the Doctor and a still-unconscious Nyssa must find other transport, getting help from Professor Narayan. Aboard the train with Tegan and Turlough are Major Haggard and an enormous tiger, which seems to have a telepathic and empathic link with Nyssa. Haggard thinks he’s trying to track down a treasure, but the Doctor soon learns that the real treasure is an alien life force deposited on ancient Earth by a meteorite impact. That life force’s new inheritor, Nyssa, may never be the same.

Order this CDwritten by Barnaby Edwards
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Cherie Lunghi (Lady Adela), Sam Dastor (Professor Narayan), Vincent Ebrahim (Shardul Khan), Neil Stacy (Major Haggard), Vineeta Rishi (Dawon), Gwilym Lee (Djahn / Lord Edgar), Trevor Cooper (Colonel Creighton / Kimball)

Timeline: for the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough: between Enlightenment and The King’s Demons; for Nyssa: 50 years after Terminus. This story takes place after Rat Trap and before The Jupiter Conjunction.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Jupiter Conjunction

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS lands on a comet which has been hollowed out and set up as a long-haul freighter making precisely-timed supply runs through the solar system. A life support system allows a community of humans to live and work within the comet, though much of their time is simply spent waiting and cultivating non-work-related pursuits. But someone has been stealing supplies from the comet’s cargo holds, and the newly arrived time travelers are obvious suspects. Nyssa and Tegan befriend a woman who is on the run from the security team, and meet her accomplice just before he dies in the vacuum of space. Turlough offers “testimony” against the Doctor, claiming that they have been stealing the comet’s supplies, to buy time and divert the attention of the security guards. Somewhere on the comet, a gaseous life form from Jupiter lurks, and some of the humans aboard the comet are making their own plans to spark a war between Earth and the Jovian life forms that Earth has yet to discover. Future history records a peaceful outcome, and the Doctor has to risk the lives of his traveling companions to ensure that it happens.

Order this CDwritten by Eddie Robson
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Richard Fox & Lauren Yason

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Rebecca Front (Patricia Walton), John Cummins (Anton Falcao), Ellie Burrow (Chica St. Jude), Zoe Lister (Violet Silvaner), Ben Porter (Major Nash), Simon Blake (Manny), Philip Pope (Jovians)

Timeline: for the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough: between Enlightenment and The King’s Demons; for Nyssa: 50 years after Terminus. This story takes place after The Emerald Tiger and before The Butcher Of Brisbane.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Butcher Of Brisbane

Doctor WhoOnce again, the Doctor is trying to take Tegan to Brisbane, but not to leave the TARDIS; this time she wants to show off her home town to her friends. But interference in the time vortex nearly tears the TARDIS apart; the time machine is thrown off course, and Turlough and Nyssa vanish completely. The Doctor tries to follow them through time, but instead arrives in 51st century Brisbane. Tegan is horrified to see that Earth has become polluted, and the Doctor immediately suspects that the TARDIS has been thrown off-course by the time experiments conducted by Magnus Greel, a time-traveling serial killer he dealt with in his fourth incarnation. Nyssa and Turlough end up spending three years as part of the resistance trying to expose Greel’s corruption before they see the Doctor again, while Tegan and the Doctor arrive in time to see Greel at the height of his corruption and madness. They’re horrified to see that Nyssa is now posing as Greel’s fiancee (and Turlough as her personal assistant), and that Greel’s scientific advisor, an alien named Findecker, is continuing experiments with time travel that permanently disfigure the user and force him to drain life energy from others. At every turn, someone wants the Doctor to make sure Greel dies for his crimes – but the Doctor, knowing that Greel will die in another place and time, can’t keep that promise and can’t explain why.

Order this CDwritten by Marc Platt
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Fool Circle Productions

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Angus Wright (Magnus Greel), Rupert Frazer (Dr. Sa Yy Findecker), Felicity Duncan (Ingrid Bjarnsdottir), Daniel Weyman (Ragan Crezzen), Daisy Ashford (Sasha Dialfa), John Banks (Eugene Duplessis / Chops)

Notes: The Doctor claims to be a Time Agent (The Talons Of Weng-Chiang, The Empty Child) to conceal his true identity. Findecker was established in – of all things – a Brief Encounters short story by Warren Ellis in a 1991 issue of Doctor Who Magazine; that story did not mention Findecker’s species or origins, only his surname, leaving Butcher Of Brisbane writer Marc Platt plenty of room to create a character. At the end of the story, Greel uses his time cabinet to escape (with Mr. Sin in tow), and his next stop is foggy Victorian London, where he will once again meet the Doctor (this time in his fourth incarnation, who has yet to experience this adventure), this time working with the formidable team of Jago & Litefoot, in The Talons Of Weng-Chiang.

Timeline: for the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough: between Enlightenment and The King’s Demons; for Nyssa: 50 years after Terminus. This story takes place after The Jupiter Conjunction and before Eldrad Must Die!.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

1001 Nights

Doctor WhoIn an Arabian palace, the Doctor languishes in the dungeon with a feeble man claiming to be the Sultan, while another man claiming to be the Sultan forces Nyssa to tell tale after tale of the Doctor’s exploits, without ever questioning the Doctor’s talents, his TARDIS, or his otherworldly nature. As the Doctor tries to escape and to free the real Sultan, he begins to realize that the phenomenon that has affected the Sultan’s mind is beginning to affect his as well. He suspects that the palace is now being run by a creature which can replace any living being about which it gathers enough information. As the fake Sultan compels Nyssa to tell it stories of her travels with the Doctor (under pain of death), it’s gathering all the intelligence it needs.

Order this CDMy Brother’s Keeper written by Emma Beeby and Gordon Rennie
The Interplanetarian written by Jonathan Barnes
Smuggling Tales written by Catherine Harvey
1001 Nights written by Emma Beeby and Gordon Rennie
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Jamie Robertson

My Brother’s Keeper Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Alexander Siddig (The Sultan), Nadim Sawalha (The Old Man), Teddy Kempner (Prisoner), Malcolm Tierney (Warder)

The Interplanetarian Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Alexander Siddig (The Sultan), Nadim Sawalha (The Old Man), Debbie Leigh-Simmons (Elizabeth Spinnaker), Oliver Coopersmith (Hill)

Smuggling Tales Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Alexander Siddig (The Sultan), Nadim Sawalha (The Old Man), Kim Ismay (Lottie), Debbie Leigh-Simmons (Bessie), Christopher Luscombe (Balladeer), Oliver Coopersmith (Archie)

1001 Nights Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Alexander Siddig (The Sultan), Nadim Sawalha (The Old Man), Teddy Kempner (Nazar), Kim Ismay (Woman Stallholder), Malcolm Tierney (Gantha), Debbie Leigh-Simmons (Crying Woman), Christopher Luscombe (Alien Psychiatrist)

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Eldrad Must Die!

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS arrives near a beach, where Tegan hopes to show Nyssa and Turlough a thing or two about Earth recreation, but the beach proves to be hazardous – growths on local birds and fish seem to be forcing quartz crystals through their skin, and even the sand beneath the water is full of sharp crystal shards. An old school friend of Turlough’s is nearby, and though they are now separated by decades of age, he appears to have big plans for Turlough. Turlough falls under the thrall of the living crystal slowly encroaching on the beach, which fills his mind with a singular new purpose: he must kill Eldrad. Others exposed to the living crystal feel differently: Eldrad must live. The Doctor comes to a terrible realization: the planet Kastria is still nothing but dust, and a clash of titans between Eldrad and an executioner appointed by his people has been relocated to Earth.

Order this CDwritten by Marc Platt
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Wilfredo Acosta

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Stephen Thorne (Eldrad), Nancy Carroll (Mulkris), Pip Torrens (Charlie Gibbs), Jessica Claire (Kate Sherrin), Brian Protheroe (Bob Gell), Mark Field (Jim)

Notes: The fourth Doctor encountered Eldrad when it briefly took over the body of Sarah Jane Smith in The Hand Of Fear (1976). Turlough’s background at Brendan School was part of his introductory television adventure, Mawdryn Undead (1983); references are also made to Deela (Kiss Of Death, 2009).

Timeline: for the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough: between Enlightenment and The King’s Demons; for Nyssa: 50 years after Terminus. This story takes place after The Jupiter Conjunction and before Eldrad Must Die!.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

The Lady Of Mercia

Doctor WhoThe Doctor lands the TARDIS near the University of Frodsham in 1983, just in time to attend a historical conference – and, perhaps, track down some indications of primitive time travel taking place here. By posing as “Dr. Jovanka” from Wollongong (and entourage), the Doctor gets to take part. Tegan experiences a strange sensation while looking at a prized sword said to have belonged to the 10th century warrior queen Æthelfrid, and later sees the college’s history professor stealing the sword. He takes it to a campus science lab where his wife has constructed a primitive time machine, which then propels Tegan and the professor back to the 10th century; their meeting with the real Æthelfrid doesn’t exactly go well, and the time travelers are accused of sorcery. Worse yet, the time machine reactivates, send Æthelfrid’s warrior princess daughter back to 1983. The Doctor promises to take Ælfwynn back to the 10th century in the TARDIS in exchange for her not killing anyone, but even that plan goes awry, landing them behind enemy lines. When Æthelfrid offers to spare the time travelers’ lives in exchange for Tegan assuming her daughter’s identity, it seems that history is almost destined never to be the same again.

Order this CDwritten by Paul Magrs
directed by Ken Bentley
music by Steve Foxon

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Anthony Howell (Professor John Bleak), Abigail Thaw (Dr. Philippa Stone), Rachel Atkins (Queen Æthelfrid), Catherine Grose (Princess Ælfwynn), Kieran Bew (Arthur Kettleson), Stephen Critchlow (Earl of Wessex)

Timeline: for the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough: between Enlightenment and The King’s Demons; for Nyssa: 50 years after Terminus. This story takes place after Eldrad Must Die! and before Prisoners Of Fate.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Prisoners Of Fate

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS brings the Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa and Turlough to Valderon, a penal colony governed by a society that punishes potential criminals on the basis of crimes predicted by a “chronoscope”. As the Doctor becomes uneasy about this system of justice, Tegan is pulled aside by a medical researcher who reveals his identity: he is Adric, Nyssa’s son, and his mother has been missing for over a decade since her disappearance (and presumed death) at the Helheim research station. The disease whose cure she was searching for on Helheim still rages on, unabated – and thanks to her youthful appearance, Nyssa’s son is worried that he is seeing her before she started her family, thereby creating a paradox. Tegan reveals some (but not all) of this information to the Doctor, but before he can bundle his companions back into the TARDIS to leave, Tegan and Turlough are arrested and tried because the justice computer had calculated a high probability that they will kill a guard.

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

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Sarah Dougles (Sibor), Alistair Mackenzie (Galen), Anjella Mackintosh (Mahandra), Jez Fielder (Kartis)

Notes: The names of Nyssa’s husband and children were revealed in Circular Time (2007); Nyssa asked Tegan not to reveal her family to the Doctor in Cobwebs, the story that also saw her leave Helheim and rejoin the TARDIS crew. Nyssa’s youthful appearance was restored at the end of The Emerald Tiger.

Timeline: for the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough: between Enlightenment and The King’s Demons; for Nyssa: 50 years after Terminus. This story takes place after The Lady Of Mercia.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]

Fanfare For The Common Men

Doctor Who: Fanfare For The Common MenThe Doctor tries to take Nyssa to 1963 to show her the heyday of Beatlemania, only to find that another band, the Common Men, has taken the Beatles’ place in history. Worse yet, as the Doctor and Nyssa stand in the screaming crowd awaiting the Common Men’s arrival, they see someone in the crowd with a gun. The Doctor warns the band while Nyssa tries to disarm the shooter, only to find that he has a weapon that’s definitely not from 1963, definitely not from Earth, and he also has a time transporter which he uses to escape, taking Nyssa with him. Trying to find out what’s going on, the Doctor befriends the band and a fan named Rita, with whom he witnesses several incidents of the band’s fans taking their devotion to dangerous levels. Nyssa, in the meantime, also finds herself in the company of the Common Men, at a different point in their career. As she awaits rescue via TARDIS, she also meets Lenny Kruger, a man determined to manage the Common Men’s careers. It turns out that he’s an alien (but then, so are the boys in the band), and he hopes to harness the power of their popularity for something beyond mere show business. The Doctor, determined to restore the Fab Four to their rightful place in history, is an obstacle to Kruger’s plans, one which Kruger wants to remove by any means necessary.

Order this CDwritten by Eddie Robson
directed by Barnaby Edwards
music by Howard Carter

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Mitch Benn (Mark Carville), Andrew Knott (James O’Meara), David Dobson (Korky Goldsmith), Ryan Sampson (Lenny Kruger), Alison Thea-Skot (Rita/Sadie), Jonty Stephens (Paravatar)

Notes: The Common Men – at least, the Common Men as history should recall them – were mentioned in the very first episode of Doctor Who, An Unearthly Child, and in the course of restoring history, the Doctor very specifically puts them on course to be the one-hit wonders mentioned by Ian Chesterton in that episode. The Doctor recalls that Susan used to listen to one of their records in the TARDIS and that his first incarnation “didn’t like it.” The Doctor mentions the Ferutu, time-sensitive beings encountered by the fifth Doctor and his early lineup of companions in the Missing Adventures novel Cold Fusion, published in 1996.

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 […]

Psychodrome

Doctor WhoFollowing their hurried escape from Castrovalva, the TARDIS’ new passengers try to get accustomed to one another, as well as to the new Doctor. The TARDIS lands in what appears to be an underground cave, though signs of more advanced artificial structures are found within. Adric accidentally bumps into one of these structures, and suddenly creatures appear, absconding with the unoccupied TARDIS. The Doctor and Adric pursue them, while Nyssa and Tegan find that there are other humans there, namely a party of anachronistic explorers. The search for the TARDIS leads the Doctor and Adric to a crashed spacecraft whose crew fears other creatures that lurk in the night. Other groups of humans are found as well: a seemingly medieval kingdom, a monastery whose existence revolves around scientific contemplation and study, and more. In each scenario, there are three people, and as the Doctor and his companions encounter them all, deaths begin to occur. But as much guilty as the time travelers feel for the mounting deaths, they’re even more shocked to learn that they’re just as responsible for bringing everyone they meet into existence.

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

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Robert Whitelock (Professor Rickett / King Magus / Denyx), Phil Mulryne (Magpie / Calcula / Prince Erdos), Camilla Power (Perditia / Jenessa / Zaria), Bethan Walker (Javon / Pyrrha / Queen Antigone)

Timeline: after Castrovalva and before Iterations Of I and Four To Doomsday

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]