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 […]

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 […]


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 […]