In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: Dethras

Most of all, though, I was the audience for John Banks’ Franklin, the hyper-evolved chimp, who was refreshingly post-apocalypse free.

Synopsis: In the control room of a World War 2 submarine something strange has started to happen. As the ship runs out of control, its crew begin to fall unconscious…

Finding the submarine in the last place they’d have expected, the Doctor and Romana are confronted by a mystery. Once fully populated, there are now only three men on board. And there’s now also a chimpanzee.

What has happened to the rest of the crew? What are the strange noises they can hear outside the hull?

And most importantly, who, or what, is Dethras?

Review: For Doctor Who: Dethras, writer Adrian Poynton crafted narrative flourishes around a standard plot. He took the mad scientist, warmongering dictator, and victimized creature tropes left of their expected centers. I really appreciated that Sheila Ruskin’s Flague saw a smidgeon of sense in the end, but still filtered it through her psychological damage. I also liked that Dethras was a passive-aggressive genius. Most of all, though, I was the audience for John Banks’ Franklin, the hyper-evolved chimp, who was refreshingly post-apocalypse free.

Ruskin was the highlight of the behind-the-scenes interviews, which I often find as entertaining as the main story. She recounted her time playing Kassia in the classic Tom Baker story, The Keeper of Traken. Listeners will be interested to know that her laser-eyed possession scenes involved practical effects.

Tom Baker and Lalla Ward gave their usual all. However, I did find myself missing John Leeson’s K9. I also regretted that there was no logical way to include David Warner covering Ultravox aboard this particular submarine.

  • You can purchase Doctor Who: Dethras here.

Written By: Adrian Poynton

Directed By: Nicholas Briggs


Tom Baker (The Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana), Alistair Petrie (John), Sheila Ruskin (Flague), Josh Bolt (Philip), Brian Vernel (Robert), John Banks (Franklin), Jane Slavin (Xankari/ Teacher)

Producer David Richardson

Script Editor John Dorney

Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

Big Finish: Doctor Who: Dethras
  • The Good: Story, Performances
  • The Bad: I missed John Lesson and David Warner
  • Story
  • Performances
  • Audio Production

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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