Synopsis: David Bradley, Claudia Grant, Jemma Powell, and Jamie Glover return in two brand new First Doctor adventures.
Review: Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures Volume 04 gives the new iteration of the original Tardis team the chance to confront the Daleks. Having survived that, they navigate the treacherous and bleak reality of Russian history.
“Return to Skaro” by Andrew Smith is exactly what it needs to be. I won’t detail the plot, because Dalek plots have become a series of well-executed tropes at this point. That’s not a bad thing. Tropes exist, because we want characters to act the way they must act in established situations.
I love the way Susan has been allowed to mature in these adventures, and this story is yet another example of her growth. She is very much her grandfather’s granddaughter. Listening to the two of them reach the same conclusions as the story progressed was heartwarming.
I also appreciate the world-building. Smith really thought through the changes that would have manifested in the 50 years since The Doctor and his friends last saw that fateful world.
“Last of the Romanovs” by Jonathan Barnes is very much a companion piece for “The Aztecs.” The difference is that Barbara isn’t the only time traveler wrestling with the darkness inherent in the deaths of the Russian royals. The First Doctor’s layered dialogues with the Romanov family’s jailer and the former Tsar Nicholas himself are worth the price alone.
The regulars continue to be spookily brilliant in their respective roles. That said, Claudia Grant remains exceptionally tuned in to Carole Ann Ford’s original delivery.
For their parts, the guest cast is excellent. I particularly like Tracy Wiles as Tryana in “Return to Skaro.” She plays a stock role in Dalek narrative with depth and commitment.
In “Last of the Romanovs,” Dan Starkey is pitch-perfect as Yakov Yurovsky. He manages to make the man who will oversee the deaths of women and children a three-dimensional person.
Thank you, again, Big Finish! I’m looking forward to Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures Volume 05.
You can purchase Doctor Who: The First Doctor Adventures Volume 04 here.
- Audio Production10