In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Comic Strip Adaptations Volume 1

The Fourth Doctor is traveling back to his comic days in a brand new box set.

Synopsis: The Fourth Doctor is traveling back to his comic days in a brand new box set. Adapted from well-loved comic strips, the Doctor encounters the Iron Legion – an army of robotic Roman legionnaires, and along with companion Sharon he’ll encounter one of the deadliest and most adorable villains ever – Beep the Meep.

From the comic strips written by Pat Mills and John Wagner, with art by Dave Gibbons

Review: I wasn’t familiar with the comic strips prior to these Big Finish adaptations. I found the tone and storytelling delightful.

Doctor Who and the Iron Legion adapted by Alan Barnes was my favorite of the two adventures. I’ve always been a sucker for Doctor Who historicals and parallel Earth narratives. In this tale, we get both. The Doctor (between Companions) must marshal a motley band of sidekicks to navigate an otherworldly Roman Empire. Steve Hansell and Esther Hall give wonderful performances as residents of both Earths. The whole exercise has a lovely panto with pathos quality to it.

Doctor Who and the Star Beast also adapted by Alan Barnes gave listeners the origin story of Beep The Meep. Bethan Dixon Bate gave an adorable and chilling performance as The Most High. Beep’s interior monologues were particularly entertaining. Rhianne Starbuck was also excellent as Sharon, and additional adventures with her and Four would be a treat. I really appreciated the twists in the standard coming of age story.

If this first volume is any indication, the follow-ups will be perfect antidotes for Beep The Meep and The Black Sun.

Written By: Alan Barnes

Directed By: Nicholas Briggs

Cast

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Rhianne Starbuck (Sharon), Brian Protheroe (General Ironicus / Milkman), Christine Kavanagh (Juno / Magog), Joseph Kloska (Morris / Centurion), Toby Longworth (Vesuvius / Grubb / Overseer), Luke Franks (Adolphus Caesar), Alistair Lock (Babiyon), Steve Hansell (Doug / Barbarius / Alien Guard), Esther Hall (Viv / Commentator), Ben Hunter (Fudge / UNIT Corporal), Bethan Dixon Bate (The Meep / Wrarth Surgeon), Angela Rippon (Newsreader), David Schaal (Inspector Zogroth / Bus Driver), Chris Walker-Thomson (Sergeant Zreeg / Councillor / UNIT Lieutenant), Sian Reeves (Mrs Higgins).  Other parts played by members of the cast.

Producer Jamie Anderson

Script Editor Nicholas Briggs

Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

9.5
Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Comic Strip Adaptations Volume 1
  • Story
    8.5
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

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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