In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Movellan Grave

...a solid, if somewhat boilerplate, alien robot runs amok after experimental reprograming to improve tactical function narrative.

Synopsis: When an archaeological dig in 1980s England finds a Movellan power pack buried amongst Iron Age artefacts, the Doctor and Romana have no choice but to investigate. And what they discover worries them very much indeed.

A Movellan ship is buried under the ground. Soon the robotic enemies of the Daleks are making their way to the surface, but they are not the biggest threat humanity faces.

Because on board this ship is the greatest weapon the Movellans have ever devised. A weapon that could stop the Daleks forever… and anything else that gets in their way.

Review: I rewatched Destiny of the Daleks prior to listening to the Big Finish sequel The Movellan Grave.  Granted, the Daleks were the titular villains in the original story. Even with that, however, I was struck by how much of an afterthought the Movellans seemed to be in their own introduction. As a result, I hoped The Movellan Grave would be a sort of Genesis of the Movellans, providing them with depth they desperately needed. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

Moving past that subjective disappointment, I listened to the story for its own merits. What I got was a solid, if somewhat boilerplate, alien robot runs amok after experimental reprograming to improve tactical function narrative. Basically, the Movellans sought to end their stalemate with the Daleks and failed. The time travel element and the origin of the new emotion template were what elevated the tale.

Tom Baker and Lalla Ward were worth the price alone, both for their performances and their anecdotes in the behind-the-scenes interviews. Baker’s memories of original Davros, Michael Wisher, were particularly marvelous.

  • You can purchase Doctor Who: The Movellan Grave here.

Written By: Andrew Smith

Directed By: Nicholas Briggs


Tom Baker (The Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana), Camilla Power (Carrie Pierce), Polly Walker (Commander Narina), Chris Jarman (Chenek), John Banks (Robin Lyon), Jane Slavin (Mary). Other parts played by members of the cast.


Producer David Richardson

Script Editor John Dorney

Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Movellan Grave
  • Performances
  • The story was a bit boilerplate.
  • 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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