In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Third Doctor Adventures Volume 06

The two tales by Guy Adams and Jonathan Barnes perfectly showcase the Pertwee era.

Synopsis: During the first adventure, UNIT has been seconded to handle security at Breathe Industries’ revolutionary new air filtration plant. The Doctor is initially dismissive… but when a man seems to appear out of thin air and die, his curiosity is piqued.

The second story begins when the Doctor accepts an invitation to an audience with a popular horror writer. He’s expecting a rather dull evening, but he quickly senses the presence of another Gallifreyan nearby. The Time Lords have a mission for him.

Review: The Third Doctor Adventures Volume 06 is a delightful addition to the range. The two tales by Guy Adams and Jonathan Barnes perfectly showcase the Pertwee era.

Story

“Poison of the Daleks” by Guy Adams is exactly what it says on the tin, and that’s just fine. Because Dalek narratives play out within established parameters, the audience is left free to focus on themes and character beats.

The Doctor, Jo Grant, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, and Sergeant Benton are exquisitely themselves as forces around them conspire to play pollution ping pong across two worlds. The environmental and political commentary is spot on, and the Daleks’ comeuppance is sublime.

Along the way, listeners encounter two guest characters that make for compelling listening. The first is Ms. Davis-Hunt, a shadow government politician who is a fascinating combination of ego and pragmatism. The second is Skwoj, an alien who develops a marvelous dynamic with The Doctor. Her reason for being spiky with Three is an extremely elegant example of universe building.

“Operation Hellfire” by Jonathan Barnes is a historical — something we didn’t get to see during the Pertwee era. Not only that, but we’re treated to the return of Winston Churchill, who is, as ever, Churchill. In addition, listeners encounter Wing Commander Douglas Quilter, who has a particular war-time specialty that I hope gets further exploration in future stories.

Finally, Nazi sympathizer occultists are a genre staple, and Barnes does due diligence with the Axis loving contingent in this story. The roles are more performance opportunities than fully realized characters. As with their fascist allegory counterparts, the Daleks, that’s just fine.

Acting

The regulars are wonderful as ever. Jon Culshaw continues to be brilliant as the latest posthumous recast. He, like Tim Treloar as the Third Doctor, uncannily becomes the Brig.

I also must give kudos to Elli Garnett, who gave an unapologetic performance as Ms. Davis-Hunt. Finally, I have to note the ever-awesome Terry Molloy as Sir Davenport Finch, one of the Nazi sympathizer performance opportunities. Molloy goes for it with gusto.

Overall

Well done, Big Finish. I can’t wait for The Third Doctor Adventures Volume 07.

 

9.5
Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Third Doctor Adventures Volume 06
  • 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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