This is the fortieth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Colin Baker as Six, and Maggie Stables as Evelyn Smythe. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes.
The TARDIS lands Six and Evelyn in London, 2003. Instantly the TARDIS vanishes, stranding The Doctor and Evelyn. To make matters worse, this is a somewhat dystopic London which, following the defeat of the Daleks in the invasion of 1903, is now the capital of a world dominating English Empire run on very Dictatorial lines. The Doctor is somehow inextricably bound up with this deviation from established history, but how? And just who are the mysterious prisoners in the tower?
This is another excellent adventure from Big Finish. Once again they manage to do something new and interesting with the motorized pepperpots, and explore just what it is to be a Dalek in an interesting fashion. The basic concept is well realised, and the various conundrums it throws up are interesting.
Characterisation is key to these adventures, and here the cast really succeed. Baker is in top form as Six, full of inquisitiveness and energy, mixed with that slight arrogance tempered with a huge compassion. It is at times quite a moving performance. Maggie Stables as Evelyn has really turned into a great companion, able to stand up to Six's more outrageous flights, and with a huge degree of compassion and resourcefulness of her own. Martin Jarvis makes a welcome return to the Whoniverse (he appeared opposite Hartnell in the Web Planet, and appeared in several of the TV serials including opposite Six in Vengeance on Varos). He plays a character that is similar, yet totally opposite to his character in Vengeance on Varos, it's an almost deliberate contrast with his earlier Who performance. I was quite taken in by his character, and and found his portrayal of the ruthless dictator and the man in torment quite compelling. There is also, as an icing on the cake, an absolutely superb audio production with nicely done sound effects and an unusual be effective story introduction. Don't skip forward when you hear the words `Coming soon from Big Finish'...
I loved this story all round, five stars.