The first season of The Fourth Doctor Adventures, in which Tom Baker returned to his most famous role for the first time with Big Finish Productions, was one of the 'Doctor Who' highlights of 2012, and with the bar set suitably high, I expected a great deal from the second season. Fortunately, 'The Auntie Matter' kicks off the second run in great style, with Baker's Doctor now accompanied by Romana Mk 1 (played by Mary Tamm, who sadly passed away between the recording and release of these new audios), gallivanting around the kind of 1920s England beloved of PG Wodehouse - all dopey aristocrats, super-efficient butlers and formidable Aunts. Writer Jonathan Morris has gone out of his way to blend the worlds of 'Doctor Who' and Wodehouse (in particular the Jeeves books), and as someone who loves both of these and was a little apprehensive about the play beforehand, I was pleased to discover that it works so much better than I could have imagined. This is helped by a terrific cast - not just Baker and Tamm, who are on excellent form here, but Robert Portal as the Wooster-esque Reggie, and the wonderful Julia McKenzie as the Auntie of the title, who must be one of the most entertaining villains that Big Finish have produced in their hundreds of audio productions.
Whilst the story fits the format of the Fourth Doctor Adventures (single disc stories, comprising two episodes, with a running time of about an hour plus extras) well, and doesn't outstay its welcome, it's a pity in some ways that there wasn't the opportunity to expand upon certain elements of the story, as it's such fun spending time in the company of its characters. Despite that, it's tremendous fun, and a good standalone adventure that showcases the leads at their very best. There's also a nice little tribute to Mary Tamm as part of the bonus material on this release.