This is the hundred and sixty first release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Peter Davison as Five, with Mark Strickson as Turlough, Sarah Sutton as the older Nyssa and Janet Fielding as Tegan. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with cliffhangers and original theme music between each. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the second disc and a few minutes of the soundtrack at the end of disc 1.
This adventure was a tough ask for Marc Platt. Not only had he to continue the good work done in the previous two parts of this trilogy of adventures, making an effort to give each of the regulars plenty to do and not sidelining any of them while simultaneously writing Tegan as a less disagreeable character, he also had to take on a firm fan favourite from the classic TV series and provide an origins story for Magnus Greel and Mr Sin, two of the shows more memorable villains. I am pleased to report that he has risen to the challenge to deliver a script that does justice to the classic show, does not mess up any continuity and provides lots of excellent scenes and situations for the four regulars. This trilogy has totally altered my opinion of this particular TARDIS crew, they are now working together better than they ever have, both on TV and audio, and providing some really great adventures.
As I said, this is the third of a loose trilogy of adventures, but there is very little story arc between the three and you do not need to have heard the first two (Emerald Tiger adn Jupiter Conjunction) to get into this, though I would recommend them as they are great stories. It would probably help if you have seen the classic adventure ‘The Talons Of Weng Chiang’. In this story the Doctor tries to land the TARDIS in Brisbane, so Tegan can see her native soil and treat the crew to a good old fashioned Aussie BBQ. But on the way a mysterious something snatches Nyssa and Turlough from the TARDIS, and the Doctor and Tegan are forced to make an emergency landing, as usual in the right place but the wrong time. Tegan is shocked to see what ahs become of her homeland in the 51st century. Searching for Nyssa and Turlough, they find news of them in very unexpected places.
True to its origins, this is a deep and dark tale from Platt, giving a solid grounding for Greel, slotting in nicely with what is already known from the Talon’s of Weng Chiang. All of the regulars have interesting story arcs that develop and grow the characters somewhat. And all of the regulars put in superb performances that bring the piece alive. As do the supporting cast, who all made an impression.
In all, another fine effort from Big Finish. 5 stars. And I cannot wait for the next trilogy from this TARDIS crew, not something I would have said following their previous two trilogies.