Cryptobiosis
Audio / May 19, 2017

Released December 2006 Big Finish’s intermittent Bonus Releases were an incredible marketing strategy that added extra value to their already-robust subscription offerings. Naturally, the unique niche they filled allowed Big Finish to experiment with storytelling style and even authors, and newcomer Elliot Thorpe’s ‘Cryptobiosis’ is certainly anything but by-the-numbers Doctor Who. However, as the audios continued to become more readily available to the mainstream and the Bonus Releases were eventually made available to non-subscribers for purchase, these free offerings continued to take on an added importance and had to stand up by more than uniqueness alone. As a lengthy one-part story, ‘Cryptobiosis’ has little time to set up its plot, and so the Sixth Doctor and Peri are already aboard the ship Lankester amidst mysterious goings-on. Indeed, the Doctor is cast into suspicion in remarkably short order as the tales of a sick patient and murders aboard the ship come to light. Fortunately, the script takes an intriguing turn as, after Captain Callany arrests the Doctor, he drafts him into the service of the Navy and thus makes the Doctor subject to all of its rules as he becomes the ship’s medic. This misdirection is logical and refreshing, not only…