The Five Companions
Audio / June 3, 2017

Released December 2011 Whereas 2010’s Bonus Release ‘The Four Doctors’ took a rather novel approach to a multi-Doctor story by focusing on a new character traversing the Doctor’s personal timeline, 2011’s fuses different eras of Doctor Who together in an altogether more traditional fashion, though still with its own unique twist. As Ian, Steven, Sara, Polly, and Nyssa find themselves brought together and confronted with Daleks, Sontarans, and dinosaurs, ‘The Five Companions’ finds the Doctor directly confronting his past in a thrilling but also very personal tale of survival and reflection. Writer Eddie Robson borrows from ‘The Five Doctors’ and suggests that these past companions are in another part of that serial’s Death Zone on Gallifrey and that the Doctor has been pulled out of his transport to the Capitol to appear at that same area. However, though this is a Fifth Doctor story, the tale wisely focuses on the returning companions themselves, certainly not shying away from the fact that they have aged since leaving the Doctor and allowing moments of reminiscence while showcasing the unique element that each brought to the series while traveling aboard the TARDIS. Obviously Big Finish’s The Companion Chronicles range has kept the earlier…

The Sontarans
Audio / December 21, 2016

Released December 2016 SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW The Sontarans are, of course, one of the most well-known enemies in the Doctor Who universe, a clone race focused on the glory and honour of warfare and caught in an ages-old battle with the shape-shifting Rutan host. Even allowing for the Second Doctor’s wiped memories following his interactions with the Sixth Doctor in ‘The Two Doctors,’ the Third Doctor seems keenly aware of the Sontarans when he first comes upon them on television in ‘The Time Warrior,’ intimating that they have crossed paths at an earlier time. With the advent of The Early Adventures, writer Simon Guerrier has crafted a stupendous first encounter between the First Doctor and the early sons of Sontar, one in which the futuristic companions of Steven Taylor and Sara Kingdom are one step ahead of the Doctor with their knowledge of the tales of and deeds of their foes. ‘The Sontarans’ manages to achieve an incredible amount in its four episodes as the Doctor comes to understand these new enemies and their unique mindset, strengths, and glaring weakness. What starts off quite simply as a tale of a battle between human Space Security Service soldiers and a group…

The Daleks’ Master Plan
Episode / September 7, 2016

Aired 13 November 1965 – 29 January 1966 With only three of its massive twelve episodes still surviving in the video archives, ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ remains somewhat of an unknown entity despite its rather legendary status. While looking back it’s easy to comment solely on the length of the serial or to consider the effect that a change in writer partway through or the break for an isolated Christmas Day farcical tale have on the overall experience, the audience’s lack of foreknowledge of what was coming at the original time of broadcast would undoubtedly have yielded incredible rewards. This, the fourth ‘true’ Dalek tale in Doctor Who, very much draws from Terry Nation’s previous scripts. Having previously submitted two serials with somewhat linked individual stories, ‘The Keys of Marinus’ and ‘The Chase,’ it’s clear that he has learned from the strengths and faults of both as he initially sets out to create a more cohesive and grandiose tale. While ‘The Keys of Marinus’ failed to effectively connect its vignettes together with a strong theme and ‘The Chase’ failed to effectively build the tension and danger despite the persistent presence of the Daleks, ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’- allowing for the…

An Ordinary Life
Audio / April 8, 2016

Released December 2014 The first run of The Early Adventures closes with ‘An Ordinary Life,’ pairing Peter Purves’s Steven with Jean Marsh’s Sarah Kingdom alongside a more sidelined First Doctor, again voiced by Peter Purves. This pairing is always an interesting one since they shared so little time on screen together and since there’s only one slot in the televised timeline where new stories can be set; however, with how wildly successful the Sara Kingdom trilogy within The Companion Chronicles was, it was inevitable that that setup would be expanded into the more traditional stylings that this new range offers. ‘An Ordinary Life’ takes the very simple concept of having these two companions from the future live in London in the 1950s- complete with its urbanity, desolation, and even racism- and crafts an incredibly moving and engaging tale while this remains the focus. With these two coming from times when skin colour and prejudice are nonexistent, they offer a unique take on what was otherwise considered normal, utterly appalled at how the kindhearted Newman family members who immigrated from Jamaica are treated because of their looks amidst other, more subtle forms of bigotry. It’s telling that even people who aren’t…