In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Defectors

Writer/Director Nicholas Briggs did a marvelous job of filtering the Third Doctor’s era through the Seventh Doctor’s lens.

Synopsis: Written by Nicholas Briggs, ‘Doctor Who – The Defectors’ is the first of the informally titled, “Locum Doctors” trilogy taking us up to the two-hundredth Doctor Who main range tale; each one putting the Doctor back in his own history to meet old faces in new and deadly situations!

Jo Grant is shocked to find most of her colleagues are missing. Then she discovers that the Doctor has inexplicably changed.

But there’s no time to worry about it, as she and her misplaced Time Lord friend are whisked to the mysterious Delphin Isle on a matter of national security. There, they encounter a disturbingly odd form of local hospitality and learn of a highly classified incident that took place during the Cold War.

Why exactly have they been brought here? And what is the truth concerning the bodies in the harbour and the vast project being undertaken beneath a cloak of secrecy?

Review: I was immediately intrigued by the central conceit of the “Locum Doctors” trilogy, and this first installment didn’t disappoint. Writer/Director Nicholas Briggs did a marvelous job of filtering the Third Doctor’s era through the Seventh Doctor’s lens. With the aid of masterful performances by Sylvester McCoy and Katy Manning, a typical Classic story of displaced aliens looking for a way home morphed into a tale of moral ambiguity and companion agency. It felt like the sort of story we’ll probably get in the upcoming Gemma Redgrave UNIT series.

I must also mention the wonderful Richard Franklin, who reprised his role as Captain Yates, and thank the lovely folks at Big Finish for finding a way to mix and match the surviving Classic Who cast members so effectively. I’m really looking forward to the remaining stories in the trilogy.

Written By: Nicholas Briggs

Directed By: Nicholas Briggs

Cast

Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Neil Roberts (Captain Cornelius), Barnaby Edwards (Commander Wingford), David Graham (Shedgerton), Rachel Bavidge (Europan Leader), Jez Fielder (Europan)

9.7
Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Defectors
  • Story, Performances
  • A little too much set up for the rest of the trilogy
  • Story
    9
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.

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