In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who – The Early Adventures – 3.4 The Sontarans

Surviving the initial hostilities, the Doctor and his friends discover that the SSS squad is on a terrifying mission.

Synopsis: The TARDIS arrives on a moon-sized asteroid orbiting two gas giants. With an amazing view, it’s a chance for the Doctor, Steven and Sara to unwind after their recent adventures.

But they quickly find themselves in the midst of battle – on one side: a familiar group of space-suited soldiers – members of the Space Security Service. On the other: strange, squat aliens in body armour.

Surviving the initial hostilities, the Doctor and his friends discover that the SSS squad is on a terrifying mission. With many lives at stake, they have to venture deep inside the asteroid in search of a hideous weapon. But who can they trust in the battle against these Sontarans?

Review: When I first heard that we’d be having an audio adventure featuring the First Doctor Who and the Sontaran’s I very nearly ate my shorts, birthed a cow and did a bunch of jumping jacks all in one breath.

The Sontarans were introduced initially in Jon Pertwee’s final season as the third Doctor and after that were rarely encountered. And if honest they always had a similar feel to them as such classics as The Cybermen, but had not really felt they had been used to their fullest potential.

Big Finish changed all that by demonstrating just how ruthless and nasty the potato heads… Oops sorry the Sontaran’s can be. And what better adversary to demonstrate it against than The First Doctor, Steven and Sara Kingdom who will go down in Doctor Who continuity as the first ever of his companions to die.

It’s unclear just when this adventure takes place, but my hunch is that it happens a little pryer to the events of ‘Daleks Master Plan’. In this story she has the advantage of knowing the outcome given that it takes place during a time before hers. So as such The Doctor is having to tread a fine line.

Jean Marsh does a wonderful job of reprising the role of Sara and as you listen it feels like she hasn’t missed a beat since her original series of adventures back in the 1960s.

Once again Peter Purves serves as Narrator, Steven and The First Doctor. But it has to be said. He doesn’t quite have the First Doctors voice down quite as well as William Russell does, but to be fair Russell had the advantage of working with Hartnell for a longer period of time.

The story is basically a war story and pretty much becomes a game of cat and mouse between the Doctor,members of the Space Security Service and the Sontarans. And just when you think you have it all sussed you are hit with a wonderful plot twist during the final episode.

Dan Starkey who is best known to us as the comedic Sontaran Strax gets to play a number of roles here and is excellent throughout.

Written by Simon Guerrier and script edited by the fantastic John Dorney. This story is everything you could want from a Sontaran story and so much more. And the ending with the Daleks making their future plans works as a great lead in for something much, much bigger.

If this review has got you interested in this particular adventure. You can order yourself a copy Here at Big Finish. 

9.9
Big Finish: Doctor Who - The Early Adventures - 3.4 The Sontarans
  • The Good: Jean Marsh reprising Sara Kingdom and great use of The Sontarans
  • The Bad: Although pretty good. Peter Purves doesn't quite capture the First Doctors voice as well as have heard other people do it.
  • Story
    10
  • Voice Acting
    9.8
  • Audio Production
    10
  • Art Work
    9.6

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
2 Comments on this post.
  • Kelso
    21 December 2016 at 7:01 pm -

    Katarina was the first companion to die. And the Doctor didn’t meet Sara Kingdom until Master Plan- this, presumably, takes place after episode 7.

    • Ian Cullen
      21 December 2016 at 9:29 pm -

      Thanks for that correction. I’d always heard that it was Sara. But seems had always heard wrong.

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