In Review: Big Finish: The Third Doctor Adventures Volume 03

As ever, Tim Treloar and Katy Manning play off each other superbly.

Synopsis: The Third Doctor returns for a 3rd volume of exciting new adventures.

The Conquest of Far, by Nicholas Briggs

Earth Alliance, the future… Fleet commanders receive their orders from the President of Earth. Operation Far is ‘go’. As soon as the planets are suitably aligned, the attack will go ahead.

The Doctor and Jo arrive on the planet Far. The Doctor wants to attend the grand opening of one of the human race’s greatest achievements. A huge Hyper Gateway built to make travel around Earth’s great empire more convenient, bringing relief to many starving outer colonies.

But they land in the wrong time period, long after the Gateway has been in service, and the Daleks have conquered Far! It’s the middle of a war and a deadly game is underway. When everyone has an agenda, betrayal can happen at any time, from any side. The endgame is approaching and maybe this time no one will survive.

Storm of the Horofax, by Andrew Smith

During a North Sea military exercise, the crew of the destroyer HMS Nemesis detect what they suspect is a submarine following them. But it’s actually a futuristic ship with an alien occupant, Arianda.

The Doctor and UNIT are called in, but things are already running out of control. The damaged craft is leaking particles and contaminating the Nemesis with time disruption.

But that’s not the biggest problem. For Arianda is being followed by the warships of the Horofax, who have picked precisely this moment to invade. Soon the destruction of humanity’s future will begin.

Review: The Third Doctor Adventures Volume 03 continues Big Finish’s near perfect recreation of the Third Doctor’s era. Both stories are thematically linked by explorations of identity and allegiance.

The Conquest of Far, by Nicholas Briggs, is the more workman-like of the two stories. That’s not a negative reflection on Briggs. It’s simply that there’s only so much narrative variation with Dalek stories. He compensates for the set-in-stone tropes with awesome character beats. I absolutely adored the Doctor and Jo’s reactions to “Doom Merchant” Delralis, who was the central embodiment of the story’s themes.

Storm of the Horofax, by Andrew Smith, is the more adventurous of the two outings. Jo is a poignant and intrepid vessel for the themes of identity and allegiance. I particularly liked Smith’s more esoteric approach, tying time to memory. Additionally, I appreciated Smith’s creation, the Horofax. He obviously put time and effort into world-building and internal logic. The Time Lords would have an enemy like them.

As ever, Tim Treloar and Katy Manning play off each other superbly. Moreover, I admire how Manning and the Big Finish writers relish giving Jo more to do in the stories without detracting from the Doctor’s role as titular hero. It’s something the modern television show’s creative team hasn’t consistently managed.

Written By: Nicholas Briggs, Andrew Smith

Directed By: Nicholas Briggs

Cast

Tim Treloar (The Doctor), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), George Watkins (Delralis), John Banks (Jickster), Amy Newton (Elaquon), Robin Weaver (Arianda), Iain Batchelor (Adam Rigg), Robert Hands (Major Hardy / Crewman), Richard Derrington (Commander Burton), Ian Cunningham (Sinko / Ronson / Lieutenant), Jake Dudman (UNIT Radio Operator) and Nicholas Briggs (The Daleks)

Producer David Richardson

Script Editor John Dorney

Executive Producers Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery

9.5
Big Finish: The Third Doctor Adventures Volume 03
  • Story
    8.5
  • 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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