In Review: Big Finish: The Second Doctor Volume One

Synopsis: This first volume of Second Doctor Adventures from the Companion Chronicles very much puts Jamie Centre stage. There are four adventures in all, which include ‘The Mouthless Dead’...

Synopsis: This first volume of Second Doctor Adventures from the Companion Chronicles very much puts Jamie Centre stage.

There are four adventures in all, which include ‘The Mouthless Dead’ by John Pritchard, ‘The Story Of Extinction’ by Ian Atkins, ‘The Integral’ by David Bartlett and ‘The Edge’ by Rob Nisbet.

Review: ‘The Mouthless Dead’ sees Jamie, Ben, Polly and the second Doctor landing on earth in the 1920’s, but having to abandon the tardis in order to give it time to heal. This story by John Pitchard is both a clever ghost story, which features a wonderful twist involving the Tardis and a love story. The second Doctor is very much fascinated by steam trains and gets into a wonderful conversation about several train disasters that had took place on the line. The central part of the story is fact that they are all waiting for the dead mans train. Kind of the unknown soldier if you will. There are some really nice character beats here with Polly and a young woman who is grieving the loss of her husband in the great war.

‘The Story Of Extinction’ by Ian Akins begins as somewhat of of muddle, but its worth staying with as all eventually is revealed. The story sees the Second Doctor, Victoria and Jamie joining a survey team on a planet suited to life, but nothing lives for long. There is definitely a bit of time travel and physics happening in this story because we get a somewhat brief meeting between Victoria and someone who has a similar look to the 7th Doctor. Although it is not explicitly revealed as the 7th Doctor. It is fairly obvious that it is. We also have some really nice character beats between Jamie and Victoria in which Victoria is trying to teach Jamie to read. This plays an integral part to what turns out to be somewhat of a bitter sweet end for the story.

‘The Intergral’ video gaming and a means to control the emotions of humans takes centre stage in this story when The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe land on Aspen Base. Which is seemingly a laboratory, which winds up under siege by its own creation. When science essentially fails to offer up a fully workable solution. The Second Doctor and Zoe wind up having to rely on Jamie’s sense of right and wrong.

‘The Edge’ by Rob Nisbet sees the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe exploring a scientific hub of experimentation and scientific breakthroughs. But Jamie senses that something isn’t quite right and nearly winds up becoming the guinea pig in a diabolical scientific experiment.

This first volume of adventures is really quite wonderful in that Jamie gets to be centre stage. We get a chance to explore the deep bond between Jamie and the Second Doctor, which was very much evident in the classic series.

There are great character beats dotted throughout this set. Ben chiding Jamie about Scotland in the first story was a lot of fun. And the banter between Ben and Jamie in general. I also loved the fact that the story gave a little back story for Ben in how it talked about his time in the Navy during the second world war.

The third and fourth stories were fun in that we get to hear Jamie and Zoe bicker. As somewhat a fan of the second Doctor Adventures. I particularly enjoy the interactions between Jamie and Zoe and always loved the fact that Zoe was as smart as the Doctor. There is something to be said for having companions from different time periods and it is somewhat of a huge missed opportunity for the modern series of Doctor Who, which has never really explored the character dynamic of having the Doctor teamed up with a companion from the past or even distant future.

For me Big Finish’s productions of these classic Doctor Who stories illustrates a lot of opportunities that modern ‘Doctor Who’ is missing out on.

In terms of this set though. I have it down as a must have for fans of the Troughton era. It has wonderful acting performances from all concerned and some brilliant audio cues and sound effects throughout.

  • You can order your own copy of ‘Doctor Who: The Second Doctor Volume 1′ here at Big Finish
9.7
The Second Doctor Volume One
  • Stories
    9.1
  • Acting
    10
  • Sound Production
    10
  • Art Work
    9.5

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
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