In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Early Adventures – The Bounty Of Ceres

Ceres. A tiny, unforgiving ball of ice and rock hanging between Mars and Jupiter. It’s no place to live, and it takes a special kind of person to work there.

Synopsis: Ceres. A tiny, unforgiving ball of ice and rock hanging between Mars and Jupiter.  It’s no place to live, and it takes a special kind of person to work there.

The crew of the Cobalt Corporation mining base know exactly how deadly the world outside their complex is, but the danger isn’t just outside anymore. The systems they rely on to keep them safe are failing and the planet is breaking in.

When the TARDIS strands Steven, Vicki and the Doctor on the base, they have to fight a foe they can barely comprehend to survive.

Review: The Bounty Of Ceres is an adventure story and a planet under siege story.

When the Tardis throws a wobbly and malfunctions in timey wimey style. The Doctor and his friends find themselves potentially marooned on Ceres. A mining colony, which is seemingly under attack from its own technology in the form of the robots assigned to do much of the heavy lifting and delicate tasks.

The puzzling thing is that the robots seem to be functioning normally, which suggests other forces are at play.

Although we have seen siege stories come and go on Doctor Who or any science fiction drama. They are always a welcome place to visit. Especially when done well, which this one is.

There’s a lot to like here for both the casual and hardcore Doctor Who fans out there. An aspect I really enjoyed was the explanation for way the Tardis had broke down. It turns out that the Doctor had used a component from the Meddling Monks Tardis, which he stole and hadn’t got the installation quite right.

Special mention should go to Peter Purves who seems to be as adept at channeling the voice of the late William Hartnell as William Russell has been on prior Big Finish adventures. Also his narration kept you gripped to the story. I quite enjoy these stories in which you have the character breaking the third wall between them and the audience.

Maureen O’Brien also was a joy to listen to as  Vici who came into the classic series after the Doctor’s Grand Daughter Susan left the show and was a much different character. O’Brien has done really well to recapture all the elements of Vici that made her such an enjoyable character to watch.

The episode is written by Ian Potter who provides a really good story with all manner of suspenseful moments, which include Vici and Stephen trying to convince the surviving crew members why they should live when it looks like the crew is going to have to space someone to save precious air.

Another nice and somewhat scary moment is when the Doctor is in cryogenic stasis and is hearing the voice of the sentient planet, which is telling him that he doesn’t belong.

All these suspenseful beats are navigated extremely well by director Lisa Bowerman who once more provides a decent balance between character moments and action. Allowing the script and actors to breath.

If you are new to Big Finish and wanting to listen to a classic adventure featuring the earliest incarnation of the Doctor. Then I’d highly recommend this particular story as one that you should put on your list.

Sound wise. Once again the technical people at Big Finish have nailed it. I listened to this over 4 nights before going to sleep and like always had my eyes closed so I could put myself into the story – and the believable sound work really goes a long way to putting you there.


Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Early Adventures - The Bounty Of Ceres
  • Great acting and direction
  • Vert little to be said in terms of what was bad for this
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Music
  • Sound Production
  • Direction

Ian Cullen is the founder of 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: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at: [email protected]
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