In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who – The Early Adventures – The Fifth Traveller

The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, Vicki and Jospa land the TARDIS on the homeworld of the Arunde.

Synopsis: The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, Vicki and Jospa land the TARDIS on the homeworld of the Arunde. Emerging into the jungle that covers the planet and encountering the strange wildlife dwelling within, the travellers are unaware that the true rulers live high above them in the trees.

The ape-like members of the tribe are in trouble. The last Matriar’s nest has been lost to the surface, and the people are hungry… Maybe these strangers may be responsible. And some believe they may be salvation.

The TARDIS crew are about to find themselves in the middle of somebody else’s battle. But there’s more at stake than even they can know.

Review: The folks at Big Finish fuse Doctor Who with Planet Of The Ape’s and come up with what is perhaps the best First Doctor Adventure that I have listened to since 2014.

The story sees The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki having gaps in their memories of previous adventures, but the only person that does not seem to be effected is Jospa. Who is the fifth traveller in the stories title.

When they land on a planet inhabited by intelligent ape’s things begin to unravel and our group slowly but surely begin to realise that they have been played by a puppet master of the highest order.

This story hits the ground running with the Tardis crew running for their lives, but its not until they land on planet of the Arunde that things begin to develop.

I really enjoyed this story and how writer Philip Lawrence was able to slowly tease out the twist and turns as it slowly dawns on the group that Jospa is not who he claims to be.

The Arunde were well written and acted by all. And I enjoyed the fact that they were mistrustful of the Tardis crew and did not befriend them immediately.

The soundscapes of the Jungle of the Arunde planet were really well done and as ever the soundtrack really suited the character beats and various moments that played out.

Kudos have to go to James Joyce for his brilliant performance as Jospa. I really enjoyed how he slowly peeled back the various layers of the character until we got to the evil maniac that he ends up being revealed to be.

For me this is quite simply the best First Doctor Adventure that have listened to in awhile. The last one that I enjoyed was 2014’s ‘An Ordinary Life’. 

Big Finish: Doctor Who - The Early Adventures - The Fifth Traveller
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Sound Production
  • Artwork

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:
One Comment
  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    18 October 2016 at 1:31 pm -

    This was excellent. 🙂

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