Synopsis: The Fourth Doctor and Leela return in two more four-part adventures.
First, the Doctor and Leela encounter a most enterprising young gentleman. Thadeus Nook is using time travel for his own financial gain. The Doctor is horrified at the irresponsibility. Unfortunately, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Second, the Doctor has taken Leela to meet noted paleontologist Mary Anning. However, the duo immediately stumble into trouble. It turns out some things might be better off staying buried.
Review: I enjoyed The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 10 Volume 02 even more than the preceding set. Indeed, history-inspired and history centered stories have consistently been my favorite Doctor Who offerings.
“The Tribulations of Thadeus Nook” by Andrew Smith was a delightful outing. It began with an on-point reference to H.G. Wells. From then on, it was a rollercoaster ride of death and comedy.
Thadeus Nook was a chancer in the grand tradition of chancers. Moreover, his love story was in the grand tradition of love stories. Once the Doctor and Leela were added to the mix, the result was a Runyonesque dark chocolate valentine with time machines.
“The Primeval Design” by Helen Goldwyn was more serious in tone. However, it was no less heartfelt. I adored Goldwyn’s take on Mary Anning. She was the latest historical figure who would’ve made a superb companion.
Goldwyn highlighted Anning’s love story. She was besotted with bones, the earth, and the knowledge they afforded. Goldwyn juxtaposed an equally wonderful traditional romance to ground the fantastical elements.
Tom Baker and Louise Jameson were clearly having a marvelous time. They brought unmistakable joy even when playing the more serious material. They clearly infused the rest of the excellent supporting players with that happiness.
I have to single out two members of that supporting cast. First, Brendan Murphy did a lovely job portraying Thadeus Nook. Nook was a character that could have devolved into stereotypes. Fortunately, Murphy knew how to balance tropes with truth.
For her part, Lucy Briggs-Owen made Mary Anning live and breathe. As far as I’m concerned, Anning was fully integrated into the Big Finish universe.
The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 10 Volume 02 was another excellent effort. Bring on Series 11!
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