Synopsis: In Purity Unbound, The Doctor, Mel and Hebe are reunited. Unfortunately, Purity’s temporal meddling has altered history as they know it. To make matters worse, whatever is left of the being once known as Patricia McBride is still intent on fulfilling her grand design for humanity.
Review: Doctor Who: The Sixth Doctor Adventures: Purity Unbound concluded the Purity arc. The story didn’t play out the way I thought it would. Fortunately, that wasn’t a bad thing.
Repressive alternate timeline stories are normally limiting for disabled characters. This is because disabled characters tend not to survive those repressive alternate timelines. Doctor Who: The Sixth Doctor Adventures: Purity Unbound addressed that narrative “crutch” head-on.
“Girl in a Bubble” by Jacqueline Rainer set the scene and the stakes in an extremely evocative way. I loved the fairy-tale quality of the opening sequence. I also loved how Mel and Evelyn Smythe factored into the tale.
Ron, though, had the best supporting role. It was through Ron that listeners came to understand the layered and complicated dynamic between disabled individuals and their caregivers.
Indeed Ron and Hebe have the most important conversation in the entire arc. They confront the need to balance Hebe’s safety with her need to live.
“The Corruptions” by Mark Wright was very much the middle story that set up the finale. That said, it had value of its own.
For one thing, Wright focused on the friendship of Mel, Hebe, and Elise. He made them real and grounded, despite their circumstances. For another, Wright addressed an aspect of Mel’s character that should’ve been dealt with during the original series, but wasn’t.
“The Wrong Side of History” by Robert Valentine didn’t play out the way I’d hoped for Patricia. However, it did end the way it needed to for everyone else.
The problem with Patricia was that the writers designed her to be an old-school tragic character. That limited the tropes Valentine could ultimately employ. However, he employed the tropes he had to work with extremely well.
As ever, Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford were superb. For her part, Ruth Madeley continued to play Hebe on all cylinders.
Of course, the entire supporting cast were also wonderful. However, I’d like to single out real-life couple Cherylee Houston and Toby Hadoke. I adored the love story they got to play with such gusto.
Thank you, Big Finish. Doctor Who: The Sixth Doctor Adventures: Purity Unbound was an excellent conclusion. I can’t wait to hear how the next adventure begins.
- You can purchase Doctor Who: The Sixth Doctor Adventures: Purity Unbound here.
- Audio Production10