In Review: Doctor Who: The Early Adventures – The Doctor’s Tale

England, 1400. Winter. Blood in the snow. Henry IV has usurped the throne, and deposed King Richard II languishes in Pomfret Castle.

Synopsis: England, 1400. Winter. Blood in the snow. Henry IV has usurped the throne, and deposed King Richard II languishes in Pomfret Castle.

Meanwhile the Doctor and his companions preside over New Year revels at Sonning Palace.

But Sonning is a prison, treachery is in the air and murderous Archbishop Thomas Arundel will stop at nothing to crush the rebellion.

As the Doctor and Barbara take the road to Canterbury, Vicki finds a royal friend and Ian is dragged into a dark web of conspiracy at whose heart sits that teller of tales, Geoffrey Chaucer.

Review: In this new story from Big Finish writer Marc Platt has managed to channel some of the best elements from the earliest Doctor Stories.

The way in which the lead characters are split up put me in mind of stories like ‘The Roman’s’ and it only served to give the characters of Vicki, Ian and Barbara a lot more depth.

It’s very obviously from listening that Marc Platt is very knows this period of history very well and his admiration of Chaucer shines through.

Maureen O’Brien and William Russell do a fantastic job of voicing their own characters as well as those of the Doctor and Barbara. In fact if you didn’t know any better you’d think Russell’s portrayal of Hartnell’s incarnation of The Doctor was actually Hartnell. He pretty much nails it and is far more convincing than Frazier Hines is when he channels Patrick Troughton.

The sound effects in this do a brilliant job of painting a picture of the period and the soundtrack is fantastic.

If you are looking for an introduction to Big Finish ‘Doctor Who’ historical adventures. This would be a good one for you to start with.

If there is one criticism I have. It is that the story tends to get a little bogged down at times in exposition dialogue. I doubt I would have noticed if it was a television episode. This was most apparent in the first couple of chapters, but settled down in the latter half. Thankfully I was invested enough in the characters and story not to back out and if you stick with it you are rewarded.


Doctor Who: The Early Adventures - The Doctor's Tale
  • Fantastic story, sound effects and music
  • Got a tad bogged down at times with expositional dilogue
  • Story
  • Acting
  • Sound Effects
  • Music

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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