Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: CC 6.2: The Rocket Men

by John Dorney

Read by William Russell

The First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki must deal with an invasion by the Rocket Men! 

In an odd quirk of timing, this is being released the same month as AudioGo’s reading of John Peel’s novelisation of The Chase, which makes author John Dorney’s comment on the CD extras about the second series TARDIS crew not receiving much attention a little ironic in retrospect. This story is set in one of the few gaps available in that season, after The Web Planet and before events lead inexorably to Ian and Barbara’s departure at the end of The Chase, and deals with their relationship, something that the Missing Adventures/Past Doctor stories did to an extent, but the audios have skirted quite so directly.

Dorney gives William Russell plenty of opportunity to deliver a dramatic reading with some terrific action sequences which would have been interesting, to say the least, had they been tried by the contemporary production team. It’s balanced with more contemplative material, as Ian asks himself, “When do you know?”, and the split timeframes mean that although Ian and the other characters know the answers to some of the questions, the listener hasn’t yet been made privy to that information.

The CD extras also include an interesting aside about The Sarah Jane Adventures storyDeath of the Doctor and its effect on the Companion Chronicles line – it’ll be interesting to see how Sarah Jane’s Googling of previous companions’ journeys after leaving the Doctor impacts on future releases.

Verdict:  A lovely retro idea well-delivered by the show’s elder statesman.  8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to buy The Rocket Men from Big Finish

Also out this month: Recorded Time and other stories

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