The epic eleven-part Destiny of the Doctor series kicks off with Nigel Robinson’s tale of the original Doctor trying to find a way to repair his beloved Ship while Susan endeavours to fit into her new surroundings. Although both of them initially seem to be having some success, there are many pitfalls along the way – the solution to which comes from an unlikely ally.
It’ll be interesting to see whether the format of this story is maintained for the entire run: it’s closest to that used for the Hartnell/Troughton Lost Stories (original companion telling a story where some of the dialogue is dramatized, other bits narrated), themselves an adaptation of the Companion Chronicles “two voices” set up. It works here because Carole Ann Ford and Tam Williams are both able to contribute other voices to add to the soundscape without it being very obvious that they are doing so – not all of the actors involved with the show are that gifted.
It will also be instructive to go back to this CD as the rest of the overarching plot is unveiled: there are elements here that shout out to much later parts of the Doctor Who canon than the classic series, and there’s even a hint that one of the characters may be hiding a much darker secret (either that, or there’s some oddly coincidental choices of phrase.)
With Big Finish revealing the story behind the Doctor leaving Gallifrey (or at least a version of it – after all, we’ve already had Lungbarrow in the books), a new story in the lead up to An Unearthly Child is the obvious other point to start off the range. Nigel Robinson captures the First Doctor’s reluctance to get involved until his own interests are directly threatened, although something clearly must happen between the end of this story and the beginning of the TV series for Susan to become as adjusted as she is there, given the events of this (and Kim Newman’s Time and Relative if you’re taking a holistic view of the Who universe.)
Verdict: A well-paced start. 7/10
We have three copies of Hunters of Earth to give away – click here for the competition