…with, as we discover in this fun story from Nev Fountain, rather a lot of help from others, including the Sixth Doctor, Peri, a goat, and some interlopers. Fountain gave Bryant one of her best stories for the Companion Chronicles – Peri and the Piscon Paradox – and has contributed various comedic adventures to the Big Finish range (one of which is cheekily referenced here) that, like this, have some steel at their core.
Perhaps the listener shouldn’t be surprised, that, after they’ve had heading for thirty years working together, Nicola Bryant can do a good impersonation of Colin Baker’s Doctor. What is a very pleasant surprise is how good her rendition of Matt Smith’s Doctor is. The narrators in this series have to provide a brief snippet of the Eleventh Doctor as he comes calling for some particular item (in this case at the top of the story, for once), and Bryant nails the performance. If Smith’s Doctor were reading the phone book, it would soon as if he was constantly about to head off at a tangent, and Bryant gets that ‘mouth moving too slowly for the brain’ element.
Bryant uses her native accent for the narration, and the necessary twang for Peri, and is neatly counterpointed with Cameron Stewart’s performance as Columbus. We see beneath the surface of this ‘hero’ and even in the simple reading of his log, Stewart tells us a lot about what the Admiral is feeling.
If you’ve been put off by the serial nature of these stories, don’t be; they’re all standalone adventures with a minor linking thread. And this would make a good starting point.
Verdict: Terrific performances of a great script. 9/10