Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio 166: The Acheron Pulse

Returning to fulfil a promise made by his previous incarnation, the Sixth Doctor finds himself caught up in a war with a strangely-familiar foe…

Last month’s first part of the trilogy ended with Prince Kylo not quite as dead as everyone thought (if that doesn’t make sense, listen after the closing credits to part four of The Burning Prince), so it’s not really that surprising that he’s central to this second story, although in a way that is disguised, at least initially. (If you don’t click what’s going on by the first few minutes of part 2, though, you’ve really not been listening to enough of these!) That story also finished with every other participant deceased, and that plays an important part in The Acheron Pulse with characters making some spectacularly bad choices based on what they believe happened rather than the reality.

Rick Briggs manages the difficult task of creating a self-contained story while still moving along threads from the first part and setting stuff up for the conclusion. The hallmark of this trilogy seems to be a disregard for heroic sacrifice: if a character goes off to do the noble and right thing, don’t necessarily expect them to make it back!

This is one of my favourite performances from Colin Baker in recent time: it returns to that occasionally hubristic period, where the Doctor airily makes promises that he intends to keep but isn’t always in a position to do so, and makes decisions that aren’t always the wisest. The desperation and anguish at times are palpable.

Verdict: Another varied and enjoyable tale.  7/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order The Acheron Pulse from Big Finish

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