Put simply, the first episode of this two-parter by Justin Richards is one of the best straightforward episodes of Doctor Who that Big Finish has produced over the past 13 years. There have been others that have played with the format, or otherwise challenged the audience, but if you’re after a story that sets up an unusual situation and then chucks the Doctor and his companion(s) into it, then this is the one to listen to. (That’s not knocking the second episode – it resolves everything in a highly enjoyable way!)
Of course, we’ve had variations on the theme of this story many times over the years, but that’s partly because its central question of identity is something that resounds with audiences of all ages, and much of the fun is hearing how this TARDIS team deals with the problem.
Richards captures both Baker and Jameson’s mannerisms, giving both lines to really get their teeth into, and provides a villain worthy of their mettle as well as the delightfully batty Professor Hilda Lutterthwaite. The character of Harcourt provides Ian McNeice with an opportunity to create new facets with a few words, while Gareth Armstrong makes what could be the thankless role of his number two, Jephson, into something quite sinister.
Verdict: An entertaining and occasionally thought-provoking story. 9/10