Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: 4th Doctor Adventures 2.7: The Final Phase

2_7final-phase_image_largeCan the Doctor prevent the Daleks from getting hold of Cuthbert’s mysterious experiment?

This conclusion to the season long storyline in the 4th Doctor adventures would be special enough even without it marking Mary Tamm’s final ever appearance as the first incarnation of Romana. Nick Briggs gives her some wonderful moments – which are then neatly repeated for comedy towards the end of the story – that show just how far the two Time Lords have come. A large part of that rapprochement comes from the development of the character of Romana in this season: a thaw was definitely starting at the end of the televised adventures, but this bridges the gap between The Armageddon Factor and Destiny of the Daleks very well. The end of episode three is a beautiful piece of underplaying that shows you don’t need everything to be at maximum volume to be effective.

A lot of other threads are brought to a conclusion: Cuthbert’s experiment is revealed, as is the reason for the Daleks wanting it, which leads to some spats between the Doctor and the Dalek Supreme. I suspect there’s quite a few suggestions from Baker in that dialogue, but it all holds together well. The only element that doesn’t quite work is the relationship between the two leaders from the beleaguered planet – I had flashbacks to Hugh Grant in The Curse of Fatal Death unfortunately during the death scene.

Verdict: A strong conclusion to a season that I suspect I, among many other people, will want to listen to again in the not too distant future. 8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order The Final Phase from Big Finish


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