Bear with this one: on more than one occasion, the savvy Who fan will “deduce” what is going on and wonder why so much time is being wasted on certain sequences. Without spoiling any of the many twists and turns of Simon Guerrier’s intricate script, chances are they’re going to be wrong. It certainly is reminiscent of other genre pieces – there’s a DS9 episode that tackles some of the same themes, for example – but this is a story that really only could be told in the Doctor Who universe for this particular TARDIS team.
And we do get to hear the full team. Peter Purves may self-deprecatingly knock his rendition of William Hartnell’s Doctor, but he achieves wonders, giving us a number of dialogue scenes between the Doctor and Steven which really don’t feel as if they’re being performed by one man. Big Finish may have vowed in the early days never to recast the first three Doctors, but they’ve certainly found at least one actor who can bring the veteran Time Lord to life very successfully.
Clues to exactly what is going on are threaded throughout the four episodes, so careful listening is advised – and it’s very definitely rewarded. 8/10