The idea of the Lost Stories is an excellent one, at least on paper. Stories that Doctor Who fans have grown up hearing about, but which, as far as we all knew, were never going to become available, are always going to have a certain glister about them… but as the saying has it, all that glisters isn’t necessarily gold.
The missing Season 23 stories ranged from the excellent to the dire, while the “fourth McCoy season” wasn’t as strong as it could have been. Of the first two Doctor’s tales, The Prison in Space should frankly have stayed lost, but it was great to hear Farewell Great Macedon and The Destructors brought to life.
The latest batch begins with three tales for the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa, which have been slotted in-between Tegan’s return to the TARDIS at the end of Arc of Infinity and the start of Snakedance. And if the standard of this first release can be maintained, then this could well be the strongest set yet.
John Dorney’s adaptation of Barbara Clegg’s story has numerous twists and turns, the vast majority of which work really well – it’s not the author’s fault that the one at the end of part three isn’t sold as well in the acting as it could have been, while the one at the end of part four just seems one twist too many. Don’t let anyone spoil you for the surprises in this: in his preview in DWM, Dorney predicts listeners will guess the end of part two, and all the clues are there in the nature of the society and any god’s wish to create a society in its own image, but the end of part three is definitely surprising. Director Ken Bentley keeps the pace up and the strong cast deliver consistently.
Verdict: Big Finish’s current resurgence continues. 8/10
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