As we enter the world of the Third Doctor, this story decides to take a turning point in the history of ‘Doctor Who’ to focus on. With such a rich history to choose from, it is a nice touch to pick up on how UNIT and its individual members were an integral part of the adventures of the Third Doctor. Whilst he was exiled to an Earth only existence, the Doctor had several companions and also a few comrades in the shape of firstly the bluff regimented Brigadier but also the rather different character of Mike Yates.
Here, the story is narrated by Mike who is on hand after the report of the mysterious disappearance of a fighter jet over the north-east of Scotland When the Brigadier and his slightly strange assistant arrive to investigate, Mike is surprised to see it is a rather dapper gentleman with a kindly smile and a shock of white hair. This is Mike’s introduction to the wacky world of ‘Doctor Who’ and it’s a baptism of fire.
This story captures the adventurous spirit of the Third Doctor and brings a breath of Scottish outdoors to the story of the mysterious stones and their power. Richard Franklin not only presents the lovely Captain Yates but also he expresses a little of Jon Pertwee’s own voice and personality. He is effectively counterpointed by the addition of Trevor Littledale as the alien Garlin.
This did remind me a little of ‘The Rings Of Ikiria’, a Big Finish ‘Companion Chronicles’ production but this is mainly because they both gets the tone of the Doctor and Yates so successfully including the action man behaviour of the Third Doctor.
Written by Big Finish regular and Scot Andrew Smith, there is a fond twinkle in his eye as he presents this reminiscence of Mike Yates and also continues the ever present arc of the ongoing mystery about what will happen to the Eleventh Doctor in November. My, my he is going to be busy this autumn.
What Big Finish bring to this party is a lot of experience at giving us the listener more bang for our buck and this as ever comes with the full attention to detail of sound effects and music. It’s certainly something to look forward to every month as we get closer to the anniversary.
(pub: Audio Go/BBC. 1 CD 68 minute story. Price: CD: £ 5.10 (UK), Download: £ 3.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-47131-169-7)
readers: Richard Franklin and Trevor Littledale
check out website: www.audiogo.co.uk