Doctor WhoMusic/Audio

Doctor Who: Destiny Of The Doctor # 1: Hunters Of Earth by Nigel Robinson (CD review).

‘Hunters of Earth’ is the first episode in ‘Destiny Of The Doctor’, a 50th Anniversary celebration of ‘Doctor Who’ from AudioGo and Big Finish. Each Doctor will have a brand new adventure written specially for audio and featuring actors from the original series. Here Carol Ann Ford stars as Susan, the granddaughter of the First Doctor, and is joined by actor Tam Williams.


In the period before they meet Barbara and Ian, the Doctor and Susan are on Earth while he endeavours to find parts to repair the TARDIS. She has taken herself off to school to enjoy mixing with other teen-agers. Susan likes popular music and wants to fit in with the other pupils at Coal Hill School. She does make a friend called Cedric but, unfortunately for Susan, she rather stands out. Her knowledge is both spectacular and scrappy at the same time and one of the teachers, Mr. Rook, is curious.

Cedric and Susan visit Rose’s cafe but she is knocked sideways by a headache and is then verbally and physically attacked by a girl called Mavis. Just as mysteriously, Mavis then calms down and behaves as if nothing happened.

The Doctor is still trying to get those parts and is delighted that a dealer called Bernie can help but, as he travels to the warehouse, he doesn’t realise that granddaughter Susan is in trouble.

With a script that evokes the time and places of the series origins, this is not just a nostalgia trip but a genuine attempt to write a story that feels a bit special. For new fans, it does try to capture the essence of this introduction to the Doctor and the feeling of the 1960s.

This evocation of a bygone era works well and Nigel Robinson has pulled out all the stops to immerse us into the time of the First Doctor. ‘Hunters Of Earth’ not only describes the rubble strewn bomb sites, cafes with pop music and frothy coffee but also conveys some of the attitudes of the age. Add in the cold war paranoia of a country only beginning to recover from the death and debts of the Second World War and this feels like a cold November night in 1963 with the nation huddled round the crude TV sets. Even the opening theme gives the correct chill to the bones and it’s aided by skilful sound and music design by Simon Hunt. I was behind the sofa again.

‘Hunters Of Earth’ weaves in the first thread of a continuing story that will follow all eleven releases. It’s a nice bit of intrigue that could not have been foreseen in 1963 when William Hartnell is said to have declared it might last five years.

Sue Davies

(pub: Big Finish. 1 CD 60 minute story. Price: CD: £10.99 (UK), Download: £ 3.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-47131-156-7)

cast: Carole Ann Ford and Tam Williams

check out website: www.bigfinish.com

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