Temporal distortion means a forced landing on a planet called Serenity. The Sixth Doctor knows this place because it’s the only remaining planet in the Traken Union. His previous companion, Nyssa of Traken, saw her planet destroyed thanks to the Master’s meddling and although the Sixth Doctor is reluctant to discuss this with Peri, we all get a sense of foreboding.
The Prophecy rules the planet of Serenity in harmony but there is a worm in the bud and evil lurks in the necropolis where the TARDIS comes to rests. Already, there are people in this forbidden place who seek power. The Doctor and Peri are separated and he meets ‘The Guardians Of The Prophecy’, who are very good at hiding their heads in the sand. Peri, meanwhile, is caught up with the plotting of the ambitious Court Recorder, Augur, and a thief called Ebkko, he has employed to break into a certain tomb.
John Dorney script edits the Jonathan Morris script of the original Johnny Byrne script. Are you sensing a theme yet? All three have done a great job in presenting a sequel to ‘The Keeper Of Traken’, that fits in with the original. It is very well-realised on audio, with a sense of the pervading menace and some excellent voices.
From the squabbling Guardians, including a ‘Welsh’ Simon Williams, the scheming head of security, Commander Mura (James George) and a scary evil god-like creature, Malador, (Stephen Thorne), there are characters here for all to relish. Graham Cole who played an unspeaking Melkur in ‘The Keeper Of Traken’ returns in the speaking role of the loveable thief Ebkko. Victoria Pritchard is Guardian Felia and the rather sparky sounding Prophecy ruling over all. The sound design by Steve Foxon also contributes to the classic feel with the inimitable Ken Bentley producing.
With the addition of interviews and chat about ‘The Lost Stories’, this excellent background, if you are new to ‘The Lost Stories’, you can go back and discover them in any order you like. The history of ‘The Guardians Of The Prophecy’ is comprehensively covered here as well.
This is a great adventure story which does justice to the Sixth Doctor of the 1980s and also to the very hard work that the writers and producers of Big Finish put in to bring it to us. This could have been executed very well on screen, as it would not have broken the special effects budget but on audio it is superb with some fantastic characters, lots of madcap plot and a big bad with an overinflated sense of importance. All power to Big Finish.
(pub: Big Finish. 2 CDs 120 minute story. Price: CD: £14.99 (UK), Download: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-586-0)
cast: Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Graham Cole, James George, Nigel Lambert, Simon Williams, Stephen Thorne, Victoria Pritchard, Glynn Sweet and Duncan Wisbey
check out website: www.bigfinish.com