Doctor WhoMusic/Audio

Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor Adventures: Lost Warriors by John Dorney, James Kettle and Lizzie Hopley (CD review).

In the third outing for the Ninth at Big Finish, we again have a mix of stories-never boring. These are all set in the past and on planet Earth. I don’t know if this is deliberate or whether there was a lockdown at the time of writing. There are again diverse themes which somehow become the perfect vehicle for Ninth Doctor, he just fits in anywhere.

3.1: The Hunting Season by James Kettle

An Englishman’s home is his castle and if he wants to blast the local peasantry with a shotgun then that’s perfectly acceptable behaviour. The peasants are not in fact revolting, there’s something alien out there and appears to want to feast on the flesh of the gentry. I have no problem with that but the Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) is anxious to make peace not war despite the gentry being quite blood thirsty themselves.

This curious and rather dark version of Downton Abbey has some very grim undertones and it’s gleefully done. Alex Jennings is marvellous as the lord of the manor. Doctor Who regular Annette Badland plays Mrs Goose the housekeeper, who reads soothing westerns to placate young Alice the scullery maid.

The result is a cross between ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ and ‘Shane’ with a blue box. Fantastic.

3.2: The Curse Of Lady Macbeth by Lizzie Hopley

As ever the woman get the worse press, so this story about a most reviled wife casts an interesting light on the character we really only know from the Shakespeare play.

Here the castle is threatened by something that cannot be seen. Gruach’s son has lost his voice but draws his nightmares on the walls. Can the man in the blue box save them before Macbeth returns?

Neve Macintosh gives voice to the Lady Macbeth or rather Gruach, her true name, revealed to be a much more complex character than the calculating murderess that just can’t get her hands clean.

3.3: Monsters In Metropolis by John Dorney

In the old days, people made movies that really did shake the world and ‘Metropolis’ was one of those movies. Both a Science Fiction vision of a horrifying future and an enlightenment of the subjugation of man’s labour to machinery the film made the reputation of Fritz Lang (Nick Wilton). He was forced to leave Germany because his point of view didn’t concur with the new Nazi regime and he had Jewish heritage.

John Dorney has taken the machine person idea literally and brought in something rather familiar and scary: a Cyberman. Instead of the famous breasted lady robot, Lang is determined to use the machine man who has been controlled by Dieter (Peter Bankole). This can only end in tears.

Again, we have a completely different set of stories for the Ninth to approach. I’m wondering if at some point he might acquire a companion again. In some ways, his interaction is simpler without one. He is the man on the horse riding into save the day and riding out before he can be rewarded. He’s the travelling loner who seeks the comfortable fireside only briefly knowing he has no right to it.

Sue Davies

April 2022

(pub: Big Finish, 2022. 4 CDs 245 minutes 3 stories. Price: CD/download: £34.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-83868-344-3. Download: Price: £29.99 (UK). ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-83868-345-0)

cast: Christopher Eccleston, Annette Badland, Peter Bankolé, Nicholas Briggs, Raj Ghatak, Don Gilét, Lucy Goldie, Helen Goldwyn, Anthony Howell, Alex Jennings, Allegra Marland, Neve McIntosh, David Rintoul, Maggie Service, Tilly Steele and Nick Wilton

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