Doctor WhoMusic/Audio

Doctor Who: The Third Doctor Adventures: The Annihilators by Nicholas Briggs (CD review).

While the Third Doctor (Tim Treloar) is attempting, as ever, trying to get his console back into the TARDIS, he has an unexpected encounter with the disembodied voice of his former Second self (Michael Troughton). Waking up Dr. Liz Shaw (Daisy Ashford), he offers her confused and sleepy self the stunning idea that ‘sleep is for tortoises’.

Before you can whistle up Bessie, they are shooting up the motorway to Lewgate Docks in t’north. The Brigadier (Jon Culshaw) has been called out by an informant copper who’s worried about what is happening on his patch in Liverpool.

What follows is a racing-Bessie-speed adventure told in seven instalments. The Brigadier is being held back in his investigation by an obstreperous police chief. She’s a lady not for turning. There’s an alien menace and a smell like the sewer has been running through the station. It’s not just the whiff of corruption. As the plot and the smell thicken, first impressions are found to be incorrect. The world is under direct threat and a certain Scotsman turns up to confuse everyone. Ah, Jamie (Frazer Hines) how we’ve missed you.

This is a most excellent adventure and would have been a superb series in 1970s. The Doctor is played by Tim Treloar and the effect is startling. Daisy Ashford whose mother was the original Liz, Caroline John, is perfect as his exasperated assistant. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is played by Jon Culshaw.

For years, Jon kept us amused as he voiced up spoof calls as Tom Baker in the BBC Radio 4 series ‘Dead Ringers’ but he is truly a revelation as the Brig. The recreation is amazing and I’m loving the chance to return to my childhood. The story is very clever and manages to offer both thrills and spills but also some rather pointed morality whilst not murdering and slowing the action down. There’s even a teaser for a new series of the Second Doctor with David Troughton conjuring up his father.

The added extras are interesting, especially the reasoning behind the structure of the seven episodes. There’s a hint of ‘The Avengers’ and Ealing comedies in this and I’m all for it. There’s life in the Third Doctor and it’s coming right at you, watch out for Bessie’s self-driving function. You might want to ‘RUN’!

Sue Davies

April 2022

(pub: Big Finish, 2022. 3 CDs 198 minutes 1 story. Price: CD/download: £24.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-83868-738-0. Download: Price: £19.99 (UK). ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-83868-739-0)

cast: Tim Treloar, Daisy Ashford, Jon Culshaw, Michael Troughton, Frazer Hines, Karen Archer, Daon Broni, Mark Elstob, Sam Stafford and Bethan Walker

check out website: www.bigfinish.com

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