Bernice Summerfield and the Criminal Code (4.06)

Big Finish, Companion Chronicles

A rather intriguing mystery of a planet where war seems to be the only thing on the minds of the leaders. The leaders of Shanquis are determined to be at war with the neighboring world of Esoria, to the point of serious stubbornness. What has brought on this mindset? It’s not clear and the Doctor is driven to exhaustion trying to broker a peace. Meanwhile, Benny is investigating a forbidden language with a friend, Gatlin, and the Doctor is kidnapped. All of these things seem bound up together yet they are only peripherally related by one machine, a serious terraforming machine of amazing power.

So things progress and Benny is captured and imprisoned with the Doctor. And they work things out! This is the one time that the translation circuit of the TARDIS may actually have gotten in the way of solving things, which is a really nifty little twist. The story has a suitable mystery and resolution, and I really enjoyed it throughout. Though I was expecting Gatlin to betray Benny but she isn’t on either side of the story. Excellent story if a light on the adventure part. Not a lot of running around and even figuring things out until almost the end of it all.

Lisa Bowerman (Benny) and Charlie Hayes (Gatlin)

Writer: Eddie Robson

Director: John Ainsworth

Release: January 2010

Laura Vilensky 2019