Return of the Rocket Men (#7.05)

Big Finish, Companion Chronicles

Steven and Dodo are with the First Doctor for this story and it’s told both from the perspective of the past and the “present”, which is also occurring concurrently with the tale told in the past. It’s a bit confusing to describe but Matt Fitton manages to make it clear for the listener. There’s a most obvious turn of events (at least to me) and I won’t give that away but it’s one of those clarifying moments for Steven, ultimately. Much like the first Rocket Men story with Ian and Barbara, Steven is asking himself questions about when do you know that it’s time.

The strangest thing for me is that Dodo gives Steven a 1967 diary/journal and Steven acts as though that’s the day in question for the story. But he’s piloting a cargo ship in the past? Is he from a parallel Earth where space travel is quite the norm? Should it be 2067 instead? He keeps saying 1967 so that would just be my ignorance of Steven’s back story, I presume. Van Cleef is wonderfully played as the uncaring bullying bad guy by Tim Treloar. He is even more of a bully than Ashman ever was from the The Rocket Men, that’s for sure. More callous and more of a cutthroat pirate type. I really enjoyed this story and you definitely don’t have to hear the first Rocket Men story to listen to this one as this is more Steven vs. the Rocket Men.

Peter Purves (Steven Taylor) and Tim Treloar (Van Cleef)

Writer: Matt Fitton

Director: Lisa Bowerman

Release: November 2012

Laura Vilensky 2019