First Doctor: Volume 1

Big Finish - 1st Doctor Special Release

The Sleeping Blood -by- Martin Day

This is the story of a world “ruled” by nano technology, owned by the rich and powerful. One man is trying to send a message to the world by hurting and killing those who can afford to use the nano technology, thereby branding himself a terrorist. But whose morality is right? Should Susan interfere? Does she have a choice, ultimately? She needs medicines to cure the Doctor of an infection so she has to wander out of the TARDIS and into a lab where some soldiers are hunting the terrorist. They are by far the most trusting soldiers I’ve ever seen who were hunting a known terrorist. She does get the medicine eventually but only after she assists in stopping the terrorist.

Susan tells her story to the Doctor and what the results of her interference were. And this is a tale he must consider for in his non-intervention policy, inherited from the Time Lords, he may not be doing the best for himself or his companion. And get working on those TARDIS systems, for goodness sakes! We see them working to help heal people for future Doctors but he hasn’t figured it all out yet. I’d like to see that story…

The Unwinding World -by- Ian Potter

It takes awhile for this story to unfold and it’s all told from the perspective of Vicky, with the occasional foray into what the Doctor, Ian, and Barbara are doing. But it’s very strange because none of them speak. There are other characters in the story but the the Doctor and his companions are the only ones that don’t speak, except for Vicky, who is most clever of all!

Vicky is telling the story to a computer, Connie, of how the team arrived on whatever planet this is. Ultimately it appears to be Earth in the future or a similar planet but it’s never indicated specifically The Doctor, Vicky, Ian, and Barbara land on the planet, are separated from the TARDIS, and are looking for a way to escape the planet. But they have to take jobs to survive, forging their identities. And it turns out that there is something else going on so they stay to start a revolution.

Midway through the story, though, it appears that everything goes wrong but it was easy to tell that this was a red herring of some sort. But of what type we don’t discover until almost the very end of Vicky’s tale. I won’t spoil the ending but the old people do win the day with their memories of history. The strangest thing is that everything is changed due to guilt of the humans but memory tends to soften with time anyway. Why choose to make such a drastic change which will take over 300 years to implement? Very odd that.

The Founding Fathers -by- Simon Guerrier

We have returned to the world where Stephen is a grandfather, with a copy of the Doctor in a jar. And he has a story about his trip to London to tell his granddaughter about the Doctor’s trip to visit Ben Franklin. The Doctor, Stephen, and Vicky are accidentally locked out the TARDIS in London, when Benjamin Franklin is in town. They enlist his help to redo the lightning experiment in order to open the TARDIS. And there is another woman in the picture, Abigail. She’s spying for another family and has fallen in love with Franklin. But she and Franklin are left to history on their own when the companions and the Doctor leave.

Then the story is back to the future time with Stephen. And the faux Doctor. With the story done, we discover something horrible the Doctor did previously as a consciousness in a jar. And soon everyone knows about it but no one’s quite sure of what to do – is the Doctor even really alive as a copy of a consciousness in a jar? But he solves the dilemma for them and Stephen continues on with his own experiment, which is guaranteed to bring yet another story in the future in this series. Complicated as it all is, the point is well taken. What are other people to the Doctor? Pawns? Nobodies? People to care about? We aren’t left with a conclusion but the question continuing on into the next story...

The Locked Room -by- Simon Guerrier

Talk about tying it all together neatly! We are back to the world Stephen was king of for a brief time. He builds a radio telescope to contact the Doctor and gets his granddaughter, Sida, to help him with this endeavor. Which we discover isn’t quite his idea after all… I won’t give away who is to blame but it ties into previous First Doctor and Stephen story. This story uses story elements from most of this set (except The Sleeping Blood) to bring it all to a rather intense conclusion. The world could be destroyed or they could save it. And just how does an outsider open the door to the locked room anyway? It can’t be opened! But it leads to a satisfactory ending, despite that one flaw. I guess it can be opened but only from the outside. Nicely done and a very engaging story!

Carole Ann Ford,Maureen O'Brien, Peter Purves, Alix Dunmore, Alice Haig, Darren Strange

Writers:Martin Day, Simon Guerrier, Ian Potter

Director: Lisa Bowerman

Release: June 2015

Laura Vilensky 2019