The Dark Planet (#4.01)

Big Finish - Lost Stories Season 4

Wow. I could totally see this being an episode. The only problem with it is that the special effects would’ve been prohibitive plus it’s a bit preachy. Mutually assured destruction and “people” killing each other and fanaticism. All of these are brought up and more and fortunately it’s not to bash the listener over the head with it.

The TARDIS lands on Lumiare. The team explores and Vicky is taken away by the light creatures while the dark creatures, called Krogor, invade the TARDIS and knock out the Doctor, Barbara, and Ian. Krogor can’t take over the TARDIS but seems to want to until a team of light soldiers rescue them. And they want the power of the TARDIS too but it’s not the focus of the story, ultimately. Thankfully! The team goes into the city of light, reuniting with Vicky and meeting the leader. And the entrenched nature of the enemy mentality is revealed. More things happen and ultimately, the mentality cannot be reversed as it is all pervasive. It really works for this story and the symbolism of light vs. dark drives it home.

I was totally sucked in by the story and listened intently, waiting to see what would happen next. Though the hatred is ingrained, these creatures are still unpredictable and the story isn’t as predetermined as it is cast. And the companions all have different experiences – Vicky hangs out with the young of the light people, the Doctor plays the mediator role, Ian is busy rescuing Vicky then himself then Barbara, and Barbara ends up with her own discussion role on the part of Krogor. An utterly amazing story!

Ian Chesterton (William Russell), Vicki (Maureen O’Brien), John Banks, Charlie Norfolk

Writer: Brian Hayles, adapted by Matt Fitton

Director: Ken Bentley

Release: September 2013

Laura Vilensky 2019