The Age of Endurance (3.1)

Big Finish, The Early Adventures, Season 3

Ian, Barbara, Susan, and the First Doctor arrive on an abandoned space ship, which they explore and cannot escape from when another space ship arrives, the Vanguard. The humans come onboard and separate the TARDIS team. They seem very strangely makeshift in their uniforms and command structure but it turns out, they’re a very long-lived slave race to the Shifts, a reptilian species that the humans experimented into sentience and the ability to shape-shift, in a limited way. And the Shifts have been exacting their revenge on the humans for a thousand years! So the battle continues outside of the space around the planet they come from, which is surrounded by a gas cloud that doesn’t allow easy access to the rest of the universe. The humans try to escape and the Shifts are not ready to let them leave. Thus a vast game of hide and seek is played out within the gas cloud, with the future of the humans on the line.

The only complaint I have about this story is the voice of Barbara with the new actor, Jemma Powell. It’s not terrible but it’s just momentarily distracting. And with Barbara out of commission for most of the story, it’s distracting twice, basically. Otherwise it’s just fantastic! The atmosphere of the story is great – nailed it! I found it riveting and didn’t want to put down the headphones. Whether you’re a fan of the First Doctor stories or not, this story is very well done all around.

Carole Ann Ford(Susan/Narrator),William Russell(Ian/The Doctor),Jemma Powell(Barbara),Rachel Atkins(Myla),John Voce(Toban),Gethin Anthony(Olivan),Andy Secombe(Benya),Tom Bell(Arran/Shift). Other parts portrayed by the cast.

Writer: Nick Wallace

Director: Ken Bentley

Release: September 2016

Laura Vilensky 2019