The First Doctor Adventures, Vol. 1

Big Finish - 1st Doctor Special Release

The Destination Wars by Matt Fitton

This story introduces the new TARDIS team, the folks who are stepping in to play beloved characters, though they did get to play them first in Adventures in Time and Space. And though it takes a little while to keep their identities straight as their voices aren’t familiar, it isn’t long until it’s sorted out and all is well. The only issue I have with the new recruits is that it’s such a huge replacement all at once. It’s not gradual it’s just all or nothing. Even for the Master, though I was not impressed by Mr. Dreyfus as he just didn’t seem, well, evil enough. Evil plot? Well done there. But the actual acting? I may just be too used to Anthony Ainley’s portrayal and expect a little of that in every Master I hear…

That said, this is a great starter story for the team. They find a planet that is warring against the native inhabitants, with the Master encouraging both sides as “The Inventor.” He gives them both guns so they fight and escalate their technology to a point he can use it. Specifically to the nuclear age. But the Doctor and his friends aren’t as easily fooled as all that. Especially Barbara, who saves the day, ultimately. The era characters and ambiance plays out well – good job Mr. Fitton!

The Great White Hurricane by Guy Adams

The TARDIS team lands in New York City and Ian immediately gets a concussion from a bullet grazing his forehead. They’re in the middle of a gang battle, where Susan gets kidnapped by a gang member so he can escape. So Barbara goes with Ian to the hospital as the Doctor tries to track down Susan. So there are three different stories that are going on. Meanwhile, a killer snowstorm heads into town, freezing the town. March 11-14, 1888 the Great White Hurricane hit the east coast of the US, dropping up to 58 inches of snow and killing hundreds. I had no idea of that history so it’s amazing to find out about something like this!

So the Doctor ends up with Daniel, the brother of the boy who kidnapped Susan, named Patrick. He accidentally killed a rival gang member during a battle and has been hunted by the gang leader ever since. Rosalita befriends Barbara and has to go after her son, taken by her husband she ran away from when he hit the boy while drinking. So Ian, with his concussion still bothering him, and Barbara go with her and see her to the resolution of her story. While the Doctor and Daniel are bullied into finding Patrick by the rival gang leader, O’Connell. And instead the end up helping people stranded on the ice in the middle of the river as it breaks up.

There are lots of little threads to this story and it’s quite an intense tale. Especially with the storm that is battering the city. Barbara knows the history and warns Ian but the Doctor and Susan don’t know about it. It’s a very human tale, this one, and very atmospheric. Most of the first Doctor historical stories just fit his character. Or perhaps that’s just what I expect from the first Doctor as he doesn’t face nearly as many aliens as the other Doctors do. He is learning how to cope with people so he is forced to confront them in the stories more than the others, perhaps. The sixth Doctor shouldn’t see any aliens either after his regeneration. :) A rather enjoyable, if a bit stressful, story!

David Bradley(The Doctor),Claudia Grant(Susan),Jemma Powell(Barbara Wright),Jamie Glover(Ian Chesterton),James Dreyfus(The Master),Raymond Coulthard(Robac / Servers / Dalmari),Sian Reeves(Tanna),Deli Segal(Reena),Jackson Milner(Patrick),Cory English(Daniel),Carolina Valdes(Rosalita),Ronan Summers(O'Connell),Christopher Naylor(Policeman / Man with Ladder / Gang Member / Henry). Other parts played by members of the cast.

Writer: Matt Fitton, Guy Adams

Director: Nicholas Briggs

Release: December 2017

Laura Vilensky 2019