The Crowmarsh Experiment (7.2)

Big Finish, Fourth Doctor Series

Wow! Leela has seen her share of being manipulated in hospital settings in her future and past, hasn’t she? The Doctor and Leela land on a planet where they get caught up in a battle, it seems, and Leela is captured. Then things get very strange. When Leela wakes up again, she’s in a 1970’s lab being called Dr. Marshall, married to Marshall (called Colin Marshall here) that she was in love with in a previous Big Finish story. And they even brought the actor back for the character! And she fights against this “reality” mentally, despite the Doctor being there and Marshall with their kids. She almost crumbles several times but she and Jennifer, who she saw being captured as well, help each other resist. Or not resist, as the case may be.

It’s all a bit convoluted at times but not to the point of confusion. This story is just excellent all of the way around! I thought it was across multiple stories for the 4th Doctor, even. It felt like a full, 4 episode story despite only being 2 episodes. The acting is great and the story is original. The atmosphere is fantastic, too!

My one question – why does this machine need her to be complicit in the environment in order to take her brain? Maybe it then makes them part of its permanent setup/environment for others? But why would it need that? It’s not really explained. And why doesn’t the Doctor stop it? He warns people away but doesn’t actually stop the harvesting. Odd that. Just niggly things that I wondered well after the story was done.

Tom Baker(The Doctor),Louise Jameson(Leela), Cathy Tyson (Jennifer), Damian Lynch (Colin Marshall), Julian Wadham (Dr Holman), Dan Starkey (Linus Strang), John Dorney (Gary).Other parts played by members of the cast.

Writer: David Llewellyn

Director: Nicholas Briggs

Released: January 2018

Laura Vilensky 2019