Industrial Evolution (#145)

Big Finish Main Range

I’m a bit ambivalent about this one. There are lots of things going on: explosions, people running and screaming, machines going mad… But I can’t say I LOVE it. It’s very, very good in general, especially for a Thomas Brewster story. The last three stories have really made him a more sympathetic character than I found him in the 5th Doctor stories. I still feel as though somehow he achieves the impossible on a regular basis – things far beyond his 19th century understanding, that’s for sure.

Usually it’s easy to figure out what in direction the story is heading and/or who the bad guys are but sometimes, they just throw a loop in there you just have to follow to its logical conclusion. Even when the ultimate bad guy is revealed, I still don’t quite understand why he denies his true nature but I do understand the motivations happening. Machines versus nature, old technology versus new – it’s a classic tale but Robson tells it with a zap and a whiz-bang all his own. This is the last of the Brewster stories and I almost feel like I could accept him as a companion after this one. But he will always be at odds with the Doctor, no matter which one he would travel with, because they’re very similar in actions and personality but not deeds or means. Of all the companions that Big Finish has created, they have packaged my least and most favorite in one story. Funny that.

Colin Baker, Maggie Stables, and John Pickard

Writer: Eddie Robson

Director: Nicholas Briggs

Release: March 2011

Laura Vilensky 2019