The Crimes of Thomas Brewster (#143)

Big Finish Main Range

This is by FAR the best of the Thomas Brewster stories to come at Big Finish so far. It’s not fabulous by the BF standard unless you take him out… My biggest objection to the “artful dodger” character of Thomas Brewster is that he comes from the 19th Century and somehow, he steps into the role of understanding alien, sophisticated technology with no problems at all. He may travel with the 5th Doctor for a little while, actually stealing the TARDIS (which is ridiculous), but most characters, no matter how brilliant take to new technology to the level he does. He might as well be as smart as the Doctor! He makes his own time machine!? How crazy does that sound?

Thomas Brewster aside, this audio actually works well. Hurray for D.I. Menzies! Though I did have a bit of an issue with how far they take trading the Doctor’s name around. It got a bit silly and I thought it would’ve been more effective if there was some consequence to being named The Doctor besides the bugs being after him, which he manages to avoid every time anyway. Menzies is by far the best part of this story, showing a sense of humor in her sarcasm and wit that even Evelyn cannot match. But we can forgive Evelyn as she’s absent for much of this audio in one way or another.

So despite the fact that there are some drawbacks to this story, it’s worth a listen as it’s good if predictable. I enjoyed it despite the rating I gave it. It was very easy to imagine the landscape, environment, and enemies throughout this story.

Colin Baker, Maggie Stables, and John Pickard

Writer: Jonathan Morris

Director: Nicholas Briggs

Release: January 2011

Laura Vilensky 2019