The Reaping (#86)

Big Finish Main Range

There are parts of this audio adventure that are just amazing and cool. The helmet in two pieces to convert people into Cybermen. The Doctor leaving the Cyberleader on Mondas. Peri dealing with her family and finding out what her friends and family really think about her. This is all setting up The Gathering which will continue with the theme of Peri’s friends but without Peri. Instead we get the other petulant companion, Tegan. But that’s for another story. I really like that Nicola Bryant got to really pull out all the stops and actually have a real reason to cry. But honestly, this is the weakest of this trilogy (The Harvest, The Reaping, andThe Gathering). I like the idea, once we find out about the purpose of it inThe Gathering, but it just doesn’t work out for the Doctor and it’s a bit confusing here.

How the heck can one dying Cyberleader cause all of these problems? How did he get the ear controllers into all of those policemen? Sure, Anthony Chambers was under his control but does he deal with the police that much? The voice of Nate Chambers was just kind of weird and spooky, too. It just all adds up to blah. Joseph Lidster’s best audio adventures are still The Rapture and Master. This one and The Gathering are just okay. The Harvest is supposed to be the 3rd of the trilogy, all vaguely linked, but it’s by far the most fun adventure and best. There’s the idea introduced that everything is linked, there are patterns to history. Okay, just giving us the thought and not any sort of explanation or examples? The Doctor’s whole pantheon of adventure could be considered part of a pattern! Covertly controlled by the Time Lords, if you believe No Place Like Home. At least they attempt it…

The Cyberleader believes the Doctor, thinks he goes outside to cyberconvert the first humans? Without a window to watch him, I’m sure the Doctor wouldn’t do that anyway. Oh, the bad guy just told you to go outside and do something bad and report back to him that you did it. Sure, sure, sure. I did it! Wouldn’t you? NOT. Peri’s interactions with her family, the fact that she’s changed, it’s the best part of this adventure and keeps it from getting a two jelloid rating.

Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant

Writer: Joseph Lidster

Director: Gary Russell

Release: September 2006

Laura Vilensky 2019