The Sandman (#37)

Big Finish Main Range

There is a lot of pretty stories and an attempt to show the Doctor’s hard side, his attempt to be the justice for a world, defending the weak of a world being overrun by the Galyari. But it just doesn’t come off well. The tale of the past, when the Doctor opposed the Galyari, is actually boring. Perhaps because I’ve heard it before? It’s just tedious. Everything’s clear cut except that the Doctor gets to be the bad guy. His revenge for the cruel killings of the tunnelers. And it all comes back to his coat of many colours, which is just clever and lame. Doctor as monster, making claims to raising people to intelligence level to oppose the Galyari.

The story meanders along, with the Doctor getting himself in deeper trouble than he realizes, of course. And he and Evelyn must unravel the mystery and deal with the consequences. It seems cruel, even for him, to imprint himself on a race to intimidate them into being migratory creatures. It’s an interesting envisioning of a different type of race and culture—the development of the Galyari is the best part of the story, though. The story and adventure itself are just okay, though. Running around ships, meeting people, solving the mystery. Eh, nothing special, basically. Interesting but not exciting. It’s definitely interesting to see the hard/dark side of the Doctor but the characters just aren’t extremely deep.

And the strange thing is that they have this deep-seated, race memory fear of the Doctor yet they don’t run from him, they cooperate with him! That makes it so unbelievable, ultimately. That’s my theory anyway…

Colin Baker and Maggie Stables

Writer: Simon A. Forward

Director: G-Russell

Release: October 2002

Laura Vilensky 2019