Dust Breeding (#21)

Big Finish Main Range

A very good tale of a powerful monster for the Doctor to defeat, along with a classic baddie in the Master to defeat as well. A very nice tale all around, without many loose ends to actually get in the way of enjoying the story. If I am thinking about problems with the story as I go along, I know it’s not an excellent tale. The Doctor doesn’t get to do any silly stuff in this one nor does he do the mysterious schemer thing. But he tries his best and wins in the end, thanks to actually one man’s vendetta against the monster. Chalk another one up for human kind!

Louise Falkner is back as Bev Tarrant, the freelance spacer who can handle herself in a fight. Why she hasn’t been back for other stories is a mystery to me. She’s not as ascerbic a wit as Bernice and doesn’t have her own audio dramas but she’s rather a fun character—a thief and an entrepreneur. Her adventures don’t seem nearly so crazy as the Doctor’s but she definitely lives in interesting times! And Ian Rickets is great as the old cudger Guthrie. Sounds like a tough old grandpa type and goes out with a smile and a bang.

I think my only issue with this story is that the Doctor isn’t as strong of a character as he normally is. This isn’t really bad or anything but it also isn’t something I realized until much later. He’s just facing off with the Master and trying to unravel the mystery of what haunts the sands of Duchamp 331. He gets to use his mental powers to manipulate the dust and try to control the Warp Core but thanks to Ace getting her own things to do, he’s not as overwhelming a character as he can be. Which is good and bad. But that’s my only real complaint about the story and not much of one it is! So while this story doesn’t knock my socks off WOW, it still deserves its 5 jelloid rating because it’s just a solid, well-written classic that I really enjoy listening to.

Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred

Writer: Mike Tucker

Director: G-Russell

Release: June 2001

Laura Vilensky 2019