Doc­tor Who

En­tropy, dou­ble Masters and tun­nels of doom

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated / Videogames / Miscellaneous -

Big Fin­ish is of­ten great

at bring­ing mod­ern char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion and depth to Doc­tor Who char­ac­ters who rarely got the chance to shine on- screen, and its lat­est re­lease is an­other ex­am­ple of how strong ’ 80s com­pan­ion Nyssa ( Sarah Sut­ton) could have been, treated right.

Also the fi­nale to their E- Space tril­ogy of re­leases, The En­tropy Plague sees the Fifth Doc­tor, Nyssa, Te­gan and Tur­lough strug­gling to es­cape from a dy­ing “exo- uni­verse”. The ad­di­tion of some clichéd space pi­rates is a shame, but oth­er­wise this is a dark, pow­er­ful and very well- played adventure that packs a weighty emo­tional punch. An­other fi­nale ar­rives in Dark

Eyes 4, the lat­est four- disc box set star­ring Paul McGann’s Eighth Doc­tor, which con­clu­sively wraps up the Dark Eyes saga. As the Doc­tor tries to lo­cate his miss­ing com­pan­ion Molly O’Sul­li­van, he in­stead en­coun­ters the ne­far­i­ous schemes of the Dalek Time Con­troller, and has an­other show­down with the new in­car­na­tion of the Mas­ter ( Alex Mac­Queen). Th­ese four episodes are in­ven­tive and en­joy­able, although di­min­ish­ing re­turns do start set­ting in dur­ing the lat­ter half, as the num­ber of plot twists, epic bat­tles and timeline al­ter­ations gets pos­i­tively be­wil­der­ing.

Over in the Tom Baker- star­ring Fourth Doc­tor ad­ven­tures, an­other in­car­na­tion of the Time Lord’s nemesis is on the prowl in the pulp-tas­tic Re­quiem For The Rocket Men. Orig­i­nally seen in the Com­pan­ion Chron­i­cles range, the Rocket Men are in­ter­ga­lac­tic crim­i­nals with a grudge against the Doc­tor, but when he de­cides to take them on di­rectly, the re­sult is a fun col­lec­tion of de­cep­tions and dou­ble- crosses that also in­volves the Mas­ter ( Ge­of­frey Beev­ers). Re­vers­ing the tra­di­tional for­mat of the Doc­tor/ Mas­ter con­flict, this is a fe­ro­ciously en­joy­able adventure that gives more wel­come depth to the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Fourth Doc­tor and Leela ( Louise Jame­son).

Fi­nally, the lat­est down­load- only Short Trips re­lease is a tale of the Third Doc­tor nar­rated by orig­i­nal Per­twee com­pan­ion Katy Man­ning. Time Tun­nel fol­lows the Doc­tor and Jo as UNIT is drafted in to in­ves­ti­gate a mys­te­ri­ous train full of dead bod­ies. It’s a nicely played and oc­ca­sion­ally creepy tale that cap­tures the vibe of the Per­twee era. While the cli­max could have done with be­ing a lit­tle stronger, this is still a sat­is­fy­ing and en­ter­tain­ing bite- sized lis­ten. Saxon Bul­lock. Out on 16 April, from BBC Au­dio: read­ings of Mark Gatiss book The Round­heads and the nov­el­i­sa­tion of “Fron­tios”.

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