England is in the middle of a drought and water is incredibly scarce. The Doctor arrives to find scavengers, a deserted London and UNIT requesting his presence. It is all part of a plot by the Cybermen to hold the world for ransom and the Doctor and UNIT have very little time to save the planet.
July’s release from the monthly Doctor Who range concludes a run of stories featuring the sixth incarnation of the Doctor as portrayed by Colin Baker. Baker’s Doctor has well and truly flourished over nearly two decades of audios with many people – the actor himself included – feeling that his Doctor has really found the form (and the stories) that was truly needed to give his Doctor some depth and respectability. Baker is assisted in this story by UNIT and sees the welcome return of the 80’s Cybermen – arguably the most impressive of all the Cybermen (from both series of Doctor Who).
Andrew Smith has written a tight thriller of a script that holds the listener’s interest for at least two episodes before unfortunately losing grip of that suspense in the latter half of the story – succumbing to obvious plot points and much-used climaxes.
Baker is in great form as the colourful (in every sense of the word) Timelord and is even given a chance to show a gentler, more caring side to his Doctor as opposed to the often brash and unpleasant side he delivered whilst playing the part on television. He is ably supported by the wonderful David Banks and Mark Hardy as the Cyber Leader and Cyber Lieutenant respectively (roles they originally played in the 1980s alongside three Doctors). Rounding out the cast is Frog Stone (Riva), Blake Harrison (Daniel Hopkins), Wayne Forester (Atriss / Bill Parker / Captain Weaver), and Russ Bain (Lewis Price / Kel).
Director Jamie Anderson keeps the action rolling along and is ably helped by a truly superb sound mix and evocative music score (that harkens back to the synth-heavy 80s scores from the series), both by Steve Foxon. Also included is a selection of extracts from the musical score and some bonus interviews to help round out the packed release.
This is by no means the Sixth Doctor’s, the Cybermen’s or even Big Finish’s greatest release but it is entertaining and should please most fans of the era.
Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Rating out of 10: 7
Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: July 2018
RRP: $27 CD, $13 Digital Download