Books & Literature

Audiobook Review: Doctor Who: Tenth Doctor Adventures – Classic Companions by Big Finish

SCI-FI: The Tenth Doctor revisits his companions K9, Leela, Ace and Nyssa long after their time-travelling adventures have finished. Because they all need help, and when people need help, the Doctor will never refuse…

A fabulous trilogy of stories that enhances the characters of three classic companions while giving them a chance to share a stage with a modern Doctor.

Big Finish have once again pulled out all stops to ensure a memorable release that features David Tennant as the Doctor. Tennant has lent his voice over a large number of boxsets (thanks, in part, to the pandemic) and the fruits of these labours are slowly being released to the public.

This set sees the Doctor trying to pick up fallout from the Time War and it begins with the finding of his old companion K-9 (voiced, as always, by the venerable John Leeson). Together they try and piece together various conspiracies and plots while running into past companions.

The set begins with Splinters by John Dorney. The Doctor and K-9 encounter Leela who seems to have survived a previous death in an earlier audio drama. She is protecting a village from an entity that seems to sound awfully familiar to the Doctor. A little too familiar. As the story unravels, so do the beliefs of the villagers and, especially, Leela. Louise Jameson continues to imbue Leela with much more nuance than she was afforded on screen. Dorney’s script allows her to continue to be the savage she was and the more experienced being that her character demands. She plays off Tennant well even if at times she seems a little too accepting of the Doctor’s persona in this form. The supporting cast of Joseph Milson (Peter Kelly) and Scarlet Courtney (Jessica and Kathy Kelly) bring Dorney’s script to life with their commendable performances.

The Stuntman by Lizzie Hopley is a wonderful second story which sees the Doctor arrive on film a set where a stunt lady and her overly protective father are at odds against a merciless studio owner. Before long it turns out that the lady is none other than Nyssa of Traken (played brilliantly once again by the adorable Sarah Sutton). This story rockets along at a cracking pace and there are enough twists and turns to keep the listener engaged (even if the ending feels like a bit of a letdown). This story also affords John Leeson a chance to expand his repertoire in quite the surprising role. The remaining cast of John Glover (Dr Gommen) and Claire Wyatt (Sister Sytron/Sylvia Wren) are the perfect foils for the main cast. This is the most entertaining of the three stories and has a wonderfully classic feel to it.

Quantum of Axos by Roy Gill rounds out the set superbly with a welcome return to the fold of Sophie Aldred’s Ace. This story sees the Doctor, K-9, and Ace combat another attempt by the Axons to take over the planet—this time, by promising quick connections and interactions with one another. It’s an important message to always read the terms and conditions first.

Aldred has been successfully adding to her character (much like both Jameson and Sutton) for nearly two decades’ worth of audios and this seems like such a wonderful outing for her more mature version of the character (who prefers to go by her real name Dorothy). If you ever need to know how good an actress Aldred is, look at how she does two very distinct versions of the same character! Lucy Goldie (Kayla Macguire), Amaka Okafor (Aurora) and Jamie Parker (Anthony/ Ed) round out the superb ensemble.

Throughout this whole set, director Helen Goldwyn keeps the momentum going effectively, never really allowing for the story to get bogged down. She is helped admirably by Howard Carter’s sound and music design which is absolutely brilliant and evocative (the third story, especially, benefits from a score that seems ripped out of 1970s’ Doctor Who).

This is another wonderful outing by David Tennant in his most famous role. He is helped by excellent scripts and a brilliant supporting cast. This will be a real treat for fans of both Tennant’s Doctor and the classic series, but even those who may only know the modern series will still find much to enjoy here.

Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Twitter:  @Wagnerfan74

This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not necessarily of Glam Adelaide.

Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: September 2022
Approx RRP: $20 Digital Download, $42 CD

More News

To Top