Big Finish present an entertaining series of four stand-alone adventures featuring the Tenth Doctor and his companions. This series lacks the presence of David Tennant himself but the production team has found a worthy replacement in actor Jacob Dudman, whose impersonation of Tennant is uncanny and spot on. Dudman also provides the narration across the four stories and does so with exceptional skill, showing much nuance and life.
Dudman is greatly helped by four wonderful scripts from Helen Goldwyn, Matthew J Elliott, James Goss and Guy Adams. Each script covers a different part of the Tenth Doctor’s timeline from his earliest adventures with Rose Tyler, through companions Martha Jones and Donna Noble before finishing with a solo adventure set prior to his regeneration.
Along the way, Dudman is given some great help from supporting cast members (one per episode). In The Taste of Death Arinzé Kene plays the role of alien Orentino with suitable depth but doesn’t quite manage to sound like the giant alien he portrays. Backtrack sees the great Jon Culshaw (himself no stranger to impersonating former Doctor Who actors) play the role of a conman named Nathan Hobb. In Wild Pastures Jacqueline King reprises her role as Donna Noble’s frustrated mother, Sylvia. It is great to hear this character brought back with such a meaty part. Finally, Michelle Ryan reprises her role as Lady Christina De Sousza (ahead of that character’s own boxset due out later this year) in Last Chance. All these characters are well represented and performed.
The set is ably directed by Helen Goldwyn who keeps the pace and atmosphere moving at a brisk pace. She is helped by terrific sound (Foxyason Music, Rob Harvey, Joe Meiners) and music (Ioan Morrisby).
It is rare that a boxset has little-to-no weak points and while the first script does not quite match up to the other three episodes in terms of storyline and overall quality it is, nevertheless, an enjoyable romp through the Tenth Doctor era and also one that remains faithful to the characters and settings created by Russell T Davies.
Fans of this era will enjoy this despite the lack of David Tennant and newcomers to the range will also enjoy the cracking good stories and acting. This is a set to savour time and again.
Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Rating out of 10: 9
Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: April 2018
RRP: $63 CD, $30 Digital Download