Big Finish continue their homage to the Third Doctor era with the fourth volume of their Third Doctor Adventures Volume 4. As with previous volumes, the role of the Doctor is being played by Tim Treloar who continues to do a passable, if inconsistent, impression of the late Jon Pertwee’s Doctor alongside Katy Manning’s reprisal of Jo Grant. This set includes two adventures (each consisting of four half-hour episodes) and both stories are closer in feel to the original era than those on the previous volume.
In Rise of the New Humans (written by Guy Adams), we see the Doctor and Jo fighting the devious Meddling Monk (played to perfection by Rufus Hound). It is a story full of humour and it moves a cracking pace. The second story, The Tyrants of Logic, by Marc Platt, is a more serious affair and sees the Doctor and Jo fight a crew of Cybermen who are desperate to revive their species. The second story is of particular interest to Doctor Who fans as Pertwee’s Doctor never encountered the fan favourites during his initial run on the show. Both scripts, while not particularly original in plot, are engaging from beginning to end.
As usual, the supporting cast are more than adequate with their roles, in particular Mina Anwar (Dr Kurdi), Linda Marlowe (Gusta Pardo), Carolyn Pickles (Professor Marian Schaeffer), Ronan Summers (Hollisen Grier) and Deli Segal (Skippa). Director Nicholas Briggs also puts on his Cyber-voice to help give the set some added weight. Briggs is no slouch when it comes to directing tight and fast-paced stories and this set continues that fine work. The set is also aided by a strong sound design by Benji Clifford and Martin Montague.
There are suites of music from composer Jamie Robertson (which continue to evoke the music of Dudley Simpson from the original series) and an extended behind-the-scenes disc that adds to the bonus material in the set. The interviews show the great comradery between Treloar and Manning and how that translates into a strong pairing in the stories.
Whilst this is an improvement on the previous volume, there is a still a way to go for the Big Finish producers to really recapture that famous era of Doctor Who (1970-1974). For the time being though, fans should enjoy this set for the most part despite the lack of Pertwee himself.
Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Rating out of 10: 7
Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: March 2018
RRP: $46 CD, $20 Digital Download