In an interview included with this set, Tom Baker says “Big Finish have given me a new lease of life”. This release is a pleasant addition to the Big Finish Doctor Who range of special releases. The venerable 83 year-old Baker is joined once again by his companion Leela (played by the wonderful Louise Jameson) in the final four stories from the current series of Fourth Doctor adventures (the first half being released earlier this year). Both actors have a wonderful time reliving past glories and clearly delight in working with each other again.
The first two scripts by Justin Richards (The Shadow of London) and Dan Starkey (The Bad Penny) are fairly traditional fare and see the Doctor and Leela visit an almost deserted London populated by English stereotypes and then becoming guests of a bizarre 1970s hotel that appears to be the centre of a rip in time. The final two stories by Guy Adams (Kill The Doctor!/The Age of Sutekh) are wonderful fun and see our heroes visit an Earth colony called Drummond which is, in fact, all a façade hiding the real villain underneath who is just waiting for his moment to return- fan favourite Sutekh (from the classic TV storyline, The Pyramids of Mars).
Returning to the role of Sutekh is the immediately recognisable voice of Gabriel Woolf who hasn’t lost an inch on the menace from the role he portrayed forty-plus years ago. Elsewhere, the cast is rounded out by wonderful performances from Sophia Myles (Rania Chuma), Eleanor Crooks (Kendra), John Dorney (Charlton Joyce), Darren Boyd (Hemmings), Timothy Speyer (Fanshaw), and Catherine Bailey (Maddox). Special mention must go to both Dan Starkey and Barnaby Edwards who provide the voices for many characters in their respective stories.
Directors Nicholas Briggs and Ken Bentley wield their deft and experienced hands over the set and their influence shines through the tight editing and the wonderful performances they elicit from their cast. The music and sound design by Jamie Robertson is a wonderful homage to the original series.
While this may not be the greatest set that Big Finish have produced, it will nonetheless entertain those who wish to listen to some new adventures with their favourite be-scarfed Doctor. There is much to enjoy in this set and undoubtedly there will be more adventures to come.
Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Rating out of 10: 8
Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: May 2018
RRP: $44 CD, $20 Digital Download