“Men of War” is a Doctor Who audiobook released by BBC Audio with Peter Purves presenting this First Doctor tale penned by Justin Richards. The Doctor is accompanied by Sara Kingdom and Steven as the TARDIS brings them to France at the height of World War I where the Battle of the Somme should have happened. They meet Captain Mark Steadman who has just had the rather shocking experience of witnessing one of his fellow soldiers being pulled underground by some frightening entity. This story is related from his perspective, which took quite a bit of mental adjustment since Purves is known as donning the role of Steven. I had to make myself remember that Steven was not the character telling the story.
Richards is usually a contributor I would follow closely because he tends to have some interesting plots when he writes Doctor Who, however this one did not quite grab me as intently as his other works. Purves does help considerably with his delivery though. He has done quite a number of Big Finish performances and is just a gifted narrator.
This is the first of a trilogy from BBC Audio with earlier incarnations of the Doctor, so I will still be interested enough to see how the whole thing is resolved, but it seems some force is making alterations to Earth’s known history of conflicts that could have devastating consequences to the Timeline itself. The Doctor and his two companions are in the middle of eluding the Daleks as this is supposed to have fit somewhere among the television serial “The Daleks’ Master Plan” which was initially aired by BBC from November 1965 until January 1966.
It’s one of those releases where I am glad that new First Doctor stories are being presented and Peter Purves stays in good voice, but this particular story just wasn’t all that memorable as a first impression.