“The Crash of the UK-201” is a Doctor Who audio drama from Big Finish Productions Early Adventures range and is written by Jonathan Morris. Peter Purves and Maureen O’Brien share narration duties while reprising their respective roles as Steven and Vicki. Purves also does continues his impression of the late William Hartnell as the First Doctor, although the Doctor really doesn’t appear properly all that much in this adventure.
Michael Lumsden. Carol Starks, and Stephen Fewell are included in the guest cast for this story.
This turned out to be a pretty fascinating story in spite of it being a pretty common subject in time travel stories. Vicki is transported back in time to the spaceship that crashed on the planet Dido where she was discovered and then rescued by the Doctor and his two previous companions, Ian and Barbara. Vicki has a chance to save her father and the other passengers, so to hell with established history basically. She lives a very different life than that aboard the TARDIS. She marries, has children, and faces tragedy of a different sort. She finds that she is able to move at will along this time stream and make corrections designed for a happier life, however as expected by us sci-fi enthusiasts, her situation gets worse. Steven is somehow tethered to her as he appears at various moments of her life. Also, strange creatures are stalking her, attracted to the paradox of this existence.
The constant shifts in Vicki’s time stream does get a little exhausting at times, however the overall story if very compelling. I think what I find attractive about this episode is that I don’t think it fits in with the style of the series at that time. Even the absence of the Doctor did not irritate me as much as it often does when some other stories kind of sideline him. O’Brien puts on a compelling performance. We get to hear Vicki at all kinds of stages of her life. Purves also doesn’t slack off much either.
The concept of the story isn’t that original, but this particular episode was written well enough where that doesn’t matter. It was pretty bold to provide a background to Vicki that was not really explored in the television series.
This turned out to be one of the strongest releases from Big Finish this year.