Doctor Who Audio Review: The Fourth Is Still With Us

Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 10 Volume 01

The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 10 Volume 1 contains two Doctor Who audio dramas from Big Finish Productions and stars Tom Baker alongside Louise Jameson.

The World Traders is written by Guy Adams and directed by Nicholas Briggs. The guest cast is comprised of Sara Powell, Sian Phillips, Adam Newington, Chris Porter. and Ramon Tikarah. In this one, aliens knows as Usurians make another appearance. The Doctor and Leela first encountered them in the television serial entitled The Sunmakers. The tax-loving, bureaucratic tyrants have come to Earth and have taken possession of the Doctor’s TARDIS. It sounds like a simple plot, but it gets a bit more complicated and sometimes confusing. The Sunmakers is noted as a classic story from the television series, but I was not that enamored with it. Even so, I tend to prefer the Doctor to encounter new adversaries. The story starts off a little slow but does get better. Baker and Jameson continue to present an engaging chemistry. Leela is better utilized by Big Finish writers. The performances once again make this worth a listen, but I was not all that enthralled with it. I was not entirely put off either, so the story just does well enough to stay in the middle of the lane.

The Day of the Comet by Jonathan Morris is directed by Ken Bentley. The guest cast here is made up of Jon Culshaw playing two roles, Sophia Carr-Gomm, Janet Henfrey, Mandi Symonds, and David Seddon. The Doctor and Leela arrive on a planet that is doomed beyond the Time Lord’s ability to save them. Culshaw is best known as an impressionist in England and does great voice facsimiles of Tom Baker and other notable Doctor Who alum. He also has resurrected the character of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in recent audio plays. I like that Big Finish is utilizing him for original characters as well.

Both stories had an eccentric elderly female in the cast of characters and they both did great. Baker performs well with both Sian Phillips and Janet Henfrey in each of the stories, although that really is no surprise since Baker is such an old pro working alongside other old pros.

Neither story is what I would consider a stellar adventure, but both are still worthy of some attention since there is nothing terrible about them. Baker and Jameson continue to provide sold entertainment in their familiar roles. There are two more adventures to discuss in what is considered the tenth season of the Fourth Doctor audio series, but I will have to get back to you on those.

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