Doctor Who Audio Review: Doctors Caught In The Crossfire

The Annihilators is a Doctor Who audio play written and directed by Nicholas Briggs. Briggs decided to try his hand at a seven part story starring Tim Treloar starring as the Third Doctor and Daily Ashford, taking on the role originated by her mother Caroline John, Liz Shaw. Jon Culshaw is back to give voice to Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who was originally played by the late Nicholas Courtney. Briggs decided to include another Doctor to help carry the load. Michael Troughton fills in for his late father, Patrick, as the Second Doctor as Frazer Hines returns to his usual role of Jamie McCrimmon. Other cast members are Karen Archer, Daon Broni, Mark Elstob, Bethan Walker, and Sam Stafford.

A strange creature lurks in the waters at Lewgate Docks, and the Doctor and his allies learn of an alien rivalry which has found its way to Earth. There is also a complication when the Doctor’s previous incarnation and Jamie McCrimmon arrive to make the matter more confusing.

Now, I usually enjoy a good Briggs script, but this one was a little too long for my taste in audio format. The performances were solid enough, which is something that always saves the listening the experience from total disaster. Michael Troughton makes his debut taking over from Hines as the Second Doctor. He decided to try not to sound exactly like his father, but he gets close enough to still recognize the character. It is strange to recall that all of the original cast members who would have been in this story are now all deceased. I think the whole release was just a little overstuffed and seems to drag. The attempt was to emulate most of Jon Pertwee’s first season as the Doctor, which was well known for these seven part sagas. In spite of the criticism, it was not devoid of amusement entirely. The scenes shared by the two Doctors deliver a few chuckles. It’s still strikes the right chords of nostalgia to hear voices similar to the characters this cast is supposed to represent.

Anyway, the effort is appreciated from Big Finish Productions to keep this era of Doctor Who alive with new stories, but seven part stories may not be entirely necessary to satisfy the fans.

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