Doctor Who Audio Review: Daleks, Russians, And The Doctor

The First Doctor Adventures Volume Four is another audio boxset from Big Finish Productions and continues their vast Doctor Who catalog. There are two adventures in this set directed by Ken Bentley. David Bradley is back on the microphone with his version of the First Doctor, who was originally portrayed by the late William Hartnell. Claudia Grant, Jemma Powell, and Jamie Glover join him again as Susan, Barbara, and Ian, respectively.

The first script is written by Andrew Smith and sees the TARDIS crew Return to Skaro after the Doctor tries again to return Ian and Barbara to their home of twentieth century Earth. This is a direct sequel to the serial known as The Daleks, where the Doctor and audience was first introduced to the mechanical tyrants. The crew encounter the descendants of the Thals who first fought the Daleks alongside the Doctor and his companions. The Daleks were thought to be destroyed; however the Doctor learns that is not going to be as easy as it first appeared.

Nicholas Briggs once again is performing the voice of the Daleks. Alisdair Simpson, Tracy Wiles, Nigel Hastings, and James Camp comprise the guest cast.

This particular adventure isn’t bad, but it felt repetitive and not all that needed. Bradley’s performance is great. I was a little distracted by that sense of “been there, done that”. The story isn’t really bad, but I was not as captivated by the idea of revisiting the Daleks, the Thals, and Skaro yet again.

Next up, Jonathan Barnes gives us a little history lesson with Last of the Romanovs. Leighton Pugh, Dan Starkey, George Weightman, John Albasiny, and Alex Tregear perform the guest roles for this one. The historical event witnessed by the Doctor and his companions is the upcoming execution of the last Tsar of Russia and his family in 1918. The story is rather slow. The historical significance is somewhat interesting. Yet again, the performances help make this episode tolerable, however it doesn’t quite make it all that memorable.

The set is reasonably entertaining, but there was not much to help it keep my attention riveted. The range itself is still worth the effort though. Hopefully, the next volume will be more engaging.

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