This month, Big Finish and writer Simon Guerrier take the plunge into Black and White ‘who’ with a first for the First Doctor- Introducing the Sontarans!

The fact that Big Finish are free to play around in the enormous sandpit that is the Whoniverse, gives them an opportunity to team doctors up with enemies that they may never have faced on screen. Take the recent realise ‘Classic Doctors, New Monsters’, which merged the restrictions of both the classic and revived series. Its interesting to see this different dynamic develop here.

No Time To Relax

The TARDIS arrives on a moon-sized asteroid orbiting two gas giants. With an amazing view, it’s a chance for the Doctor and Steven, both played by Peter Purves and Sara (Jean Marsh) to unwind after their recent adventures. Little time is wasted on initial ‘pleasantries’ as the trio are almost immediately submerged into events.

But they quickly find themselves in the midst of battle – on one side: a familiar group of space-suited soldiers – members of the Space Security Service. On the other: strange, squat aliens in body armour. Deception and Lies are rife from both sides. 

Surviving the initial hostilities, the Doctor and his friends discover that the SSS squad is on a terrifying mission. With lives at stake, they have to venture deep inside the asteroid in search of a hideous weapon. But who can they trust in the battle against these Sontarans?

War-obsessed Potato Head

Dan Starkey, once again is Big Finish’s resident Sontaran, aided by new-be John Banks, who together bring back a comparatively harsher tone to the war-obsessed potato heads, than we have seen in recent years. I know Starx is a favourite among fans, but as much as I loved Dan’s performance in this audio drama, I always found the charterer unjustifiably comical.

The Doctor is Learning

One-time companion Sara Kingdom, played by stage and screen legend Jean Marsh, joins the team. Her military past as Space Security Agent is a real asset in the middle of this war torn planet (moon!)  In fact both Sara and Steven seem to have more knowledge of the Sontarans than the Doctor. Although he is clearly learning as the story progresses, which explains his prior knowledge in ‘The Time Warrior’.

A Number of Surprises

If I was to find fault I would say that the ending is a little predictable especially to the die-hard whovian. However don’t let this put you off, as the journey to it is engaging and action-packed with a number of surprises along the way that show the Sontarans at their most ruthless.

Make the most of diving back into black and white ‘Who’ as Series 4 of ‘The Early Adventures’ isn’t out till September next year, although clearly they are popular, as another following series has already been commissioned.

Blogtor Rating- 9/10

Synopsis

‘The TARDIS arrives on a moon-sized asteroid orbiting two gas giants. With an amazing view, it’s a chance for the Doctor, Steven and Sara to unwind after their recent adventures.

But they quickly find themselves in the midst of battle – on one side: a familiar group of space-suited soldiers – members of the Space Security Service. On the other: strange, squat aliens in body armour.

Surviving the initial hostilities, the Doctor and his friends discover that the SSS squad is on a terrifying mission. With many lives at stake, they have to venture deep inside the asteroid in search of a hideous weapon. But who can they trust in the battle against these Sontarans?’

Written By: Simon Guerrier
Directed By: Ken Bentley

Cast

Peter Purves (Steven/The Doctor/Narrator), Jean Marsh (Sara Kingdom), Dan Starkey (Corporal Ellis/Slite/Shrok/Stack/Commander), Jemma Churchill (Captain Papas), John Banks (Corporal Gage), Rosanna Miles (Tinder/Human Soldier)

Producer: David Richardson

Script Editor: John Dorney

Executive Producers: Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

Doctor Who – The Early Adventures: The Sontarans is available direct from the Big Finish website.

You can find all previous realises from ‘The Early Adventures’ here 

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