Tim Treloar and Katy Manning return for a second run of Third Doctor adventures in a box set that does away with the narration replacing it with a pair of full-cast adventures.
It sees Treloar take centre-stage as the Doctor. But how well does he (vocally) fill the crushed velvet and cape?
2.1 The Transcendence of Ephros by Guy Adams
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. The Doctor and Jo find a corporation exploiting natural resources and…yeah it’s like ‘The Green Death’. But with an otherworldly setting and clever exploration of religion and faith, Adams has given the trope an original spin. Jo and the Doctor visit the planet Ephros, where human cultists and the Galactux corporation all await its destruction. But for very different reasons. This is a fabulous critique of faith vs fact and how belief can be a tool of manipulation. The only thing that lets it down slightly is an out-of-nowhere twist before the final act that doesn’t go anywhere.
2.2 The Hidden Realm by David Llewellyn
A spate of disappearances in a small town going back decades hides a dark secret in this body-swap horror story. The Doctor has accompanied Jo to visit her cousin after her husband went missing. This story’s strength comes from the crop of believable, distinctive characters that join the Doctor in solving this mystery. Considering that most of the cast play dual-roles, it’s to their credit that keeping track was very easy. Throw in a murder of magpies and interdimensional portals and you have a Third Doctor story with something for everyone.
The two stories that comprise ‘The Third Doctor Adventures: Volume Two’ could have come straight from Barry Letts’ desk. They’ve encapsulated the tone of the 1970s so well it’s hard to believe neither writer was alive during Pertwee’s run. Finding Tim Treloar must have been divine providence since his Pertwee impression is absolutely pitch perfect. He gives a superb performance as the Doctor and his chemistry with always-bubbly Katy Manning is effervescent.
Blogtor Rating – 9/10
Written By: Guy Adams and David Llewellyn
Directed By: Nicholas Briggs
Tim Treloar (The Doctor), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Simon Bubb (Temper/Follower 1), Richenda Carey (Mother Finsey), Bernard Holley (Karswell), Nigel Peever(Quail/Deputy), Karen Henson (Bartram/Follower 2), Clare Buckfield (Stephanie Andrews), Robert Whitelock (Peter Andrews), Sandra Voe (Miss Barnett), Richard Earl (DCI Finch), Alex Lanipekun (DS Joseph), George Asprey (Overseer Zim )
Producer David Richardson
Script Editor John Dorney
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
Big Finish – Third Doctor Adventures: Vol Two is available to buy now on CD or download direct from the Big Finish website.