Big Finish has been producing Doctor Who audio dramas for many years now, even before the current run of the TV series returned to the air. They have brought some fresh air to the classic Doctors, giving them an opportunity to continue to shine and showcase many of the additional adventures that never made it to air for one reason or another – budget, politics, or simply the story had not yet been thought of yet. The newest chapter in the monthly range from this run is “Mistfall“, the 195th story in the monthly range.
What is so wonderful about these stories is that it contains the original cast, reuniting to keep the adventures going. It doesn’t matter that 30 years have passed for this iteration of the TARDIS crew – they continue on with the adventures as if it was still the 1980s. This adventure takes place during the time of the 5th Doctor – portrayed by Peter Davison – when he was travelling with his crew of Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding), Vislor Turlough (Mark Strickson), and Nyssa (Sarah Sutton). Although this trio of companions only had 2 adventures together on the small screen before Nyssa departed the time craft, Big Finish has managed to find a way to reunite the trio for a number of adventures (which takes place after the Black Guardian trilogy in the TV series).
What makes this story interesting is the destination. It is a planet that the TARDIS has gone to before, but it was some time back and with none of the current companions. In fact, the TARDIS is pulled through a CVE (Charged Vacuum Emboitment) to another universe, more specifically E-Space. This is the universe in which the Doctor left 2 of his previous companions – Romana and K-9 – but also gained a new travelling companion who was part of the crew with Nyssa and Tegan, Adric. The TARDIS gets pulled through due to some activities of Adric’s before he was killed, during his endeavor to return home. As a result, the TARDIS lands on Alzarius some time after its original visit, but things are not as well as they had seemed when the Doctor, Romana and stowaway Adric had left in the original TV adventure “Full Circle”….
Like many of the Big Finish stories, the production quality of this is no exception. The story is solid and actually flows with little to no flaws in the action, but with this size of cast it is difficult to give everyone a major part in the action. In fact, some of the crew – although doing something important – appear sidelined for much of the adventure, although there are 2 more stories in this trilogy to come so we should be able to see everyone get a fair share of “screen” time. But, even though some don’t get a full share of attention, what they do have is quite important to the continued growth of the story.
What is fantastic about the stories that Big Finish produces is that the adventures sound like they could be a lost episode of the TV run. From the opening music – which uses the original theme from that era – to the incidental music, the production really gives a great feeling of this being the actual era of Davison’s Doctor. My only complaint over this adventure is that, at times, the sound level of the incidental music between scenes is somewhat disjoint from that of the previous and following scenes where individuals are speaking. In a few cases, I would hear the dialogue and it was about to switch to another scene, but the incidental music that is played is 4 times as loud as the previous scene, thus actually being somewhat detracting. As well, there were a few spots in the playback where the incidental music within the scene was louder than the dialogue and drowned the actors out. This is a rare occurrence in the Big Finish range, but it did impact me a little.
Not enough to not enjoy this adventure, though. This was, overall, a great story. It brought us back to a planetary mythos that had only been experienced once before on television. It was beautifully acted by the cast, and I will say that in this adventure Mark Strickson’s voice was even more like the TV era’s Turlough than previous Big Finish broadcasts. It was a treat to hear this group together again and I am definitely looking forward to the next 2 chapters in this trilogy.
Audio Effects: 4/5