Vengeance of the Stones reviewed

Month three of the Destiny of the Doctor brings up Vengeance of the Stones by Andrew Smith and performed by Richard Franklin as Mike Yates. Richard is supported by Trevor Littledale in the role of Garlin.

Having really enjoyed Shadow of Death I was looking forward to this. Was it worth it? Find out…

The Plot

From the Big Finish product page:

Two RAF fighter jets are on a training flight over North East Scotland when one of them is plucked from the air and promptly disappears. UNIT are called in, and the Doctor and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart are soon on the scene. They enlist the help of a local military officer – a young lieutenant by the name of Mike Yates.

The Doctor discovers a link to the recumbent stone circles that are plentiful in this part of Scotland. The stones are thousands of years old, and are soon revealed to hold a terrible secret. Then Mike Yates disappears, abducted by an alien race that has a grievance with humanity. Their intention is to harness the power of the stones in order to take their revenge. For the Doctor and the Brigadier, the race is now on to save their new friend Mike and the entire planet Earth.

The blurb is quite accurate for this story – the Doctor, Brigadier and Sgt Benton appear in Scotland to investigate a missing craft which we learn is brought down by the power of stone circles. There is a lot of atmospheric plotting and a local port complete with mysterious buildings shrouded by perception barriers (and a young lad called Davey Ross – a young Dave Ross [not very funny in joke]?). The aliens don’t get revealed until about half way through and are distinct once we get there back story.

In true Brigadier style the result is a series of battles and shootings and all would be fine except that the Doctor gets a telephone message from his future self to save a particular stone for the future.

All ends with Mike Yates joining UNIT on promotion to Captain.

The Production

Really atmospheric with roaring jets and mysterious Scottish landscapes. The plot was completely of the time and was in some ways a derivation of the original Silurian story with enough twists to keep me listening. A surprise to set this between Liz and Jo and innovative to give us the introduction of Mike Yates.

I didn’t like the pseudo science with the ‘stone power’ and it amazes me how much less tolerant I am when stories are set on Earth. Despite the back story I also had little sympathy for the aliens – maybe I should join 70s UNIT?!

Final Thoughts

Maybe not up to Shadow of Death though no complaints on Richard Franklin’s performance. The overall arc is still a mystery as to why the Eleventh Doctor is collecting all these pieces from his past but that’s fine.

Roll on April and Lalla Ward!

Did you enjoy this? Is the standard still high? Let me know!

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