Prison in Space or Carry on in the TARDIS reviewed

Prison in Space coverThe second set of Lost Stories leads off with the Dick Sharples story Prison in Space. Dick Sharples wrote many other things (Adam Adamant, The Saint, Doctor Finlay and even The Bill) but this is the only piece he ever wrote for Doctor Who. It is a Second Doctor story with Jamie and Zoe performed by Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury with Susan Brown as Chairman Babs (the name alone sets the scene).

Is this another lost treasure or should the script have stayed lost in Frazer’s garage?

The story

I start as usual with the synopsis from Big Finish:

A relaxing break for the Doctor and his companions Jamie and Zoe becomes something decidedly more sinister when they are arrested for trespass. But what has happened to the planet Earth? And how has the malevolent Chairman Babs gained control? As the Doctor and Jamie are incarcerated in a prison that they can never escape from, Zoe is forced to change sides…

Earth is now a matriarchal society in which men are an inferior species whilst women rule. Everyone lives 200 years so there is no need for man the father; war is over so no man the warrior and so on. Women (apart from toad-like) Chairman Babs all wear tight leather outfits, boots and short skirts – think Emma Peel who would have been in The Avengers around this time.

The Doctor and Jamie cause trouble and are sent to Space Prison while Zoe is brainwashed. Revolution breaks out and Chairman Babs falls for the Doctor. After much chasing around with ray guns (think Benny Hill) all is well, men and women are back as one and there is just the problem of Zoe’s conditioning to solve. Along comes Jamie (I am serious) and puts her over his knee for a spanking which sorts everything out.

The storytelling

[pullquote]this is a smutty Carry On of a story[/pullquote]

Big Finish are stuck with some of the Lost Stories. If they stick rigidly to the script / concept they end up making stories such as this that I believe have little if any redeeming value. If they modify scripts too far (and Simon Guerrier is not to blame here) they can get accused of not being true to the original. For me this is a smutty Carry On of a story and while I may be completely of its time I have to admit to feeling that this (like other stories in the Lost range) maybe didn’t need to see the light of day.

Thoughts? Am I too prudish? Boring? What have I missed? Let me know

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Simon Wood says:

    I haven’t listened to this but your review reminds me of Mission to Magnus. Also: matriarchal society. Also: terrible. Certainly the worst thing, in my opinion, Big Finish have ever done. I wondered why they did it – and concluded they had decided archival interest trumped any kind of quality control. I didn’t see the point in making these scripts just to illustrate exactly why they’d been canned in the first place.

    Later, I’ve picked up some other Lost Stories – the Raine set, The Elite, The First Sontarans – and found them to be much better (The Elite was excellent, I thought) but I remain wary!

    So, thanks for the review. This goes on my ‘definitely not’ list!


    1. Tony Jones says:


      Spot on – it has all the subtlety of Magnus though at least it doesn’t suffer from dodgy physics as much as that story. I really like The Elite and I am not sure I’ve reviewed it. I wasn’t sure at the start of the Raine set but overall liked it. The First Sontarans is on my list!

      Thanks for the comments!


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