The fourth story in the third series of Fourth Doctor Adventures is a Nick Briggs story that adds the Master as played by Geoffrey Beevers to the mix. We also get Michael Keating (Vila from Blake’s 7), Nick Briggs as the Salonu and Gareth Armstrong round out the normal cast of Louise Jameson and Tom Baker.
No Daleks in sight so what has Nick in store for us?
With shades of the Marie Celeste here is the Big Finish synopsis:
The TARDIS lands in the cargo hold of luxury space cruiser the Moray Rose. The crew and passengers are missing. The agents of Inter-Galaxy Insurance are determined to find out what’s happened and the shadowy Interplanetary Police Inspector Efendi is showing a very particular interest.
Caught up in all this, the Doctor and Leela find themselves facing a horde of metal mantis-like aliens. But throughout it all, Leela is haunted by terrible nightmares and the dawning realization that everything she knows about her life is a lie.
The Marie Celeste theme doesn’t last long, instead we have a twin story of Leela’s nightmares and the metal mantis aliens intent on plundering space cruisers. En route the passengers end up missing and so arrives Calvert (Keating). Investigating the Doctor and Calvert end up in the TARDIS while Leela is kidnapped, brainwashed and set in opposition to the Doctor. The casting makes the Master’s presence clear and he is inevitably foiled but not before we learn more about Leela’s character.
For a change Nick has moved away from Daleks and his Salonu aliens work well on audio but never get in the way of the Beevers / Baker / Jameson performances. I liked the experimentation in this story even though some trademark brutality remains – Nick has a tendency to have people die to get them off stage and there is a death in here which is not regretted at all.
That aside I enjoyed the story even if it jumped between major scenes here and there. Several decent performances and good extras that add to the story (if like me you like dissecting their construction).