Rise of the New Humans review

What’s better than a Third Doctor themed month for a chance to catch up with some (very) overdue reviews. A year ago Big Finish released The Third Doctor Adventures Volume 4; here’s my review of the first story, the rather good Guy Adams tale, The Rise of the New Humans. The second story will be reviewed soon.

The Rise of the New Humans

The Big Finish product page tells us a lot:

When a man dies after falling from the top floor of a multi-storey car park, the Doctor and Jo wonder why it should be of interest to UNIT. Then they see the protuberances on the man’s back… As he fell, he tried to grow wings.

Looking into the man’s past leads the Doctor and Jo to a remote private hospital where the staff aren’t as helpful as they could be, and the Chief Administrator is unavailable to meet with them.

Breaking into some restricted wards, the Doctor notes the presence of alien and futuristic technology. The whole thing bears the unmistakable hallmarks of one of his own people’s interference, one of his old foes. Except not perhaps the one he might have imagined.

The Monk is back. And this time his meddling may have gone too far.

Where previous boxsets of the Third Doctor Adventures took their time building up the Tim Treloar take on the Third Doctor, we now have a polished performance and strong chemistry between Tim and Katy. What quickly starts as a bit of a mystery soon plunges into a tale of experimentation and alien technology with some of the human characters as alien as any of the others. There’s a lot to like in this story with Guy Adams painting the menace in several scenes exploring the downsides of the so-called new humans.

Of course the challenge of the story is the Meddling Monk, and while not quite the villain in the eye of the storm, his presence is ethically intriguing as he debates the benefit of future medicine versus the minor detail of ignoring the timelines. Rufus Hound is as brilliant as ever and happy to meet incarnations of the Doctor in almost any order he feels like. One day I must try to map his timeline, see where the Graeme Garden incarnation fits in and make sense of it all.

The story comes to a close, and it’s a very satisfying whole indeed. The Third Doctor is very much a going concern on audio (and we know since this was released there will be more recasting and extension of this era).

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