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Adric Returns

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Monday 5 June 2017
Rating:   8

The Fifth Doctor Box set contains two adventures featuring Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan. This set includes the first performances of Matthew Waterhouse as Adric in a dramatic format since 1983. Big Finish has gone all out to get the feel of Doctor Who 1981 in the stories, production, and soundtrack music. Indeed, this soundtrack music will leave you swearing that Peter Howell had returned. The stories are provided by Big Finish regular writers Jonathan Morris and John Dorney. Morris is up first with "Psychodrome," a kind of combination of Eric Saward and Christopher H. Bidmead. The Bidmead influence comes in the way the story plays with reality, while the Saward influence comes with the way characters are violently dispatched one by one. The story itself involves the TARDIS crew landing in a strange, large structure that gradually develops people and different realms, something like a video game. The story has a nice psychological twist to it. Dorney's "Iterations of I" is equally a concept piece, a haunted house tale where the ghost turns out to be a living number. The ending is a bit "by the numbers" [no pun intended, well almost] for a Doctor Who ending, so disappoints there. Both stories have plenty of snappy dialogue, though "Iterations" has some long spells of the Doctor delivering exposition. Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding are fully comfortable in the audio drama environment. Matthew Waterhouse is a little less so, trying a bit too hard to sound young, which gets in the way of some of the emotional delivery of the lines. Nevertheless, the stories work well in exploring some of interactions between characters that were not explored in the TV series. This is a very entertaining pair of stories well worth getting.

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