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They're Back

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Wednesday 27 February 2019
Rating:   8

The second collection of classic Doctors of old Who meeting monsters of New Who does not quite meet up with the promise of the premise. Doctors 4,5,6, & 8 confront the Vashta Narada, the Racnoss, the Carrionites, and the Vashta Narada again. Each Doctor flies solo. Each story is one hour, uninterrupted. "Night of the Vashta Narada" has Doctor 4 arriving on Fun World, a planet-sized amusement park that has yet to be opened. The owner, a rapacious American capitalist (which seems to be the standard for how to portray Americans in British entertainment these days) has hired some mercenaries to destroy some killers so she can get the park opened and start making some serious moolah. The Doctor attempts to rescue everyone despite everyone's wish not to be rescued. Next is "Empire of the Racnoss" in which Doctor 5 tries his honest and earnest best to save the Racnoss from obliteration by the Time Lords, but he fails to account for the Racnoss' vengeful and rapacious nature. In the end, The Doctor seems to pick up a new companion. Third in the set is "The Carrionite Curse," in which Doctor 6 encounters some witches in 1980s northern England. Of course, The Doctor doesn't believe in witches, but these ladies certainly do seem like witches. Last is "Day of the Vashta Narada," in which Doctor 8, now mired in his attempts to save everyone he can from the Time War, responds to a distress call from a research station where some of the Vashta Narada from Fun World are being weaponized for the benefit of the Time Lords. There's a Jurassic Park moment when one of the employees sabotages the lab while trying to steal the weaponized microbes to sell on his own, dinosaurs, sorry Vashta Narada, are let loose, and The Doctor, Cardinal Olistra come to collect the mighty mites for the Time Lords, the staff of the lab, and Olistra's body guards find themselves trapped in a fight for survival, avoiding being eaten by the dinosaurs, sorry Vashta Narada. If there is a theme that runs through this set, it is "nobody survives." Well, a few do, but nobody The Doctor actually cares about. The overall production is up to the usual Big Finish high standards for sound. The let down is that this set of stories is fairly routine.

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