Peter Davison always held a special place in my heart, as the fifth Doctor. He was the first Doctor I remember seeing on the telly, running around energetically with his celery sticking out of his jacket lapel. Thanks to Big Finish, we’ve been able to continue the fifth Doctor’s adventures – and I’ve just finished listening to Prisoners of Fate. Written by Jonathan Morris, this adventure sees many story threads finally come together – weaving into quite the finale. Whilst threads pull together, others unravel leaving us with more questions! Just the way I like it…
Prisoners of Fate see’s the Doctor and the TARDIS crew (comprising of Nyssa,Tegan and Turlough) forced to land onto the penal colony of Valderon. Here, a painful reunion is set in motion for Nyssa, as she comes face to face with her grown son Adric – who has followed in his mothers footsteps continuing her research into the disease Richters Syndrome, which has been running rampant in the galaxy for over twenty five years. However that’s not the only surprise awaiting the crew, as a figure from the Doctor’s past is waiting to see him – with revenge foremost on their mind!
Peter Davison brings his incarnation of the time lord to life, with his usual energetic charm and enthusiasm. However it’s Sarah Sutton who manages to steal the show. Her performance of Nyssa outshines the rest of the cast on this occasion. Bringing a tear to your eye on more than one occasion. It’s a real emotional roller coaster for Nyssa as she discovers what has happened to her family, after her disappearance all those years ago. Added to the mix rather skillfully by Jonathan Morris, are potential time paradox’s, which manage to turn the tables on this tale more than once.
Mark Strickson and Janet Fielding, are left in the shadows a little during this adventure. Yet when called upon they bring Turlough and Tegan back to the forefront. With Turlough moaning that nobody trusts him, and Tegan showing that distrust in her normal mouthy way. Yet they do manage to get to steal some of the scenes, as they are somewhat possessed by a character from the Doctors past. Using Tegan and Turlough to talk to the Doctor was a sublime decision. Allowing them to become rather ethereal and emotionless – the effect leaves you rather spellbound.
Worth listening to?
The story itself is wonderfully choreographed, with Jonathan Morris showing us that he has a rather miraculous imagination – where there are no limits. If you’re a fan you would be forgiven for thinking you know who the bad guy is – hiding behind the curtain, pulling the strings. However when the reveal is made, you cant help but take a deep breath and wonder, just where the hell that came from. It’s totally unexpected throwing everything out the window. Its a wonderful chapter in the fifth Doctor’s adventures and has plenty of wonderful timey wimey moments.