If you’re bringing a legendary television producer back to write a new audio adventure it can only mean good things.
This six-part story, written by Phillip Hinchcliffe who produced Doctor Who from 1974 until 1977, is a far cry from the horror Hinchcliffe introduced to Doctor Who. But it is dripping with literary references. It is also a metaphor for the struggle between humankind and technology.
Brave New World In Love
Tom Baker’s fourth Doctor, with Louise Jameson as his companion Leela in tow, arrive at a human colony. The titular genesis chamber has done away with the pain of human childbirth. But not every one of the world is part of the technology ruled society. There’s a community of technophobic savages living outside of its walls.
Against that backdrop, an unlikely love story, or two, develops. And it wouldn’t be Doctor Who if an alien invader didn’t threaten it all.
Without a doubt, The Genesis Chamber is inspired by Aldus Huxley’s 1932 novel Brave New World. This makes it more science fiction than horror. A touch of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is thrown in for good measure, adding to the human drama.
Philip Hinchcliffe Done Well
Hinchcliffe’s story was adapted by Doctor Who television and audio writer Marc Platt. Platt brings a different feel to this story compared to Big Finish’s other line of fourth Doctor audio adventures. It’s more considered, more intellectual, than its wackier counterparts. Can it really be five years since Tom Baker returned to the role on audio?
“Tom Baker here full of good will . . .”, says the actor before breaking off into an infectious laugh in the extras that accompany this release.
The value added material is one of the things Big Finish does as exceedingly well. There are extensive chats with everyone including Hinchliffe, Baker and Jameson.
“They were wonderful times with Philip Hinchliffe,” Baker reveals of his era of the television show.
“It’s basically Romeo and Juliet meets the refugee crisis,” Jameson opines on this release.
Blogtor rating; 8/10
Philip Hinchcliffe acclaimed producer of Doctor Who (1975-77) returns to tell new stories for the Fourth Doctor and Leela.
The TARDIS has landed on a human colony world. In the city, where the inhabitants rely on advanced technology to create their children, a marriage is due to take place. But not everyone supports it, and a crash might just prevent it for good.
In the commune outside live the savages, shunned and detested by the city folk. But they have recently been visited by a man, charismatic and handsome, who may yet be their saviour – or their doom.
Two different sides, ready for conflict. But neither realises that a third force threatens their very existence…
Written By: Philip Hinchcliffe, adapted by Marc Platt
Directed By: Ken Bentley
Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Jon Culshaw (DeRosa Janz), Hannah Genesius (Ana Janze), Jemma Churchill (Farla Janz/Inscape), Dan Li (Grillo Clavik), Vernon Dobtcheff (Jorenzo Zorn), Arthur Hughes (Shown), Gyuri Sarossy (Volor), Elliot Chapman (Dack/Loyyo)
Producer David Richardson
Script Editor John Dorney
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs