Big Finish: 5.03 The Paradox Planet

Written by Jonathan Morris

Starring Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and John Leeson

Ok, for this latest adventure, we recommend you turn off all unnecessary appliances, send any nearby children off to bed and put the cat out, because this is one you’ll need to concentrate on.

Just as the Doctor is rather horribly attempting to master the violin, the TARDIS is hit by a Time Tank from the 24th Era of the planet Aoris.  The Doctor, Romana and K9 are separated in the same place, but 1000 years apart.

The Doctor is taken by the soldiers from the Time Tank, led by Fyrax, who are at war with their own ancestors from the 14th Era and on a (sort of) secret mission to save endangered species before they expire under the careless watch of the people of the past.

Romana, having escaped (walked away) from the invaders from the future, meets up with 14th Era inhabitants Embery and Shola, who are determined to protect their present from those bad, bad people from the future who will eventually destroy their beautiful world. Each group – from the future and from the past –  is convinced it is right and is determined to fight for its own present.

Meanwhile, K9 is in the future where an automaton called Machina has gained a cult-like following, convinced that every word it utters is true.

The to-ing and fro-ing of action in The Paradox Planet is enough to make one giddy, but the action is ably handled by Director Ken Bentley. As it becomes more and more apparent just how ruthless each group is, how entrenched in how much it despises the other, the poor listener can only sit and wonder – who is right? Is anyone?

As Machina is unveiled, Oz-like, by Romana, there’s enough excitement and peril to carry the listener on to the finale of this two-parter, Legacy of Death.

The Paradox Planet is worth your hard-earned cash for the extras alone. There’s the always glorious Tom Baker, of course and the wonderful Lalla Ward, but just about everyone involved pops up to say hello. Writer Jonathan Morris is a particular delight.

There’s old Doctor Who hands, Simon Rouse (Kinda, he also played Jack Meadows in The Bill) and Tom Chadbon (City of Death and The Trial of a Time Lord), and also new favourite Emma Campbell-Jones, who famously played Cass in The Night of the Doctor. The only shame is, they were’t given longer.

Blogtor rating 7/10

Whilst travelling in the vortex, the TARDIS is struck by an advanced war machine – a Time Tank! Losing Romana, the Doctor and K9 pursue the Tank to Aoris, a world quite literally at war with itself.

Soldiers from the future are attacking the past of their own planet – gathering resources and stealing endangered species. But the past is not without weapons of its own – leaving deadly devices ready to trigger many years ahead after their enemies have been born.

Trapped at opposite ends of a temporal war, the Time Lords have two time zones to save. But who is in the right, and who in the wrong? And when history itself is against you, can anybody actually win?

Note: The adventure continues in Doctor Who: Legacy of Death

Written By: Jonathan Morris
Directed By: Ken Bentley

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana), John Leeson (K9/Machina) Simon Rouse (Drang), Tom Chadbon (Embery), Paul Panting (Fyrax), Emma Campbell-Jones (Shola), Laura Rees (Tyrus), Bryan Pilkington (Lostar), Jane Slavin (Medea), John Banks (Valchak)

Producer David Richardson
Script Editor John Dorney
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

The Paradox Planet is out now and available to buy from Big Finish


  1. A great timey wimey story and Tom, Leila and John are all excellent as usual and as mentioned the extras are well worth listening to.


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