Written by Nicholas Briggs
Starring Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury, Rachel Bavidge, Richard James, Kieran Hodgson and Nick Briggs
The Isos Network, the latest Second Doctor adventure from Big Finish is an enormously entertaining, old school romp that completely evokes the television adventures of this incarnation of everyone’s favourite Time Lord from Gallifrey. Frazer Hines has settled into playing the Doctor as well as companion Jamie and the Narrator with great aplomb.
Having seen off an invasion of Cybermen on Earth, the Doctor Jamie and Zoe (the lovely Wendy Padbury) are drawn to the deserted planet Isos. Here they encounter friendly, egg-laying, elephant-sized slugs and, hidden in the depths of a deserted city (evocative of Stephen King’s city of Lud, somplete with monorail, to this listener), a far less friendly race.
The tale is certainly not a complex one, but there are lots of dark, menacing recesses and enough action and peril to keep the story moving in a completely pleasing manner over the two-hour play time.
While The Isos Network is very firmly rooted in old-Who style, there are some modern elements. There’s the very much in control, cool and capable Captain Seru (Rachel Bavidge) and her crew of completely competent troops, who arrive on the scout ship Braxos to try and discover what happened to the population of Isos. There’s also Hilsee (Kieran Hodgeson), a native of Isos whose conversion into a Cyberman is incomplete and whose essential humanity remains. This disparate group must work together to find out what the Cyber-plans are and how they can be defeated.
Writer, director and voice of the Cybermen, Nick Briggs’s enormous love of the Second Doctor is writ large on this tale. Briggs is also clearly having huge fun playing the voices of the Cybermen of old; indeed the entire sound score for The Isos Network will take you back, even if you weren’t there first time round.
The Isos Network is a real must have for your collection.
Blogtor rating 9/10
The Isos Network is out now and available now to buy from Big Finish