Wait…Volume 6? We’re at volume six now? How is that possible? The first one only seems like yesterday!
Hard to believe but it really has been three years since ‘UNIT – Extinction‘ launched Big Finish’s foray into the modern era of Doctor Who. Each box set has raised the bar for plot, acting and sound design. Will this sixth release, pitting UNIT against the Cybermen, follow suit or is this one upgrade too far?
Game Theory by Matt Fitton
Though not related to the hit YouTube series of the same name, Matt Fitton’s opening story does also look at a dark side of modern video gaming. After Sam Bishop’s vanishes, Kate and Osgood embark on a race against time to rescue him. But amongst the tasks and VR headsets, UNIT learn there’s more to this set up than meets the eye. Much like Jonathan Morris did with ‘We Are The Daleks’, Matthew’s tale looks at the advances and, for want of a better term, dark side of video gaming. Alongside Fitton’s stellar script, the cast are all in their element in this story. Kerry Fox and Warren Brown really gets an opportunity to shine together and Brown in particular gets a chance to build Sam beyond what little we knew about him.
Telepresence and Code Silver by Guy Adams
Building on the tech from the last episode, Osgood, Colonel Shindi and Josh Carter find their way into what seems to be a virtual world. But soon discover that the world isn’t as virtual as they thought. As Kate tries to help, they discover that there are many dangers in their ‘virtual’ world, including a foe they know all too well. The Cybermen have arrived! And they’ve obtained the ultimate asset. Despite being his first time writing for the Cybermen on audio, Adams seems to be in his element here. He delivers a story with the scope of a modern Doctor Who two-parter that makes the monsters even more formidable than they already were. Alongside the regular cast of Redgrave, Oliver, Joyce, Tikaram and Brown being brilliant, and some really getting to show off their talent, we’re joined by the superb Louis Tamone as Lt Commander Parsons. Naturally, Nicholas Briggs gets to join in the fun as the Cybermen. But for this new breed of Cybermen comes some new vocal tics which were a nice way to shake up the cyborgs for their audio appearance.
Master of Worlds by Matt Fitton
If the Cybermen weren’t enough for you, here’s an extra treat to cap off UNIT 6. The Cybermen have begun their assimilation of Earth and UNIT has no time to spare to stop them. With her team incapacitated and her greatest asset lost, Kate Stewart is hoping for a miracle. Just in the nick of time pops up a new but familiar face, though not one she was hoping for. Fresh from the Time War, the Master has arrived! But who will he help? Fitton closes off the set with a belter of a story that not only takes advantage of everything already set up, but does so whilst throwing a good helping of renegade Time Lord on top of it. Speaking of, Sir Derek Jacobi finally arrives and is as brilliant as ever! Showcasing the truest nature of looking solely after oneself, Jacobi delivers another smashing, morally conflicting turn as the Master of War, and works expertly with the rest of the small but stellar cast.
It’s rare for a Big Finish range with such a large and busy cast of actors to reach a sixth series so quickly. Let alone to do so with a clear improvement in every aspect of production with each new release. Wonderful writing from Fitton and Adams, strong and experimental performances from all the cast, faultless directing from Ken Bentley and stellar sound work all dovetail into an exciting set of stories. The masterful music of Howard Carter blends the seemingly disparate themes of the Cybermen and the Master with surprising ease. The UNIT series at Big Finish has once again gone from strength to strength with no signs of stopping. I think it might be time for them to do battle with another new original foe for the next series. They’ve certainly earned the opportunity…
This title was released in May 2018. It will be exclusively available to buy from the BF website until July 31st 2018, and on general sale after this date.
The Auctioneers. A secret global network, collecting and exploiting alien technology for maximum profit. After they threaten UNIT, the consequences are grave. Kate Stewart has vowed to take them down.
But another menace is close. The Cybermen are coming, and UNIT’s only hope could be its greatest enemy. The Master.
6.1 Game Theory by Matt Fitton
Sam Bishop is missing. Lost at sea, imprisoned with a valuable hostage, UNIT’s troubleshooter will need all his skills to survive. To save their comrade, Kate Stewart and Osgood are offered a deadly challenge. But this game might be impossible to win…
6.2 Telepresence by Guy Adams
Testing salvaged equipment, Osgood leads Colonel Shindi and Josh Carter on a strange expedition into uncharted territory. A virtual world. When the team is attacked, Kate tries to assist. But it seems the technology itself is doing all it can to keep her apart from her people.
6.3 Code Silver by Guy Adams
The Cybermen are coming. Across the barriers between universes, conquering all before them. Conquering and converting.
As her troops fight a relentless enemy, Kate battles to lock down the threat. But how long can UNIT resist?
6.4 Master of Worlds by Matt Fitton
The Cybermen are close to victory. A world under Cybercontrol. A new paradigm to expand the Cyber-race.
Fresh from the Time War, the Master arrives at the hour of Earth’s greatest need. But he really doesn’t care…
Written By: Matt Fitton, Guy Adams
Directed By: Ken Bentley
Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart), Ingrid Oliver (Osgood), James Joyce (Captain Josh Carter), Ramon Tikaram (Colonel Shindi), Warren Brown (Sam Bishop), Kerry Fox (Julia Hartley-Price), Louis Tamone (Lt Commander Parsons), Derek Jacobi (The War Master) and Nicholas Briggs (The Cybermen). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Producer David Richardson
Script Editor Guy Adams, Matt Fitton
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs