The latest Doctor Who Monthly Adventure from Big Finish is now available. It’s titled ‘The Lure of the Nomad’ and it may be worth noting that this is the last release to have the side bar and classic logo, before moving on to the new style. It’s certainly worth noting that the quality of the stories and production are scheduled to remain as fantastic as ever.
‘The Lure of the Nomad’ is a Sixth Doctor adventure with new companion Mathew Sharpe, as played by George Sear. I was surprised to find a new companion already in the TARDIS. I remembered hearing there was going to be a new companion but it slipped my mind in time for this review. Mathew and the Doctor have great rapport and the two are well established, if not still new, friends. More on that later.
The two respond to a distress call which brings them on a ship and eventually to encounter the Makara. A, normally, peaceful, robo-tentacled group of creatures who have begun murdering people. It all sounds simple enough but this is a Matthew J. Elliot script so there are two things we can be sure of. First, a fast pace story with twists and second, humour.
Cast and Plot
Elliot has written a cast of characters whom are likeable despite themselves. Much of this comes down to the excellent cast. We meet the wealthy owner of the ship, Eric Drazen, arrogant, proud and charismatically played by Matthew Holness. Holness brings the best type of arrogance to the role making this well written, bully of a character, pop. In fact Holness does such a great job you would want to have Drazen around regularly. He would be a terrible companion but a great anti-companion, whatever that may be.
Drazen is being interviewed by Esther Brak, played by Susie Riddell, about his upcoming project. Brak is a journalist who isn’t much less ego-centric than her interviewee. The most likable of the guest cast is the adorably charming Willoway. Willoway is a formless entity inhabiting a clear plastic body and is played exquisitely by Ruth Sillers. Outside of the Doctor and Mathew, these are the characters we spend the most time with and between the five of them there is enough humorous banter to make the Cybermen (not present until next month’s story) crack a smile.
Mathew Sharpe is a character with a deeper role to play than we first see. Colin Baker brings out the best in any cast that surround him and this is no different. George Sear, manages to deliver a world of charm and depth to Mathew. Perhaps one day we will see some of the previous adventures hinted at, in the mean time this is an excellent start.
Sound as vision
Joyfully this adventure takes us deeper down a rabbit hole until the fourth act where anything goes. This drama flies by at an alarming, albeit pleasurable, rate. The sound design by Steve Foxon is dynamite! There are some moments and transitions that are so exquisitely executed that stunning visuals are created in the mind. There’s a moment where characters get hit by metal balls and bodies slump to the ground. The sound design is so good that you wouldn’t need the exposition of what occured. The sound delivers visuals supremely well, from start to finish. Foxon also did a wonderful job on the music which balanced the humour versus the threat to a tee.
This is as good as they get. It has action, adventure, humour, fleshed our characters and an exciting plot. Combine all that with tremendous sound design, music, a new companion, add Colin Baker and what more could you need? Oh yeah, it’s beautifully paced. Director John Ainsworth must have had a pleasure working on this, with such talented people making his job, presumably, easier.
For thousands of years, it has drifted through space, unimpeded, forgotten, seemingly lifeless. Now, finally, it has been discovered.
Responding to a distress call from the mysterious hulk, the Doctor and his companion, space pilot Mathew Sharpe, walk into a desperate situation. The multi-tentacled semibionic Makara were tasked with renovating the abandoned craft, but now they’ve begun murdering their employers.
The Doctor soon realises that the Makara have been programmed to kill, but by whom, and for what reason? Finding out the truth will mean uncovering a secret that threatens the entire Universe.
Written By: Matthew J Elliott
Directed By: John Ainsworth
Colin Baker (The Doctor), George Sear (Mathew Sharpe), Matthew Holness (Eric Drazen), Susie Riddell (Esther Brak), Ruth Sillers (Willoway), Jonathan Christie (Captain Schumer), Anna Barry (Juniper Hartigan), Dan March (Varian). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Producer John Ainsworth
Script Editor Alan Barnes
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs