For episode two of this Early Adventures series, we have the full blown science adventure already in progress.
What’s always clear with the Early Adventures is just how superbly closely they mimic the of the mid-Sixties! The tone of season four is threaded throughout ‘The Outliers’, enhancing a superb story in its own right. The score is particularly effective; the sound design is of the usual rugged and superb Big Finish standard.
Ben on a Boat
One of the biggest attractions of this story has to be that Ben finally showing off his boating skills. Though introduced as a sailor, he never really got the chance to show off his abilities. It’s great when any character gets to display a key moment from their character’s history! Elliot Chapman’s pitch perfect take on Ben is exemplary and a great memorial to the late Michael Craze. His bouncing off Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines is always enjoyable to listen to.
Another good piece of nostalgia is the Doctor using the Examiner’s badge from ‘Power of the Daleks’ to great effect. Plus the nostalgic touch is the mining of Argonite, first heard in ‘The Space Pirates’ in 1969! Writer Simon Guerrier uses these to great effect. The nostalgia isn’t suffocating, just lovable treats for the dedicated fans.
Waters of Meteor
The story builds the tension and the sense of claustrophobia is really well conveyed. There is something wrong with the water on the asteroid the TARDIS has landed on. The Doctor and his crew have to delve beyond petty beaurocracy and a rather stubborn man to get to the bottom of things. Once again, Frazer Hines injects his usual gusto into his channelling of Patrick Troughton. Troughton had such a distinctive voice that getting it wrong could have thrown the listener off. So Hines is a major factor in the success of these Early Adventures. Not to mention his sustained chemistry, in either character, with Anneke Wills as Polly.
The cast of the story are all well chosen. Particularly Matilda Ziegler, of ‘Mr Bean’ fame, whose character here is about as far away from Irma Gobb as its possible to get! She delivers a superb performance as Chatura Sharma. Alastair Petrie is also highly robust as Tipple.
The Outliers also boasts some very effective cliffhangers. Every element combines to make a very strong story not only for Ben but for every single character. This story has been perfectly directed as ever by Big Finish stalwart Lisa Bowerman.
Yet again, another Big Finish Early Adventures hit. Simon Guerrier is one of Big Finish’s most dependable writers. ‘The Outliers’ is a gripping example of his talent with the Second Doctor.
Blogtor Rating – 10/10
This title was released in October 2017. It will be exclusively available to buy from the BF website until November 30th 2017, and on general sale after this date.
The TARDIS takes the Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie to a flooded underground town on an alien world. The streets are empty. The houses are bare. Not a trace of life.
The miners working here are vanishing. And it isn’t long before the time-travellers are suspected of being responsible for the disappearances. But even the authorities haven’t fully realised the scale of the problem.
There’s something else on this world. Something dragging people away. And it won’t stop until it’s taken them all.
Written By: Simon Guerrier
Directed By: Lisa Bowerman
Anneke Wills (Polly Wright/Narrator), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon/The Doctor), Elliot Chapman (Ben Jackson), Alistair Petrie (Richard Tipple), Debbie Chazen (Dr Goro), Matilda Ziegler (Chatura Sharma)
Producer David Richardson
Script Editor John Dorney
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs