Next up in my journey back to the early years of Big Finish is release number 49 - Master by Joseph Lidster and directed by Gary Russell, with Sylvester McCoy as The Doctor and Geoffrey Beevers as The Master.
The Doctor is telling somebody a story, and it is a ghost story of sorts. It even takes place on a dark and stormy night in a spooky old house with a series of gruesome murders. Geoffrey Beevers originally played the disfigured version of the Master before his regeneration into Anthony Ainley in the 1981 serial The Keeper of Traken. One of the many great things that Big Finish have done is to bring back these interesting actors from various eras of Doctor Who and put them in new stories. This is no exception with a fine performance by Beevers in what is almost a dual role.
I love it when the Doctor clashes minds with villains who are his equal in intellect, and who better as an opponent than another renegade Time Lord who used to be his friend. McCoy and Beevers are on sparkling form in the debates they have about free will and evil. Meanwhile they are backed up by another actor from classic Doctor Who, Philip Madoc, who sadly died in March 2012. I bought this Big Finish production based on the title alone but it was nice to hear Philip Madoc in there and be reminded of his great work in Doctor Who, and of his classic appearance in Dad's Army.
The only problem I had with this battle of wills between the Doctor and the Master was that it seemed like it had been padded out to fit the standard four episode format. I was somewhat bored in a number of the exchanges that didn't involve McCoy, Beevers or Madoc. However the murder mystery and ghost story were nicely done and there is a surprise, and extremely fearsome, villain.
This gets another 4 out of 5 tissue compression eliminators. My next Big Finish listen will depend on which CD set turns up first but it could be Doctors four, five or eight!