Big Finish monthly release 73 – Thicker than Water. Written by Paul Sutton and directed by Edward Salt.
The Sixth Doctor is travelling with Mel and decides to make a return visit to Világ and find out how Evelyn Smythe is getting on. It is three years since Evelyn returned to marry Rossitor who is now the governor of the alliance between three countries, and she is his political advisor.
I am developing my own internal categorisation for Doctor Who stories. There are the historicals which I traditionally have problems with. Then there are the bases in peril, or under siege, stories. Obviously there are straight forward monster stories, invasions, and regular clashes with the Daleks, Cybermen and Autons, plus a few murder mysteries thrown in for good measure. You can probably think of other genres as well. This drama is what I would call a political story. And Doctor Who has been doing political stories since the days of the Curse of Peladon and even earlier stories with William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton’s Doctors.
Obviously Rossitor and Evelyn are in the thick of the political intrigues, as is Rossitor’s daughter, Sofia, who happens to be a medical doctor. In fact there are probably too many doctors in this story and it does cause some confusion. There is also the question of Evelyn’s heart and what was done to her when she had life saving surgery on Világ. Plus there’s controversy about what to do with the technology they captured from the invading Kiloran forces in Arrangements for War.
Everyone is on fine form although Bonnie Langford as Mel doesn’t get much to do, so I’m still unsure about her as a companion. The villain of the piece turns out to be exactly who you would think right from the start, and the poor Doctor just has to do a lot of running around in corridors before suddenly appearing towards the end to put everything right.
I am getting spoilt by the high quality of these Big Finish audio dramas. So much so that I wanted a bit more from this story. Perhaps it was because I listened to this in several sittings with lots of interruptions, or perhaps it is because I am keen to get back to the sinister Forge project. It’s a good story and it’s nice to hear Evelyn finding some happiness, but I was ready for more bangs and crashes. 3 out of 5 Kiloran blood soaked swabs. Now on to The Word Lord.