Big Finish 165 - The Burning Prince by John Dorney, directed by Ken Bentley.
Now this was terrific. The Fifth Doctor is travelling by himself and hoping to meet up with Tegan and Turlough in Amsterdam. As ever he drifts rather off course and ends up on board a spaceship where ... well let's just say that events accelerate rapidly and the story reaches a frenetic pace. It cracks along so rapidly for the first two episodes that I wondered whether the writer could possibly keep it up. Things do slow down a bit in the third part to allow for some exposition before it picks up again for a dramatic final act.
This was a good old-fashioned Doctor Who adventure. Unlike recent stories there is no back story or continuity to worry about, although there may be some stuff here that will carry forward in the future. This is just the Doctor on his own, mistrusted by the people he meets but still doing his level best to save their lives. He doesn't always succeed and The Burning Prince has a spectacularly high body count.
It's old school Doctor Who and tremendous fun. I really can't fault it at all. Writer and director do a great job as do the sound designers and composer, I particularly liked the monster sound effects. All the performances are great, I didn't spot Clive Mantle in an unusual role for him but he's really good.
I have looked back at my marking for all previous Big Finish stories and thought hard about what grade to give this one. I have had a suggestion that I am over grading some of the lesser releases and there may be some truth in that. However I enjoyed the Burning Prince so much that I cannot resist giving it the full 5 stars making this only the second story to get this grade, the previous one Spare Parts was also a fifth Doctor story.
Phew, what a scorcher that was. Next I will be jumping back in time to catch up with an earlier Ace, Hex and Seven mini series starting with Enemy of the Daleks.