Ninth Doctor Adventures: Old Friends


As previously noted, I’ve been increasingly enjoying the Big Finish audio adventures with Christopher Eccleston reprising his role as the Ninth Doctor, and this was another good set installment. Unusually the three stories are a singleton and a two-parter, so you’ll need to plan your listening accordingly.

The first story, Fond Farewell, is set in an intergalactic funeral parlour where the decedents are resurrected in replica to preside over their own memorial ceremonies. Roger Zelazny had a similar idea in his short story “Walpurgisnacht” (collected in the original and better Unicorn Variations). All is not what is seems, as the deceased archæologist who the Doctor wishes to honour has left a complex situation of romance and memory.

Heavy star power in the form of Juliet Stevenson as the grieving widow, though Emily Taaffe (a rare Irish voice) is more dominant as one-off companion Sasha. It’s by David K. Barnes, who also wrote the First Doctor/Second Doctor mashup Daughter of the Gods and one of the episodes of Doctor Who: Redacted. Good enough.

The two-parter Way of the Burrymen / The Forth Generation brings together Eccleston, Cybermen and the Brigadier (this is not a spoiler as they all feature on the cover). It is by Roy Gill who wrote the first of the Class spinoff audios and a Tenth Doctor story. The Tardis lands in Edinburgh in the present day where there is anthropology, the Forth bridge, and tragic doomed romance.

Jon Culshaw does a very good and respectful job of evoking Nicholas Courtney in his later years (and of course the very first UNIT adventure also featured the Cybermen). But there is a lovely dynamic between the two lovers at the centre of the story, played by Warren Brown and Elinor Lawless. A good cap to the first dozen Eccleston audios.

You can get the set here.