1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
The Wrong Doctors has a huge shopping list to get through: act as an introductory story for Mel, not act as an introductory story for Mel, include two versions of the sixth Doctor, highlight the difference between the TV version of the sixth Doctor and the Big Finish version of the sixth Doctor and show how important Evelyn was to the sixth Doctor. It's no wonder that this turned out to be a time-twisting adventure, but what is a surprise is that this is such a good story, and is one of Big Finish's Colin Baker classics. Seriously, if you thought that Colin Baker was a poor Doctor on TV, this story might make you fall in love with him. It's a tribute to everything that Big Finish have done with the sixth Doctor, and it's also a cracking story that plays around with the multi-Doctor idea to great reward. While actors like Tom Baker and Paul McGann have had to play opposite themselves before, this is something completely different. It's essentially like The Two Doctors or The Five Doctors, bar the fact that while those featured different incarnations of the Doctor meeting up, this features different versions of the same Doctor. And Colin Baker carries this off spectacularly. Split between them, the Doctor is in a lot of the story, and while that could, if handled incorrectly, lead to a very difficult listen for the audience, here it works perfectly. The writing, direction and acting most of all carry it off, and I love the chemistry between the two Doctors, despite the fact that, on the surface, they seemingly haven't changed that much. While it was slightly apparent in the early Lost Stories featuring his Doctor that this version was there, even he had been softened. This story plummets us right back to an irritable, post-Trial Doctor that just wants to drop off Mel and not get caught up in anything the universe has to offer. I thought that the witty dialogue was incredible, and contains one of Big Finish's best gags. However, while the Doctor's character has plenty of exposure and analysis, he is by no means the story's only asset. Mel is given just as much time as the Doctor, and shows just how much Big Finish have worked on her character. It's all paid off, as Mel has now become someone who we actively want to spend time with. I thought this was perhaps the story's best moments, and it shows us that Mel had so much unexplored potential. However, non of this is to the detriment of the story, which is as complex and engaging as you'd expect. Matt Fitton crafts a complx tale that isn't afraid to confound the listener at times, however you never feel lost with the concept. The two key characters, Mrs Wilberforce and Jed Thurwell start off as stock characters to begin with, but as the story goes on, they become more like 'real' people, and the development they have is touching. I also thought the Mardaks were great characters too. However, I wasn't hugely enamoured with Stapleton Petherbridge, who occasionally came across a little too much as a stereotypical villain. While n keeping with the period, and well played by Tony Gardener, I don't think it coms across as it should. It's probably the only major fault I have with the story. I thought Nicholas Briggs' direction was fantastic, really getting some good performances and making the more complex sections of the story easy to follow. I even found Simon Robinson's score palatable, something which isn't always the case with his work. On the whole, bar one slight quibble, The Wrong Doctors is a fantastic story. Acting as a touching tribute to Maggie Stables, this is a fantastic audio adventure that so nearly achieves perfection. Nevertheless, this is a fantastic story that will make fans of Old Sixy smile with glee.