Reviewed By: Kamelion
Review Date: 5/25/19 11:13 am
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The Four Doctors
Released December 2010 - Then and to date of 2019 a subscriber only Bonus included with Demons of Red Lodge and other stories.
Settings: The Vault of Stellar Curios, London, 1854, Pejorica, Sovavevanti
It took no less than four sessions for me to fully listen to The Four Doctors as I typically listen to audio stories at night. The musical score kept putting me to sleep. That is more than likely not a typical experience but this is coming from the bloke that has never seen the third installment of Indiana Jones in it's entirety as it puts me to sleep every time. That being said I very much love the music here in The Four Doctors and it has peaked my curiosity in such with the music and sound designer Steve Foxon. Apparently Steve does a lot of the 8th Doctor Adventures which I have been able to determine by a cross reference search on The Time Scales.
Before these four sets of listens which it took to fully enjoy this story I must admit to having some trepidation about the story as it was one which was missing from my collection for a good number of years. It is only available to subscribers and since I was not subscribed to the Big Finish Monthly range in 2010 and already had every other episode of the era, a past subscription wasn't an option either. I recall finding the disk on eBay and it was far from cheap. The seller wanted a pretty penny for it to begin with an then I found myself bidding against someone else that obviously didn't have this rare story in their collection either. Ultimately the disk became mine and made it's way over the Atlantic and into my CD player. Add to the difficulty in locating it enter online reviews. The bountiful bevy of Internet based reviews for this and almost all multiple Doctor stories can be daunting as it more resembles one of the world's largest list of complaints about something than favorable experiences.
It has always made me wonder why Big Finish doesn't do more multiple Doctor stories with such an impressive list of former actors in their arsenal of employ. I mean, England isn't really that massive of a country to where it would be exceedingly difficult for more than one or two actors to turn up at the studio on the same day would it?
So what type of intro music would they use for this? And original score? With the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors, which one would BF pick? As it turns out the used the intro music from the First Doctor era. I guess that's okay. I thought well, sure. That will work. The first Doctor to grace the speakers is Peter Davison as #5. He along with Kalinda Ulrik get the story rocking nice and quick with some back history of the Dalek battle of Pejorica with the bio-mechanoid Jariden and the Jariden Vault of Stellar Curios to which the Doctor is denied access to. Along comes the Eighth Doctor whom lands the TARDIS inside the coveted location of the vault and that gets things hopping as a Dalek Assault ships arrives under the command of none other than the Prime Dalek. Yep, the black one which we first met in Genesis of the Daleks. One of the oldest known Daleks in existence and with an equally remarkable scathing voice and demeanor. I was very pleased to see or hear him rather. Fans of Dalek Prime can get more of him in Dalek Empire as well. Following the end of the Thousand Year War, Dalek Prime began conducting experiments on other life-forms on Skaro, creating mutations which went on to inhabit the petrified jungle and the Lake of Mutations near the foot of the Drammankin Mountains. Eventually Dalek Prime discovered molecules that had the ability to cause further mutation within a Dalek and created a drug from its research which would initiate the mutation. Not prepared to test the drug on any Dalek in case it grew beyond its capabilities, the Dalek Prime used the drug on himself and evolved to the peak of Dalek evolution with hugely enhanced mental powers and he proclaimed himself the Emperor of the Dalek race. THAT Dalek.
The Seventh Doctor's TARDIS materializes near one end of an unstable time-space corridor that he intends on sealing. On being introduced to Ulrik, the Seventh Doctor tells Faraday that they have already met. Before the Seventh Doctor can seal the time-space corridor, however, two more fully active Daleks, one of whom is the Dalek Prime arrive. The Daleks recognise the Doctor in his seventh incarnation. After activating Faraday's electromagnet, which disrupts the two Daleks' functioning, the Seventh Doctor escapes.
The Sixth Doctor is contacted by Ulrik's communication device which the Eighth Doctor had rigged for her and she tells of their plight with the research station in the vault being under assault by the Daleks which is a twisted event full of double agents and betrayal and that it seems they will fall to the Daleks. As per the Sixth Doctor's instructions, Ulrik liberates his robotised grandfather from Dalek control (inside the vault) and instructs him to surrender himself to the Jariden forces.
If someone were to ask, which Doctor is the main one in this story? I would have to say it at least to me appears to be the Eighth Doctor. This story has the feel of a Paul McGann era adventure and the fantastically dramatic and masterful music by Steve Foxon, aside from causing me to personally fall asleep multiple times, does appear to be what Big Finish was using more often than not for 8th Doctor adventures in 2010.
I didn't find any faults with this adventure and found nothing whatsoever to dislike. The four Doctors did end up all meeting together in the 8th Doctors TARDIS. I felt that each Doctor had an important role and enough screen time if you wish. Overall I am extremely pleased with this rare red piece of physical media as after the years long hunt for it and then finally being able to listen to it four times before taking it all in - was not in fact too much build up yet I didn't have high expectations at any point. It's a blazing fun adventure and I do wish Big Finish would take advantage of even being able to have multiple Doctors in more stories while all of the actors are still active to this day. Even Tom Baker works for Big Finish now.