Night of the Vashta Nerada by John Dorney
We start this second installment of the Old Doctors versus the new monsters with a cracking opener, we have Tom Baker’s fourth Doctor versus the Vashta Nerada, the piranha of the air, as the Doctor so aptly puts it. What a smashing way that John Dorney, as weaved the story. The Doctor is on a planet, an entire planet that is a funfair, and just before he starts to wonder why the dodgems and the helter skelter rides are not working, a landing party arrive accompanied by the owner of the said world to try and work out why the inital 30 or so people that were sent to Funworld have not responded to the various requests made of them. Of course this is down to the unscrupulous methods and working of the owners of Funworld and there is a moral tale to be told here. Thanks to the Vashta Nerasa, it would appear that maybe sometimes things are best left alone. How can you go wrong, Dorney as the writer, Baker as the Doctor, who I might say over the last couple of releases as been outstandingly brilliant, and a supporting cast that reflects and adds to a rather amusing tale. Lovely work here interweaving the old with the new. Superb start to the release
Empire of the Racnoss by Scott Handcock
Doctor No.6 saves the wounded Racnoss from certain death. However on returning said individual it is apparent that there is a split within the empire of the Racnoss, one which has divided them deep and wide to the point where not only is there a war being fought against their own species but also a war with the Timelords. The Racnoss however, as a plan and using that ever present weakness of the Doctor of emotion and compassion to all, the Empress makes the Doctor take her back to a time when the Emperor can be curtailed from his current plan. This is of course is not straight forward.
The Carrionite Curse by Simon Guerrier
This bought a smile to my face, as the story is based in the region of the UK where I reside. The Black Country, that mythical place right slap bang in the heart of the Western Midlands, the place where the Industrial Revolution sprang to life. A place of fire, and heavy industry, a place that was named by a town clerk Mr Simpson from Lichfield in a address at Reformers meeting, on the 24th November 1841. There are some subtle little nuiaces that made me smile in this, the one that I like is the reference when one of the witches comments “c’mon Eileen” whether intentional or not, a cultrual reference to the song made famous by Dexy Midnight Runners a band from Cradley, a town in the Black Country, so Simon if that was your intention well done, and well crafted. The story takes old number 6 to fight and struggle over the possessed, Carrionite from Rexel IV, the shape shifting aliens, similar to sort of superior witches, they infect, and try and take their cause to the Black Country. The story is rather upsetting due to that fact that we one again we have another person that the Doctor cannot save. As is the case the Doctor is never far from death, and so far this as certainly been the case in these stories. Colin takes on the Witches but it is down to the brave and unselfish Katy that saves the day. Another cracking release in this boxed set.
Day of the Vashta Nerada by Matt Fitton
We return to the Vashta Nerada, however this time, Cardinal Ollistra is funding some rather unscrupulous genetic engineering of these swarm based entities. What is worse is that the Vashta Nerada that have been modified are those very same ones that wrecked havoc in the first outing in this set. The method and the changes made to these creatures is far from what you would come ideal, in fact it is more akin to a rather bad mix they have given them almost super powers. What is rather cool about this story is that the Doctor, number 8 is answering the call of help which is about to happen, you can imagine that when the scientists on Synthesis, greeting the Time Lord are a little confused as they are expecting their sponsor in the shape of Cardinal. I think the idea of the Nerada having the ability to destroy Dalek based entities is a fantastic idea, it really is rather clever. It is shame that however, the whole process bites them in the arse. Again rather oddly we get to loose someone, and the Doctor unfortunately is only able to save the Cardinal where she tries to persuade the good old Doctor to stop being