The Conquest of Far, by Nicholas Briggs
There is a reference to the third doctors’ Skaro adventures with Jo, and there is a distinct similarity between this release and that long ago broadcast episodes. There is one obvious change, and that this release, does not have the wondrous talents of Jon Pertwee in place as the Doctor. however what Big Finish have done is discover that Mr Tim Treloar, is the most incredible sound alike you could possible wish for. To the point where this surpass an imitation, it is Jon, as Tim has managed to capture the whole feeling of Jon performance wise. I can only imagine how unbelievable it must be for Katy listening in her booth to Tim, as it must send shivers down her spin. That aside Tim also just slips into gear, and you are transported to 70’s era Who, it is faultless, and what is more, this means that we can enjoy selfishly the joys of Pertwee era again. If I am honest the biggest issue I have over this release is that the acting is brilliant but the story is very weak. It is has I have said a rework of other Dalek and 3rd Doctor adventures and Nick Briggs I think to be honest as took a flyer here, the writing is good, the story is too predictable and perhaps to Who in it’s strengths as it plays to all the stereo types. I am not saying that this as true fan of the genre is necessarily a bad thing, it’s just in my opinion a opportunity lost, in the potential of telling a story with a great cast, and the fantastic talents of Treloar and Manning on tap and to have made it something stunningly good as the first two releases in this range. Their is a certain element of foot of the gas here with this first story release.
Storm of the Horofax, by Andrew Smith
The Storm of the Horofax, is in a different league to the first story, and more than makes up for the shortcoming’s of the first. In simple terms the construction and the way the story itself pans out, gives it a greater scope. I particularly enjoyed the fact that in this single release, I got lost as to whether it was Treloar or Pertwee, it was simply superb the way I was transported, and it could well have been an episode of it’s day that I missed. Treloar as certainly cracked it as far as I am concerned with this. The whole thing was masterful. The story is superb and well crafted, we have an alien race whom utilize through device means any and all of the other planets they take over with mind control turning them into the Horofax a sort of organic cyberman for want of a better term, this time they have turned their attention to the Earth, and it is down to the Doctor and UNIT and of course Jo to stop them. What is magical about this whole release is the way that it simply feels like it is part of era. Very nostaligic, very much of the time. I cannot congratulate Big Finish enough for bringing these stories to us, and of course of creating something that to all intense and purposes was never to be. It is almost like they have created a way of going back in time and for us to enjoy the wonders again of the Third Doctor. Roll on Volume 4?
Just a quick remark on my voting, due to story one being not quite on the mark, and story two being stunning. I have aggregated my results. Story one took 2 marks off the vote!