The Perpetual Bond (#5.08)

Big Finish, Companion Chronicles

I really loved this story though the politics that enter into it make it not quite a 5 jelloid tale. We don’t find out Oliver’s secret untilThe Cold Equationsbut he starts his journey here, as a commodities trader in London. The firm he’s working for has aliens in charge, selling humans for profit with the complicit approval of the British government, though it turns out to be one person in parliament, basically.

For this tale, the Doctor must stay neutral and appear to be “on the side” of the aliens with their business as it’s within galactic law, which he apparently knows a lot about. So Oliver and Steven do the running around, being threatened and standing up for the side of the people being sold without permission. While the Doctor stands quietly at the side of the head alien and subverts the business using their own technology.

There is a lot made of Sara Kingdom being gone and perhaps the Doctor’s now trying to get rid of Steven in his narrative. But it’s apparent that this is only something he thinks as the Doctor saves the day. Peter Purves does a fantastic job of conveying the pain he feels, with other companions dead or gone. And I really enjoy Oliver as a character, though he is a bit of a straight shooter throughout. Really good story with some mushroom icing on the cake!

Next Oliver stories:The Cold Equations(#5.12) and The First Wave (#6.05)

Peter Purves (Steven Taylor) and Tom Allen (Oliver Harper)

Writer: Simon Guerrier

Director: Lisa Bowerman

Release: February 2011

Laura Vilensky 2019