The Specials (#6.00)

Big Finish, Companion Chronicles

The Three Companions


Anneke Wills (Polly), Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier), John Picard (Thomas Brewster), Russell Floyd (Gerry Lenz/Garry Lendler/Announcer)

Writer: Marc Platt

The basic framing device for this story is email, with a bit of the meeting in person activity towards the end of the story. The most disappointing part of this story is Thomas Brewster as he cannot tell the truth, no matter what the situation. Makes it hard to empathize with him as a character. But sadly, this is the best story with him in it of all of the Big Finish tales.

It’s actually a fabulous story, to eavesdrop in on companions from different Doctors reminiscing about their adventures with their different Doctors. There is a common thread of one person with different names, not just the same person with a different face, throughout besides the companions themselves. So Polly tells her story and the Brigadier tells his, both with coffin loaders involved as well, then we move on to the present day.

These stories were originally told across many main range tales, at the end of other Big Finish audios. It was fantastic to listen to them like a serial of stories across the months but it did take a rather long time to finish everything up. Polly first tells her story of a stagnant, waiting world waiting for everything to count down, then the Brigadier tells his story of a created world. I love that they got Anneke Wills and Nicholas Courtney to read their parts of the story. This would be a 5 out of 5 jelloids story except for the present day part of the story, which has the most action and yet is the most tedious.

The Mists of Time


Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Andrew Whipp (Calder)

Writer: Jonathan Morris

Whoa spooky. This is an interesting ghost story, of a sort. A bit predictable on who is telling the story, I think, but the whole tale unfurls like a strange twisting nightmare for the main “other” character, Calder. And the motivation of Thomas in the story isn’t very convincing, I’ll admit. It’s bizarre, actually. Greed? It seems only marginally realistic, to be honest. And the Doctor and Jo just walking in and the remaining archeologists accepting everything no problem? Very odd. But the story is spooky with a chase scene and mysterious people galore!

Freakshow

Mark Strickson (Vislor Turlough), Toby Longworth (Winklemeyer)

Writer: Mark Morris

I would’ve enjoyed this audio more if Turlough was more, well, something. He seems to be really struggling to determine what to think after Enlightenment and the Black Guardian has let him go. The TARDIS lands near Buzzard Creek, Arizona in 1905 and Turlough takes a walk, despite the Doctor saying they should only stay for 5 minutes. I do like how Turlough interprets how the Doctor acts (and Tegan) as being suspicious of him. He is just starting the journey his character will take towards being a great companion for the Fifth Doctor and, I will admit freely, one of my favorite companions. Who couldn’t love those bright red eyebrows! They really make a statement, that’s for sure…

The team is eventually all together in Buzzard Creek, taking on the most obvious bad guy around, with the most obvious bad guy name: Thaddeus P Winklemeyer. There are snakes (Sythacks, technically), some mind control devices, and the Doctor in a showdown! And they get a little help from one of the side show “freaks”, a Kroloch named Berman. Love that name too! This is a good one for names. And I really liked it!


Laura Vilensky 2018