The Evil One (#3.4)

Big Finish, Fourth Doctor Series

We “see” a new telepathic species in this story called the Salonu, which almost sounds like a spa but with an insectiod body… Not so much. When I hear Geoffrey Beevers as the Master I find myself always missing Anthony Ainley, thinking he’d love to do these audios and ham it up as well. Because he was the Master of my childhood more than anything. Beevers is his usual dastardly self as the Master, with a plan he never actually reveals to the Doctor. So the Doctor has to use a more subtle, indirect method to subvert his plans. And of course it works as the Master is too obsessed with seeing the Doctor dead to follow through on his plans fully.

There are some unexplained parts to this story – how and/or why did the Salonu destroy the people on the various ships? Why not take them down using their mental powers instead of by turning everyone into dust, which would apparently be a more power-consuming option. And why not do that to the Doctor and company on the ship they end up on? And I’m actually shocked that Leela can resist the Master, honestly. I didn’t consider her mentally stronger than Nyssa but apparently, given the right circumstances, she is! Intelligence doesn’t equal stronger necessarily. And this story gives Leela plenty of ways to grow and without her change and progression in this tale, it wouldn’t be nearly so strong. Another one where people are just dying left and right! But it’s pretty darn fun overall!

Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, Geoffrey Beevers

Writer/Director: Nicholas Briggs

Release: April 2014

Laura Vilensky 2019