Monday, November 24, 2014

The Sixth Doctor, The Redeemer? - I.D.

Feeling a little bit let down by the Cyberman trilogy, and neither series really satisfying my itch to get Doctor Who outside of the Pertwee/UNIT trappings, I decided to listen to another audio play. Rather than turn to the Companion Chronicles, I dived back into the main range, but with a carefully selected and targeted approach.

For this I chose the Sixth Doctor. I'm pretty sure this has come across already but I actually rather like the Sixth Doctor. Weird I know. But I think the fact I introduced myself to the Big Finish version the same time I was trying to cope with the TV version has helped him immensely. And this serial is another reason why.

But first a shout out. As I said I was very careful how I picked which audioplay to listen to next, since my dalliance with Six and Evelyn and Eight and Charley had both backfired on me. I had to find something that was standalone, and not heavily continuity heavy. For that I resorted to two resources. The first was Wikipedia, because Wikipedia, and this handy sortable table allowed me to figure out just who and what figured in. But one of the big problems I had when I first decided to jump into Big Finish's range was what to listen to because I couldn't figure out what went where– which is amusing considering how rough shod I've ridden around Who and BF continuity since.

Thank Gallifrey that I found the Complete Doctor Who, which has done a very good job of figuring out where the books, comics and audio dramas take place in comparison to the TV. Admittedly some of it's a little shakey, but that's a very impressive feat none the less. Especially when you take into account how much wiggle room authors have with Six, Seven and Eight.

Thanks to those to resources, I discovered I.D. A serial taking place shortly after Trial of the Timelord, after he dropped off Mel (who I'll get round to writing about some day since I skipped Trial of the Timelord apparently, but her absence is certainly welcome) but before anyone else was invited to travel with him. Perfect for me.

It helps that it was a good serial. The Doctor arrives in the 32nd Century on a planet being used as a dumping ground for computers and other electronic devices. Or part of a planet. That's never clear, nor is it important. Anyway, data is a big deal, and there's a multitude of groups scouring this dump for anything that might be important. Obviously as the Doctor turns up, something is found, and it can effect people's minds.

What follows has body jumping, mind wiping, egotists that think they know best and end up making things worse. But none of the humans that do, ever act too irrationally. When their lives are in danger they help the Doctor because he can save them. It's in a moment of safety they revert to their own idiotic devices. The fact the man behind it all realises he's made a mistake and is 100% behind the Doctor makes a nice change. And the twist for how he gets involved is pretty decent too.

This is a nice Classic Who story and another great example of Big Finish redeeming Colin Baker. I really do want to get back to Evelyn and Six, but Eight must be first. God I hope I can get back to Eight soon.
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