Written by John Dorney and Dan Starkey
Directed by Ken Bentley
Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Bonnie Langford (Melanie Bush), Daniel O'Meara (Ketch), Jon Edgley Bond (Anvil Jackson/Technician Gyte), Andree Bernard (Tethneka/Carter/Thing #1 and #2), Dan Starkey (Field-Major Kayste/Skegg/Stodd), John Banks (Adjutant Commander Klath/Stettimer), John Dorney (Glarr).
Big Finish Productions – Released September 2015.
Having recently enjoyed the reunion of the Seventh Doctor and Mel in the most recently released trilogy of stories which concluded with last month’s Maker of Demons, now seems an apt time to review this concluding story to last year’s trilogy of adventures set during season 24 which also featured Sylvester McCoy andBonnie Langford, both clearly enjoying being reunited for the first time in a number of years.
Rather intriguingly, Big Finish regular John Dorney has teamed up with actor Dan Starkey, who is best known for portraying the new series iteration of the Sontarans, to produce this rather curious tale about the nature of fear. Big Finish are to be applauded for giving Starkey the chance to write for the Sontarans and he and several of the other cast members certainly seem to enjoy bringing them to life but the overall story itself is perhaps not the most original that this reviewer has ever heard.
The story itself finds the Doctor and Mel arrive at seemingly abandoned mining station on a planet with an inhospitable atmosphere. So far so traditional sci-fi. In due course they find a rather motley group of survivors – Ketch and Jackson are the sort of double-act that initially may remind listeners of typically roguish space farers of the classic series. They are both well portrayed by Daniel O’Meara and Jon Edgley Bond respectively. Anvil Jackson in particular is larger than life character who provides most of the comic relief but proves to have a key role in later proceedings. They are joined in their captivity by the quasi-religious Tethneka (one of several roles played by Andree Bernard).
It transpires that the three surviving crew members have been the subject of experiments by the Sontarans, who have also been attacked by an unknown force and unusually have reported being afraid. Of course, some more Sontarans, angry at the disgrace of such a report being made soon arrive and seek to get to the bottom of events.
The Doctor and Mel spend a large amount of the story separated which gives Mel the chance to learn more about the crew whilst the Doctor seeks to get the heart of what has really caused the terror of the Sontarans. The story’s conclusion is reasonably enjoyable if not hugely surprising.
Overall, this is not the most memorable of entries in the Big Finish main range but it is still a solidly plotted enjoyable story with a good cast of characters.
TerroroftheSontarans is available to buy now from amazon.co.uk