Monday, October 6, 2014
Doctor Who - Domain of the Voord Review (Mild Spoilers)
Domain of the Voord
By Andrew Smith
The original TARDIS crew of The Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara has landed on a ship. They soon discover the ship is on water but not on the planet Earth but on the planet Hydra. They are soon accused of being spies to whom The Doctor quickly denies the charges. Ian is curious as to why the ships are moving at a top speed and discovers that they are racing away from an alien race that has invaded the planet. They soon witness a ship being attacked and destroyed during the daylight hours something of which the invaders have not done before. Ian volunteers to go underwater to see what is happening down below. What he finds is an enemy that the TARDIS crew has encountered before. The deadly Voord and this time there is an army of them to contend with.
Domain of the Voord is the first story in a new range for Big Finish. The Early Adventures takes the place of the Companion Chronicles and will be concentrating on stories for the Doctor’s that are no longer with us. At least that is my understanding but as with all things in Doctor Who changes do happen. The Early Adventures is pretty similar to the Companion Chronicles as the companions tell the story and try their best to do the parts of The Doctor and in this case for Barbara. William Russell does a pretty good William Hartnell and for the sake of the audio adventures it is pretty good for the medium. As it is only replacing his voice it doesn’t matter all that much as your imagination takes over when listening to an Audio Adventure. Big Finish has announced that they will be recasting Barbara and Ben for future stories as that should help with the storytelling.
I really liked this story. What got me hooked is that the Voord return and we learn more about them. For those that do not know the Voord were in the Terry Nation story The Keys of Marinus back in the very first season of Doctor Who. Their character wasn’t really developed much in that story and all we knew of them was being a race of assassins who craved power to take over worlds. Writer Andrew Smith, who Classic fans should recognize as the writer for the Tom Baker story Full Circle, gives us more background for the Voord. The creepiest is what happens if they take their helmets off or more to the point what happens when someone has one of the helmets put on them. We have a deadlier and more aggressive Voord in this story than what we were given back in the 60’s and it is a pretty good update for them as they seem more formable and hopefully Big Finish will use them again.
Domain of the Voord being the first in a new range was a pretty good story with lots of good moments and made use of the cliffhanger pretty well. Andrew Smith did a good job making it feel like a Hartnell era story and even used the escape get captured escape formula that was a staple of 60’s Doctor Who. Carole Ann Ford and William Russell did a splendid job as Ian and Susan. Even though they are much older than they were when they originally played the parts you still had the feeling that you were listening to Ian and Susan and what they were up to in this story. Their performances really made the story also and it was a delight listening to the original TARDIS crew again.
I’m glad Big Finish is making stories that take place during the earlier years of Doctor Who and finding a way around the problem of actors who are no longer with us. If you are a fan of 60’s Doctor Who then you should listen to Domain of the Voord and this new range as it has certainly gotten off on a good start.