Fifth Doctor Audio Drama: Land of the Dead


Writer: Stephen Cole

Director: Gary Russell

Producer: Jason Haigh-Ellery & Gary Russell

Companion: Nyssa (Sarah Sutton)

Running Time: 1 hour, 54 minutes (2 CD’s)

Summary: The Doctor and Nyssa land in Alaska in 1964. They meet Shaun Brett, a millionaire constructing a shrine to his father. However, Shaun Brett has unleased an ancient race of dinosaurs called Permians.

Review: This was the first Fifth Doctor story by Big Finish to feature Nyssa as the Doctor’s sole companion. While it does show promise, it’s actually not that great. This was before Big Finish began to find their groove, which started with The Marian Conspiracy, the first Big Finish story to star a new companion. While Sarah does deliver a good performance, the story is loaded with infodumps. Christopher Scott gives a good performance as Shaun Brett, doing his best to make him sympathetic. Another thing I felt bogged down the story was the married couple that accompanies Brett. The background music helps give the story a spooky feel, but it’s not that spectacular.  Sarah hasn’t lost any of her charm as Nyssa (I’m actually a fan of Nyssa, so maybe I’m biased.)  Overall, it’s a mixed bag–there’s some promise, but I’d say download it or listen to it on Spotify so you’re not spending that much money.

Overall Review: 5/10

Continuity: This story is the first of the Big Finish arc that helps to fill in the gap between “Time-Flight”, where Tegan Jovanka first left the Doctor and “The Arc of Infinity”, where Tegan returns. (The episode “The Arc of Infinity” implies that Nyssa and the Doctor spent a brief time travelling together without Tegan. The Seventh Doctor, Ace, and Hex also travel to Alaska in the 1930’s in the Audio Drama Lurkers at Sunlight’s Edge.



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