Writer: Alan Barnes
Director: John Ainsworth
Companion: Charley Pollard (India Fisher, narrator)
Running Time: 1 hour
Summary: The 8th Doctor receives a message from the 11th Doctor, but it’s broken. It warns them of an invasion, telling them “Rossini is the key!”. But they find themselves in the midst of a conspiracy when the 8th Doctor is framed for murder.
Review: This was one I was very interested in, because I was sure Big Finish would use this series as a means to gain new fans. Choosing Pollard as the companion is a great idea, as she’s one of the 8th Doctor’s most famous companions. (She even has a range all to herself, and it’s on Spotify. Type “Charlotte Pollard” in the search bar to find them) This story seems to be fairly early in the 8th Doctor’s adventures, before all the craziness of stories like Neverland. Charley shows off her mischief streak that we’ve seen in her first appearance and in Seasons of Fear, and it actually helps the Doctor learn the flaw in the aliens’ plans.
While I won’t say this is an instant classic (I personally hate that term), I do recommend this episode. It’s a good way to get your feet wet if you haven’t yet listened to the 8th Doctor and Charley’s adventures.
Continuity: The “William Tell Overture” is a plot device in this story, and both the Fourth and Seventh Doctors reminisce about meeting him in “The Face of Evil” and in the audio drama The Settling. The Eighth Doctor still has his habit of kissing companions when he’s excited, like he did in the TV movie. Charley mentions posing as a boy in Storm Warning.