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Warehouse Adventure in Space
Here’s another ‘Doctor Who’ audio adventure with the Seventh Doctor and Mel!
‘The Warehouse’ by Mike Tucker is a four-part adventure starring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Bonnie Langford as Mel. I enjoyed listening to this audio adventure very much. It’s very nice to have Mike pen a new ‘Doctor Who’ adventure again after such a long while from working on the TV series.
The story is set on a…well, a warehouse obviously…but in outer space. I like the concepts Mike Tucker implements into his story about how the warehouse works and the futuristic atmosphere that’s provided in it. I also like how Mick writes the characters of the Seventh Doctor and Mel in this.
The Doctor and Mel visit the warehouse, whilst on route to a concert. They discover a family of workers at the warehouse, who all turn out to be clones in various sections. As Mel helps fix the computer aboard the warehouse, the Doctor learns more of the sinister truth with the planet below.
‘The Warehouse’, as well as the 2015 trilogy with the Seventh Doctor and Mel, is clearly set between ‘Paradise Towers’ and ‘Delta and the Bannermen’. According to the CD extras, Mike Tucker clearly focused on the relationship between the Doctor and Mel, from watching those two TV adventures.
Mike Tucker is regularly a visual effects man for ‘Doctor Who’ in the TV series, both classic and new. But he has also written a number of ‘Doctor Who’ stories in book and audio. I like Mike’s approach to writing ‘Doctor Who’ stories, after having also enjoyed ‘The Genocide Machine’ and ‘Dust Breeding’.
This is the first time, as far as I’m aware, that Mike has written for Bonnie Langford as Mel. Usually, Mike writes for the Seventh Doctor and Ace. It’s interesting to have him write for the Seventh Doctor and Mel, but he writes for her superbly and plays her to her strengths compared with the TV series.
The warehouse setting is easy to visualise for me in this audio, having worked in a warehouse-like work environment before. I found it interesting how nothing gets sold from the warehouse when orders as made when the Doctor and Mel visit. But it eventually turns out to be a terrible alien plot.
There are a lot of biscuits in this warehouse that the Doctor and Mel visit. I couldn’t help think of the shortbread biscuits made by Walkers in Scotland whilst listening to this audio adventure. They sound tasty, but it is best not to eat any biscuits as the Doctor and Mel tried them and they’re out of date.
The mould and the vermin rodents that are aboard the warehouse were interesting to listen to. I like how the story unfolds about what the true reason for the mould is aboard the warehouse and how the rodents are involved. Aspects of the rodents did put me in mind of ‘Rat Trap’ with Peter Davison.
I enjoyed Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor in this audio. At this stage, he’s the clownish-like person when he started in his first season of his TV era (Season 24). But as the story develops, he clearly seems to be proactive and manages to find a way to defeat the villain of the story with his own cunning and skills.
Sylvester’s Doctor also had his comedic moments, especially when he’s intrigued by everything that goes on in the warehouse. I like how he has faith in Mel and forms a good bond with Ann F, making her his one-time companion. The Doctor gets asks for a new umbrella by the conclusion of the story.
Bonnie Langford is equally great as Mel in this audio adventure. She does complain about not going to the concert the Doctor promised to take her to. But I like it when she gets to put her computer skills to good use. It’s interesting how her 80s computer skills compare to how things are nowadays.
Mel is separated from the Doctor for most of this adventure. She spends a lot of time with the G family in ‘Part Three’. I like how she works things out with repairing the computer and that she’s determined to get a specific component. I was anxious for Mel when she got in trouble in ‘Part Four’.
I must say I found each of the cliff-hangers in this four-part story very exciting and engaging to hear. The Doctor and Mel get in trouble in ‘Part One’ when facing certain death. The Doctor gets trouble in ‘Part Two’ when facing certain death. And also in ‘Part Three’, the Doctor is facing certain death. 😀
Phillip Franks guest stars as the Supervisor in this story. The Supervisor is a mysterious character, who watches everything that goes on in the warehouse from his office. He seems to be genuinely pleasant character at first. Mel doesn’t trust him, and she’s right to do as the Supervisor isn’t so nice.
Dillie Keane guest stars as Lydek, who is a high priestess on the planet below the warehouse. Lydek seemingly believes that the families aboard the warehouse as gods. She almost kills the Doctor before calling him a prophet. I liked how Lydek manages a mental communication with the rodents.
The families aboard the warehouse are clones of the original three. There’s Barry McCarthy (who guest starred in ‘The Haunting of Thomas Brewster’) as Fred, the father of the family; Ann Bentinck as Jean, the mother and Clare Buckfield (who also was in ‘The One Doctor’ with Bonnie Langford) as Ann, their daughter.
I did find the clones’ aspect of the story a little confusing to listen to. It was quite a surprise when I discovered that there were clones of Fred; Ann and Jean by the time we got to ‘Part Two’ of the story. But that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story and the E, F and G families are all interesting.
‘The Warehouse’ is a great ‘Doctor Who’ story by Mike Tucker with the Seventh Doctor and Mel. Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford are brilliant to listen to and I like how their character develops. The Big Finish audios show the Doctor and Mel in a better light compared to when on TV.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there’s a suite of incidental music to enjoy. At the end of Disc 2, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew, including Sylvester McCoy; Bonnie Langford; Clare Buckfield; Barry McCarthy; writer Mike Tucker; director Barnaby Edwards; etc.
There is also a trailer for the next story with the Doctor and Mel called ‘Terror of the Sontarans’.
If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘The Warehouse’ via a 6 or 12 CD/Download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There is a PDF script and extended extras of ‘The Warehouse’.
‘The Warehouse’ rating – 8/10
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