‘VENGEANCE OF THE STONES’ (DOTD)
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Tribute for Jon Pertwee – Celebrating 50 Years of ‘Doctor Who’
March 2013. It’s time to celebrate the Third Doctor era of ‘Doctor Who’ with Jon Pertwee!
Jon Pertwee’s era of Doctor Who is action-packed, thrilling and full of high drama. The first time I saw Jon Pertwee’s Doctor was in ‘The Five Doctors’. But it wasn’t long that I saw his era with stories like ‘Inferno’; ‘Day of the Daleks’; ‘The Three Doctors’; ‘Carnival of Monsters’; ‘The Time Warrior’, etc.
The Third Doctor era of ‘Doctor Who’ was the first seen in colour in the 1970s. Jon’s Doctor was exiled to Earth as he battled Daleks; Axons; Sea Devils; Autons and the Master. With U.N.I.T.; the Brigadier; Sergeant Benton Mike Yates and Jo Grant, this is what made the Jon Pertwee era special.
For the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’, I wrote my personal fan-fiction story with the Third Doctor; Jo and U.N.I.T. to celebrate the Third Doctor era. Also for the 50th anniversary, the ‘Destiny of the Doctor’ series, produced by Big Finish and AudioGo, continues in its third story called ‘Vengeance of the Stones’.
As before with ‘Hunters of Earth’ and ‘Shadow of Death’, this audio story is narrated and performed by an actor/actress who was in the TV series with a guest star as a supporting character. ‘Vengeance of the Stones’ is performed by Richard Franklin as Mike Yates from the TV series and guest stars Trevor Littledale as the villainous Garlin.
‘Vengeance of the Stones’ is by Andrew Smith, who wrote ‘Full Circle’ with Tom Baker’s Doctor in ‘The E-Space Trilogy’. Since then, Andrew had written ‘Doctor Who’ stories for Big Finish, including stories such as ‘Domain of the Voord’; ‘The Invasion of E-Space’; ‘Mistfall’; ‘The First Sontarans’; etc.
I’ve had the CD cover of ‘Vengeance of the Stones’ signed by Richard Franklins and writer Andrew Smith, who I both met at the ‘Big Blue Box 2’ convention in Tunbridge Wells, March 2013. I was lucky to see Richard and Andrew at the same convention and have this story’s CD cover by both of them.
It was nice to meet Richard Franklin for the first time back in March 2013. Richard is a gentleman and was very pleasant to meet and to talk to. It was so nice to chat to him about his time on ‘Doctor Who’ as well as working with Jon Pertwee; Katy Manning and Nicholas Courtney back in the 1970s.
‘Vengeance of the Stones’ is special – not just because U.N.I.T.; the Brigadier and Bessie (the Doctor’s yellow little roadster) features in this. But also, it’s very significant for being the debut story of young lieutenant Mike Yates who would become ‘captain’ by the time he appears in ‘Terror of the Autons’.
Although we ‘Doctor Who’ knew that Mike Yates was assigned to U.N.I.T. as the Brigadier’s second-in-command, it was never shown how he got involved with U.N.I.T. in the first place. Here in the story, Mike has his first meeting the Brigadier and the Doctor when he’s in the Highlands of Scotland.
Having been to Scotland before on summer holidays and visiting a stone circle on the Isle of Lewis, I was able to visualise this story very easily. I wasn’t familiar with the term ‘recumbent’ stone circles, but Andrew (being a Scot himself) certainly knew about them when he wrote this story on holiday.
There’s been a bit of stick since the story’s release about the little boy ‘Davey Ross’, who people seem to assume he’s either a young version of ‘Dave Ross’ or maybe perhaps ‘Davros’. I didn’t realise this at first until somebody mentioned it, and if it’s meant to be funny it’s certainly amusing to me.
Richard narrates this story well and pitches the Third Doctor and the Brigadier on the right level. I enjoyed the ‘prologue’ with the RAF fighter plane. Richard also does well narrating the progression the Doctor’s journey. It feels so multi-character driven instead of focusing just on Mike’s character.
It was lovely to hear the Third Doctor trying to be reasonable and trying to negotiate with the Tharos aliens that are on Earth whilst Garlin and the others intend to kill the humans. It put me in mind of ‘Doctor Who and the Silurians’ in terms of the conflict that’s between humans and the Tharos aliens.
I enjoyed Richard’s interpretation of the Brigadier; his military manner, clipped moustache and all. It made me feel that Nick Courtney was in the story. Just when you think the Brigadier’s sceptical about the Doctor’s theories, off he goes to rescue and save the Doctor from the sea in a helicopter.
Trevor Littledale guest stars Garlin, the leader of the Tharos aliens. I like Trevor’s performance as he brings a tortured and vengeful quality to Garlin, that’s sinister and frightening. The Tharos aliens have been subjected to the violence of humankind and now want vengeance for the crimes made.
The link of these ‘DOTD’ stories is still unclear so far, although there is a scene where the Third Doctor receives a phone call from his ‘future self’. It was very exciting to listen to and Richard Franklin does a good impersonation of Matt Smith’s Doctor. I wondered what this was all about.
There aren’t any CD extras, apart from the Third Doctor and Mike’s biographies in the CD sleeve notes. If you purchase the complete ‘DOTD’ series as a bundle from Big Finish, there’s a behind-the-scenes making-of documentary on the series called ‘Meeting with Destiny’ with ‘The Time Machine’.
‘Vengeance of the Stones’ has all the elements of the Jon Pertwee era in it. From Bessie to U.N.I.T.; from thriller to action-packed drama, this story has been very enjoyable. Also the opportunity to meet Richard Franklin and Andrew Smith, allowed me to gain insight to the characters and the story.
‘Vengeance of the Stones’ (DOTD) rating – 9/10
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