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Traxana with the Doctor, Nyssa and the Daleks
I listened to ‘Alien Heart’/‘Dalek Soul’ in one day! I must have really enjoyed this Big Finish CD! 😀
I’d been looking forward to this CD so much! ‘Alien Heart’/’Dalek Soul’ was a new ‘Doctor Who’ audio CD back in April 2017. It featured my favourite TARDIS team of the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa, starring Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton. Both deliver great performances in this CD, especially Sarah Sutton!
I was so excited about this new ‘Doctor Who’ CD that I went and found a behind-the-scenes photo of the ‘Alien Heart’/’Dalek Soul’ recording with Sarah Sutton, Peter Davison, director Ken Bentley and Dalek voice artist Nicholas Briggs. I discovered it in the pages of ‘Doctor Who Magazine’ – Issue #510.
I really like the behind-the-scenes photo with Sarah Sutton, Peter Davison, Nick Briggs and director Ken Bentley. It’s rare to see behind-the-scenes photos of ‘Doctor Who’ audios by Big Finish these days, as they’re not included in the CD covers. I’m glad I discovered it in ‘DWM’ back in March 2017.
I’ve had my CD cover of ‘Alien Heart’/’Dalek Soul’ signed by Peter Davison at the ‘GEEKS Salisbury Comic Con’ in July 2017 and by Sarah Sutton at ‘The Capitol II’ convention at the Arora Hotel in Gatwick, May 2017. I’ve shared with both Peter and Sarah how much I enjoyed their performances.
The CD features two adventures as two-part stories in a similar style to ‘Black Orchid’. The first story ‘Alien Heart’ by Stephen Cole is on Disc 1 and the second story ‘Dalek Soul’ by Guy Adams is on Disc 2. I enjoyed the stories in turn. They’re standalone, but they interconnect with one thing in common.
And that thing is…they’re both Dalek stories! I was expecting ‘Alien Heart’ not to feature the Daleks in it at all! So imagine my surprise when I heard them during the story. ‘Alien Heart’ is a pretty straight-forward adventure for the Doctor and Nyssa, whilst ‘Dalek Soul’ has lots of twists and turns.
Just to say, I’m pleased that Nyssa and the Fifth Doctor have had another set of Dalek adventures to add to the list. Beforehand, Nyssa and the Doctor faced Daleks in ‘The Mutant Phase’, ‘Renaissance of the Daleks’ and ‘Plague of the Daleks’ as well as my own ‘Fifth Doctor’ story ‘Doom of the Daleks’.
‘Alien Heart’ has the Doctor and Nyssa visit the planet Traxana. In the story, planets get destroyed and it seems that a mass of alien spider-like creatures, nicknamed ‘cell-spiders’, are the cause of this.
Nyssa gets captured and separated from the Doctor. It isn’t long before the two realise that there is a greater threat behind all of this. Very soon, the Daleks turn up and trouble ensues for our heroes.
Stephen Cole has written for the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa before in the Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’. He wrote their first adventure ‘The Land of the Dead’ as well as their latest tale, ‘Masquerade’.
I found ‘Alien Heart’ a decent two-part story to begin the CD. As I said, I was surprised and thrilled to hear the Daleks in this first story and Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton are engaging to listen to in this.
Peter Davison’s Doctor is great to listen to and I enjoyed how he tackles the dangers on the moon of Traxana and on Traxana itself. I also like how he gets concerned about the planets being destroyed.
In the story, Peter’s Doctor meets up with Eve Webster as Sonderal and Geoffrey Newland as Elthar, who are of an Earth scientific investigation team. He’s threatened at gunpoint when they meet him.
I like it when the Doctor manages to outwit Sonderal and Elthar when he uses high-pitch sound against him. He does this in order to rescue Nyssa and won’t let two people with guns get in his way.
Thankfully however, Sonderal and Elthar trust the Doctor and he utilises their help to solve the mystery of the cell spiders. It does end with Elthar getting killed, but Sonderal becomes a helpful ally.
Sarah Sutton’s Nyssa meanwhile has her own adventure when she gets dragged by the cell spiders off Traxana’s moon to Traxana itself via a transportation device I did get pretty anxious for Nyssa. 😀
Nyssa meets up with Alex Tregear as Theebe, an unscrupulous mine-owner on Traxana. Theebe is very mean and ruthless compared to Nyssa who is kind-hearted. She’s someone you love to loathe.
Theebe treats Nyssa unfairly and doesn’t believe her claims when she doesn’t know anything about the cell-spiders. It turns out that Theebe killed someone, putting Nyssa in a very dangerous situation.
I really like how Nyssa’s kindness is addressed in this audio adventure. Despite Theebe being mean-spirited, Nyssa remains very nice and open-hearted since she doesn’t treat Theebe cruelly in return.
Nyssa does get thrown into a mine shaft by Theebe, which I was shocked by when I heard it. It made me like Theebe less. I was so relieved when Nyssa was still alive and she elevated in the mine-shaft.
The Doctor and Sonderal meet up with Nyssa as they go down deeper into the mine-shaft to discover the Daleks’ base and what their plans are. The tension builds up towards its thrilling climax.
Nicholas Briggs is superb as the dreaded Daleks! It’s interesting how the Daleks were involved in the destruction of many planets in the area of space Traxana is in and how the cell-spiders are involved.
I enjoyed the scenes the Doctor and Nyssa had when confronting the Daleks. The Doctor and Nyssa’s morals match well against the Daleks’ cruelly and ruthlessness as they use Traxana in their evil plans.
It’s just as well that this story features the Doctor and Nyssa proper, since the story ends on a gripping cliff-hanger! I was shocked by how the story ended and wondered what would happen next…
‘Alien Heart’ rating – 9/10
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