‘Cold Fusion’ (Book/Audio)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

Fusion with the Fifth Doctor, the Seventh Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan, Adric, Chris and Roz

The Fifth Doctor meets the Seventh Doctor at last!

I was so pleased when the announcement came that ‘Cold Fusion’, one of my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ books, was going to be adapted into audio by Big Finish. I was so excited, as I read the book twice before the announcement. I looked forward to hearing this adventure on audio with its superb cast!

I purchased the ‘Cold Fusion’ audio adaptation CD from Big Finish as part of a bundle with four more Seventh Doctor audio adaptations of novels, which included ‘Nightshade’; ‘Theatre of War’; ‘All-Consuming Fire’ and ‘Original Sin’. I was looking forward to hearing these audios for Christmas 2016.

The audio adaption of ‘Cold Fusion’ is based on one of the ‘Missing Adventures’ novels of ‘Doctor Who’ by Virgin Publishing. It was published in 1996 during the wilderness years, when ‘Doctor Who’ was unloved by the BBC and yet loved by the fans who kept the show alive in the books, audios, etc.

The story stars Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor, with Janet Fielding as Tegan; Sarah Sutton as Nyssa; Matthew Waterhouse as Adric; Travis Oliver as Chris Cwej and Yasmin Bannerman as Roz Forester. I was so excited to hear this ‘Doctor Who’ audio story!

I’m pleased ‘Cold Fusion’ was the mystery 3-disc audio adaptation by Big Finish in 2016! I couldn’t wait to hear the Fifth Doctor and the Seventh Doctor, with Nyssa; Tegan; Adric; Chris and Roz in the same audio adventure from the book! It was going to be so exciting and my best Christmas present!

I’ve had the CD cover of the ‘Cold Fusion’ audio adaptation signed by Peter Davison at the ‘GEEKS Salisbury Comic Con’ in July 2017; by Sylvester McCoy at the ‘London Film and Comic Con’ in July 2017; by Janet Fielding at the ‘MCM Birmingham Comic Con’ in November 2017; and by Sarah Sutton and Matthew Waterhouse at ‘The Capitol II’ convention at the Arora Hotel in Gatwick, May 2017. I’m pleased to have had the CD cover signed by people I’ve met at conventions.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get my ‘Cold Fusion’ CD in the post for Christmas as I had expected with the other four Seventh Doctor audio stories in the bundle I got. Big Finish informed us that there was a delay with the manufacturing of the CDs. But I did get to hear the story via download for Christmas.

I received my CD copy of ‘Cold Fusion’ in January 2017. I was very familiar with the story, having read the book twice before. ‘Cold Fusion’ was my favourite out of the five ‘Doctor Who’ audio CDs that I had for Christmas 2016, especially as it featured some of my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ characters in it.

I found the audio adaptation of ‘Cold Fusion’ brilliant and loved it from beginning to end. It’s a six-part adventure by Lance Parkin, which was exactly what I hoped for from reading the original book. I was able to follow the story’s structure and be able to know what the scenes were to come up next.

Lance Parkin also wrote ‘Primeval’, one of my favourite Fifth Doctor and Nyssa audios by Big Finish. The ‘Cold Fusion’ novel was adapted by Lance Parkin for audio and was script-edited by John Dorney. It was so amazing to experience and compare how I read the book and listened to the audio drama.

The story was produced and directed by Jamie Anderson, the son of ‘Thunderbirds’ creator, Gerry Anderson. Jamie had directed a number of Big Finish audios before with the Fifth Doctor, including ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’ and ‘The Peterloo Massacre’. He also directed ‘The Two Masters’ trilogy.

In this multi-Doctor story with the Fifth and Seventh Doctors, we have the Fifth Doctor with Nyssa, Tegan and Adric visiting an icy snowy world. This is a human colony dedicated to order and science. Through the story’s events, the Fifth Doctor team also meets the Seventh Doctor with Chris and Roz.

Both TARDIS teams of the Fifth and Seventh Doctors have to save the universe from total collapse. It involves the presence of the ghost-like Ferutu, who come from another dimension and are Lords of Time. It also involves a mysterious and beautiful lady who the Fifth Doctor gets to know as Patience.

I’m very pleased ‘Cold Fusion’ was presented as a Fifth Doctor adventure instead of a Seventh Doctor adventure in the audio adaptation of the book. The Peter Howell theme music for the Peter Davison era of ‘Doctor Who’ gets used for the opening and closing title music for all six episodes of the story.

In terms of continuity for the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric, this story is set between ‘Castrovalva’ and ‘Four To Doomsday’, and is presumably set after ‘Psychodrome’. For the Seventh Doctor, Chris and Roz, this story is set between ‘Return of the Living Dad’ and ‘The Death of Art’, and presumably set before ‘Damaged Goods’, during the ‘New Adventures’ series of ‘Doctor Who’ books.

I enjoyed the themes and concepts featured in this adventure, both from reading the book and listening to the audio drama. The story features the Scientifica, a futuristic technocracy dedicated to science and logic on this snowy Earth colony. Many of its ideals are admirable as well as very brutal.

The story also features the Adjudicators, who bring a sense of law and order. They’re strongly connected to Chris and Roz’s characters in ‘Doctor Who’. There are also some time-travel themes; a sense of an alien invasion and a cold war atmosphere featured throughout, making it so compelling.

The cast of ‘Cold Fusion’. From left to right: Christine Kavanagh, Sylvester McCoy, Sharon Maughan, Peter Caulfield, Travis Oliver, Matthew Waterhouse, Jeremy Hitchen, Janet Fielding, Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton and Yasmin Bannerman.

I enjoyed Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor in this audio adaptation of ‘Cold Fusion’. I’m lucky to have met Peter at a number of ‘Doctor Who’ conventions and enjoyed my encounters with him. He’s very enthusiastic playing the Doctor in this audio, matching to how I imagined from reading ‘Cold Fusion’.

In this story, the Fifth Doctor has recently regenerated. He’s curious about what’s going on and gets to share an adventure with Adric when they meet Medford, Whitfield and the Adjudicators. The Doctor and Adric find Patience before they split up. The Doctor and Patience soon bump into Tegan.

I enjoyed the Fifth Doctor’s interaction with Patience in this audio adaptation of the story. The scenes between Peter Davison and Christine Kavanagh are lovely to hear. There’s clearly an interesting connection between the Doctor and Patience, as their relationship gets explored further.

Sylvester McCoy is great as the Seventh Doctor in this audio adaptation of ‘Cold Fusion’. It was surreal listening to Sylvester’s Doctor in a Peter Davison audio adventure. Sylvester’s Doctor commands his own during this adventure, especially as he deals with the Ferutu and everything else.

This is the manipulative, darker Seventh Doctor from the ‘New Adventures’ series of ‘Doctor Who’ stories. He seems to know what’s going on, as he gets to meet up with the Fifth Doctor. I liked that scene between the two Doctors when they argue about ‘reversing the polarity of the neutron flow’.

There are also some interesting revelations about the Doctors’ future featured in this audio adaptation of ‘Cold Fusion’, including references to ‘The Sirens of Time’ and ‘The Day of the Doctor’. I liked the Seventh Doctor’s interaction with Adric, especially when he reunites with him in the story.

I love Sarah Sutton as Nyssa and what she does in this audio adaptation of ‘Cold Fusion’. Sarah is my best friend at ‘Doctor Who’ conventions and I’m very pleased she gets to star in an audio adaptation of a ‘Doctor Who’ novel featuring Nyssa. It was fun to hear Sarah as Nyssa in a tale I’ve already read.

I liked the first scene Nyssa has with the Fifth Doctor in the cloister room. It was exactly how I imagined from reading the book and a joy to hear Sarah and Peter do the scene on audio. I enjoyed Nyssa’s scenes with Tegan during the story and the connections made to her personal loss of Traken.

I enjoyed Nyssa’s scenes with Chris Cwej in the audio adaptation of the story. Nyssa’s adventure with Chris was very appealing. I enjoyed Sarah’s performance in the scene with Chris where he was naked after taking a shower. I also enjoyed that moment when Nyssa massaged Chris’ ankle and he liked it.

I enjoyed Janet Fielding as Tegan in this audio adventure. I could imagine hearing Tegan getting heated about something whilst reading the book. I wasn’t disappointed when those lines of dialogue by Tegan came to life by Janet. I’ve also met Janet at a few ‘Doctor Who’ conventions over the years.

Tegan wants to get back home to Heathrow Airport and not travel with the Doctor, following directly after ‘Psychodrome’. Both Tegan and Nyssa get to go and stay at a local hotel on the icy world. When they encounter Bruce Jovanka, Tegan immediately distrusts him, saying that he’s not an Australian.

In the book, Tegan calls Bruce (Chris) a ‘pervert’. Janet as Tegan uses that same word in the audio. Shocking! 😀 Tegan doesn’t see reason and I like how Nyssa tries to dissuade her to not confront Bruce. Tegan soon meets up with the Doctor and gets to share an adventure with him and Patience.

Matthew Waterhouse is great as Adric in this audio adaptation of ‘Cold Fusion’. I’ve met Matthew at a number of conventions and enjoyed chatting to him about his experiences in ‘Doctor Who’ both in TV and audio. Matthew knew about this story, especially since Adric’s on the front cover of the book.

In the story, Adric gets to share an adventure with the Fifth Doctor as they explore the colony planet. They soon have an encounter with Roz at the ski-train station in ‘Part One’ of the story. I enjoyed Adric’s scenes with Roz in the audio adaptation. They’ve some interesting chemistry together in this.

Both the Fifth Doctor and Adric meet Medford and Whitfield, when they get taken to where it happens at the Scientifica. Later on in the story, Adric teams up with Roz and meets up with the Seventh Doctor. Adric also gets to wear Adjudicator armour when he and Roz escape the Scientifica.

For those unfamiliar with the ‘New Adventures’ novel series, the Seventh Doctor is joined by his companions, Chris Cwej and Roz Forrester. They are both former Adjudicators from the 30th century who made their first appearance in ‘Doctor Who’ in the ‘New Adventures’ novel/audio called ‘Original Sin’.

Travis Oliver stars as Chris Cwej in this audio adaptation of ‘Cold Fusion’. For many ‘Doctor Who’ fans, Travis guest starred in the ‘Doctor Who’ new series episode, ‘Gridlock’, with David Tennant’s Doctor. Travis also starred as Chris in the audio adaptation of ‘Damaged Goods’ before ‘Cold Fusion’.

Chris Cwej is a charming, muscular and well-built man. He was a former Adjudicator, who likes to charm the ladies and is presumably a bisexual character. Chris uses the alias ‘Bruce Jovanka’ in an undercover mission, sent by the Seventh Doctor, when Nyssa and Tegan encounter him at the hotel.

I like it when Chris tries to charm his way to Tegan and fails, but when he charms his way to Nyssa, he wins. The interaction between Chris and Nyssa was nice to listen to. Even though he’s putting it on, I like the fake Australian accent that Travis uses to play Chris as Bruce when he goes undercover.

Yasmin Bannerman stars as Roz Forrester, another former Adjudicator like Chris Cwej. Yasmin has also appeared as Jabe in the new series ‘Doctor Who’ episode, ‘The End of the World’, with Christopher Eccleston. Yasmin has done many Big Finish audios and played Roz in ‘Damaged Goods’.

Roz is a dark-skinned woman who is rough, tough and ruthless. She’s also pretty resourceful, especially when carrying out a mission for the Seventh Doctor. Roz gets into a struggle with the Fifth Doctor and Adric, when she attempts to steal some precious cargo at a ski-train station in ‘Part One’.

I liked it when Roz meets up with Adric and gets him into a suit of Adjudicator armour, before they meet up with the Seventh Doctor. I liked it when Roz, Adric, the Fifth Doctor and the Seventh Doctor meet up in ‘Part Six’ and they tackle on the problem of sorting out the Ferutu and Patience’s TARDIS.

Christine Kavanagh as Patience in ‘Cold Fusion’.

I was wrong about Patience being played by Virginia Hey in the audio adaptation of the story. Instead we have Christine Kavanagh as Patience, who is a beautiful, blonde-haired Time Lady from Gallifrey. I enjoyed Christine’s performance in this, as she sounds very lovely and likeable to listen to.

When the Doctor and Adric first find Patience, she happens to be a lifeless corpse, simply referred to as ‘the Patient’. This is before she makes mental contact with the Doctor and before she regenerates. I do like how the Doctor and Patience share interactive mental contact with each other.

I also liked it when Patience said at the end of ‘Part Two’, “Well, that’s the end of that! But it’s probably the beginning of something completely different!” Just to point out, this is a line of the Fifth Doctor’s taken directly from Christopher H. Bidmead’s novelization of ‘Logopolis’, which is nice.

It seems that Patience is the Doctor’s wife. I won’t argue that being that case, since it’s not heavily stated during the book and the audio adaptation. I actually like this concept, since I hinted it for one of my guest characters in ‘The Fifth Doctor by Tim Bradley’ fan-fiction story called ‘The Space Hotel’.

Sharon Maughan as Whitfield in ‘Cold Fusion’.

The story’s human protagonists are Jeremy Hitchen as Provost-General Medford and Sharon Maughan as Chief Scientist Whitfield. It’s clear from the book, as well as the audio adaptation, that Medford and Whitfield’s names were taken from the BBC TV sitcom series called ‘Terry and June’. 😀

Medford is very authoritative and takes no nonsense when he deals with a military situation involving the Ferutu ‘ghosts’. Whitfield is serious, as she and her team of scientists work on Patience’s TARDIS at the Scientifica. It gets indicated that Medford and Whitfield are in a romantic relationship together.

The guest cast also includes Peter Caulfield as Adam and Falconstock. Adam is the leader of a group of terrorists called ‘Adamists’, who rebel against the Scientifica’s ideals. Falconstock is a technician working for Medford, who seems very sadistic and has a very raspy, shifty voice when he’s talking. 😀

The ‘monsters’ are the Ferutu, voiced by Jeremy Hitchen. These are ghost-like beings, dressed up in black-hooded robes when they appear in our universe from another dimension. They seem to be causing a threat to human society, especially when they murder people on the spot as they appear.

It turns out that the Ferutu are the Lords of Time from an alternative timeline where Gallifrey doesn’t exist. The Seventh Doctor gets to visit their world. It was interesting how the Seventh Doctor relates what he’s seen of the Ferutu world to the Fifth Doctor, Adric and Roz in ‘Part Six’ of the story.

From reading the book, I was very disappointed with the story’s conclusion since I found it anti-climatic. I’m happy to say that the story’s ending in the audio adaptation of ‘Cold Fusion’ is a big improvement. I’m very pleased that they added something new to the ending of this fantastic story.

In the original book ending, the Fifth Doctor gets knocked out and left there by the story’s end when the Seventh Doctor, Chris and Roz leave via transmat. In the audio, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan enter to check the Doctor, as they find him unconscious. This was a better way to end the story in my opinion.

I still wish though that there was more interaction between the two Doctors and the companions meeting each other in the book and the audio adaptation of the story. But I have enjoyed both versions and it feels extra special when the actors get to play the characters in the audio adaptation.

I’m very pleased that my dream came true with the ‘Cold Fusion’ book being turned into an audio drama by Big Finish. With Matthew Waterhouse now playing Adric in the Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’ and Travis Oliver and Yasmin Bannerman playing Chris and Roz, the possibility was undeniable.

The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 3 of the 3-disc CD set of ‘Cold Fusion’, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew. These include director Jamie Anderson, Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton, Matthew Waterhouse, Travis Oliver, Yasmin Bannerman, etc.

If you purchase ‘Cold Fusion’ from Big Finish, you’ll get the extended extras of the interviews. These extras total for 25 minutes. I enjoyed the extra comments, especially from Sarah Sutton. I liked it when Sarah shared on what she made of the Doctor’s relationship with Patience, comparing that to the older Nyssa stories, and what she (and many others) thought of Jamie Anderson as a director.

The cast of ‘Cold Fusion’. From left to right: Yasmin Bannerman, Sylvester McCoy, Travis Oliver, Matthew Waterhouse, Janet Fielding, Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton.

The ‘Cold Fusion’ audio adaptation was the highlight Christmas present for me in December 2016. I enjoyed listening to it and found it interesting when Peter Davison’s Doctor and Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor crossed paths with each other. It was also fun to hear their companions, Nyssa, Tegan, Adric, Chris and Roz in it. The experience of hearing the audio adaptation from reading the novel has also been a joy for me.

I’m glad the conclusion was improved upon after listening to the audio adaptation of the story. ‘Cold Fusion’ is a great story where the Fifth Doctor meets the Seventh Doctor. I hope there will be more audio novel adaptations to come soon, as I would like ‘Goth Opera’ to be adapted next by Big Finish.

‘Cold Fusion’ (Audio) rating – 9/10

Cold Fusion


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Fusion in Book

I’ve now read the ‘Cold Fusion’ novel three times for this book review!

Having now heard and enjoyed the audio adaptation of ‘Cold Fusion’ by Big Finish, I decided to take another read of this ‘Doctor Who’ book and compare the differences between that and the audio. It has been an enjoyable and interesting experience re-reading the novel for a third time.

I’ve had my copy of the ‘Cold Fusion’ book signed by Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton at the ‘Worcester Comic Con’ in August 2016; by Sylvester McCoy at the ‘London Film and Comic Con’ in July 2017; by Janet Fielding at the ‘MCM Birmingham Comic Con’ in November 2017 and by Matthew Waterhouse at ‘The Capitol II’ convention at the Arora Hotel in Gatwick, May 2017. Having the book and the audio CD cover signed by these actors is great for me!

I originally purchased the ‘Cold Fusion’ book as part of my own winter sale on Amazon.co.uk over Christmas 2011. I had the intention of reading the novel after purchasing it, but I couldn’t find the chance. I eventually read the book while on I was on my family holiday with my parents.

This was in the summer of 2014 and I enjoyed the book very much. Beforehand, I listened to ‘The Fifth Doctor Box Set’ on audio in the car on the way up to Scotland. I also saw Peter Capaldi’s first three episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ on TV whilst my parents and I were in our cottage.

Reading the ‘Cold Fusion’ book was a part of my reading of a trilogy of ‘Doctor Who’ novels with the Fifth Doctor on holiday in Scotland. The other two books included ‘The Sands of Time’ and ‘Goth Opera’. I’m so happy I read them, as I hoped Big Finish would turn the books into audios dramas.

Of course, I didn’t know back then that ‘Cold Fusion’ would be adapted into an audio drama. Having the story on audio is a joy for me, since I can enjoy the story with hearing the character’s voices and dialogue played by the cast and being able to follow the story from reading the book.

This in turn makes the ‘Cold Fusion’ book more like a Target novelization of the audio drama when it comes to casual ‘Doctor Who’ fans who never read the books. This is untrue of course, as the book was published in 1996 before the audio drama’s release in 2016, twenty years later.

But having read the book a third time, I’ve been able to notice certain differences between the book and the audio drama in terms of the story’s plot structure and the characters featured. I will be making note of the difference between the novel and the audio adaptation in the review.

As a book, ‘Cold Fusion’ is unusually constructed as a six-part adventure. The book is divided into 18 chapters, with three chapters for each of the six episodes. Having three chapters to make up one episode of the story is a tradition that Terrance Dicks used in his ‘Doctor Who’ novelizations.

Just to point out, there’s a certain ‘Star Wars’ element that Lance Parkin brings to the ‘Cold Fusion’ book as well as in the audio drama. This starts off well when he makes a dedication to his wife Cassandra May and describes her being ‘as beautiful as Princess Leia and smart as Yoda’.

Lance Parkin even entitles the first chapter of ‘Part Six’ of this story as ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ to prove the point. There’s also the interceptor that pursues Nyssa and Chris and it goes into walk-mode, matching the walker attack machines that featured in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ film.

As one of the ‘Missing Adventures’ novels of ‘Doctor Who’, it’s presented as a Fifth Doctor adventure than a Seventh Doctor adventure. It’s the same for the audio drama, but it’s so unusual for a ‘Doctor Who’ book, especially as the show was in its wilderness years in the 1990s.

The Seventh Doctor was mainly the star of his ‘New Adventures’ novel series of ‘Doctor Who’ in the early 90s. Having him appear in one of the ‘Missing Adventures’ novels is a rare thing and the Fifth Doctor is lucky to have Seven as the current Doctor then to appear in one of his stories.

Of course, there is a reason for this. Lance Parkin wanted to compare the differences between the Fifth and Seventh Doctors in this story, since Seven is more manipulative than Five. Parkin has Five described as ‘bland’ compared to Seven. Seven dismisses his early self during the story.

There’s a line said by the Seventh Doctor about the Fifth Doctor featured in the book and not in the audio drama. It goes “The entire universe is at stake and I’m locked in here with another incarnation of myself, and not even one of the good ones!” I’m not a fan of this line of dialogue.

It disrespects the Fifth Doctor and I’m glad it’s not featured in the audio drama. Interesting that Big Finish decided not to include it in the audio drama, especially as it’s prominent on the back cover of the book. Maybe they thought it would be very out of character for the Seventh Doctor.

Had this story been made for TV in 1982, it would have been so unusual to have the Fifth Doctor meet a future incarnation of himself when the Seventh Doctor is too early in the series before 1987. I mention this point considering this is a Fifth Doctor tale instead of a Seventh Doctor one.

As I said before, there were many structural changes made in the adaptation process from reading the book and comparing it to the audio drama. Not every line of dialogue is exactly the same in the book compared to the audio drama and I assume Lance Parkin changed this himself.

For example, the cliff-hanger endings of the episodes in the book are rather weak compared to the audio drama. ‘Part One’s cliff-hanger has the Doctor and Adric under arrest and held at gunpoint when the Adjudicators show up. It was more dramatic in audio compared to the novel.

‘Part Two’s cliff-hanger is also different in the book compared to the audio. In the audio, the story has Patience regenerating at the end of ‘Part Two’. But in the book, the regeneration occurs in the first chapter of ‘Part Three’. It was odd to read it in the book compared to the audio.

The cliff-hanger in ‘Part Four’ is different in the book, since the Seventh Doctor draws the circle himself to protect him and Adric from the Ferutu. In the audio, the Seventh Doctor has Adric draw the circle instead and there’s a dramatic urgency when Adric sees so many ‘ghosts’ appear.

A notable difference between the book and the audio is Patience’s character. In the audio, I found Patience more chatty compared to the book. Patience is mostly silent throughout the story in the book. She only gets to talk by the time ‘Part Five’ finishes, which was so disappointing.

I preferred it when Patience talked in the story for audio compared to the book. I’m certain that Lance Parkin preferred it too when he adapted the book into audio, as you can’t have Patience being silent during the story when you don’t know what she’s thinking and feeling in the audio.

I noticed some major differences for Nyssa between the book and the audio in ‘Cold Fusion’. This concerns Nyssa’s relationship with Chris. In the book, Nyssa invites Chris to come to her room to explain things when in the hotel dining room. This is the other way around in the audio.

Also in the book, Nyssa slaps Chris on the face and tells him to ‘get out’ of her room after he seemingly made advances on her. I’m glad this wasn’t in the audio, since I found this painful whilst reading the book. It wouldn’t have been in character for Nyssa and Chris during the story.

There’s more of a sexiness to Nyssa’s character when she’s with Chris and they work together to get to the Skybase. To make out they’re a couple, Nyssa wears a sexy green dress and she and Chris make out they are in love by kissing each other. This get toned down for the audio version.

Whilst I’ve no objection to Nyssa having more romance in her stories, I’m glad it’s toned down in the audio compared to the book. It would have been too early to show that in this stage of Nyssa’s character. ‘Cold Fusion’ takes place before her romance with Andrew in ‘Circular Time: Autumn’.

Roz Forrester’s character is different in the book compared to the audio drama. She’s more ruthless in the book compared to how Yasmin Bannerman plays her in the audio. Also in the book, Roz actually kills someone when getting to the Scientifica. This was very shocking to read.

The killing scene for Roz isn’t included in the audio and thank goodness for that. Instead there’s a new scene in the audio between Roz and Chris when she’s on the phone to him and he’s helping her on how to do a ‘bungee-jump’ to get to the Scientifica, which I did enjoy listening to.

Many scenes in the book are altered in the audio to give more to the characters featured in the story. This includes the new scene between Roz and Chris on the phone to get to the Scientifica. It reduces some characters in the book and it develops other characters in the audio adaptation.

One of the fortunate characters to develop in the audio compared to the book is Falconstock. In the book, Falconstock has a smaller appearance compared to the book. In fact, Falconstock gets killed during the story. He’s the one who gets killed by Roz when he gets accidentally beheaded.

I did wonder how later scenes would work in the book. In the audio, Falconstock mistreated Tegan, Nyssa and Chris in ‘Part Six’. In the book, that role is given to another Adjudicator called Dareau. How fortunate Falconstock had survived in the audio adaptation compared to the book.

In the audio adaptation, there’s a scene where the Seventh Doctor meets up with Chris in the hotel that Nyssa and Tegan are staying at in ‘Part One’. I don’t recall this in the book and I re-read it again to check the scene. It transpires that the person Chris met wasn’t the Seventh Doctor at all.

It happens to be another supporting character called Gemboyle, who doesn’t appear in the audio adaptation. Gemboyle actually works with Roz in order to get into the Scientifica. He then completely vanishes after he leaves Roz to get into the Scientifica herself. He doesn’t appear again.

The flashback scenes between the Fifth Doctor and Patience in the book are very unusual to read in the book as well as in the audio. Having heard the audio, I’ve been able to appreciate these scenes more. But from reading the book, it was very convoluted and confusing to imagine.

The ‘Cold Blood’ book has two instances of characters using expletives in the story, which I’m glad weren’t included in the audio drama. The first is when Tegan says Jesus Christ’s name after Adam foolishly plays around with one of the fusion bombs. This was very out of character and unnecessary.

The second instance is when the Ferutu leader says to Medford that he is ‘nothing’ before using the ‘sh*t’ word as well as ‘blood’ and ‘dreams’. ‘Cold Fusion’ was made at a time where swearing and adult themes were okay to use in ‘Doctor Who’ books. Thankfully this doesn’t apply for today’s audience.

In the scenes where the Fifth Doctor, Seventh Doctor, Adric and Roz are sorting out the Ferutu in ‘Part Six’, Chief Scientist Whitfield is with them. This is different in the audio, as it’s just the two Doctors, Adric and Roz without Whitfield. I prefer the audio version compared to the novel.

As I stated in my review for the audio adaptation, I was unhappy with the conclusion of ‘Cold Fusion’ in the book. I’ve been able to notice a certain difference between the book and the audio with the ending. In the book, the Seventh Doctor taps his nose in order for Roz to see this.

This was the cue for Roz to knock the Fifth Doctor out unconscious. In the audio however, the code-word was for the Seventh Doctor to say “Umbrella!” for Roz to hit Five. I prefer the audio version, as the Fifth Doctor saying ‘umbrella!’ instead makes this comedic compared to the novel.

Having the book end with the Seventh Doctor, Chris and Roz just leaving the Fifth Doctor unconscious was very anti-climactic and the reason why I found the conclusion weak and unsatisfying. The new ending of ‘Cold Fusion’ in the audio drama is a huge improvement for me.

I’ve so much more to say about the differences between the ‘Cold Fusion’ book and the audio adaptation, but I think this is the time to stop. I’m glad I’ve been able to re-read the ‘Cold Fusion’ book after enjoying the audio adaptation of the story, as it was so intriguing comparing the two.

‘Cold Fusion’ is still a great book to read, despite having a weak conclusion. The audio adaptation is superior to the book, but it has been interesting to find how much difference there was between the book and the audio and what changes were created in the adaptation process.

I doubt that the ‘Cold Fusion’ book will get an audiobook reading by the BBC. It doesn’t need one as it’s now adapted into audio by Big Finish. But I wouldn’t mind if an audiobook of the ‘Cold Fusion’ book was made. It would be nice if the audiobook was read by Peter Davison, Sylvester McCoy, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding, Matthew Waterhouse, Travis Oliver or Yasmin Bannerman.

‘Cold Fusion’ (Book) rating – 9/10

The previous story

For the Fifth Doctor was

For Tegan was

For Nyssa was

For Adric was

For the Seventh Doctor was

  • ‘Return of the Living Dad’ (Book)

For Chris was

  • ‘Return of the Living Dad’ (Book)

For Roz was

  • ‘Return of the Living Dad’ (Book)
The next story

For the Fifth Doctor is

  • ‘The Key of Vaga’ (Annual)

For Tegan is

  • ‘The Immortals’ (ST)

For Nyssa is

  • ‘The Immortals’ (ST)

For Adric is

  • ‘The Key of Vaga’ (Annual)

For the Seventh Doctor is

  • ‘The Death of Art’ (Book)

For Chris is

  • ‘The Death of Art’ (Book)

For Roz is

  • ‘The Death of Art’ (Book)
Return to The Fifth Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Tegan’s Timeline
Return to Nyssa’s Timeline
Return to Adric’s Timeline
Return to The Seventh Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Chris’ Timeline
Return to Roz’s Timeline
Return to The Doctors’ Timelines Index
Return to The Companions’ Timelines Index
Return to Doctor Who Timelines
Return to The Nyssa Challenge
Return to Doctor Who
Return to Sci-Fi

2 thoughts on “‘Cold Fusion’ (Book/Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    EPIC REVIEW, wow Tim you thrown everything but the kitchen sink at this one & delivered a superb review, i love how you compare the novel & audio adaptation it’s great reminder to me & many others the differences between the two adaptions, i agree the audio the better version, Parkin has obviously been allowed to fix the issues that plagued the novel & delivered a cracking six parter with a far better conclusion.

    Loved reading this review, detailed & informative my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Very pleased you enjoyed my reviews on ‘Cold Fusion’. I know I’ve written a lot in both reviews, but that’s because I love ‘Cold Fusion’ so much and I’ve been able to know the story inside out in both the audio and the book.

      Glad you love how I’ve compared both the novel and the audio adaptation in my reviews. I’m also glad to hear that you find the audio version better than the novel. I’m pleased that Lance Parkin has made the story work well for the audio medium. I love that the conclusion was given a better treatment in the audio compared to the book.

      If only Big Finish did ‘Goth Opera’ and ‘Blood Harvest’ next! 😀

      Many thanks for your comments, Simon.

      Tim. 🙂



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