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Exotrons and Farakosh with the Fifth Doctor and Peri
Here’s an exciting Big Finish audio CD of ‘Doctor Who’ to listen to!
The 2-disc CD release featuring ‘Exotron’ and ‘Urban Myths’ is rather special. It contains two stories for the price of one. ‘Exotron’ is a three-part story and ‘Urban Myths’ is a one-part story. For a time by 2007, Big Finish did a number of audio CD releases featuring three-parter and a one-parter on them.
The ‘Exotron & Urban Myths’ CD also features the TARDIS team of Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri Brown. This is a ‘Doctor Who’ treat indeed since these two characters rarely had enough adventures on TV and yet they’ve had so many audio adventures in the Big Finish universe.
‘Exotron’ is a three-party story by Paul Sutton (no relation to Sarah Sutton I don’t think). It’s a pretty fast-paced adventure and has lots going-on. Shame it’s not a four-part adventure as it’s really gripping.
In the story, the Doctor and Peri are on an alien Earth outpost with alien hyenas called the Farakosh and giant steel robots called the Exotrons. But something mysterious is going on at this Earth outpost.
Terraformers are being attacked by the Farakosh and an internal feud takes place between an ex-husband and an ex-wife. Can the Doctor and Peri solve the mystery and also discover what’s going on.
I like Paul Sutton’s writing in this story. He balances the emotional and action-packed style that is required for a ‘Doctor Who’ adventure. He also writes so well for the Fifth Doctor and Peri in this audio.
The Doctor and Peri each have their own adventure and are developed strongly as characters. I wanted to find out what was going to happen to the Doctor and Peri as they were braving many dangers here.
According to the CD sleeve notes, the director, Barnaby Edwards, says that Paul Sutton writes a simple story against a huge backdrop. This is clearly true as you think initially it was all about an Earth outpost.
The alien hyenas attacking and the super-robots defending the Earth outpost help to create that impression. But as the drama progresses, there does seem to be more occurring than it first appears.
Peter Davison excels as the Doctor in this adventure. I like the relationship he has with Peri especially in their first scene together. I also like it when he confronts Major Taylor and how he works things out.
The Doctor asks questions and doesn’t get enough answers from the colonists. Things get more troublesome as the tale progress. Will the Doctor witness the extent of how things have gone too far?
Nicola Bryant equally excels as Peri. I like how her botany skills are touched upon at the start of this story. I also like how she copes during the danger since the Farakosh and the Exotrons fight each other.
Like the Doctor, Peri works out what’s going on by learning more about who Paula Taylor is. It’s interesting how Peri learns from the female side of things where the Doctor learns from the male side.
John Duttine guest stars as Major Hector Taylor in this adventure. Major Taylor is a military officer who controls the Exotron robots. I found Major Taylor as a character a little two-dimensional at first in this.
Initially, I thought Major Taylor was the villain of the story. But I like how the layers become unravelled as it allows us as the audience to discover this fractious relationship between him and his former wife.
Isla Blair, the wife of Julian Glover, guest stars as Paul Taylor in this adventure. Isla has appeared in ‘Doctor Who’ before since she played Isabella in the story, ‘The King’s Demons’, also with Peter Davison.
Paula Taylor is in charge of the terraformers at this alien Earth outpost. She’s also the ex-wife of Major Taylor, who turns out had an affair with a soldier on the Earth outpost. Will Paula create trouble here?
Nick Brimble guest stars as Shreeni, a sergeant working for Paula Taylor. Nick has done another Big Finish ‘Doctor Who’ audio story called ‘The Eternal Summer’ that stars Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton.
Shreeni is a good-hearted sergeant that gets rescued by Peri and the Doctor in this adventure. Shreeni soon helps the Doctor when a battle occurs between the Exotrons and the Farakosh during the drama.
The Exotron robots are an interesting bunch. They can easily be taken for as standard giant robots that obey Major Taylor and fight against the Farakosh. But there’s much more to the robots than that.
During the story, it gets revealed that there are wounded soldiers inside these Exotrons which is a frightening concept and it shocks the Doctor when he finds out. Will the soldiers be freed in this story?
The Farakosh are an intriguing race of creatures. Like the Exotrons, you’d think they are monstrous alien hyenas attacking the terraformers at the Earth outpost. But more is revealed about them in this.
The Doctor gets into contact with the Farakosh via their telepathic field. It turns out they’re not monstrous as you think. Are they like the Horta from that ‘Star Trek’ story, ‘The Devil in the Dark’? 😀
‘Exotron’ has been a pretty exciting ‘Doctor Who’ audio adventure to listen to with the Fifth Doctor and Peri. It’s pretty fast-paced and gripping for a three-part adventure, but it’s still so worth the listen.
Peter Davison and Nicola Bryant deliver superb performances as the Doctor and Peri in this adventure as well as the rest of the supporting cast. I wonder where their adventures take them next from here. 😀
‘Exotron’ rating – 9/10
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