‘Iterations of I’ (Audio)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

The Evil of the I with the Doctor; Tegan; Nyssa and Adric

I…I…I…I…I enjoyed this story. ‘Iterations of I’ is a four-part story by John Dorney on two discs.

This is a mathematical ghost story and John Dorney writes a compelling tale to listen to. I listened to this story on the second part of the journey to Scotland in the daytime for our family holiday in 2014.

This story is set between ‘Black Orchid’ and ‘Earthshock’. Adric tries to pilot the TARDIS to Heathrow Airport in 1981. But when it goes wrong, the TARDIS ends up on Fleming’s Island off the Irish coast.

Matthew Waterhouse, Sarah Sutton, Peter Davison and Janet Fielding in ‘Iterations of I’.

The TARDIS team seek help at a manor house on the island. But inside something terrible is happening as computers run the letter ‘I’ and it could mean the death of every human on the Earth.

John Dorney starts his story by introducing us to Imogen Frazer. Months later, Jerome Khan reports his girlfriend missing. Then we have the first TARDIS scene with the Doctor; Nyssa; Tegan and Adric.

I like how the story is placed after ‘Black Orchid’. The Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric seem to be at ease. They’ve formed a camaraderie and I like the character-driven moments shared between them.

This story has an earthbound setting which is nice and it helped me to visualize the atmosphere of Fleming’s Island. It was also nice to have an Irish setting, especially with the characters and accents.

The story also contains a lot of mathematics in, echoing the Christopher H. Bidmead stories from his era. I told Sarah that I’m not good with maths. “You and me both, Tim”, she replied which was nice.

Matthew Waterhouse, Janet Fielding, Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton in ‘Iterations of I’.

Peter Davison as the Doctor is great, as he’s now found his persona and balanced his responsibilities for his companions. The Doctor works out what’s going on and gets annoyed when explaining things.

Janet Fielding is great as Tegan. Tegan has got over wanting to go back to Heathrow and is happy to ‘stick with the crew for a while’. Tegan gets to say the jokes and has sharp banters with the Doctor.

Sarah Sutton is lovely as Nyssa. Nyssa gets scared easily and I was anxious when she kept saying, “I…I…I…” I asked Sarah, as a joke, if she doing her impersonation of the seagulls in ‘Finding Nemo’.

Matthew Waterhouse is equally good as Adric. The story suits Adric due to his mathematical expertise. Adric gets to work out the iterative process of the ‘I’ and is a standout character moment.

The cast of ‘Iterations of I’. From left to right: Teddy Kempner, Sinead Keenan, Matthew Waterhouse, Janet Fielding, Peter Davison, Joseph Radcliffe, Andrew Macklin and Sarah Sutton.

The guest cast are really good in this story. They include Sinead Keenan as Aoife (‘Eeefa’) Dineen; Joseph Radcliffe as Jerome Khan; Andrew MacKlin as Constable Robert DeValley; Teddy Kempner as Donal Dineen, Aoife’s father; Alison McKenzie as Imogen Frazer and John Dorney as Martin Tuck.

The story ends with the Doctor and his friends defeating the ‘I’ monster. There’s a debate about whether it’s all Adric’s fault and Tegan had made her choice to stay in the TARDIS as it pleases Nyssa.

‘Iterations of I’ is a pretty good atmospheric ghost story with mathematics in it. Although I don’t get the maths, it’s a fun story with the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric. John Dorney writes well for them and Peter; Janet; Sarah and Matthew are very good. Be careful now. Watch out for the ‘I…I…I…I…

There are two tracks of incidental music to enjoy at the end of Disc 2.


Matthew Waterhouse, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding and Peter Davison in ‘Iterations of I’.

I listened to this box set again after my holiday in Scotland. Disc 5 contains ‘The Making of ‘The Fifth Doctor Box Set’ documentary which I enjoyed listening to about the making of ‘Psychodrome’ and ‘Iterations of I’.

The documentary contains interviews with Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding and Matthew Waterhouse who talk about Adric’s return and the Fifth Doctor team reunion. There’s also director Ken Bentley and writers Jonathan Morris (‘Psychodrome’) and John Dorney (‘Iterations of I’) on this.

The documentary is divided in two halves; looking into the making of these two stories. There are interviews with the supporting cast including Robert Whitelock; Phil Mulryne; Camilla Power; Bethan Walker; Sinead Keenan; Joseph Radcliffe; Andrew Macklin; Teddy Kempner and Allison McKenzie.

I like Sarah Sutton’s comments on both stories. These include Sarah reflecting on the character journeys featured in ‘Psychodrome’ and being pleased about the Ireland setting in ‘Iterations of I’. I found it amusing Sarah telling the story about failing her O Level Maths exam. Oh dear! Poor Sarah!

I like the CD covers for the two stories, although I’m dismayed they’re not put together as 2-disc CD sets. There was a fiery debate about it between Sarah, Janet and Matthew at Big Finish Day 6 in January 2015. I like the cast photos inside the CD covers, especially Sarah who is lovely in all of them.

I was at a charity convention in Brighton in November 2014. I won a signed script of ‘Iterations of I’ by Sarah plus the script page with every cast signature. I received the script in the post with a nice message from Sarah. I thanked her for it at a sci-fi fair in Fareham two weeks later before Christmas.

I really love this box-set as it feels like I’m watching Season 19 all over again as it features my favourite TARDIS team. I’ve written my own fanfiction story about the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric in it. The box set is full of nostalgia of the Peter Davison era and I’m very pleased I’ve heard it.

I highly recommend this box set! I hope there will be ‘The Fifth Doctor Box Set 2’ with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric in the making from Big Finish! I can’t wait to hear more news of it!

‘Iterations of I’ rating – 10/10

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6 thoughts on “‘Iterations of I’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    This box set captured the tone & flavour of the excellent Season 19, definitely one of my favourite releases this containing two very strong stories.

    As ever Tim you write a well structured excellent entertaining review & i love the pics you post which adds a personal touch.

    You are quite possibly my favourite Doctor Who reviewer as you nail each & every story perfectly & pour your heart & soul into delivering the best review possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Hi Timelord Simon.

    I agree with your comments about the Fifth Doctor box set. It is one of my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ releases from Big Finish containing two strong stories and captures the atmosphere of Season 19 superbly.

    Very pleased you enjoyed my reviews on ‘Psychodrome’ and ‘Iterations of I’ from ‘The Fifth Doctor Box Set’. Glad you love the pics I’ve added to my review too. I have very fond memories seeing Peter; Sarah; Janet and Matthew at those conventions.

    I’m so pleased my ‘Doctor Who’ reviews keep you entertained. I hope you’ll enjoy more things on my blog either story or review.

    Thanks. Tim. 🙂


  3. helenofvulcan

    Me again 🙂

    Of the ’80s era Dr Who audios I’ve heard, this is my favourite. I love the whole idea of it; lifeforms actually existing in maths and able to wriggle into people’s heads. It also relied on one of my favourite mathematical concepts – the imaginary number.

    There really are a lot of iterations of the ‘I’ in this. Imaginary numbers; Intelligent numbers; the Isolation of the Island; the Irish connection and the Infiltration into the character’s heads. Just wait – the moment I post this, I’ll think of another…

    I enjoyed the opening scenes in the TARDIS; the fifth Doctor swinging between amusement and anger over the landing and then the TARDIS falling off the cliff was very ‘in character’. I did feel rather sorry for Adric – whether he landed so precariously (which I understand the TARDIS’s own systems is supposed to prevent), or it was pushed over by any of the many ‘somethings’ on the island is never absolutely resolved, but it did make for a great start.

    If I have a complaint it’s that I want more. More! More! MORE! I think that the story could easily accommodate more mystery to the house and the dealings of the missing cult. I would have liked the writer to investigate a connection with Block Transfer Computation – a concept described in Logopolis and Castrovalva (and a couple of the Tenth Doctor graphic novels). While we already know that trying to do such calculations on a computer would change the nature of the computer itself, I was surprised that neither the Doctor nor Adric had the idea of using it to counter or contain the effects of the ‘I’.
    … In short, I want this to be six (or eight, or y’know, just more) episodes long.

    And perhaps it is just my bias, but I’d also like to see more of Jerome and Imogen, in their new state, appear in a sequel of sorts; it would be an entirely different kind of character, but intriguing (yeah – another ‘I’). They were excellent characters.

    I really hope we get more of this level of quality with this TARDIS crew. I have so enjoyed these productions!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Helen.

      Nice to hear from you again. Glad you enjoyed ‘Iterations of I’ and thanks for sharing your insight into the imaginary number. It’s been a while since I’ve heard this story but I remember it very fondly and it’s rated as one of the best Big Finish audios featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric. Yeah I would like longer stories with this TARDIS team since I enjoy them so much. The closest we got to a longer story with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric is the audio adaptation of ‘Cold Fusion’.

      Many thanks for your comments. I hope we’ll get to have more audio stories featuring the Season 19 TARDIS team soon.

      Tim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.
    I must say that I…I…I…I…I enjoyed listening to ‘Iterations of I’. I enjoyed the chemistry shared between the Tardis crew and it was nice to hear the Season 19 crew in another Big Finish audio. I’ll admit to enjoying Johnny Morris’ ‘Psychodrome’ more, but John Dorney did just as well with his take on the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric. It was extremely tense when Nyssa kept saying I, but then again… I said it at the start of this comment! Oh no, the I has infested my laptop and got me as well! I…I…I…I…I… hahahahaha, only joking!

    Adric was great as well when he used his mathematical genius to stall the I. I didn’t exactly warm to Aoife as I found her to be very aggressive, rude and yet another non-villain character pushing their Doctor bad belief without proof. Considering her father acted the same, it’s no surprise where she got it from. I felt as though they got less aggressive as the story progressed.

    I agree with you that Janet Fielding as Tegan was great with her sharp humour. I know this might be off topic, but I wanted to address something in regards to your ‘Interstitial’ review. I only recently noticed a line in which you said “It’s interesting how Nyssa shows concern for Marc when he’s finding it difficult to adjust. Tegan hasn’t done this here.” Most of the time your criticisms of Tegan are understandable but I found this one to be a bit unfair and nit-picky. I don’t mean to sound malicious when I say that and I’m sure you didn’t mean to nit-pick since you find Nyssa to be more compassionate, but that’s how it resonated with me and besides, the Doctor didn’t really show concern for Marc either.

    But anyway, I’ve enjoyed the Fifth Doctor box set and I hope I will enjoy more Big Finish audios featuring the Fifth Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan.

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Iterations of I…I…I…I..I…I…I’ Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the story. Yeah, I…I…I…I..I…I…I admit ‘Psychodrome’ is better than ‘Iterations of I’, but I…I…I…I..I…I…I still enjoyed how John Dorney handled the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Adric in this adventure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Adric and interesting thoughts you have about Aoife.

      Okay, interesting comment you have about what I said regarding Tegan in ‘Interstitial’. Maybe Tegan did look out for Marc when he boarded the TARDIS and it was never shown in the story. It’s just Nyssa was presented as the first person who checked up on Marc when he was settling into the TARDIS and not Tegan and/or the Doctor. Nyssa and Tegan could have easily checked up on Marc at the same time rather than just Nyssa checking up on Marc. I personally liked that only Nyssa checked up on Marc, but I suppose Tegan would have done the same.

      Many thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed ‘The Fifth Doctor Box Set’ featuring ‘Psychodrome’ and ‘Iterations of I…I…I…I..I…I…I’.

      Tim 🙂



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