‘Madquake’ (Audio)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Slitheen with Nyssa, Tegan and Marc

This is the story from the ‘Thin Time’/‘Madquake’ CD set that I was looking forward to the most. This two-parter features Sarah Sutton as Nyssa, Janet Fielding as Tegan and George Watkins as Marc in it.

‘Madquake’ by Guy Adams was another nice opportunity for me to hear Sarah Sutton/Nyssa’s voice again and block out the real world for a bit. This is especially the case with all that’s going on in 2020.

Following on from what happened in ‘Conversion’, Nyssa, Tegan and Marc take advantage of the planet Callanna’s therapeutic atmosphere in order to recuperate. But things aren’t all plain sailing. 😦

Tegan doesn’t like the therapeutic atmosphere of the planet and continues to be unreasonable. Whilst Nyssa tries to be happy and optimistic about the Doctor coming back, Tegan’s very dismissive.

Marc is the one who suffers the most of the group. His cyber-conversion causes him trauma and have nightmares. He feels that he can’t be human anymore with all the technology grafted onto him.

I like that moment when Nyssa gets rather snappy with Tegan, saying that her opinion matters. And I’m with her on this! Tegan’s rather unreasonable whilst Nyssa’s trying to defend the Doctor at times.

I like how ‘Madquake’ happens to be a character study for Nyssa, Tegan and Marc in the first episode and how they cope without the Doctor. It explores more about their individual characters. 🙂

Also on the planet Callanna is Kate Isitt as Professor Cott. She’s a psychotherapist who helps Tegan, Nyssa and Marc with their recovery. There’s also Raj Ghatak as Mison, one of Cott’s soldier patients.

Sadly, the therapeutic atmosphere of Callanna gets interrupted when the monstrous Slitheen come to attack. Wow! Slitheen in a story that features Nyssa, Tegan and Marc?! How random can that be?

I enjoyed seeing the Slitheen in the new series of ‘Doctor Who’ and it was great to hear them here. Thankfully, they don’t do much farting, although one of the invading Slitheen does fart at one point.

The Slitheen include Doña Croll (who was in ‘New Earth’) as Bella and Harley Viveash as Grumma. They have come to Callanna for one thing. To sell the planet to highest bidder! Very typical Slitheen!

It was quite a surprise when Professor Cott turned out to be a Slitheen herself, although she’s rejected her family criminal ways. It’s nice when Cott helped Nyssa and Tegan to defeat the Slitheen.

Now, I know Nyssa claims she hasn’t met Slitheen before and I know this is before the Doctor meets them in the new series era. But personally, I’d like to think Nyssa and the Fifth Doctor did face them.

I’m going to rebel continuity someday and have the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy face Slitheen in a story. If Big Finish can do it with Leela meeting Sontarans, why can’t I with Nyssa and the Slitheen? 🙂

It can be argued that the Slitheen are superfluous and I suppose that is true in a sense, especially in a two-parter. But at least they make the story more exciting for Nyssa, Tegan and Marc to tackle them.

I like how Marc gets to use his own cyber strength to hold the Slitheen off whilst he and Mison distract them. It doesn’t make Marc feel better about himself though when defeating the enemy. 😦

It was quite a surprise for me when Tegan donned a Slitheen suit in order to trick the two Slitheen Bella and Grumma back to their spaceship. I had to listen to that scene twice to be clear in my head.

Thankfully, the Slitheen are sorted and they’re sent back to wherever they came from. Once gone, the TARDIS materialises on Callanna as the Doctor has returned for his friends following ‘Thin Time’.

According to Cott, it’s clear the Doctor wants forgiveness. Tegan says she’s not sure she can forgive him. Once Peter Davison’s Doctor meets up with Nyssa, Tegan and Marc, he says they need to ‘talk’.

I don’t know how Nyssa, Tegan and Marc are going to react to the Doctor coming back for them in the next story they’re in, but I guess it won’t be easy. It’s something I’m greatly looking forward to.

‘Madquake’ has been a good enjoyable audio adventure to listen to with Nyssa, Tegan and Marc coping without the Doctor and tackling Slitheen on Callanna. I personally prefer this over ‘Thin Time’.

Harley Viveash, Raj Ghatak, George Watkins, Doña Croll, Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton in ‘Madquake’.

I’m pleased I’ve heard the ‘Thin Time’/‘Madquake’ CD for 2020. I’m saddened ‘The Lost Resort’ and ‘Perils and Nightmares’ didn’t get made because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but I’m thankful one set of Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Marc audios got made. I hope the other stories will be made soon.

I’m curious about how the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Marc’s journey will conclude and what stories Big Finish have in mind for these TARDIS heroes. I know it won’t be easy due to the nature of Marc’s condition and the damage made, but I hope all four TARDIS members will forgive each other.

The CD extras are as follows. On Disc 1 of the ‘Thin Time’/‘Madquake’ CD, there is a suite of incidental music to enjoy. On Disc 2, there is a trailer for ‘The Flying Dutchman’/‘Displaced’ with Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Philip Olivier. There are also behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew including Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding, George Watkins, director Scott Handcock, etc.

If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘Thin Time’/‘Madquake’ via a 6 or 12 CD/download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There are PDF scripts and extended extras for ‘Thin Time’ and ‘Madquake’.

‘Madquake’ rating – 8/10

The previous story

For the Fifth Doctor was

For Tegan was

For Nyssa was

For Marc was

The next story

For the Fifth Doctor is

  • ‘The Lost Resort’ (Audio)

For Tegan is

  • ‘The Lost Resort’ (Audio)

For Nyssa is

  • ‘The Lost Resort’ (Audio)

For Marc is

  • ‘The Lost Resort’ (Audio)
Return to The Fifth Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Tegan’s Timeline
Return to Nyssa’s Timeline
Return to Marc’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
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2 thoughts on “‘Madquake’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    Excellent review Tim, i liked that Nyssa played a more prominent role in this story & how she stood up to Tegan & i thought the sub plot with Marc battling his PTSD due to his Cyber conversion experience was brilliantly handled as i too am a PTSD sufferer who experienced nightmares & flashbacks.

    Nice to see Big Finish are not shying away from these type of topics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Very pleased you enjoyed my review on ‘Madquake’.

      I greatly enjoyed this adventure and yes Nyssa does play a more prominent role in the story. I too liked how she stood up to Tegan since I did feel Tegan was being pretty unreasonable at certain points. Interesting how you saw Marc battling post-traumatic stress disorder due to his Cyber conversion and how you linked that to your PSTD. I didn’t quite see it in that light when hearing the story, but it’s interesting how you brought it up. I’m glad you like how BF didn’t shy away from the topic.

      Here’s hoping ‘The Lost Resort’ and ‘Perils and Nightmares’ will be made soon. I look forward to how the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Marc story concludes.

      Many thanks,

      Tim. 🙂



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