‘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 went 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 liked that moment where Nyssa became 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 Nyssa, Tegan 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 TV 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 have faced 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 since 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 in 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’s 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

For Tegan is

For Nyssa is

For Marc is

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
Return to Sci-Fi

6 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. 🙂


  2. Williams Fan 92

    Nice review Tim.

    I quite enjoyed ‘Madquake’. I also preferred it over ‘Thin Time’. I liked the concept of how the planet Callana works.

    First I shall get onto what I was a bit stressed about when listening to this story and reading your review. It of course regards Nyssa and Tegan. I have to admit, I found your view of them in this story to be a little biased. I did find Tegan to be a bit unreasonable when saying the Doctor wouldn’t come back. But then again, maybe she didn’t find Callana’s atmosphere to be soothing. These things are open to interpretation and Callana might not be for everyone. I didn’t enjoy Nyssa as much as you did and found her to be a bit unreasonable as well. I felt she was being a bit selfish at times like when she said “I hope the Doctor never comes back”, and when she got snappy. I did think she was a bit too defensive of him. I felt the scene was nothing more than Nyssa and Tegan pushing each other’s buttons. I actually feel bad for them because in the end, the Doctor is to blame. It’s actually ironic that he left his companions to get them away from danger, when they still found danger in the Slitheen. I’m still aware that you prefer Nyssa over Tegan. I hope I didn’t sound biased myself. *sigh* It’s hard being a Tegan Jovanka fan.

    I have to say that I felt more sorry than Marc than I did Nyssa and Tegan. I’ve actually been enjoying him in his own arc more than Nyssa, Tegan and the Doctor. I liked it when Marc fought the Slitheen and at the end when he seemed to have been cured. I’ve been enjoying the Marc Fifth Doctor arc in that sense, but the strained relationship between the Doctor and his companions that started with ‘Conversion’ let it down for me. Interesting that both that story and ‘Madquake’ were written by Guy Adams.

    I’ve enjoyed the Slitheen in ‘Aliens of London’, ‘World War Three’ and most recently in ‘Boom Town’, and I also enjoyed them here. I found it intriguing that Cott was a renegade Slitheen and that she had created her own human-like suit from the ground-up. The scene were the time-scoop was stopped was intriguing to hear. I didn’t realise Tegan got into a Slitheen suit. I’m glad your review mentioned that.

    I’m still waiting for a dispatch email for ‘The Lost Resort’, ‘The Secrets of Nellie-Bly’ and ‘Nightmare of the Daleks’. I hope they will make me rekindle my passion for this arc.

    P.S. do you own the ‘Doctor Who Chronicles’ 1983 bookazine? I purchased that today.

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Madquake’. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the story.

      I appreciate your feelings about Nyssa and Tegan. I know I sound harsh when it comes to talking about Tegan and maybe there’s something I’m missing with her, but I can only express how much I feel about her as a character as opposed to how you feel about her as a character. I understand you’re more of a Tegan fan than I am since I’m more of a Nyssa fan.

      I can’t completely connect to Tegan as a character as I do with Nyssa. I also can’t entirely agree with your viewpoint that Nyssa is unreasonable and selfish in ‘Madquake’. I see what you’re saying, but like you said, I prefer Nyssa over Tegan, since she’s nicer than her. It might be the way that Guy Adams is writing them and how Scott Handcock is directing the stories that makes the character development uneven – more for you than it does for me. I still enjoy listening to these audios and having heard previous Big Finish audios featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan, I’m able to appreciate the character journeys these heroes have gone on and identify their positives and negatives. Nyssa’s fierce loyalty to the Doctor is probably why I like her more than Tegan, since Tegan and the Fifth Doctor don’t always get on with each other in these stories.

      I’m pleased you’re enjoying Marc’s journey in the stories. Glad you enjoyed the Slitheen too. I can sort-of see what the Fifth Doctor’s journey has been about in the Marc chapter of his character, especially when we come to ‘The Lost Resort’, but that’s something for another time. I can’t deny the progression of the Fifth Doctor journey in the Marc chapter has been flawed, especially with Scott Handcock handling things, but I still appreciate and enjoy the journey in the stories being told so far.

      Hope you enjoy ‘The Lost Resort and Other Stories’ CD box set when you receive it. I’ll be sharing my reviews on the three stories later in December. I don’t have the ‘Doctor Who Chronicles’ 1983 bookazine. I might purchase it when I’m visiting town in Cardiff or something.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Williams Fan 92

        Thanks Tim.

        Your reasoning makes sense. I can’t say I prefer Tegan over Nyssa or vice-versa as I like them both equally. I personally feel as though they both could have been better with Tegan trying to be a bit more optimistic and Nyssa trying to shy away from confrontation as that as been known to be harmful to people’s well-being and to not constantly mention the Doctor. Again, it’s down to how we interpret things. I once liked Tegan less than you did, that being in ‘Four to Doomsday’. I guess I don’t mind how you perceived the situation of Nyssa being optimistic and Tegan being negative. Also, what would said if it was the other way around?

        Today, I hope to finally watch Sarah Sutton’s ‘Myth Makers’ and share my thoughts on it. I’ll be sharing those on your page for that Myth Makers rather than the page for ‘The Doctors’ Fifth Doctor DVD.


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Tim Bradley Post author

        Hi WF92,

        Honestly, I’m not sure what to think if the situation was reversed where Nyssa was negative and Tegan was optimistic. I probably wouldn’t like it. I say there needs to be a fine balance in characters being positive and negative about things. Sometimes that can be inconsistent in, especially in the development of certain characters in ‘Doctor Who’, not just in the classic series but in the new series too. Clara Oswald is a good example as I often liked her and disliked her at times since her character was inconsistent in the journey she had.

        Hope you enjoy Sarah Sutton’s ‘Myth Makers’. Look forward to your thoughts on that. I must do more in-depth reviews on ‘Myth Makers’ interviews sometime. 😀

        Tim 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.