‘The Waters of Amsterdam’ (Audio)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Return to Amsterdam with the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan

Welcome back Tegan!

‘The Waters of Amsterdam’ was a joy to listen to! It stars Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor; Sarah Sutton as Nyssa and Janet Fielding as Tegan. This four-part story by Jonathan Morris is set after ‘Arc of Infinity’. It takes place in Amsterdam 1983 and in the 17th century with artist Rembrandt van Rijn.

I’ve had the CD cover of ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’ signed by Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton at the ‘Science of the Time Lords’ convention in Leicester, January 2016. I’m so pleased that I heard this story before seeing Peter and Sarah at the convention. It geared me up with having chats with them.

Director Jamie Anderson with Janet Fielding, Peter Davison, Elizabeth Morton and Sarah Sutton in ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’.

It was interesting to hear this story where Nyssa and the Doctor reunite with Tegan directly after ‘Arc of Infinity’. It was also interesting to find the TARDIS trio getting to spend more time in Amsterdam compared to how they spent time in ‘Arc of Infinity’. There’s a ‘City of Death’ air to this audio drama.

The story begins with Nyssa asking Tegan how she came to have got the sack from her job. We find out more about Tegan’s back-story and discover what happened to her in the interim between ‘Time-Flight’ and ‘Arc of Infinity’. We also get to met Tegan’s ex, as he turns up to find her in the tale.

In this story, the Doctor discovers a mystery as an art exhibition in Amsterdam’s Rijkmuseum contains paintings by Rembrandt Van Rijn of spaceships. The Doctor and his friends travel back in time to 17th century Amsterdam to solve the mystery and encounter the water-like Nix on the way.

I like that this is a Tegan-focused story, as we never got a proper explanation as to why Tegan would readily agree to re-join the Doctor and Nyssa or found out what actually happened to her when she got the sack. It was also nice to find that she’d been dating someone before she broke up with him.

Tegan’s ex-boyfriend is Tim Delap as Kyle. Tegan actually met Kyle on one of her Air Australia flights as an air-stewardess before she got the sack. They saw more of each other and dated more later on. But by the time we come to this story, Tegan broke up with Kyle and wants nothing to do with him.

I’m pleased that Jonny Morris has taken time to delve further into Tegan’s back-story as a character, as he’s very good with plot and character development in the stories he does for ‘Doctor Who’ in Big Finish. It doesn’t deviate from the main part of the story and it helps to progress the story forward.

This story is directed by Jamie Anderson, son of Gerry Anderson, the creator of ‘Thunderbirds’. It’s clear that Jamie is a ‘Doctor Who’ fan and enjoyed working with Peter, Sarah and Janet in this story. I’m pleased with how Jamie has directed this story in keeping with the characters and the story too.

Janet Fielding, Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton in ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’.

Janet Fielding stands out as Tegan in this ‘Doctor Who’ adventure. I really like that Janet gets to have a bigger bite of the cherry with Tegan’s character and express emotions that we rarely see justified. Tegan’s clearly not happy when Kyle turns up, but it is clear she is able to fall in love with someone.

I enjoyed the flashback scenes where Tegan is telling her story to Nyssa about how she met Kyle during the interim between ‘Time-Flight’ and ‘Arc of Infinity’. I also like how Tegan discovers who Kyle really is and how she reacts to it. She’s clearly made her mind up about travelling in the TARDIS.

Sarah Sutton is lovely as Nyssa in this story. Nyssa isn’t the focus of this story, but Jonny Morris still writes well for her character as well as Tegan and the Doctor. I’m pleased Sarah enjoyed recording this story as Nyssa. She jokingly remarked that she didn’t get to go to Amsterdam to record this tale.

The standout moment for me with Nyssa is that lovely scene she has with Rembrandt in ‘Part Three’. Rembrandt reflects on the loss of his wife who died rather tragically. Nyssa empathises with him as she’s also lost loved ones too. It’s a lovely performed scene with Nyssa and Rembrandt in the story.

Peter Davison is great as the Doctor in this adventure. The Doctor is adjusting to Tegan’s return following ‘Arc of Infinity’. I found it funny when the Doctor corrects Tegan on Leonardo Da Vinci’s name and she’s annoyed by it. It was interesting to see his interest in Rembrandt’s paintings in this story.

I like how the Doctor tackles with the menace of the Nix and how he solves the mystery of Rembrandt’s paintings of spaceships with Tegan and Nyssa’s help. It was interesting how the Doctor doesn’t tell Nyssa that Kyle isn’t actually a human when he conducted a scan of him in the TARDIS.


The cast of ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’. From left to right: Richard James, Elizabeth Morton, Janet Fielding, director Jamie Anderson, Peter Davison, Tim Delap, Sarah Sutton, Robbie Stevens and Wayne Forester.

Tim Delap guest stars as Kyle, Tegan’s ex-boyfriend. I liked Kyle in this story and sometimes felt sorry for him when he was being rejected by Tegan. It’s easy to see why Tegan would fall for him, as he’s rather charming and pleasant out on the outside. But on the inside, there’s a surprising mystery.

Richard James guest stars as Rembrandt Van Rijn. I must admit, I’ve never heard of Rembrandt as an artist before listening to this story. It was an interesting story to listen to with him in it and I enjoyed Richard James’ interpretation of the character. He can get very cranky when people knock at his door.

Elizabeth Morton guest stars as the Countess Mach-Teldak. For me, Elizabeth played Madeline Bassett in the third and fourth seasons of ‘Jeeves & Wooster’ and she’s also Peter Davison’s wife. It was very nice to hear her in this ‘Doctor Who’ story, as she plays a mysterious alien character in this.

‘The Waters of Amsterdam’ is so-called because of the alien Nix, voiced by Robbie Stevens. The Nix are aliens inside the ‘waters of Amsterdam’ that manifest themselves when the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan are around. The Nix seem to be hunting the TARDIS trio, but there’s more than it first seems.

Before the release of ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’, I saw a photo of Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding and director Jamie Anderson from the making of the story by Big Finish.  They were all wearing amusing t-shirts. Janet is now a ‘cultural icon’ and I liked Peter and Sarah’s reactions to this.

Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton and director Jamie Anderson in ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’.

‘The Waters of Amsterdam’ has been a lovely follow-up to ‘Arc of Infinity’. I greatly enjoyed the character development of Tegan in this story as well as the Doctor and Nyssa. Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding deliver great performances in a well-written story by Mr. Jonathan Morris.

At the end of the story, the Doctor in the TARDIS leaves Nyssa and Tegan behind in Amsterdam. Tegan shouts and demands the Doctor to come back. He eventually does return and pops his head out. He apologises to Nyssa and Tegan, saying that he was on an ‘errand’ for the Time Lords. Where did he go then?!

The CD extras are as follows. On Disc 1, there’s a suite of incidental music to enjoy. On Disc 2, there’s a trailer for ‘Aquitaine’ with Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding. There are also behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew including Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding.

If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’ via a 6 or 12 CD/Download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There is a PDF script and extended extras of ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’.

‘The Waters of Amsterdam’ rating – 9/10

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4 thoughts on “‘The Waters of Amsterdam’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    Hey look at the pics, team Billy back together lol.

    A excellent in-depth well presented review on this excellent follow up to Arc Of Infinity Tim, Jonathan Morris rarely writes bad stories & really fleshes Tegans backstory out in this adventure & i loved the scene with the Doctor popping off to sort out Omega before resuming his travels with Nyssa & Tegan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tim Bradley Post author

    Yes, I wish that the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy were the TARDIS team for ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’ instead of the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan. 😀

    Thanks Simon.

    Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’. It is a very good follow up to ‘Arc of Infinity’. I enjoyed listening to it and I can trust Jonny Morris to write compelling stories of ‘Doctor Who’, especially with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan. I enjoyed Tegan’s back-story being explored in this adventure and I really like how it sets things up for future stories when she gradually re-joins the Doctor and Nyssa in the TARDIS.

    Yes that scene with the Doctor popping off and coming back to pick up Nyssa and Tegan was a nice touch. One wonders what he was doing when he went off to sort out Omega and deal with the Sharnax business in Drashani space.

    Many thanks, Simon. Glad you enjoyed my review.

    Tim. 🙂


  3. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    I found ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’ to be a really good ‘Doctor Who’ Big Finish audio. I enjoyed the backstory on Tegan’s character and her relationship with Kyle, who was my favourite character in the story. I was quite shocked when he turned out to be an android. I was also intrigued by the backstory of Countess Mach-Teldak and I found it sad when she turned out to be not-so nice a person after all. Interesting that she was voiced by Peter Davison’s wife. I was initially annoyed when Kyle kept changing allegiances, but I suppose the Countess kept controlling that, and I was pleased he chose to side with the Tardis trio in the end.

    My other favourite character in the story was Rembrandt. I didn’t know much about him as a historical figure, so I was intrigued to hear it. He was great, although his last scene was weird with how it ended. The Niks were interesting characters, especially with manifesting themselves in water and causing it to rain. It’s amazing that this story starred Robbie Stevens and Wayne Forrester who were both in ‘The Peterloo Massacre’.

    I’m sure I’ll get my ‘Waters of Amsterdam’ review started soon. I’m still working on my review of ‘The Five Doctors’ which is taking longer than I thought because of all the information I need to write into it. I will also start listening to ‘The Elite’ at the weekend.

    P.s. have you been listening to ‘Doctor Who: Redacted’ on BBC Sounds?

    Take care, WF92

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the audio adventure. It’s been a while since I heard it, but I enjoyed it when I first listened to it back in 2016. Yes, Kyle was an enjoyable character in the story and it’s amazing to find Elizabeth Morton, Peter Davison’s wife in the audio adventure. 😀 Yes, it was nice to know about Rembrandt as a historical figure and her scene with Nyssa about the loss of their loved ones was nice to listen to. Well, Jamie Anderson directed both ‘The Waters of Amsterdam’ and ‘The Peterloo Massacre’ in the same year, so it shouldn’t be a surprise Robbie Stevens and Wayne Forrester were in both audio dramas. Plus Jamie Anderson works with these actors a lot in Gerry Anderson audio productions like the ‘Terrahawks’ and ‘Thunderbirds’ audios.

      Take your time with your ‘Five Doctors’ review. It’s bound to be a mega-one, especially with it featuring many ‘Doctor Who’ characters in its first 20 years. Hope you enjoy ‘The Elite’ when you get to hear it. I haven’t heard ‘Redacted’ on BBC Sounds yet. I’m waiting for that series to be finished either on BBC Sounds or perhaps Audible so I can listen to it in full. I’ve been busy with other projects on my blog and life in general. Hopefully I will get to hear the series soon.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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