‘Warzone’ (Audio)

‘WARZONE’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

On the Run with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Marc

Could this new TARDIS team of the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Marc end so soon?

At the time Sarah Sutton recorded ‘Warzone’/‘Conversion’, it was two days before she saw me again at the ‘Film & Comic Con Cardiff’, March 2019. Yes! Sarah recorded ‘Warzone’ and ‘Conversion’ on Thursday the 7th and Friday the 8th before seeing me in Cardiff on Saturday the 9th of March 2019!

I know it must have been hard work for Sarah to record these audio stories in-between doing conventions. When I saw her in Cardiff in March 2019 though, she didn’t seem phased by it. She was genuinely enthusiastic and happy when I saw her. I’m glad she enjoys being kept busy by Big Finish.

Here we are on the third CD of the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Marc audios by Big Finish so far! What do I make of this new TARDIS team so far? I’ve honestly enjoyed them. I like how Marc has managed to fit in among the company of the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan in the audio adventures.

I wasn’t sure how long Marc would last as a companion and I know it’d only be an amount of time before he exited and before Nyssa, Tegan and the Fifth Doctor meet Turlough in the series. But it’s way better than Hannah Bartholomew’s appearances in ‘Moonflesh’, ‘Tomb Ship’ and ‘Masquerade’.

I wasn’t sure what Marc’s fate was going to be like, especially with the return of some old ‘Doctor Who’ enemies in the ‘Warzone’/‘Conversion’ CD release. But I was very keen to find out and I heard good things about the CD before I even heard it. So I hoped I would be in for a very good ride here.

And yes, we’re back again with another collection of two 2-part stories in this CD release instead of having a full-length four-part story. It happened with ‘Alien Heart’/‘Dalek Soul’ and it happened recently with ‘Interstitial’/‘Feast of Fear’. I don’t really object to having two-part adventures in these CD releases.

But considering Marc’s amount of time in the ‘Doctor Who’ series, I’m wondering if fans would appreciate his time in the TARDIS, despite the amount of stories extended from three to five here. I’m hoping they would! There’s bound to be another audio trilogy with this new TARDIS team, right?

George Watkins, Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, David Banks, Pepter Lunkuse, Silas Carson, Mark Hardy and Timothy Blore in ‘Warzone’/’Conversion’.

Anyway, let’s talk about the first story of the ‘Warzone’/‘Conversion’ CD release. ‘Warzone’ is a two-part adventure by Chris Chapman. Chris Chapman is not a stranger to ‘Doctor Who’ and to Big Finish.

As well as writing Big Finish audios, Chris has directed and produced documentaries for ‘Doctor Who’ DVDs and Blu-rays. I was looking forward to Chris’ angle on the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Marc.

In the story, the TARDIS arrives in the middle of a race track on the planet Samotis. The Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Marc very soon find themselves running for their lives as they’re on the race track.

I admit, I didn’t really know what to make of this story as I was listening to it in the first episode. I was expecting it to be an average race story for our four TARDIS heroes. Nothing special to look for.

I did enjoy the humour between characters as the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Marc interacted with other racers. Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding and George Watkin continue to excel in this.

I enjoyed it when Tegan and Marc ran together in the race for the first episode. I did think Marc was becoming over-confident. His Roman attitude seemed to seep in and Tegan wasn’t keen in the race.

It was fun to hear Nyssa running alongside racer Timothy Blore as Morris, who was in fancy dress. The interaction between them did seem genuine and mostly nice as they were becoming friends.

But there’s one thing I became shocked by. Morris made Nyssa jump first over a drop to get to the other side and he jumps after her, landing on top of her with his heavy weight. Wow! Just…WOW!!!

If I had Nyssa and Billy running together in a race, I wouldn’t have had Billy made Nyssa go first. Billy would have gone first and he would have caught Nyssa coming after him. The jump scene felt wrong!

The Doctor meets up with racer Pepter Lunkuse as Esma. Esma seems pretty confident as she wants to finish the race and win. The Doctor is dubious about what’s going on as they run during the race.

Like I said, I wasn’t really sure where this story was going. I thought it rather strange that our heroes were running on foot in a race track. Wouldn’t it have been far more exciting to race in cars or something?

But as we got to the second episode, things dramatically changed. Once Marc gets injured, Tegan accompanies him to the hospital. The operation on his recovery goes well until something deadly. 😮

Tegan unknowingly grants the robot nurses to give Marc a 200% medical treatment. Thus he ends up getting new upgraded parts to his body. He continues to run in the race and is determined not to stop.

The Doctor gradually discovers the truth of what’s going on with this race and he realises that it’s all part of some scheme organised by his old enemies…the Cybermen! Wow! I did not see that coming!

Okay, the Cybermen don’t actually make an appearance in this story, but I was able to feel their presence. The fact that Marc and others get upgraded technology planted onto them confirms it all.

It was very tense when Nyssa managed to shut down the race and Marc stopped running before he collapsed. This is before he reached the end of the race track. The Doctor and Tegan run over to check on Marc.

It doesn’t look good as Marc’s cyber-conversion begins to kick in with the new technology he has on him. Peter’s Doctor gets angry. He refuses not to let another of his companions die because of Cybermen.

Incidentally Silas Carlson guest stars as the Commentator and the Steward in this story. Silas Carlson is well-known for voicing the Ood in ‘Doctor Who’. I didn’t expect him to sound so different from the Ood.

At the end, I liked it when Nyssa thanked Morris for looking after for her as he saved her life with a wrist-strap. She returned that favour! The Doctor gives encouraging words to Esma and Morris at the end.

Eventually, the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan get Marc back into the TARDIS before they take off. The story ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger as Marc’s cyber-conversion kicks in again. It’s becoming more serious!

‘Warzone’ is a pretty good opening story to the third CD featuring the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Marc. I like how things change around in the second episode and I had no idea what to expect next!

‘Warzone’ 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

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12 thoughts on “‘Warzone’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    This was a great two part episode, initially i was bit “meh” as to the race & thought where’s the story going with this but all becomes clear & the twist with Marc getting Cyber technology upgrades you knew he wasn’t long for this world.

    I knew you’d dislike Morris who quite happy use Nyssa as a crash mat, he ain’t got the morals like Billy Walker has he & quite happy let Nyssa jump first (what a git).

    What impressed me the most was Peter Davison’s performance, it’s rare to hear the Doctor get emotional but Adric’s death clearly has had an effect on him & kinda reminded me of the Tenth Doctor in The Waters Of Mars where he can’t stand by let anyone else die, Peter gave his all conveying genuine emotion & vulnerability which made for excellent drama.

    Fantastic review Tim, you summarised this two parter up perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Warzone’. I was surprised by how things changed so dramatically in ‘Part Two’ whereas it felt rather average in ‘Part One’ during the race. I was anxious for Marc getting Cyber technology and hoped he would be alright by the time we got to ‘Conversion’.

      Yeah, I wasn’t happy with Morris landing on Nyssa to get to the other side. I wouldn’t have done it like that. It makes Morris less gentlemanly. Billy would never let Nyssa go first. He would go first and catch Nyssa afterwards.

      I did enjoy Peter Davison’s performance in this audio drama and it was tense when he got emotional about Marc’s cyber-conversion condition and how it echoes back to Adric. I would have liked it fully explored in ‘Conversion’ and it sort-of did but not to the extent I would have liked.

      Very pleased you enjoyed my review, Simon. Thanks for your comments.

      Tim. 😉

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      Reply
  2. Williams Fan 92

    I am hoping to get around to these two stories eventually. Your review has certainly made me watch to listen to it even more. The concept of a race sounds really intriguing. The reason I am saying is, I am thinking of writing a few scripts featuring Michael, my original companion, the first one of which will focus on his first meeting with the Doctor and becoming his companion. It will be different to his introduction in he had been a tv companion. Also, the reason I am putting this comment here is, Michael’s occupation is a Formula 1 driver and I am going to listen to Warzone so that I can see how different to make one of my scripts to that story as it will focus on a Grand Prix that takes place on an alien planet that Michael has to take races in, with the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan having a part to play as well. I am a Formula 1 fan, as you can probably tell by my avatar, although I can assume that you aren’t despite you wishing that the Doctor and his companions raced cars rather than on foot. If I get the qualifications, I hope to submit my scripts to Big Finish to turn them into audio dramas.

    I should also probably listen to Tartarus first since that is Marc’s debut.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
      1. Tim Bradley Post author

        Hi WF92

        Thanks for sharing how you plan to write your original companion Michael in his introduction for your ‘Doctor Who’ stories and how you plan to introduce him as a Formula 1 driver. It sounds very interesting and I wish you success.

        I hope you’ll get to enjoy ‘Warzone’ and ‘Conversion’. I enjoyed the two stories when I heard them. It would be a good idea to listen to ‘Tartarus’ first, yes. 😀

        Many thanks for your comments.

        Tim 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    I’ll just be sharing my thoughts on ‘Warzone’ itself today. I’ll explain my fanfics and Michael tomorrow.

    I found this story to be very well-written and tense. The scenes with Tegan and Marc were the best for me. It was tense when Marc was in the medical centre and had Cybermen technology implanted in him. I like that Tegan was determined to stay by his side. The reveal of the Cybermen being a reward for the race finishers was quite scary to think of. I hope The Doctor will be able to save him come ‘Conversion’.

    The Doctor and Esma had great chemistry as did Nyssa and Morris even if he nearly crushed her to death.

    The race concept was cool, although it would have been interesting if the Tardis crew had raced in cars rather than on foot like you’d said. I will get more onto that tomorrow.

    Onto ‘Conversion’ next week to see that the Doctor doesn’t let the Cybermen take Marc’s life as they did Adric. But before that… ‘Black Orchid’! 😀

    Take care, WF92. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Warzone’ as well as the story. I’m also glad you enjoyed Tegan and Marc’s scenes as well as the Doctor and Esma’s scenes and Nyssa and Morris’ scenes. Yeah, I still find that scene of Morris landing on top of Nyssa wrong somehow. 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed the racing aspect of the story and yeah it would have been great to see our heroes racing in cars rather than racing on foot.

      Hope you enjoy ‘Conversion’ next. Also look forward to your thoughts on ‘Black Orchid’. I’ve just re-watched ‘Black Orchid’ this evening and still love it to this day. 🙂

      Many thanks,

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. Williams Fan 92

    Hello Tim

    I shall now be discussing my fanfics and Michael Anderson as I’ve decided to call him.

    I’m sure you’ve read the introduction to him which I wrote with ‘Four Time-Travellers and a Baby’. I’ve since come to decide that’s it’s just too confusing and impossible. I’d be better off writing Michael exclusively as a companion to the Fifth Doctor. Furthermore, the Michael in my fanfictions is now just meant to lay the foundations for something different, that being writing for Big Finish. I would like to have a companion called Michael Anderson for Big Finish if I ever get to write for them. Like fanfic Michael, BF Michael is a racing driver although he will be slightly different and from a different time period. I will write a few more fanfics featuring fanfic Michael if I get more ideas. I’ve started writing scripts featuring BF Michael, but I’ve had to put them back since I don’t have a laptop.

    In reference to ‘Warzone’, one of my script ideas has Michael entering an intergalactic Grand Prix with support by the Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan. As I’ve listened to ‘Warzone’, I know how different to make it. I won’t reveal too much so that there’s a better chance of the script being produced. It also depends on the rules of writing for Big Finish as I’ve discussed on this thread https://notthebigfinishforum.freeforums.net/thread/7162/writing-big-finish?page=5#post-310244. As for the premise, I know you aren’t into motorsports but I bet you’ll have some knowledge of it. For example, I bet you at least know of Michael Schumacher. 😀

    P.s. will you be doing a blog post on the ‘Bedford Who Charity Con’ soon after it or will you wait a while before doing so? Also, I’ll share my thoughts on ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ tomorrow and I’ll take a few days break before sharing my thoughts on other things.

    Take care, WF92. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Thanks for sharing your ideas and plans about Michael as your companion. Very fascinating to read. I’m afraid I don’t have a lot of knowledge about motorsports and I don’t know anything about Michael Schumacher. I hope to share a convention report on Bedford soon. Look forward to your thoughts on ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.

      Many thanks,

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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