‘The Destination Wars’ (Audio)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

The First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan vs. The Master

One day, David Bradley came back! Yes! He came back!

I purchased ‘The First Doctor Adventures – Volume 1’ CD box set from Big Finish in 2018 to celebrate ‘Doctor Who’s 55th anniversary! I was looking forward to hearing the two stories featured in the box set and find how the new cast of the First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan would turn out.

‘The First Doctor Adventures – Volume 1’ of course stars David Bradley as the First Doctor with Jamie Glover as Ian, Jemma Powell as Barbara and Claudia Grant as Susan. This was very exciting as these were the actors who played the actors playing those characters in ‘An Adventure In Space and Time’.

David Bradley played William Hartnell; Jamie Glover played William Russell; Jemma Powell played Jacqueline Hill and Claudia Grant played Carole Ann Ford in that docu-drama. It was unusual to hear these ‘Doctor Who’ audio tales with the four actors playing the characters their predecessors played.

Of course, David Bradley has played the First Doctor properly in ‘Twice Upon A Time’ with Peter Capaldi. This is the first time that David Bradley plays the First Doctor proper in his own series of adventures as well as Jamie Glover; Jemma Powell and Claudia Grant playing their characters here. 🙂

I hoped that the four actors from ‘An Adventure In Space and Time’ would get to play the TV characters that their original actors had been playing. I wondered how it would be done, but thankfully Big Finish came up with casting them for these Big Finish audios which was pretty exciting.

Beforehand, I met both David Bradley and Claudia Grant at the ‘MCM Birmingham Comic Con’ in November 2017. It was a thrill to meet them both and I told them I hoped I would get to hear the new First Doctor audios with them featured in them. I’m very pleased that I have been able to do so.

The two stories contained in ‘The First Doctor Adventures – Volume 1’ CD box set are as follows. There’s ‘The Destination Wars’ by Matt Fitton and ‘The Great White Hurricane’ by Guy Adams. There is also a behind-the-scenes bonus disc with interviews with the cast and crew about the two stories.

These are of course full-cast audio dramas instead of audiobooks like ‘The Companion Chronicles’ and ‘The Lost Stories’ for the First Doctor era. This was pretty surreal as we’d be hearing the characters interacting with each other without any narration getting in the way of the storytelling. 😀

The first of ‘The Fifth Doctor Adventures – Volume 1’ box set is of course ‘The Destination Wars’ by Matt Fitton. It is a four-part story and I found it a really compelling adventure to listen throughout. 🙂

The story has the TARDIS land in a gleaming utopia in the space year of 2003. Now I initially thought this was the planet Earth we’d landed on. But it turns out that it is an alien planet called Destination.

No really! That’s what the planet is called – Destination. I greatly enjoyed how the story unravelled its layers throughout and there didn’t to be any slow moments as each was pretty engaging to hear.

As the Doctor and his friends get welcomed by a family of three upon their arrival, the people of Destination are about to receive a message from the legendary Inventor. And the Doctor knows him!

It turns out the Inventor is…the Master! I was amazed and thrilled to be hearing this First Doctor audio adventure with the Master in it. That was so brave of Big Finish to do having the Master here.

This would’ve been before the Master meets Jon Pertwee’s Doctor in the TV series. It was quite surreal to be hearing the Master interacting with the First Doctor and making trouble on Destination.

James Dreyfus excels as the villainous Master in this audio adventure. I assume that James Dreyfus is playing the Roger Delgado version of the Master here. If he is, he’s convinced me in playing him well.

It was a challenge to get used to the new actors’ voices of the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan when listening to this adventure. But by the time I got to the second episode, it was really easy to listen to.

David Bradley is brilliant as the First Doctor in this audio adventure. David has captured the authentic feel of William Hartnell’s Doctor in the audios just as he’s done on TV which is so amazing.

Jamie Glover is equally good as Ian. It was easy to identify him as Ian when hearing his voice for the character. It was unnerving when Ian was caught in the Master’s power in being hypnotised by him.

Jemma Powell is good as Barbara. It was a challenge to distinguish her voice from Susan’s at times. But after a while I connected to Barbara’s voice and I liked her scenes with Ian during the adventure.

Claudia Grant is equally good as Susan. I liked it when Susan recognised the Master once she saw him as the Inventor. It was great when Susan shared some scenes with her grandfather in the story.

The story also features Raymond Coulthard as Robac, who is like the head of the family of three that greets the Doctor and company upon their arrival. He is puzzled by the travellers’ lack of knowledge.

There’s also Sian Reeves as Tanna, Robac’s wife in the story. She too gets puzzled by how the Doctor and friends know little about the Inventor and Destination before she starts going on the wrong side.

Deli Segal guest stars as Reena, Robac and Tanna’s daughter in the story. Reena is keen to meet the Inventor, but soon discovers the truth and horror of what’s going on as she forms a bond with Susan.

Raymond Coulthard also does the voice for the robotic Servers that work for the Master on Destination. I found the Servers’ voices hard to hear when they spoke, but they are generally slaves.

There are also the voices of the Dalmari, voiced by Raymond Coulthard in the story. The Dalmari are like the original inhabitants of Destination. The Doctor and Barbara do make contact with them here.

I did like the concepts featured in this story. The Master; the Doctor and his friends inside a control room where years pass by on Destination whereas for them it’s merely minutes was very interesting.

I also found that cliff-hanger to the third episode so exciting to listen to when the Doctor and Susan are stranded behind once the TARDIS is gone. Thankfully, Ian and Barbara find the fast-return switch.

‘The Destination Wars’ has been a brilliant audio adventure to listen to. I loved the First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan’s meeting with the Master in this tale and the cast are very excellent throughout.

‘The Destination Wars’ rating – 9/10

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For Ian was

For Barbara was

For Susan was

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For the First Doctor is

For Ian is

For Barbara is

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2 thoughts on “‘The Destination Wars’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    Awesome review Tim, this is a epic story, i loved this one & as you quite rightly say it doesn’t feature any slow bits & builds up the drama & suspense to fever pitch.

    Think this version of The Master is pre-Delgado but can’t be 100% on that what i will say is i was sceptical of James Dreyfuss casting because he’s known for comedy but he smashed this performance out the park & delvered one of the best incarnations of The Master & his interactions wth the First Doctor was pure gold.

    Gets a 5/5 from me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Destination Wars’. This is the best story to be featured in volume one of ‘The First Doctor Adventures’ and I just love it how the Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara confront the Master here.

      I’d like to think James Dreyfus is playing the Roger Delgado version of the Master just like David Bradley played the William Hartnell version of the Doctor. But I could be wrong of course and I’m waiting for confirmation to say otherwise. I didn’t know much about James Dreyfus as an actor but I definitely enjoyed this adventure where the First Doctor confronts his Maser and it is very compelling indeed as a story.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Tim. 🙂



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