‘CHASE THE NIGHT’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
An Adventure in E-Space with Pilot Dena
‘Chase the Night’ is a four-part adventure by Jonathan Morris. I found this to be a gripping, action-packed, character-driven story and Jonny Morris delivers the goods for any ‘Doctor Who’ adventure.
Jonny Morris is no stranger to E-Space, having written ‘The Entropy Plague’ beforehand which is set in that universe. It’s really amazing how there are more worlds in a small universe as E-Space to explore.
In the story, the TARDIS lands on a planet that has an alien tropical rainforest. The times of day are interesting. At night, it’s safe. But by day, the sun shining upon the planet scorches the surface fully.
There are elements of ‘White Ghosts’ featured in this story with day being dangerous and night being safe. It’s interesting how Jonny Morris tackles the approach and in a full-length four-part story.
The story also features a ship that’s almost train-like since it runs on train tracks during the night-time. Adric learns about trains in this story before he hears about railway stations in ‘Black Orchid’. 🙂
There’s also this fungus stuff featured in the story where once people eat it, they become tree-like or something. It prompts people to climb up higher to the sky before the day-time approaches them.
I did wonder if we were going to get some tree-like monsters similar to the Marshmen in ‘Full Circle’. Whilst we don’t really have that, it’s intriguing how Jonny Morris turns the fungus into rescuing lives.
There are tensions, thrills and plot-twisting revelations featured throughout this story. By ‘Parts Two, Three and Four’, I was able to keep my attention throughout this, all thanks to Jonny Morris’ writing.
Tom Baker is excellent as the Doctor in this adventure. He maintains his ‘Tom Baker’ presence throughout in a tale set in a period of his ‘Doctor Who’ tenure where things were serious and sombre.
In the story, Tom’s Doctor uncovers what’s going on with the ship and the planet. He copes with dealing with the paranoid Pilot Dena well and his compassion for Adric, Romana and K-9 shines very well.
Lalla Ward is equally good as Romana in the story. It’s intriguing to hear from the CD extras how Lalla enjoyed this story since biology happens to be her strong-point. It’s shown in her performance.
Romana gets to interact with Moni when she and K-9 are discovered. Both work together to try and save Adric once he gets on top of the train-like ship’s hull. She also clearly shows concern for Adric. 🙂
K-9 voiced by John Leeson gets to active in the Big Finish audios with the Fourth Doctor, Romana and Adric compared to how badly-treated he was in the TV series. He attempts to stun a fungus creature.
When that fails, he tries full blast, finding something intriguing once the creature’s dead. K-9 shares scenes with Adric, especially once they rescue the Doctor and Romana from the ship’s engine room.
It was great to hear Matthew Waterhouse as Adric in this story. I liked those early scenes Adric has with the Fourth Doctor, Romana and K-9 when they arrive on the planet and they explore the forest.
Adric doesn’t seem brat-like and annoying as in other adventures in this one. It was unusual to hear Adric being possessed by an Atlas-like gestalt connected to the tree-like creatures willing to help out.
The story’s special guest star is Jane Asher as Pilot Dena. Jane Asher was in ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’ story ‘Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane?’ I found her mesmerising as Pilot Dena here.
Pilot Dena gradually turns out to be a paranoid leader of the train-like ship. She mistrusts the Doctor and company at any opportunity and won’t listen to reason. She really got out of control at the end.
The story’s guest cast also includes William Gaminara as Engineer Terson, who turns out to be a good man in the end. There’s Lucy Heath as Moni, Terson’s daughter and Tania Rodrigeus as Laker. 🙂
There’s also Christopher Naylor as Bolan, who gets turned into a fungus-like creature and gets shot down by K-9. But apparently this doesn’t kill him as he joins with the Atlas-like gestalt on the planet.
I like how the story ends with the Doctor, Romana, Adric and K-9 finding the TARDIS – thanks to the HADS system escaping the heat-filled daytime. They head off into E-Space to continue their journey.
‘Chase the Night’ has been a pretty compelling audio adventure with the Fourth Doctor, Romana, Adric and K-9. I enjoyed Jonny Morris’ writing in this and the performances of the cast are excellent.
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Discs 1 and 2, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew. The interviewees include Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, Matthew Waterhouse, John Leeson, Jane Asher, director Nicholas Briggs, writer Jonathan Morris, etc.
Series 9, Volume 1 of ‘The Fourth Doctor Adventures’ has been pretty good. I’m enjoying how Big Finish are expanding this set of E-Space stories with the Fourth Doctor, Romana, K-9 and Adric so far. Both ‘Purgatory 12’ and ‘Chase the Night’ have been pretty compelling audio adventures to listen to.
I’m looking forward to what’s to come next as our TARDIS team continue to journey finding a way out of E-Space. I know how things will turn out and where the characters will go next, but it’s pretty exciting to hear these tales featuring Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, Matthew Waterhouse and John Leeson.
‘Chase the Night’ rating – 9/10
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