‘Chase the Night’ (Audio)



Please feel free to comment on my review.

An Adventure in E-Space with Pilot Dena

John Leeson, Lalla Ward, Matthew Waterhouse and Tom Baker in ‘Chase the Night’.

‘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.

Matthew Waterhouse, John Leeson and Lalla Ward in ‘Chase the Night’.

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.

Jane Asher in ‘Chase the Night’

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 cast and crew of ‘Chase the Night’. From left to right: producer David Richardson, Jane Asher, recorder Toby Robinson, Christopher Naylor, Lalla Ward, director Nicholas Briggs, John Leeson, writer Jonathan Morris, Matthew Waterhouse, William Gaminara and Lucy Heath.

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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6 thoughts on “‘Chase the Night’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    Of the four new E-Space stories this was by far my favourite, tense, eerie, dramatic, atmospheric plus great performances from the cast, Jonathan Morris certainly delivers the goods and i love the idea of a train moving against daylight.

    Brilliant review Tim you summarized this audio drama up wonderfully my friend & thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts & opinions on this box set.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Very pleased you enjoyed my review on ‘Chase the Night’. I’ve changed my rating for this story from 8/10 to 9/10.

      Interesting that this is your favourite of the four E-Space audio stories with the Fourth Doctor, Romana, Adric and K-9. I certainly enjoyed it with Jonny Morris’ writing and yes the setting and the atmosphere of a train travelling against the daylight is pretty compelling.

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my thoughts on Volume 1 of Series 9 of ‘The Fourth Doctor Adventures’ by Big Finish. My reviews on the next two stories in Volume 2 will be up next week. 🙂

      Tim. 🙂


  2. helenofvulcan

    Again, the concepts in this story were fascinating and I loved the way the planet itself was very much the enemy… and then it was also what which saved them. Brilliant stuff.

    My only minor niggle – (which occurred to me at about 3am when I couldn’t sleep and was thinking about the second listen through this) – was how they managed to construct the train and tracks in the first place, while fleeing the daylight. I think this is perhaps the disadvantage of an audio play. I generally find I can easily visualise characters and scenes; I had no problem with the planet or the interior of the train (or other audios)… but could not figure out how this was achieved. Perhaps a clearer picture of the train would have been useful in answering this question. In fact – I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to a prologue to tell the tale. There’s been a hint or two that some of the Big Finish audios may be novelised, and I’d love to see an author take up this challenge if this was one of the candidates.

    In view of the story and situation, though, this is a relatively minor point. The plot and characters stand pretty well as they are 🙂

    I really enjoyed the early dialogue; Adric states a study of biology was discouraged on Alzarius (for obvious reasons when you know the story of Full Circle) and Waterhouse really manages to convey a sense of Adric’s frustration at having to constantly ask K9 for definitions and explanations while the Doctor and Romana make their observations and discuss the environment. He also shows how quickly Adric picks up the information and learns from it.

    The wanderlust reflected in Romana and the Doctor was quite atmospheric. IMHO, a lovely aspect both Tom Baker and David Tennant’s Doctors have, is their appreciation of how marvellous the universe can be. There are times when this is lost from the Doctor’s character during the series, but it’s great to have reminders of WHY he loves travelling about in his box so much.

    I think what these points really convey, however, is the sense of continuity. (In the TV series, I think Varsh isn’t mentioned until ‘Timeflight’ after his demise all the way back in Full Circle!) Here, though, we’re reminded of Adric’s homeworld and its restrictions; we’re reminded of the Time Lord kinship between Romana and the Doctor and the sense of fascination both have for the universe, and their admiration at the ingenuity shown by the inhabitants of the planet. This is a piece of praise for Big Finish that I feel I can consistently apply – they fill the gaps in the TV show in far more ways than just providing more stories!

    Pilot Dena was one of those villains whose motivation you can understand, and can sympathise with to an extent; even comprehend how things spiralled out of her control. This performance was top notch; I found myself considering that I probably couldn’t have done much better in her position!

    The approaching daylight kept this story at a high level of tension, and yet avoided having the audience be frustrated by an enemy that threatened to become unreasonable even though it is relentless. There’s no arguing with the sunrise and nothing you can do about it! I was quite worried about the TARDIS, though. While I was confident it wouldn’t be harmed by the firestorm, I did wonder if the TARDIS team was going to have to do another circuit of the planet to get back to it once day came (and even wasted a little brain-power in trying to predict exactly how they would do that.

    I figured that if they could just… Never mind – the TARDIS is smarter than me and solved it’s own problems 😉


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Helen.

      Thanks for your comments about ‘Chase the Night’. Glad you enjoyed the story.

      I would welcome Target novelizations of some Big Finish audios. I’ve often considered novelizing a Big Finish script for fun based on the scripts available to Big Finish subscribers like ‘Iterations of I’ or ‘The Haunting of Thomas Brewster’. I might take this up someday.

      I enjoyed listening to this adventure with the Fourth Doctor, Romana, K-9 and Adric and remember finding myself thoroughly engaged in the story throughout. I’m glad you had the same experience too and you certainly seem to get into these audios very well lately.

      Many thanks,

      Tim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. helenofvulcan

        Hey there, Tim 🙂

        Yeah – I’m loving these radio plays! I have some early ones from several years back which a friend sold me cheap, but I didn’t realise they were still being made!! And, of course, my favourite TARDIS teams weren’t among them back then. But when I’ve decided to engage with fiction, I tend to fling myself into it 100%. Without my daily commute (as I’m working from home, right now) or having to pay for classes during Covid, I’ve also been able to afford them, so in that respect, it’s done me some favours!

        I only discovered they were still being recorded when I found ‘The Confessions of Dorian Gray’, also produced by Big Finish. (The Picture of Dorian Gray being my favourite novel). And undergoing a bit of a Classic Who revival during lockdown, it’s great to experience the new material with an ‘updated’ attitude towards character development. It’s turned a great series into an awesome one!

        I’d love to see a novelisation of ‘Iterations of I’. It’s my favourite of the radio plays so far and I really envy you having the scripts! I’m not always in a position to watch TV or listen to the audios (plus they compete with time to listen to my music collection), so being able to read transcripts is a great compromise.


        Liked by 1 person

      2. Tim Bradley Post author

        Hi Helen.

        I’m enjoying catching up on a lot of ‘Doctor Who’ stuff including books and audios that I’ve been meaning to check out but haven’t had the chance to due to being busy with everything else. I suppose that is one of the blessings of being in lockdown. I’m glad you’ve been able to catch up on the audios during these tough times we’ve been having, which I hope will come to an end soon.

        Glad to hear ‘Iterations of I’ is one of your favourite audios. Most of the Big Finish are available to me when I subscribe to their website, though I did win scripts for ‘The Haunting of Thomas Brewster’ and ‘Iterations of I’ at auctions when attending conventions over the years.

        Many thanks,

        Tim. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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