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Art, Paint and Brushwork with the Doctor and Leela
This is an exciting Big Finish audio adventure co-written by Louise Jameson with Nigel Fairs!
‘The Abandoned’ is the seventh and penultimate adventure in the second season of Big Finish audios with Tom Baker as the Doctor and Louise Jameson as Leela. It has a very high selling point! Louise Jameson writes for the first time in ‘Doctor Who’ with Nigel Fairs. I found this pretty enjoyable to hear!
It’s a two-part adventure by both Louise and Nigel and it’s directed by Ken Bentley (not Nicholas Briggs according to the back of the CD). ‘The Abandoned’ is a strange and eerie sort of adventure and it may have to be played more than once. But it was very intriguing to delve into different sides of our heroes.
The Doctor and Leela are in the TARDIS when something unusual happens. An old secret danger breaks out and causes havoc. The Doctor and Leela find themselves facing a Time Lady who has been imprisoned for a long time with imaginary friends. Can our duo avoid disaster with paint and brushes?
As I said, this story is pretty unusual and I admit I don’t fully understand what goes on. It was very interesting to hear this story and discover how Louise and Nigel worked together on it in terms of how they view a ‘Doctor Who’ story at their end. It was very surreal and feels fantasy-like in some respects.
The concepts are interesting. This includes the Point of Stillness, which is a place that the Time Lords are forbidden to go to and the Doctor is even reluctant to say its name. It cannot be drawn; it cannot be whispered and it cannot be thought. The Doctor has to avoid going there. It’ll cause a personal risk.
The style of this adventure feels pretty artsy indeed. Leela is introduced to art and painting through the Doctor and it serves as a catalyst for what goes on when ‘imaginary friends’ pop up for the Doctor and Leela to taunt them. But it can also be used to counteract the enemies in this pretty unusual story.
The whole story is set inside the TARDIS. The Doctor and Leela don’t go outside as they are contained within the TARDIS corridors; cloisters and console room. This put me in mind of the William Hartnell TV story ‘The Edge of Destruction’. It was intriguing how the Doctor and Leela faced the same situation.
Tom Baker excels as the Doctor here. The story shows a different side to Tom’s Doctor, as he loses his sense of control and goes through mad stages when he’s being used and manipulated by Marianna and the ‘imaginary friends’. There are some interesting varying layers added to the Doctor’s character.
I liked that first scene between the Doctor and Leela in the TARDIS. The Doctor doesn’t make any sense when he’s explaining things to Leela and she gets annoyed. Tom’s Doctor gets to say some amusing, funny lines in the adventure. According to the CD extras, Tom laughed at one of Nigel Fairs’ jokes. 😀
Louise Jameson is wonderful as Leela in this tale. There are new facets explored about Leela’s character, including where she gets to learn how to paint. She refers more to books she’s read in the TARDIS to keep learning. The Doctor continues Leela in her daily education whilst on board the TARDIS.
References are made to Leela’s father who was recently mentioned and referred to in ‘The Evil One’. Leela has an imaginary friend who tries to persuade her that he’s her father, but she defies him since she knows she that something’s amiss. Even the Horda from ‘The Face of Evil’ appear in this adventure.
I was expecting this to be a full-on Leela audio adventure, especially as Louise Jameson co-wrote this with Nigel Fairs. But surprisingly, this adventure has a mixture of both the Doctor and Leela involved in the events of the story and it’s so intriguing how Louise and Nigel know these characters inside out.
Stephanie Cole guest stars as Marianna, a Time Lady who has been in the Doctor’s TARDIS for a very long time. Stephanie is well-known for being in the TV series ‘Tenko’ with Louise Jameson. So this is a reunion for both ladies. It was so interesting to hear Stephanie playing a mad Time Lady in the TARDIS.
Marianna is someone who has fits of madness and paints a lot with her paintbrush. She claims to be the owner of the Doctor’s TARDIS before he stole it from Gallifrey. She’s been manipulated by these ‘imaginary friends’ and it was disturbing to hear her going mad, especially when she’s freed from her prison.
The imaginary friends are as follows. There’s Mandi Symonds as One; Andy Snowball as Two and Nigel Fairs as Three. One is an imaginary friend for Marianna; Two is an imaginary friend for the Doctor and Three is an imaginary friend for Leela. The three ‘friends’ want to go to the Point of…’you know where’.
‘The Abandoned’ has been an enjoyable audio adventure with the Fourth Doctor and Leela. I don’t fully understand it, but it has been a very intriguing story to listen to by Louise Jameson and Nigel Fairs. I look forward to when Louise Jameson writes her next ‘Doctor Who’ adventure with Nigel Fairs!
I’d like to persuade Sarah Sutton and/or Peter Davison to write a Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy adventure with me for ‘Bradley’s Basement’ or Big Finish. I can just imagine and dream how wonderful it’d be to work with Peter and Sarah on a ‘Doctor Who’ story. I wonder what the story would be about. 😀
The CD extras are as follows. At the end of the disc, there are behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew including Tom Baker; Louise Jameson; Stephanie Cole; Nigel Fairs; Mandi Symonds; Andy Snowball; director Ken Bentley; etc. There is a trailer for the next story with the Doctor and Leela called ‘Zygon Hunt’.
‘The Abandoned’ rating – 8/10
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