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Zygons with the Doctor and Leela
The Fourth Doctor faces the Zygons again in another adventure!
‘Zygon Hunt’ is the eighth and final adventure in the second season of ‘Doctor Who’ audios with Tom Baker as the Doctor and Louise Jameson as Leela. I greatly enjoyed this audio adventure and it was interesting to hear how Leela meets the Zygons for the first time and it was very exciting to listen to!
This two-part adventure is written and directed by Nicholas Briggs and it is his third contribution to this Doctor and Leela series. I especially liked how the Fourth Doctor’s recent encounter with these shape-shifting monsters gets touched upon and he gets to deal with the aftermath of those events.
The Zygons are a popular set of ‘Doctor Who’ monsters, first appearing in ‘Terror of the Zygons’ with Tom Baker. They’ve also appeared in books; comics and audios and in the 50th anniversary TV special ‘The Day of the Doctor’. It was great to hear them with Tom Baker’s Doctor again in this tale.
The Doctor and Leela visit the jungle planet called Garros, where a group of solar knights from Earth’s Solar System’s Defence Shield are on a spot of game-hunting. But a conspiracy takes place as one of the knights is trying to kill its leader and leads an army of Zygons to take over the Earth again.
As I said before, this story deals with events that happened from ‘Terror of the Zygons’ that the Doctor is faced to reconcile. Apparently the Zygon invasion fleet was waiting in orbit after their gambit on Earth failed. It was so intriguing hearing how the Doctor and Leela sort it out in this story.
The game-hunting aspects of this story are interesting, as the solar knights sometimes hunt for fun or mean business on this jungle planet. I liked the Zygons’ taking on the form of humans and could visualise the familiar James Acheson design and hear the throaty whispery voices from the TV story.
Tom Baker is superb as the Doctor in this audio. I’ve enjoyed how much Tom enthuses throughout this story as well as for the other audios. He’s clearly getting in these audios nowadays and never tires of them. I like how he remembers working on the TV story with the Zygons in this audio drama.
The Doctor is sorting out something that he thought he dealt with back on Earth in ‘Terror of the Zygons’. I liked it when he and Leela discover the Zygons and their Skarasen creatures in the jungles and when they tried to persuade the Zygon Mina to not go ahead with their plans to conquer Earth.
Louise Jameson is equally superb as Leela in this adventure. Leela feels right at home when she and the Doctor visit Garros as this is a jungle planet and it was where she came from and how she became a huntress. I enjoyed it when Leela mispronounces the Zygons as ‘Zy-igons’ with the Doctor.
I liked it when Leela defends the Doctor when he’s being threatened by Gregor Saraton or Mina Challis. The Doctor disapproves of her using her knife, but she is very loyal to him. I wished Leela had a chance to fight the Zygons in the tale as that would have been interesting and exciting to listen to.
Michael Maloney guest stars as Gregor Saraton. I’ve seen Michael in an episode of ‘Monarch of the Glen’ and he’s done a number of Big Finish audios for ‘Doctor Who’ including the eighth ‘Destiny of the Doctor’ story ‘Enemy Aliens’. It was great to listen to him in this story with the Doctor and Leela.
Gregor is in charge of the party of solar knights that come to Garros. He’s all for game-hunting and killing ferocious beasts with his knights. He is immediately suspicious of the Doctor and Leela and doesn’t like them a lot. He once had a relationship with Mina Challis but it all goes pear-shaped here.
Gillian Kearney guest stars as Mina Challis. Mina is a jungle speeder pilot who works with Gregor Saraton in hunting nights on Garros. It turns out that Mina is actually a Zygon, who is in command of the mission to invade the Earth. She intends to capture Saraton and to kill him for the Earth mission.
James George guest stars as Knight Commander Elunas. Elunas is a game-hunter with Saraton when they go to the planet Garros. There’s an interesting scene when Elunas questions Mina on her relationship with Saraton. He sadly gets killed rather suspiciously after falling down onto the ground.
Steven Alexander guest stars as Knight Commander Ollerie. Ollerie is another game-hunter with Saraton when they go to the planet Garros. He’s a subservient man who takes orders from Saraton, even if this means keeping the Doctor and Leela on guard or him massacring every Zygon on Garros.
Nicholas Briggs voices the Zygons in this adventure. The Zygon voices sound exactly as they did from the TV story ‘Terror of the Zygons’ and I’m pleased Nick Briggs took on the familiar John Woodnutt voice for Baragor, sounding like Broton from that TV story. Nick makes the Zygons sound authentic.
I enjoyed that last scene between the Doctor and Leela in the TARDIS when they set off for new adventures and have no idea where they’re going. It is amazing to think that the Doctor, deep down, really liked Leela and that this was never explored in the TV series due to the friction between them.
‘Zygon Hunt’ has been a great series finale to listen to with the Doctor and Leela. It was good to end the series with a Zygon story and the Doctor and Leela work well as a TARDIS team. I’m sure that are more exciting stories to listen to with the Doctor and Leela and I hope to hear more of them so soon.
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; Michael Maloney; Gillian Kearney; James George; Steven Alexander; writer/director Nicholas Briggs; etc. There is a trailer for the ‘Phillip Hinchcliffe Presents’ box set (‘The Ghosts of Gralstead’ and ‘The Devil’s Armada’) with the Fourth Doctor and Leela.
‘Zygon Hunt’ rating – 8/10
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