‘PRISON IN SPACE’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Prison with the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe
I found ‘The Second Doctor Box Set’ very enjoyable!
This ‘Doctor Who’ CD box set is from ‘The Lost Stories’ range of Big Finish audios. It is spread across four CDs and it contains two stories and a bonus features disc. I wouldn’t normally purchase Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’ set during the First and Second Doctor eras, but this greatly perked my interest.
The main story of this box set is ‘Prison In Space’, a Second Doctor story that was originally meant to be in the TV series. It has now been turned into an audio drama by Big Finish. This is a four-part story on Discs 1 and 2. It stars Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury who narrate and perform as Jamie and Zoe.
There is also a bonus story called ‘The Daleks: The Destroyers’. It’s an unaired TV pilot episode for an American spin-off series with the Daleks. It is a 70-minute episode on Disc 3 and stars Jean Marsh as Sara Kingdom. I found this odd as surely this episode should be featured for ‘The First Doctor Box Set’.
I’ve had ‘The Second Doctor Box Set’ signed by Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury at the ‘Regenerations 2016’ convention in Swansea, September 2016. I’ve also had it signed by writer Simon Guerrier at ‘Big Finish Day 6’ in Slough, January 2015. I did enjoy ‘Prison In Space’ more than I enjoyed ‘The Destroyers’.
I love ‘Prison In Space’! I enjoyed it so much and it’s such a shame that this story never got made for TV. It contains a gripping plot and it is so wonderfully performed by Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury.
This story has a long history. In 1968, producer Peter Bryant and script editor Derrick Sherwin commissioned Dick Sharples to write a light-hearted adventure for the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe.
Dick came up with a four-part story about a futuristic Earth that featured a woman-dominated society. Sadly, Dick Sharples’ scripts didn’t make it to TV. It was replaced with ‘The Krotons’ by Robert Holmes.
Many years later, Frazer Hines discovered the scripts for ‘Prison In Space’ in his garage. He contacted Big Finish about turning ‘Prison In Space’ into an audio adventure in the brand-new ‘Lost Stories’ range.
Big Finish said “Yes!” and Simon Guerrier was chosen to adapt Dick Sharples’ TV scripts into audio. Simon was chosen because of his experience writing for ‘The Companion Chronicles’ range by Big Finish.
Simon manages to keep the action, the drama and the comedy flowing very easily in ‘Prison In Space’. He keeps the dialogue of the Doctor, Jamie, Zoe and Chairman Babs intact while providing narration.
I first met Simon at the ‘Big Blue Box 2’ convention in Tunbridge Wells in 2013 before ‘Big Finish Day 6’ in 2015. It was very interesting to hear him talk about adapting Dick Sharples’ TV scripts into audio.
The story is narrated by Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury in a ‘Companion Chronicles’ style. The narrators aren’t Jamie and Zoe. It’s told in the third person and Frazer and Wendy share the narration.
I’ve met Frazer and Wendy at conventions. They’re lovely people and I’m happy to have met both of them. They clearly enjoyed doing this Lost Story together since they were denied doing it back in 1968.
The story about a woman-dominated society overthrowing men sounds very 1960s. But I found it a really funny story and quite a frightening idea to imagine what it’d be like if women took on full control.
The woman-dominated society in this story seems to regard men as inferior. Not that I would deny women taking charge, but the idea of just women and not having men for companionship is very scary.
Frazer Hines not only plays Jamie in this adventure, but also the Doctor. This was the first time I heard Frazer as Patrick Troughton’s Doctor and I was easily impressed since Frazer sounds exactly like Patrick.
Frazer is equally good as Jamie. I really enjoyed it when Jamie and Zoe gently tease the Doctor over his wonder of space. Jamie spends time with the Doctor since they’re both sent to the ‘prison in space’.
Wendy Padbury is equally good as Zoe. Zoe gets separated from the Doctor and Jamie since she’s taken away to be ‘re-educated’. Zoe resists at first, but gets horribly brainwashed which is frightening.
Susan Brown guest stars the villainous Chairman Babs. Chairman Babs is a crooked lady who has changed the political system, putting women in charge. She fancies the Doctor, which I found so funny.
The comedy moments are very good. I found the scenes funny where the Doctor; Jamie and Zoe have their picnic. Also when Chairman Babs chases the Doctor before he runs into the TARDIS by the climax.
‘Prison In Space’ is a great comedy romp that I’ve enjoyed. It’s wonderfully narrated and performed by Frazer and Wendy. This audio tale has become one of my favourites. It’s a shame it’s not a TV story.
Disc 4 of ‘The Second Doctor Box Set’ contains an hour’s worth of bonus features including behind-the-scenes interviews on the making of ‘Prison In Space’ and ‘The Destroyers’. The bonus features are divided into three sections. The first two are on ‘Prison In Space’ whilst the third is on ‘The Destroyers’.
The first section is a conversation between producer David Richardson and writer Simon Guerrier. They talk about the adaptation process of Dick Sharples’ original TV scripts for ‘Prison in Space’ into audio. I enjoyed this section. It details what was changed from the original TV scripts for TV into audio.
The second section is where producer David Richardson interviews Frazer Hines, Wendy Padbury, Susan Brown, director Lisa Bowerman and writer Simon Guerrier. I really liked this section. I especially enjoyed the camaraderie between the actors and how they enjoyed revisiting ‘Prison In Space’ itself.
At the end of Disc 4, there’s a trailer for the lost Season 27 of ‘Doctor Who’ with Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, most specifically on ‘Crime of the Century’ instead of ‘Thin Ice’ for some strange reason.
‘The Second Doctor Box Set’ has been a pretty enjoyable listening experience for me. Whilst ‘The Daleks: The Destroyers’ didn’t rate highly for me, ‘Prison in Space’ was a worth a listen with Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury as the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the tales in this box set.
‘Prison In Space’ rating – 9/10
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