‘Vanguard’ (Audio)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

War of the Dauntless and the Intrepid with the Seventh Doctor, Chris and Roz

The cast of ‘Vanguard’. From left to right: Olivia Morris, Travis Oliver, Jacob Dudman, Connor Calland, Yasmin Bannerman, Sara Powell and Sylvester McCoy.

After what I felt was a disappointment in ‘The Trial of a Time Machine’, I found an improvement in ‘Vanguard’ by Steve Jordan. This is Steve Jordan’s first ‘Doctor Who’ contribution through Big Finish.

Steve Jordan is a playwright, theatre director, award-winning author of short fiction and the co-founder of theatre production group Bad Bat Productions. Interesting he’s writing for ‘Doctor Who’.

I would’ve thought the first volume of ‘The Seventh Doctor: The New Adventures’ would feature writers who wrote for the ‘Virgin New Adventures’. How come Steve Jordan was chosen for this set?

Anyway, ‘Vanguard’ is a pretty enjoyable adventure where the Seventh Doctor, Chris and Roz visit a planet that was once ravaged by war. There are two peoples on the planet – Dauntless and Intrepid.

As the Seventh Doctor team begin to explore the planet, they come across titan robots that stalk the desolation of Vanguard, looking for survivors. They also aim to end the war for one side or the other.

I like how the Doctor, Chris and Roz get separated in this adventure and they have their own mini-journeys. It allows them to stand out as the main characters once they confront their own dangers. 🙂

Once again, Sylvester McCoy delivers a good performance as the Doctor. It was intriguing to hear him suffer a bad cough once infected with some war fumes. He also connects with a computer again.

Sylvester’s Doctor ends up on the side of the Intrepid and meets up with Olivia Morris as Green and Connor Calland as Blue. Sylvester’s Doctor also has to find a war to end the war over peaceful terms.

It was intriguing to hear the relationship between Green and Blue as soldiers in their war. Blue is condemning Green when she’s not obeying the rules. He’s also quite aggressive and prejudiced here.

Travis Oliver as Chris Cwej has a fascinating journey as he ends up with the villainous of the episode – Sara Powell as Contessa. At first, Chris gets easily swayed by Contessa’s charm as she saves his life.

Incidentally, Contessa is on the side of the Dauntless. She uses Chris for her own ends and tries to hide from any Intrepid robots hunting her. She soon wants to get off planet via the Doctor’s TARDIS.

But Chris discovers there’s more to Contessa than she’s letting on and finds out that she’s committing during the never-ending war. Chris suffers pain when Contessa undoes ‘repairs’ for him.

Yasmin Bannerman as Roz Forrester gets separated from the Doctor when she goes off to find Chris. She soon meets up with some robots on the side of the Intrepid and they assist her to look for Chris.

Roz soon gets a bad cough that’s similar to the Doctor’s. Not sure how she got the cough and quite frankly the issue is rather resolved quickly. I think these stories are short overstaying their welcome.

One of the robots on the Intrepid side happens to be Cannon (voiced by Jacob Dudman). Jacob Dudman is well-known voicing the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors in ‘The Doctor Chronicles’. 🙂

I didn’t realise it was him until Cannon’s name was mentioned. Quite frankly, I wish he had a better role than voicing a robot. I’m not certain who did the voices for the other robots featured in the tale.

With that said, I do like a good old fashioned ‘Doctor Who’ story with robots. It’s fun to hear when robots attack our main heroes and when certain robots assist our main heroes with evading the war.

Like I said, the Doctor manages to find a peaceful way to end the war between the two peoples on Vanguard. This does include Contessa not being killed which is what people like Blue would want.  😐

The Doctor persuades Green, Blue and Contessa to work together from now on. I wonder what’s going to happen to them robots after this. Will they end up as servants for the peoples of Vanguard?

It’s also surprising the Doctor ends the war quickly in one episode. Mind you, should I be surprised? Maybe Contessa ends up creating the Contessa II boat in that ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ episode? 😀

I enjoyed ‘Vanguard’! It was certainly easier to follow than ‘The Trial of a Time Machine’ and I enjoyed the journeys of the Seventh Doctor, Roz and Chris. Not exactly perfect, but it’s entertaining.

‘Vanguard’ rating – 8/10

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2 thoughts on “‘Vanguard’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    Great review Tim, I’d actually placed this as the first story as it’s more a traditional Doctor Who tale, tense, exciting, good characters & good old fashioned robots.

    I wonder if this story will get a sequel? Kinda reminded me of The Ark were the Doctor leaves thinking he’s done good be interesting see if there’s a follow up & things didn’t quite turn out as planned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Yeah I’d agree with you there. ‘Vanguard’ should’ve been the first story of the set since it feels very exciting and as you say is more of a traditional ‘Doctor Who’ tale. And it’s by a writer who’s new to Big Finish.

      It could do. They were talking about making sequels to these stories in the interviews for the bonus disc. I wonder if that’s what they’re planning for the second box set of these ‘Seventh Doctor: New Adventures.’ 😀

      Tim. 🙂



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