‘THE MINDS OF MAGNOX’ (TLV)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Visiting Magnox with the Tenth Doctor and Brain the Ood
How many adventures have the Tenth Doctor and Brain had during ‘Time Lord Victorious’?
This is BBC Audio’s contribution to the ‘TLV’ series of ‘Doctor Who’! I listened to this 1 hour 13 minute audio adventure as a download via Audible. I greatly enjoyed ‘The Minds of Magnox’ and it’s very intriguing how this tale sort-of continues the Tenth Doctor’s endeavours during his ‘TLV’ period.
‘The Minds of Magnox’ is an audio adventure by Darren Jones. Darren has contributed a number of ‘Doctor Who’ stories for BBC Audio over the years like ‘The Eye of the Jungle’, ‘Sleepers in the Dust’ and ‘Paradise Lost’ with the Eleventh Doctor and ‘Rhythm of Destruction’ with the Twelfth Doctor. 🙂
The first time I came across Darren Jones was when he wrote ‘Death’s Deal’, the tenth story in the ‘Destiny of the Doctor’ audio series by Big Finish and AudioGo with the Tenth Doctor and Donna. He has also penned the Big Finish audio ‘Cry of the Vultriss’ with the Sixth Doctor, Constance and Flip. 😀
It’s amazing how he gets to write a story for the ‘TLV’ series. Mind you, Darren Jones is a pretty good ‘Doctor Who’ writer. After hearing his efforts in ‘Death’s Deal’ and ‘Cry of the Vultriss’, I knew I was going to enjoy ‘The Minds of Magnox’ and his take on handling the Tenth Doctor’s journey in ‘TLV’. 🙂
This audio adventure is also read and performed by Jacob Dudman. Jacob has contributed significantly in many ‘Doctor Who’ audios, including for Big Finish like ‘The Doctor Chronicles’. He’s been the voices of the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors in the audio adventures of that range. 😀
I’m pleased Jacob read ‘The Minds of Magnox’ as I knew he would do a convincing Tenth Doctor after hearing him voice David Tennant’s Doctor in certain audio stories. I was also looking forward to how he would voice Brain the Ood and whether he would match to the chilling tones of Silas Carson.
In ‘The Minds of Magnox’, the Tenth Doctor travels with Brain the Ood to the titular planet itself. Magnox happens to be one of the greatest receptacles of knowledge that the universe will ever know. The Doctor hopes to ask a vital question when he enquires at the great receptacle of Magnox.
But the answer he’s expected to receive requires a Grade 1 Classified access. Something which the Doctor has to strive to obtain! In order to gain an audience with the Minds of Magnox, the Doctor must take a dangerous test? Is the Doctor smart enough and will he like the answer to his question?
Whilst that’s going on, Brain becomes involved with the criminal fraternity of Magnox and gets given a job. This is due to him being an assassin and all. The job he’s given is to assassinate the Minds of Magnox. However, it seems that another species has the planet in their sights? Who could they be?!
Just to say, as well as liking Jacob Dudman’s voice for David Tennant’s Doctor, I also enjoyed the voice he gives for Brain the Ood. Yes, the voice sounds distorted when he speaks, but it was easily to visualise Brian the Ood when he spoke and Jacob is able to deliver the soothing tones of the Ood voice.
When I heard this audio adventure, I initially assumed it took place after the events of ‘All Flesh is Grass’. I assumed the Doctor and Brain were clearing up the mess made from when the Tenth Doctor was the Time Lord Victorious. An easy mistake to make in trying to tie up everything in ‘TLV’!
But no! It turns out this audio adventure takes place during the events of ‘All Flesh is Grass’. I wouldn’t have been able to pick that up, especially after reading the story on my Kindle app itself. Mind you, I don’t think it needs too much worrying about and this is meant to be a standalone story.
It has been intriguing to follow Brain’s journey in ‘TLV’. In chronological order, he started off as an assassin in ‘He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not’. Then he became the Tenth Doctor’s ally in ‘The Knight, the Fool and the Dead’ and ‘All Flesh is Grass’. Intriguing how he’s still any ally to the Tenth Doctor here.
From hearing this story, it was a revelation when Brain shared his origins about being with the Lesser Order of Oberon. As opposed to Oricini who was a senior knight of the Grand Order of Oberon from ‘Revelation of the Daleks’. And other references to Oberon that have been featured in ‘Doctor Who’.
At this point in the adventure, the Tenth Doctor has sent the Kotturuh on the path for their destruction. It seems he’s still doing that before he returns to the main threat happening in ‘All Flesh is Grass’ with the Eighth and Ninth Doctors as well as the Daleks, the vampires, the planet Birinji, etc.
It’s fascinating how the Tenth Doctor wears the mantle of the Time Lord Victorious as he’s determined to cheat and defeat death. You wouldn’t know that from hearing this audio adventure as the Tenth Doctor sounds like his usual Tenth Doctor self as opposed to the vengeful side he obtains.
Mind you, the Tenth Doctor’s actions as well as Brian’s affect the lives of Magnox, which we will get to in a little bit. Apparently, Magnox is described as being a mash-up of Venus and Milton Keynes, especially if Milton Keynes had beat Venus in a fight on a technicality. It’s a very unusual description.
I’ve only visited Milton Keynes once back in November 2014 and that was for a comic con event. I can’t judge whether Magnox would be like a mash-up of Venus and Milton Keynes (I’ve yet to visit Venus, though I imagine it can be pretty hot there. 😀 ), but it’s an intriguing combination of the two.
Other characters featured in this story include Obble, Wim and Peschell. Obble is the Chief Bibliocrat of Magnox who’s rather dodgy when the Tenth Doctor meets him. It turns out Obble was about to overthrow the Council of Minds on Magnox and he believed them to be inefficient to run the planet.
There’s also Wim whom Brian meets and gets hired by him in an attempt to overthrow the Council of Minds in the home Chronicon. And there’s Peschell, the female Bibliocrat at the Chronicon on Magnox who is like the heart of the story when the Tenth Doctor is interacting with her throughout.
An intriguing aspect about this story is that the Tenth Doctor is travelling through the Dark Times, where Magnox is, in a mercenary spaceship powered by his TARDIS. That spaceship happens to be the Donna from ‘All Flesh is Grass’. It surprised me the Tenth Doctor was still travelling in that ship. 🙂
The main Kotturuh character in ‘The Minds of Magnox’ happens to be a male Kotturuh called Avkhan. It’s intriguing how a Kotturuh like Avkhan survived the Tenth Doctor’s poisoning of his race when declared for a death sentence. Avkhan is the spokes-Kotturuh to contact the Council of Minds.
It becomes tense when the Kotturuh came to proclaim their judgement on the planet Magnox. They threatened to wipe out Magnox if the Minds refused to answer their question on whether they could survive their death sentence by the Tenth Doctor and whether they’d be able to defeat him. 😐
In the end, Brain the Ood kills the Mind of Magnox, causing the Kotturuh to carry out their threat. The Tenth Doctor and Brain soon take Peschell back to their ship, the Donna, and eventually take her to the planet Islos. There, Peschell would later become the Oracle of Islos, which was intriguing to hear.
Islos is a planet that featured in the first episode of the ‘Daleks!’ YouTube mini-series connected to ‘TLV’. I wonder how long Peschell became the Oracle of Islos before trouble ensued once the Daleks attacked. Peschell blames the Doctor for the destruction of her people when the Kotturuh attacked.
She even refuses to accept his offer to travel with him in the Donna and eventually in time and space aboard the TARDIS, I believe. It’s such a shame that Peschell parted on bad terms. I wish though that more emotional emphasis was put into the Tenth Doctor regarding his Time Lord Victorious persona.
Thankfully, all is not lost when the Eleventh Doctor visits Peschell on the planet Islos. Yeah! Jacob Dudman also gets to play the Eleventh Doctor in the story’s coda at the end. I like how the Eleventh Doctor makes amends with Peschell before he leaves. She gradually forgives the Doctor in the end. 🙂
‘The Minds of Magnox’ has been an enjoyable BBC Audio adventure by Darren Jones for the ‘Time Lord Victorious’ series. I especially enjoyed Jacob Dudman’s narration in the adventure and his performances of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, Brian the Ood and many other characters in this. 🙂
I’m currently intrigued about where the ‘TLV’ series will go next since we’re tying up loose ends concerning the Tenth Doctor’s activities as the Time Lord Victorious during the Dark Times. Will the next few ‘TLV’ adventures be satisfying to hear? I hope so. The ‘TLV’ series has been enjoyable so far.
‘The Minds of Magnox’ (TLV) rating – 8/10
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Loved this story & with Jacob Dudman narration it felt like a full cast audio drama as Jacob has such a incredible range doing voices, his Tenth & Eleventh Doctor’s are outstanding.
Great review Tim, perfectly summed up my friend.
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on ‘The Minds of Magnox’. Jacob Dudman is very good voicing the Tenth Doctor as well as the Eleventh Doctor by the story’s end. Glad you enjoyed my review on the story.