‘Prisoners of the Lake’ (Audio)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Dastrons and Pennard with the Third Doctor, Jo and Mike Yates

Welcome back to the Third Doctor era of ‘Doctor Who’!

I’ve been wary about hearing ‘The Third Doctor Adventures’ of ‘Doctor Who’ by Big Finish. I didn’t want to hear a set of Third Doctor adventures with another actor playing the Third Doctor. It didn’t feel right to cast another actor to play Jon Pertwee’s role. I was okay about Katy Manning doing it. 😀

But after hearing good things about ‘The Third Doctor Adventures’ from fans and hearing Tim Treloar as the Third Doctor in ‘The Legacy of Time’, I became keen to find out more about these stories. Via the ‘Doctor Who Returns’ sale, I purchased Volume 1 of ‘The Third Doctor Adventures’. 🙂

That was when Series 12 of ‘Doctor Who’ was happening in early 2020. Tim Treloar has played the Third Doctor before in the 50th anniversary adventure by Big Finish called ‘The Light At The End’. He was quite good in that. I was looking forward to hear Tim Treloar as the Third Doctor in full galore. 😀

There are two stories featured in Volume 1 of ‘The Third Doctor Adventures’. There’s ‘Prisoners of the Lake’ and ‘The Havoc of Empires’. ‘The Third Doctor Adventures’ Volume 1 CD box set is a 5-disc set. ‘Prisoners of the Lake’ is found on Discs 1 and 2 whilst ‘The Havoc of Empires’ is on Discs 3 and 4.

Disc 5 of the box set features a behind-the-scenes documentary on the making of the first volume of ‘The Third Doctor Adventures’. I was looking forward to finding out what these Third Doctor audio stories were like, featuring Tim Treloar as the Doctor along with Katy Manning and Richard Franklin.

Richard Franklin, Tim Treloar and Katy Manning in ‘Prisoners of the Lake’.

The first story of the set, ‘Prisoners of the Lake’ is a four-part adventure by Justin Richards. Justin is no stranger to ‘Doctor Who’. He’s edited and penned so many books as well as penned many audios.

I found ‘Prisoners of the Lake’ to be a very good audio adventure in the first ‘Third Doctor Adventures’ set. It has the atmosphere of the Third Doctor with being earthbound and having aliens.

The story takes place at an archaeological site deep below Dunstanton Lake. Mike Yates investigates the disappearance of some artefacts from that site. It’s hardly a job for U.N.I.T., but it’s best to check.

It becomes interesting when an ancient structure is buried deep underwater. It happens to be an alien spaceship. The Doctor and Jo are called in to investigate where they learn secrets hidden there.

Incidentally, ‘The Third Doctor Adventures’ aren’t what you would call full-cast audio dramas. They’re like ‘The Early Adventures’ where someone narrates the story with the rest being a full-cast.

Tim Treloar is the narrator for these ‘Third Doctor Adventures’. He’s very good providing the narration, especially as his Welsh tones come into play. 😀 He’s also very good as the Third Doctor. 🙂

Yeah, there were times when I thought Jon Pertwee was speaking. Tim Treloar’s voice for Jon Pertwee captures the essence of the Third Doctor and I could easily visualise him during the story. 🙂

It was gripping to hear the Doctor being curious about what’s going with the spaceship underwater. He does all he can to be the negotiator with the Dastrons and is a good fighter with Venusian aikido.

Katy Manning was a delight to hear in this audio adventure. She bounces off Tim Treloar’s Third Doctor very well. The chemistry between Jo and the Third Doctor is still there to be heard and loved.

I could easily visualise Jo’s youthful presence when she and the Doctor are curious about what’s going on at Dunstanton Lake. She’s also pretty willing to accompany the Doctor, despite the dangers.

It was great to hear Richard Franklin as Mike Yates in the tale. Mike does take on the Brigadier role for this tale with the Brigadier not being in it (more later). He also becomes a nice ally for the Doctor.

In the second half of the story, Mike and the Doctor share a lot of scenes together. This is especially when they’re trying to get out of a spaceship that’s about to flood as well as deal with nasty Dastrons.

Like I said, the Brigadier doesn’t appear in this story much. His scenes are mostly told through narration. At the time, the Brigadier was not played by anyone due to Nick Courtney’s passing away.

The story features special guest star Caroline Seymour as Freda Mattingly. Caroline has done a fair amount of Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’ as well as this and has appeared in some ‘Star Trek’ episodes.

Freda Mattingly is the lead archaeologist at the dig site for Dunstanton Lake. She’s pretty friendly and a good ally to the Doctor and Jo. She shares quite a number of scenes with Jo during ‘Part Two’.

The cast also includes Robbie Stevens who plays a majority of parts. They include Johnny Repford, Director Pennard (who’s a villain), one of the statue robots aboard the spaceship and the Prosecutor.

There’s also John Banks who plays the Chief Dastron, Lieutenant Macintyre of U.N.I.T.; a U.N.I.T. operative; and an archaeologist. John Banks is quite a Big Finish veteran in these ‘Doctor Who’ tales.

The Dastrons featured in this story are condemned criminals who are on their way to be taken to trial. The spaceship they were on crash-landed to Earth many centuries ago. It wasn’t heard of since.

It was quite tense towards the end of the story when the Dastrons refused to accept the Doctor’s help and when the Doctor and Mike were drowning underwater. Thankfully Jo and the others came.

I like that last scene where the Doctor, Jo and Mike along with Fred, Johnny Repford and Lt. Macintyre are all reunited with a cup of tea and such. It was nice to close the tale on a positive note.

The cast and crew of ‘Prisoners of the Lake’. From left to right: writer Justin Richards, Robbie Stevens, Richard Franklin, Tim Treloar, director Nicholas Briggs, Katy Manning and John Banks.

‘Prisoners of the Lake’ was a satisfying audio to listen to. It was quite action-packed, well-paced and it has lovely performances from the cast including Tim Treloar, Katy Manning and Richard Franklin. 🙂

‘Prisoners of the Lake’ rating – 8/10

The previous story

For the Third Doctor was

For Jo was

For the Brigadier was

For Mike Yates was

The next story

For the Third Doctor is

  • ‘Storm of the Horofax’ (Audio)

For Jo is

  • ‘Storm of the Horofax’ (Audio)

For the Brigadier is

  • ‘Verdigris’ (Book)

For Mike Yates is

  • ‘Verdigris’ (Book)
Return to The Third Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Jo’s Timeline
Return to The Brigadier’s Timeline
Return to Mike Yates’ Timeline
Return to The Doctors’ Timelines Index
Return to The Companions’ Timelines Index
Return to Doctor Who Timelines
Return to Doctor Who
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2 thoughts on “‘Prisoners of the Lake’ (Audio)

  1. Timelord 007

    Thankfully these audio dramas became full cast audio dramas i recall fans didn’t like the narrative which is why it was removed for volume 2 onwards.

    Excellent review Tim, yeah Justin Richards certainly captures the era of the Third Doctor while Tim Treloar embodies the spirit of the late great Jon Pertwee & honours his legacy.

    I’m a big fan of the Third Doctor era & i was unsure if this was going to work but upon listening to this first volume i was pleased by what Big Finish delivered & been big fan of this range ever since.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Very pleased you enjoyed my review on ‘Prisoners of the Lake’.

      Ah, now that’s interesting. I’ve not heard Volume 2 of ‘The Third Doctor Adventures’ yet, but it’s interesting you said they removed the narration from Volume 2 onwards. I look forward to checking out more ‘Third Doctor Adventures’ when the time comes.

      Very pleased you enjoyed Justin Richards’ writing for this story and that he captured the era of Jon Pertwee’s era of ‘Doctor Who’. I could easily visualise Jon Pertwee’s Doctor in these stories whilst he was voiced by Tim Treloar. Glad you find he embodies the spirit of the late Jon Pertwee. He certainly interacted well with Katy Manning and Richard Franklin in these audios.

      I’m pleased you’re a fan of ‘The Third Doctor Adventures’ by Big Finish. They certainly have caught on and I’m glad there’s something for Third Doctor era fans to look forward to when it comes to having a CD box set each year from this Big Finish audio range.

      Many thanks for your kind comments, Simon.

      Tim. 🙂



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