‘The Entropy Plague’ (Audio)

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‘THE ENTROPY PLAGUE’

Please feel free to comment on my review.

Return to E-Space on Apollyon

This is Nyssa of Traken’s ‘final’ adventure in ‘Doctor Who’! I’m so, so, sad!

‘The Entropy Plague‘ is the last story in the ‘Return to E-Space’ trilogy and in this Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa series, starring Peter Davison; Janet Fielding; Mark Strickson and Sarah Sutton.

This was the story I was keen to listen to from this E-Space trilogy. This is a very dark and moving story and features another emotional departure for Nyssa. I really didn’t want her to die in this story.

This is a four-part adventure by Jonathan Morris. Jonny writes well for Nyssa in these audio stories and I’m very pleased that he didn’t kill Nyssa off and that she’s still alive, albeit trapped in E-Space.

As I said, this story finishes off the series of Fifth Doctor audios with Tegan, Turlough and the older Nyssa that started in ‘Cobwebs’. There are also issues resolved in this story from ‘Prisoners of Fate’.

I’ve had the CD cover of ‘The Entropy Plague’ (as well as the first two stories in the ‘Return to E-Space’ trilogy) signed by the lovely Sarah Sutton at the ‘H-Con’ convention in Eastleigh, Hampshire in July, 2015.

The story starts in our universe where Adric Traken, Nyssa’s son, has a visit from the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough. They tell him that he isn’t going to see his mother again and they explain to him what happened.

Following from ‘Mistfall’ and ‘Equilibrium’, the Doctor, Nyssa and Turlough rescue after Tegan and soon end up on a dying world called Apollyon. Close by, there is a portal that leads out of E-Space.

On Apollyon, scientist Pallister has a machine to open up the portal to escape E-Space. But human sacrifices have to be made to keep it open. Soon the entropy plague spreads and the Sandmen rise…

This conclusion to the ‘Return to E-Space’ trilogy is different and more emotionally-driven compared to ‘Warriors’ Gate’ from ‘The E-Space Trilogy’. The gateway from that story still features in this one.

There is a unique narrative here, as the regulars narrate the four episodes each. The Doctor narrates ‘Part One’; Tegan narrates ‘Part Two’; Turlough narrates ‘Part Three’ and Nyssa narrates ‘Part Four’.

The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough narrate their story when telling Adric Traken about what happened to his mother. Nyssa narrates her story when writing a letter to Adric whilst she’s trapped in E-Space.

I liked Jonny Morris’ inspiration for this story with the Syrian refugee crisis and the Day of the Dead festival. The theme of entropy strongly resonates and connects to Nyssa who lost everything in ‘Logopolis’.

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Mark Strickson, Sarah Sutton, Janet Fielding and Peter Davison in ‘The Entropy Plague’.

I had chatted to Sarah about this trilogy at conventions before it got released. Sarah gave me hints, saying that the stories were very good and that I would need lots of tissues for ‘The Entropy Plague’.

Sarah was afraid that Nyssa would be written out and it seemed that it was going to be the final end for Nyssa. Thankfully it wasn’t and I like how Big Finish have developed Nyssa’s story in this trilogy.

I feel really sorry for Nyssa as I wanted her to be reunited with her family which wasn’t going to happen. Nyssa also loses her youth from ‘The Emerald Tiger’ and becomes old again from ‘Cobwebs’.

Nyssa’s selflessness is touched upon, as she’s never selfish and puts others before herself. She stays in E-Space to save Apollyon’s people and to give her friends the chance to escape E-Space, which was so sad.

Peter Davison’s Doctor is brilliant in this adventure, as he’s willing to stay behind in E-Space and to sacrifice his freedom for Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough to get back to their home universe. But Nyssa won’t allow it.

Janet Fielding is equally good as Tegan in this adventure. I liked the scenes Tegan shares with Nyssa that demonstrates their friendship, when they’re together in the marketplace and on the run from the Sandmen.

Mark Strickson is also good as Turlough. It was interesting that he justified his reasons for choosing Captain Branarack and his space pirates to be the sacrifices to escape E-Space and the Doctor rebukes him.

The Entropy Plague

The cast of ‘The Entropy Plague’. From left to right: John Voce, Sarah Sutton, Mark Strickson, Robert Duncan, Catherine Skinner, Chris Finney, Janet Fielding and Peter Davison.

The guest cast includes Robert Duncan as Pallister, the unscrupulous scientist; John Voce as Branarack, captain of the space pirates and Catherine Skinner as the sweet, ill-fated Cherryanne.

There are also the robots called the Sentinels, voiced by Chris Finney. They take their orders from Pallister and are operated by coal and steam when Apollyon’s power supply is limited on electricity.

The monsters are the Sandmen, also voiced by Chris Finney. These creatures are entropy in physical form when someone is infected by the entropy plague. They are terrifying when they come to kill you.

Alistair Mackenzie returns as Adric Traken from ‘Prisoners of Fate’. I was very pleased that Alistair returned to play Adric in this story. Although I was disappointed that Alistair as Adric didn’t have any scenes with her mother Nyssa.

Adric is upset and angry when the Doctor tells him that he isn’t going to see his mother again. Who could blame him? It was so upsetting when Adric tells the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough to leave him alone at the end.

I liked Nyssa’s soliloquy at the end when she’s writing a letter and saying goodbye to her son Adric; her daughter Neeka and to the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough. It was very sweet, touching and moving.

I can’t accept this is the end of Nyssa. I’m positive that the older Nyssa will return and she can still escape from E-Space. I’ve sent an idea to Big Finish that Alistair Mackenzie should return as Adric Traken to rescue Nyssa.

Return to E-Space

‘The Entropy Plague’ has been an emotional rollercoaster to end the ‘Return to E-Space’ trilogy and this series of stories with the Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and Nyssa. I’ve greatly enjoyed these stories.

The CD extras are as follows. At the end of Disc 1, there is a suite of incidental music to enjoy. On Disc 2, there is a trailer for ‘The Defectors’ with Sylvester McCoy and Katy Manning. There are also behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew, including Peter Davison; Sarah Sutton; Janet Fielding; Mark Strickson; etc.

If you subscribe to Big Finish for ‘The Entropy Plague’ via a 6 or 12 CD/Download subscription, you’ll get the following extras. There is a PDF script and extended extras of ‘The Entropy Plague’. There’s also a bonus Short Trip audio called ‘String Theory’ with the Fourth Doctor; read by Stephen Critchlow.

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Mark Strickson, Sarah Sutton, Peter Davison and Janet Fielding in ‘The Entropy Plague’.

While I have your attention, I want to give a big thank you to Sarah Sutton who I love as Nyssa of Traken. I’ve said this before, but Sarah as Nyssa is truly my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ companion. I would never have believed, years ago, in my wildest dreams that I would be meeting Sarah at conventions.

Sarah is truly a lovely person and I’ve been so blessed to meet her at conventions and call her my friend. I’ve done an interview with Sarah which I’ve posted via YouTube and on my blog. I’ll never forget the happy times that I’ve seen Sarah and hope to continue meeting her and enjoy her as Nyssa in ‘Doctor Who’.

‘The Entropy Plague’ rating – 9/10


The previous story

For the Fifth Doctor was

For Tegan was

For Turlough was

For Nyssa was

The next story

For the Fifth Doctor is

  • ‘The King’s Demons’ (TV)

For Tegan is

  • ‘The King’s Demons’ (TV)

For Turlough is

  • ‘The King’s Demons’ (TV)
Return to The Nyssa Challenge
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4 thoughts on “‘The Entropy Plague’ (Audio)

  1. Emotional superbly written review Tim, this story is a emotional rollercoaster isn’t it, Sarah pours everything her performance here & the final result is heartbreaking, courageous & selfless.

    Jonathan Morris total gets Nyssa’s character & writes her magnificently & this was a emotional goodbye but i don’t think it’s the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Simon.

    Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘The Entropy Plague’ and very pleased you found it emotional and superbly written.

    I was pretty devastated to hear how Nyssa’s ‘final’ end in this series of ‘Doctor Who’ came about. I enjoyed Sarah Sutton’s performance in this story and could feel emotionally engaged when listening to how Nyssa self-sacrificed herself to let the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough escape E-Space, even though she’s been robbed of her family and everything. I didn’t want that to happen and hoped that ‘there was another way’. It made for good drama and enabled to care for Nyssa in those moments.

    I like how Jonny Morris writes for Nyssa in ‘Doctor Who’, even though he did rob her of her happiness in ‘Prisoners of Fate’ and ‘The Entropy Plague’. I’m willing to defy the laws of time and psychics and get Nyssa back from E-Space to be reunited with her family.

    I can’t accept that this is the final end for Nyssa in ‘Doctor Who’. All she needs is more hermogenite to rejuvenate herself and she’ll be fine. 😀 I’m pleased you don’t think this is the end for Nyssa. Many fans seem to think that the older Nyssa can’t come back and that this is the final end for her in E-Space. But I honestly can’t accept that and am thinking of ways to bring the older Nyssa back into ‘Doctor Who’. I’ve got ideas already for bringing Nyssa back with Billy Walker and the Tenth Doctor someday! 😀

    By the way, I highly recommend reading the latest ‘Doctor Who’ stories with the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy including ‘The Austen Code’, ‘Junglos 4198’ and ‘Chieftain’s Caves’! They’re definitely worth-reading! Also writing a brand-new story for the Fifth Doctor series to be released later in the year. Stay tuned!

    Thanks for your comments, Simon. Glad you’ve enjoyed my latest reviews on the Nyssa stories in ‘Doctor Who’.

    Tim. 🙂

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  3. Thanks for your great reviews Tim. I also hope older Nyssa can have another adventure in E space , perhaps she could meet another incarnation of the doctor who is passing through and help him on an adventure.
    We can still look forward to plenty of younger Nyssa adventures I’m sure now that Matthew is reprising his role as Adric in the main range.
    Thanks again for your efforts Tim and I look forward to the bonus next week.
    All the best
    Glynn.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Glynn.

    Thanks for your kind comments.

    Very pleased you’ve enjoyed my ‘Doctor Who’ reviews in ‘The Nyssa Challenge’. I’m pleased you also like older Nyssa to return. It would be interesting to find out what Nyssa’s been up to in E-Space and have her meet another incarnation of the Doctor again. I’m looking forward to ‘A Heart on Both Sides’ where Nyssa meets the Eighth Doctor in the Time War.

    Yes there’s still more Nyssa adventures to enjoy with her, Five, Tegan and Adric. I’m hoping more stories with that TARDIS team will be made for next year. I’m looking forward to reviewing the audio of ‘Cold Fusion’, ‘The Star Men’, ‘The Contingency Club’, ‘Zaltys’ and ‘Alien Heart’/’Dalek Soul’ to add to my ‘Nyssa Challenge’ as they’re next on my list.

    Very pleased you’re looking forward to the bonus story of ‘The Nyssa Challenge’ next week. I hope you’ll enjoy it. Stay tuned.

    Glad you’ve enjoyed my efforts in reviewing the Nyssa stories for my blog. Hopefully more will come soon.

    Many thanks, Glynn.

    Tim. 🙂

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