‘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.
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’.
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 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.
‘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.
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
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