Doctor Who Review: Colditz (2001)


Doctor: Seventh (Sylvester McCoy)
Companion: Ace (Sophie Aldred)
Written by: Steve Lyons
Released: October 2001
Release Number: 25

Need to Know:
This story takes place after some of the previous Seventh Doctor adventures at Big Finish, but you don’t need to have listened to them to enjoy this audio.

The character of Elizabeth Klein, played by Tracey Childs, became a fan-favorite and returned in a trilogy of Seventh Doctor stories many years later.

Colditz also co-stars David Tennant as one of the Nazi soldiers. Tennant would go on to play the Tenth Doctor on TV when the series returned.

On to the review!

This is one of my favorite of the earlier Big Finish stories (early is relative, I know). It’s a great yarn, featuring the Doctor and Ace trapped in WWII behind enemy lines in Colditz Castle. I love that it gives both Ace and the Doctor very different things to do in the story. The Doctor gets stuck in a thriller involving time-travel, alternate futures, and mad scientists, while Ace deals with a much more human story, working with captured British prisoners in an attempt to escape from Colditz.

I didn’t realize until I started writing this review that it’s also a story that doesn’t feature an alien menace. In fact, the only alien in the story is the Doctor himself. It’s not a pure historical, obviously, but it’s the closest I’ve seen since the Fifth Doctor era of the TV series.

I like that it’s a story about time-travel where we don’t get to see a lot of the travel itself. Klein, a Nazi from an alternate future, is the core character of this side of the story. I can definitely see why they brought her back for later adventures, and, having heard those, she’s easily one of the more interesting additions to Doctor Who canon that Big Finish has made.

The other characters, be they British prisoners, sympathetic Germans, or scheming and slimy Nazis, are all fully developed and interesting. I listened to this story over a few days during my daily commute and never got lost when I pressed ‘play,’ even when picking up in the middle of an episode. It’s really a testament to the quality of this adventure.

Should I Buy It?
As you can tell from my review, I thought that Colditz was pretty terrific. It’s a definite must for fans of the series and newcomers alike.

I give it five daring prison escapes out of five.



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