Doctor: Colin Baker
Companion: Frobisher (Robert Jezek)
Written by: Robert Shearman
Released: November 2000
Release Number: 14
(Image links to Big Finish site.)
Need to Know:
This story is one of Big Finish’s “Side Step” stories, featuring a character who already existed in non-TV Doctor Who media. This story features Frobisher, a shape-shifting penguin, who previously featured in the Sixth Doctor comic strips. As you can imagine, his metamorphic skills don’t really come into play too much in audio.
The rest of the review is after the jump…
This story was a lot of fun. It starts with a great, comical Douglas Adams kind of vibe. We learn about the strange goings on of a planet’s culture in a hilarious and dynamic way as we also get some fun side-gags in the TARDIS with Frobisher makes the Doctor’s ship angry. When the TARDIS goes on strike, the Doctor and Frobisher find themselves trapped, where else but, on the planet we’ve been spending some time learning about.
Like I said, lots of fun, but then the story takes an unexpected and really dark turn. Best I can relate it to, in terms of Doctor Who eras, is that it starts zany Douglas Adams (as mentioned) and ends with the darkest of the Russell T. Davies dark times. By which I mean that it was dark, but made you kind of scratch your head at where the twist came from.
Colin Baker is great as always. Audio is where the Sixth Doctor shines, honestly. Funny when he needs to be, angry when he needs to be, AND they fit in a joke about his crazy coat. Love it.
New-to-audio-companion Frobisher is brought to life by the fun, wannabe-Bogart-as-Sam-Spade impression of Robert Jezek. Makes me wish for a few more adventures between this pair. Fingers crossed.
Should You Pick It Up?
Wait for one of Big Finish’s specials and pick it up for a fiver when you get the chance. Otherwise? Not so much.
I give it 3 out of 5 short-beaked Frobisher statues.