Wednesday, 16 April 2014


The Master, Leela centered, kinda-sequel to The Face of Evil? What more could you ask for?
Nicholas Briggs is famous for doing the voices of the Daleks and most of his stories are Dalek-based. The Evil One is the regular oddball in that it features a twist – this time Briggs is writing for the Master.

Since this is a Fourth Doctor adventure, it’s the Geoffrey Beevers incarnation. That’s fine. Personally, I love Beevers’ incarnation. His voice is just the most sinister and evil of the Master lot. The Master is taken back to true classic era. His scheme reminds you slightly of The Deadly Assassin and less of The Keeper of Traken, which isn’t necessarily new, but a refreshing breath of air.

But the true star of this story is of course Leela. As mentioned, this is a character piece with her past used as the groundwork. The whole third season of the Fourth Doctor Adventures have felt like a huge step in evolving Leela, something that wasn’t around back in the 70s. What’s more extraordinary is that even with all the development that she goes through here, it never feels as though Leela is transforming into a completely different character. From start to finish, it’s Leela as we know it, but with huge amounts of backstory and evolution making up the middle. This is where the reference to this story being a sequel comes in. It features references to Xoanon and The Evil One. We are shown flashbacks of Leela’s father and the trial that cost him his life, but I can’t say more without spoiling it. Accept that it is good.

Now running parallel to this development is the Doctor and his investigation abroad a spaceship. The format is base-under-siege. Not something that common for the Fourth Doctor, plus the Doctor’s ‘guide’ for this story Calvert is really fun to listen to. So fun in fact that I wouldn’t mind an upgrade to companion status. Michael Keating plays Calvert just right and never does the character seem dull or uninteresting. More Calvert please! Please Nick!

As usual, this story is not without its faults. One such fault is the alien invaders. It feels really cliche that these particular insects were selected and it feels a little watered down as so many Big Finish stories use these creatures as enemies. Another thing that makes itself noticeable is the feeling that Nick Briggs is not used to writing this kind of story. It pops up from time to time that he is more used to writing for the Daleks, which is to be expected. Every villain has their own particular story style and the Master is the same. Thankfully this ‘presence’ is very light and hardly grabs your attention.

Rating this story: 8/10. Any story with the Geoffrey Beevers as the Master is bound to be great. Team him up with Nick Briggs and we’re looking at universe exploding awesomeness. Bring on more Beevers!

Catch up on the other spoiler-free Fourth Doctor Adventure reviews with:

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