Big Finish has had a reorganisation of its Doctor Who main range, with each Doctor now having their own producer. In the case of the Colin Baker’s sixth Doctor, the producer is now John Ainsworth, who also directed The Lure Of The Nomad, a story written by Matthew J Elliott.
Matthew is presumably used to people spelling his name incorrectly; why else do we also have a new companion, in the form of Mathew (one T) Sharpe (with an E), played by George Sear? The story doesn’t dwell on why Mathew is in the TARDIS, and instead propels him and the Doctor headlong into a mystery – just who did send a distress call from a derelict space-hulk, now being renovated for the driven business man Eric Drazen (Matthew Holness)? Was it the multi-tentacles semi-bionic Makara? Was it the alien Willoway (Ruth Sillers), the wonderfully named Juniper Hartigan (Anna Barry), or one of the others found on this ancient relic?
As the Doctor and Mathew explore and meet those aboard the forgotten ship, there is a treat from the suddenly malevolent Makara, and the Doctor needs to make friends and push through, despite the natural resistance of those he is trying to help. It’s a story with a great set of intriguing characters, not only Willoway, but also Eric Drazen. Drazen starts as another unlikable business man but emerges as a consistent character with his own perspective on events, and history, not falling immediately in line behind the Doctor. There’s a lot of great dynamics between him and the Doctor as well as the with Mathew.
As to new companion Mathew, we eventually get his backstory explained (as far as is needed for the story), and he is a very different kind of companion to what we have had recently. A future space pilot, he is neither all-knowing nor rugged-jaw hero. Instead he is nuanced with his own identity.
Of course, there are twists, as there must always be; suffice it to say they are more than satisfying. Lure Of The Nomad is another solid Big Finish release with plenty to keep the listener gripped.