With the third boxset in this range, Big Finish is now delivering entirely authentic third Doctor stories hitting the mark in every respect, and Tim Treloar has now mastered Jon Pertwee almost entirely. This set has two stories: The Conquest of Far by Dalek voicing director Nick Briggs, and Storm of the Horofax by Andrew Smith. Both also bring Katy Manning as Jo Grant.
The Conquest of Far is a direct sequel to the TV story Planet of the Daleks, and starts immediately after. It’s a large screen production, with vast fleets, hordes of Daleks, betrayals, slaves and all the other tropes of Dalek stories. It’s not, though, in any way lazy, instead it reflects Terry Nation’s approach to his creation, and moves at pace. It’s very much third Doctor as action hero, but there’s plenty for both him and Jo to do as they work to free the planet Far from Dalek occupation. Nick Brigg’s direction helps the talented cast (including John Banks, George Watkins and Amy Newton) deliver strong performances.
If the first story was epic in scale, Andrew Smith’s Storm of the Horofax brings matters very much back to Earth, and a heady mix of UNIT and Royal Navy personnel encounter a woman from the future, Arianda (played by Robin Weaver). Of course, there’s more to than appears on the surface, and Andrew mixes in some of the elements of a more modern story in terms of the use of time travel, but not so far as to dilute the core elements of the third Doctor’s era. The action covers the North Sea and the Home Counties, where Jo must recruit the help of local forest warden Adam Rigg (Iain Batchelor) and convince him of the existence of an alien threat.
There are some emotional moments, and plenty of action in a story set firmly in the 1970s. The sound and music are also very good, with Jamie Robertson’s music matching the sound work of David Nagel and Joe Meiners to help create a pair of stories that leave fans wanting more. The good news – there will be (at least) another set of stories in this range to look forward to.
EXTRAS: A disc of behind the scenes interviews