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The Ninth Doctor Adventures: Travel In Hope audio review

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In his tenth box set on audio, Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor relishes his adventures as he endeavours to Travel in Hope

This trio of tales involves a haunted teleport relay, a spaceship depot murder mystery and the first steps of an old friend’s galactic career.

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Below There

This story takes inspiration from Charles Dickens’ ‘The Signal-Man’, relocating the action to a remote teleport node in deep space. With its lone operator Vyx Leeson, who is eighteen months into a five-year posting, potentially cracking up, she makes contact with a passing Doctor.

Lauren Mooney and Stewart Pringle’s tale unfolds with a strong mix of horror and humour. There’s an understated political dimension too, as well as plenty of creeping tension.

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Of course, teleport networks aren’t new to Doctor Who and the story references the T-Mat from ‘The Seeds of Death’. However, it imagines the system’s expansion as humanity spreads across the stars, able to transport people as well as goods.

Christopher Eccleston is on characteristically buoyant form throughout, but guest star Kelly Adams (Hustle) arguably leads the story here. She gives a terrific, multi-faceted performance as Vyx, who is trapped in her situation and losing hope while seeing portents of doom. This is Kelly Adams’ Big Finish debut, but hopefully the first of many appearances.

The Butler Did It

James Moran’s story brings an amusingly knowing take on an Agatha Christie style murder mystery. Visiting a spaceship depot to make TARDIS repairs, the Doctor relishes a chance to turn detective when an old friend is poisoned.

Lifting the lid on a futuristic workplace, the Doctor and his swiftly recruited assistant Myra (Emma Swan), interview the suspects. They are all big personalities, and it is a combative affair, but his Murder She Wrote logic does eventually bear fruit.

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The rest of the guest cast pull double duties here, populating the depot with both human and alien suspects. Moran’s wit keeps the story moving, even if most of the characters are pretty unappealing, and there’s a warm-hearted conclusion after all the argumentative action is over.


The final tale offers intergalactic political intrigue, by way of an origin story for the classic alien character. We meet the newly elected Alpha Centauri when the Doctor recruits them to save the future of the Galactic Federation.

Together, the pair fend off moves made by the ruthless wannabe demagogue Bellatrix Vega to take the Presidency by blackmail and murder. While the villain does not hide in the shadows, our heroes do have a mysterious accomplice. However, in a limited cast, their identity hardly seemed worth the effort of disguising.

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Eccleston’s Doctor has fun here pulling the strings, as Alpha movies from rookie Senator to Presidential candidate, and takes to calling them “AC”. Jane Goddard reprises her Alpha, as she did for 2022’s Peladon, and we hear the helium-voiced hexapod grow in confidence. As the villain, Jane Asher is clearly having a ball while paired with the David Langham as the manipulative Kramp.

Writer Rob Valentine spins an engaging tale about the dangers of populism and the fragility of democracy. In truth, the perils of galactic politics are not so far from our own world’s problems. On the way, he manages to sprinkle in a few pleasing name-drops to the wider Doctor Who universe. Also, to avoid skewing continuity, the Doctor simply fails to disclose his identity while posing as Alpha’s senatorial aide.

In Summary

While the last set focussed on some of Christopher Eccleston’s personal passions, Travel In Hope takes his Doctor out into the universe. With much of his onscreen tenure remaining Earthbound, it’s great to hear the Ninth Doctor meeting alien races. Naturally Daleks are off the menu, but he’s encountered the show’s other major villains – the Sontarans, the Cybermen and now an Ice Warrior a Martian too.

From spooky to comedic, all three stories are brought to life with engaging direction from Helen Goldwyn. It’s great to have a set which showcases this Doctor’s lighter side. More please!

Four Stars

Doctor Who – The Ninth Doctor Adventures: Travel in Hope is out now on Collector’s Edition CD (+ download) and digital download from Big Finish.

Once and Future

While there are two more three-story boxsets coming for the Ninth Doctor, he’s next to be heard in the Big Finish Doctor Who 60th anniversary series Once and Future.

Christopher Eccleston and the late David Warner lead the cast of ‘Time Lord Immemorial’, released in October 2023.