Mission to Magnus (2009)

Mission to Magnus is a story that I knew was planned for the abandoned 23rd series. I knew from the Trial of a Timelord DVD that it was to feature the return of Sil and the Ice Warriors. This story was written by Philip Martin who had written Vengeance of Varos (1984) and also Mindwarp (1986). He also wrote the Big Finish play The Creed of the Kromon (2004). The thing that you have to bear in mind is that as far as this story is concerned, The Trial of a Timelord: Mindwarp adventure hasn’t happened yet. So Vengeance on Varos is the only time in the Doctor’s timeline that he has met Sil.

The idea that the Ice Warriors want to change the climate of a planet to make it suitable for them is quite a good one to use in a story. The Ice Warriors are used very well in this story, we know that their coming and so their arrival isnt a surprise but is dramatic enough. The story has elements of Galaxy 4 where there is a race of women and in this story they want to use time travel to try and destroy men from another planet who they feel will ruin their way of life. Sil of course is quite unoriginal with his plan to travel forward in time to see what makes a profit and what doesn’t and then invest in the ones that do. What is also unoriginal is that he stops his loyalty with the Ice Warriors and turn against them.

There were some interesting plot points in this story, the male members are kept hidden and only allowed to live for recreational purposes and the rest are given a disease to keep them alive until their 20 years old which is quite grim but matches the grimness of the Colin Baker era. The boys that were used did a good and adequate job and also managed not to irritate me. Also it was quite entertaining to learn that the Doctor was bullied at the academy and it was nice when he finally stood up to him.

Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant were very good in this story. Whereas in The Nightmare Fair their relationship was more like their TV than their Big Finish one. In this story it seems to be the other way around. The one reason why I was looking forward to this story was the return of Nabil Shaban. Whilst he sounded slightly different to what he did in 1986 the laugh was still there and as silly as that might sound that is what I wanted to hear. I also thought that Malcolm Rennie was brilliant as Anzor who was the bully. His voice was the perfect fit for such as character.

Despite some less than original thinking my final impression is how good the story stands up. Even if it had been made in 1986 this story would have been one of the highlights of the series. More than 20 years later this story benefits from the listeners imagination. This story also benefits from not having massive expectations on it. Another great story for the Lost Stories range and now we really go into unknown territory.

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