Beyond The Ultimate Adventure (2011)

Way back in 2008, Big Finish did a series of plays that were about the stageplays of certain Doctor Who stories. The first one was ‘The Ultimate Adventure’ and starred Colin Baker alongside Noel Sullivan and Claire Huckle. I had always viewed this story as something outside of the established chronology and the idea of their being a second story is something not expected. Terrance Dicks has returned to Big Finish to write this adventure which might not sight right in the timeline of Doctor Who (for me anyway) but should be listened on its own merits. This story is different from other companion chronicles in that the only characters that we actually hear from are the Doctor and the companions.

The story is set shortly after the events of ‘The Ultimate Adventure’ and is a nice simple tale of the Doctor and co trying to find something. There was a refreshing feel to this as most stories like make things more complicated than they need to be. There was a nice moment where several characters crop up and they are all from Terrance Dicks stories. Firstly I noticed the Rutans who appeared in Dicks’ 1977 adventure ‘Horror of Fang Rock’ and then there was the Raston Robot from ‘The Five Doctors’. The story moved at quite a fast pace that I had to check how long had passed to and that hasnt happened very often. The second half of the story didn’t have that feeling but it was still quite interesting.

Despite not being proper companions, I do find Noel Sullivan and Claire Huckle to be quite good. I do wish that they would come up with a reason why Sullivan wouldn’t have to do his French accent because it is terrible. It did get to me when he was talking because it was that distracting. But aside from his acting the character is quite a good one and works well with Huckle’s character. Huckle’s performance on the other hand was less distracting and was arguably the stronger of the two. Colin Baker is on good form but it for some reason it seems slightly odd when the Doctor appears in a companion chronicle.

The Ultimate Adventure is not the greatest Companion Chronicle but it’s a nice end to the year for the Companion Chronicles and its always nice to have a Terrance Dicks story and I think despite this not being a traditional story it’s surprising how it somehow works. The thing about this story that makes it better than the first story is that this one doesn’t have songs getting in the way of the plot. I do question why this story was placed in this series as opposed to the main range because its pretty much the same cast as ‘The Ultimate Adventure’ and as there aren’t any songs would fit in to any Sixth Doctor story. I think to be wholey critical of this story would be slighty ha-humbug as it’s a sequel to a stageplay and should really be listened to as a bit of fun.

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