Return of the Rocket Men (2012)

Return of the Rocket Men is obviously a sequel to the 2011 story The Rocket Men. When I reviewed that story I was slightly disappointed with it and thought that for some reason it didn’t quite gel. Clearly there was enough for Big Finish to commission a sequel except instead of John Dorney, we get Matt Fitton who has written for the main range and this is his first foray into the Companion Chronicle world. Peter Purves replaces William Russell in this story as it is set during the Steven Taylor/Dodo Chaplet era of the show. The story starts off with a weird scene, Steven Taylor is on his own and is attacked by the Rocket Men. It’s quite an harsh moment when Steven’s shin is broken after he’s been beaten up by Van Kleefe. Especially on his birthday, but no sooner as we’re told about that then we go back to the ‘present’ day and just by the mention of Dodo’s name I am irritated. Thankfully that passes quite quickly.

The story is relatively straight forward and it works from start to finish. After the weird opening scene the story felt like a normal companion chronicle. I thought that the second half continued the good work that the first had done. A problem that I felt with The Rocket Men was that by the half way stage I was still wandering what the actual plot was but there wasn’t the same problem in this as it was clear where the story was going. The cliffhanger worked really well. I liked the speech that Steven gave at the end of the first episode, it was quite moving and it was just a shame that it was wasted for a mission to rescue Dodo. The whole thing about Return of the Rocket Men is that it shows what Steven Taylor was like before we met him in The Chase. It was a brave and almost action hero type character which is complimented by the way that Peter Purves delivers his lines. I am starting to regard Peter Purves’ performances on par with William Russell.  Tim Treloar was very good as Van Cleef. Van Cleef is an effective baddie and Treloar is good to listen to when he is narrating his parts of the story.

I quite liked this story, I thought that it was a fitting sequel to The Rocket Men and at 67 minutes long it moves at a pretty quick pace and I may go back and re-listen to it as a result. I thought that Return of the Rocket Men was an enjoyable adventure and in the extras there is the possibility of there being a third story which I would be looking forward to.


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