Sunday, 13 August 2017


Going The Jam once sang, long ago, in a tube station far,far away. The Doctor and Romanna find themselves in a subterranean steam punk Dickensian world of giant drills and dodgy dealers. It is territory that lends itself well to this period of Doctor Who history.The moving communities housed within the steam punk moles move beneath the soil of a ravaged world, its like Mad Max Fury Road only with more dirt and seventies working class sensibilities . The drill towns are populated with characters with great names such as Jericho Wigg or Arabella Wagstaff and are running from the monstrous Silex who are pursuing them to the point of extinction.
               Subterranea is a well written piece by Jonathan Morris  that not only brings to mind the atmosphere of the television show of that era but also the early Pat Mills/Dave Gibbons comic strips that used to appear in the old Doctor Who Weekly. In that the characters have a quirky seventies working class speech patterns and yet are also strong characters in their own way. And just look at that cover. There is an almost lost art to album sleeves although it is not one lost on the good people at Big Finish. The look of the era is mirrored by the sound of a very clever atmospheric soundtrack., very synth of that period (Human League "Travelogue" anyone?One of my favourite album covers.)
               During the story, no spoiler here, The Doctor and Romanna are apart for a time.which allows both of them to behave as the Children Of Gallifrey they are, possessed of an almost enfant terrible like ability to adapt to the circumstances they find themselves in. I found myself picturing the wonderful Lalla as she was in what I have seen of the cobbled together recorded pieces of that lost Tom Baker story Shada. She really is on top of her game in this one. When I listen to these stories I sometimes see the shadow of Warriors Gate loom and think how the mirror to another universe awaits. But that moment is not now, not today. Not yet.
                There are a few more stories to go...A big two parter by all accounts..Hurrah!