Doctor Who: The Lost Stories, Paradise 5. Audio Drama Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Cast: Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Alex Macqueen, James D’Arcy, Helen Goldwyn, Andree Bernard, Teddy Kempner, Claire Wyatt, Richard Earl.

You can always trust humanity to turn to the more unsavoury pursuits of existence, murder, slavery, greed, power, materialism and brutality, in the time it takes to say there is money to be made from people’s misery and where is the will; for in the vice of stone hearted souls nothing comes close to feeding damnation than the love of money.

It takes money to feel the sense of rapture that Paradise 5 can offer, the short term bliss of a few days complete relaxation and pampering, all that money can buy, especially when it is someone else’s and the only price you pay is the one that will be too steep to bear.

For The Doctor and Peri, Paradise comes knowing that someone is else is likely to pick up the tab, that the luxury that comes with having the best is the one that is going to fraught with danger and with the oldest of the Doctor’s companions, Death, in tow.

Written by P.J. Hammond and Andy Lane, Paradise 5 is one of the rare delicacies offered on a platter by Big Finish that makes the time spent by the story in the depths of the archives of the lost audio souls, just that little bit sweeter, knowing full that the B.B.C. had all but admitted culpability in the disgraceful way it had treated one of much loved programmes. It is a story in which the times it was written is stamped all over it, the unconscionable pursuit and love of money that was shaping the outcome of Britain for the next 30 years and the inherent dangers of the leadership the country was allowing itself to be governed by.

With Alex Macqueen putting his distinctive voice to the audio drama, the feeling of gravitas is pushed firmly into the foreground and increases the style already on offer by Colin Baker’s Doctor.

The Lost Stories offer a great insight into a world that was almost denied to the fans of the classic series, the strength of character that Big Finish found in which to make sure that enjoyment of the series did not just diminish, sometimes Paradise is where the simplest tales take place, even if organisations, governments and the careless find more distressing ways in which to keep humanity down.

Ian D. Hall