Well, here’s a weird, rather obscure one for you. Back many years ago, there was a stage play called “The Ultimate Adventure”, starting first Jon Pertwee and then Colin Baker playing the Doctor alongside a pair of companions named Jason and Crystal. They went on an adventure that was somewhat ultimate, fighting Daleks and Cybermen and generally having a good time of things. Big Finish adapted it into an audio adventure back in 2008 and now we have this, a sequel to it.
So, basically, this is a sequel to an audio play which was an adaptation of a stage play that maybe .1% of Who fans actually saw. With me so far?
This particular Companion Chronicle is notable for containing not one, not two, but three cast members, in the form of Noel Sullivan as Jason, Claire Huckle as Crystal and Colin Baker as the Doctor.
The story focuses on the TARDIS crew mere moments after the end of “The Ultimate Adventure”, where they go back to the Bar Galactica for the funeral of the owner who had been killed by the daleks. There they meet up with a mercenary named Karl, and wind up on the run with him, looking for some great treasure in a place called Ultima Thule.
Soon the TARDIS finds itself stranded in some weird alternate dimension, and the Doctor comes face-to-whatever with a vampire, a rutan and a certain spear-throwing silver robot, all while trying to puzzle out exactly what’s going on with this place and where, and what, the legendary treasure is.
This was a fun bit of fluff, and was full of lots of delightful continuity for fans of the series, which is not a surprise, seeing as it was written by noted Who screenwriter, Terrance Dicks. The characters are all engaging, and the performances by all three cast members are delightful. If nothing else, this serves as a great reminder of how much Colin Baker’s reputation as the Sixth Doctor has been justifiably improved by doing the audios.
I do, however, have some complaints. First off, this story is very much dependent on listening to, or having seen on stage, “The Ultimate Adventure”. You can get through it without being totally lost, but you really won’t be paying too much attention because you’ll keep saying, “What?”
I’m also a little confused as to why this was a Companion Chronicles story. If you have the Doctor and two companions (both of whom I would like to “see” in the series again), already in the cast, why not add a couple supporting voices and make it into a standard audio adventure? With the exception of one other Companion Chronicle (which also featured Baker), this sub-series has been notable for not featuring anyone except a Companion or two, and I think it’s best that way.
That said, can I recommend this? Well, I can, yes. It’s quite good and entertaining, however, do make sure you buy “The Ultimate Adventure”. It’s a good, solid, enjoyable story and it will make your enjoyment of this one that much better.