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Published on June 12th, 2014 | by Nick Kitchen

Prepare For Adric’s Return in Big Finish’s Fifth Doctor Box Set!

IMG_0766There are reunions and then there are reunions. While this reunion isn’t quite the same as a Lennon-McCartney-Harrison-Starr reunion, it is worthy nonetheless! Big Finish has announced the upcoming release of Doctor Who: The Fifth Doctor Box Set, two four-part stories that reunite, for the first time, The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) with Nyssa (Sarah Sutton), Tegan (Janet Fielding) and Adric (Matthew Waterhouse). The release also marks Waterhouse’s first collaboration with Big Finish, filling what Executive Producer (and voice of the Daleks) has noted as an “Adric-shaped hole” in the range of Fifth Doctor stories.

 

What say we unpack this a bit, dear reader, and uncover what new adventures lie in store for Peter Davison’s original TARDIS crew? Up first is the Jonathan Morris penned Psychodrome, which is firmly anchored between the Season 19 episodes, Castrolava and Four to Doomsday. The story finds the still freshly regenerated Fifth Doctor and his companions on a strange planet and forced to come together quickly when they encounter “strange, sinister characters.”

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The second four-parter is nestled just before the game changing classic Who episode, Earthshock, and now serves as Adric’s penultimate adventure with the Doctor. In what is described as “spine-tingling” adventure, John Dorney’s Iterations of I finds the Doctor and company stranded on a remote island, attempting to unravel the mystery of the “i” (willing to bet it’s probably not a Jobsian “i-Device,” although a story where the Cybermen use iPhones and iPads as weapons against humanity might make for interesting story telling…-Writer).

 

IMG_0765Now it is time to address the elephant in the room; the return of Adric. With the possible exception of Rose Tyler, there really hasn’t been a more divisive figure in the history of Doctor Who than Adric. Granted, there are probably as many people who love the youngling math genius as those who hate him, but bringing Adric back does run the risk of bringing back the ire from those who love to hate him. The flipside of that coin, and where I think Briggs and Big Finish are smart in bringing back Waterhouse, is it does give the character of Adric more opportunity for development and perhaps soften some of the arrogant and childish edges that his character is known for (I’m thinking squarely about the first episode of Earthshock for reference here…). And while any development that might take place in the eight installments of the new series cannot change what happened on-screen, it can certainly inform it and possibly frame conversations and actions in a different light.

Interested in what Kasterborous thinks of the exciting new series? Never fear! We’ll have a top-notch review of Doctor Who: The Fifth Doctor Box Set coming down the line shortly. As always, you can check out the Big Finish and Reviews heading on Kasterborous for news on the other Big Finish releases as well as reviews from Meredith Burdett (a supremely talented bloke and Big Finish guru) and coming soon—yours truly! Doctor Who: The Fifth Doctor Box Set is available for preorder now. Will you be signing up for the return of Adric? Are you excited for a Season 19 reunion? Let us know!

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About the Author

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“That’s bacon! Are you trying to poison me?” And from that line on, I’ve been unable to stop watching, reading, musing about the Doctor. As a recent transplant to the Whoniverse, I’ve been trying to soak up as much Who-related knowledge as possible. That journey has taken me from the Tenth Planet to the Fields of Trenzalore and gently set me at the edge of my seat for what’s next. It’s an honor to be here and I plan to bring a unique perspective. I hope you’ll enjoy the journey alongside me.




11 Responses to Prepare For Adric’s Return in Big Finish’s Fifth Doctor Box Set!

  1. avatar lee moone says:

    You know what? Initially no, not interested as not my fave lineup and I did find the character a huge disappointment at the time. We were promised an ‘Artful Dodger in space’ but got a bratish moody teenager who was never constant from story to sorry. Adric should have been like Will Chandler played by Keith Jane in the Awakening. But that said, your write up and Big Finished clever choice of where theses stories are based in the 5th Dr’s Timeline has pricked my interest…

  2. avatar Rick says:

    I don’t think I want more stories with Adric , but Big finish have “redeemed” bad companions before.

  3. avatar TimeChaser says:

    Already pre-ordered this one months ago. I’m interested to see how they handle Adric, and I’m always up for more stories with Nyssa and Tegan (my preferred companion combination for Five).

  4. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    Big Finish have redeemed both Melanie Bush and her actress Bonnie Langford. Colin Baker’s 6th Doctor is now widely regarded as one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, in the Big Finish line – a far cry from his under-appreciated days on TV. So I have faith that both Big Finish and Matthew Waterhouse know what they’re doing and will do themselves and the series proud. Looking forward to hearing you back with the rest of the gang Matthew! Now, can somebody get on the phone to Jackie Lane and let her know she’s the last surviving (Dodo-shaped) void now :)

  5. avatar J W says:

    What’s interesting is we fans weren’t the only ones disappointed with how Adric was portrayed. In an interview with Doctor Who magazine a few years after he left Waterhouse himself stated that he became disillusioned with the character because of the inconsistent way writers approached the character from one script to the next. He said he felt like the writers could never quite get a handle on who his character was supposed to be.

  6. avatar Al says:

    Before Big Finish came along, a lot of fans treated the Sixth Doctor, Peri and Mel with a notable lack of respect (note I just mean the characters, not the actors who have always been respected and loved by fans). Thanks in large part of Big Finish, all three characters have evolved in deep and rich individuals far beyond what the TV series was able to do (the BBC would NEVER have allowed Peri and the Piscon Paradox to have been made). I am fully confident that these new Adric adventures have the potential to do quite a bit of character rehabilitation for him. I look forward to seeing how this developers. By the way as far as I’m aware Jackie Lane (Dodo) is the only former companion actor who is still alive who has yet to do a Big Finish.

    • avatar Al says:

      Apologies for some of the wording above that comes off a bit less than grammatical. I have been experiencing some bizarre autocorrect issues since a) getting a new Mac and b) updating Firefox,

  7. avatar Christine says:

    Welcome Adric! I never hated him as some do, nor will he ever be my favourite companion. But I am pretty sure BF well rehabilitate him as a character. I am looking forward to it!


  8. The Fifth Doctor era is my fave time of the classic series. So I am looking forward to this!

  9. avatar krumstets says:

    An Adric shaped hole? Could that be golden star shaped?

  10. avatar Ranger says:

    At the time, I didn’t mind Adric, but I was young and foolish. Looking back, I agree he was ill-served by the way his character was inconsistently written, but I am not sure that as an actor he could have done any better. Harsh, you might say and I am perfectly willing to give him another chance with these offerings and hope I am proved wrong. But I wonder…

    The other thing that I find uncomfortably about this trio of companions is just that – it is a trio; too many companions, too little action/dialogue available to successfully utilise the actors’ talents. I always preferred just Tegan and Nyssa. I hope this is issue is also addressed in the Big Finish episodes.

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