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Doctor Who: The Crimes Of Thomas Brewster by Jonathan Morris

1/04/2011. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Doctor Who: The Crimes Of Thomas Brewster in the USA - or Buy Doctor Who: The Crimes Of Thomas Brewster in the UK

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pub: Big Finish. 2 CDs 120 minute story. Price CD: GBP 14.99 (UK). Download: GBP 12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-543-3) cast: Colin Baker, Maggie Stables, John Pickard, Anna Hope, David Troughton, Ashley Kumar, Lisa Greenwood, Duncan Wisbey and Helen Goldwyn

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Once again the Doctor (Colin Baker) and Evelyn (Maggie Stables) are visiting the Tower of London. You would think they’d know better since the events of Jubilee. They must really like the place. As this episode opens, they are fighting off the attentions of a giant mechanised mosquito. An epic chase ensues in James Bond style and the resulting destruction of police property leads to the attention of a certain DI Menzies. Anna Hope gives a lovely laid back Lancashire accented voice to the DI who has already learnt to believe the unbelievable in ‘The Condemned’ and ‘Raincloud Man’.

The Sixth Doctor has no idea who she is but he is out of step with her time and Menzies has the drop on him. She keeps that knowledge to herself although shares a little with Evelyn. It’s all a bit River Song as writer Jonathan Morris freely admits. It is open season on time travel tongue-twisters since the series broke its own self-made rules about meeting people out of sequence. Of course, it’s just an excuse to bring back another popular character. Menzies is a good addition bringing her own snappy responses to the plot.

Menzies is down from Manchester on a mission. Someone calling himself the Doctor has been muscling in on gangland operations. After Menzies decides that the Doctor and Evelyn would benefit by a night in the cells, she is disconcerted to find that the next morning they have disappeared. Kidnapped by the local gangster Raymond Gallagher (David Troughton), the pair are ‘persuaded’ to help him find the identity of the mysterious Doctor.

Mayhem and mix-ups ensue resulting in one unholy alliance and leads to the cutpurse Thomas Brewster who has previously been mixed up with the Fifth Doctor in ‘The Haunting Of Thomas Brewster’.

I loved the opening as the pace is fast. Probably luckily it slows down a little but manages to pack in quite a few location changes including an unexpected intergalactic one and some rides in police cars. Anyone thinking this is another Earth-based adventure will find there is some travelling for which you won't be able to use your Oyster card. Jonathan Morris has picked up the character of Menzies from Eddie Robson and has melded the different characters well although I would have loved some more interaction with Menzies and Evelyn. I hope they both get the chance to work together and give the Doctor more of a hard time on his fashion sense. I enjoyed the whole of it and again on the second run-through. There is always more mileage in the Big Finish audios and one day I’m going to get a job driving round the country just so I can listen to them all the time.

Sue Davies

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