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Doctor Who: The Lost Stories - The Fourth Doctor Box Set by Robert Banks Stewart, adapted by John Dorney; Philip Hinchcliffe, adapted by Jonathan Morris

01/04/2012. Contributed by Sue Davies

Buy Doctor Who: The Lost Stories - The Fourth Doctor Box Set in the USA - or Buy Doctor Who: The Lost Stories - The Fourth Doctor Box Set in the UK

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pub: Big Finish. 5 CDs 300 minute story. Price: CD: GBP55.00 (UK), Download: GBP45.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-608-9). cast: Tom Baker and Louise Jameson. The Foe From The Future: Paul Freeman, Louise Brealey, Blake Ritson, Mark Goldthorp, Philip Pope, Barbakoff, Dan Starkey and Camilla Power. The Valley Of Death: Nigel Carrington, Delia Lindsay, Jane Slavin, Anthony Howell, David Killick and Richard Bremmer .

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It’s hard to keep down your inner fan when offered the box set of ‘The Fourth Doctor Lost Stories’. Both ‘Foe From The Future’ by Banks Stewart and ‘Valley Of Death’ by Phillip Hinchliffe are original 1970s stories adapted for audio and the new century by John Dorney and Jonathan Morris respectively.

Despite all the anticipation and the year long wait since the announcement, ‘Its Saturday night tea time in the 70s all over again’, this does not disappoint.

1. Foe from the Future by Robert Banks Stewart adapted by John Dorney

The Fourth Doctor and Leela find themselves in a village where nothing is quite as it seems. People seem to suffer from memory loss and there are ghosts in the churchyard.

With something sinister afoot, the Doctor cannot resist investigating and with Leela, he joins up with feisty local girl Charlotte (Louise Brealey, ‘Sherlock’) and he’s up against a worthy Foe From The Future indeed its Jalnik (Paul Freeman, ‘Indiana Jones’, etc).

This is quite an involved story but there are plenty of throwaway lines and fun to be had amongst the usual body count. With a plot that features a bizarre driving lesson, a gruesome foe and plenty of time travel, what better way to bring the larger-than-life Fourth Doctor to Big Finish?

2. Valley of Death by Phillip Hinchliffe adapted by Jonathan Morris

When an adventurer Cornelius Perkins is lost in the Amazon rainforest, only his family remember and one hundred years later his great, great, grandson Edward Perkins tries to find out what happened to him.

Imagine his surprise to find out that Cornelius is very much alive and hasn’t aged a day. With crashed spaceships and revolting natives, it’s a riot of colour and confusion and the Doctor and Leela can’t wait to get stuck in.

This is ‘The Land That Time Forgot’ melding into an alien invasion story which offers plenty of plot points, really good cliff-hangers and an opportunity for Tom Baker to confirm he is the most amazing Doctor ever. He’s back with such enthusiasm, you can’t help wondering why he put himself out in the wilderness for so long. His Doctor is such an individual that any right-minded soul would leave everything to follow him to the ends of the Earth. No, he’s not the Messiah, just a very naughty Time Lord but we love him for it.

Well done to the writers for the return of my teens and to Ken Bentley for holding it all together as producer of the return of the Fourth Doctor.

Big Finish now has a stable of all the living Doctors and plenty of companions to recreate the adventures of those who have gone to the great beyond. The time must be right to reunite them possibly including Peter Purves (First Doctor impersonation) and David Troughton (Second Doctor, son of) in a rollicking adventure of galactic busting proportions in time for the 50th Anniversary.

Sue Davies

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