Alright, it’s February and Big Finish have released their first Classic Doctor set of the new year after January’s pre-1989 Doctor Who releases were limited to the Audio Novel and the Short Trips release earlier this month.Okay so The First Doctor Adventures: The Demon Song was initially solicited for release in January, but it was pushed back to February probably due to production delays or time for editing.If you can’t help, I’m stalling.The Demon Song and The Incherton Incident make up this set are sadly stories that don’t actually have much connection, just being a two-part story and four-part story that have the same TARDIS team which is thee First Doctor and Dodo, played by Stephen Noonan and Lauren Cornelius, so as such it’s going to be a bit difficult to give the set an overall score, especially since both stories are vastly in terms of what they are attempting to do.The first feels very modern while the second is one that takes more lengths to imitate the style of a story you would have seen in the 1960s, which makes the lack of connection between the stories feel even more stark as each story serves a very different purpose.
With each of the Big Finish Doctor Who ranges moving to box sets it means that yearly listeners will be getting sets with the First and Second Doctors, both of whom have been limited in recent years. Nicholas Briggs has emphasised the desire to make this a fresh start by using new TARDIS teams, exploring new eras, and going against the grain of the previous Early Adventures and Companion Chronicles in stopping the tradition of previous companion actors also voicing the Doctor and recasting both the First and Second Doctors. Michael Troughton will be taking over the role of the Second Doctor (already previewed in The Annihilators), however, instead of continuing with David Bradley as the exclusive First Doctor, a complete recast with Stephen Noonan taking the role was announced with The Outlaws and The Miniaturist (collected under the title The Outlaws). This marketing decision makes it a little confusing to discuss the story vs the collection so this review will be discussing elements of both overall without heavy spoilers. This set also expands upon a previously unused portion of the First Doctor’s timeline set immediately after The Savages so the companion is Dodo Chaplet, here reprised by Lauren Cornelius, which makes an interesting dynamic as here Big Finish have created a pitch to writers to combine two versions of her character. Dodo being a character who was written differently in essentially every serial, Big Finish have given Cornelius a mix of her portrayal in The Massacre and The Gunfighters which makes her proactive and takes away the British RP allowing a slightly toned down version of the accent Jackie Lane used in The Massacre. There is only one plot point which has Dodo falling for the Monk’s story about trying to be Robin Hood in The Outlaws.