CRISS-CROSS (DOCTOR WHO)

PrintE-mail Written by Kieron Moore

Bletchley Park, 1941. Britain’s greatest mathematicians oversee the cracking of Nazi codes, an effort that will turn the tide of the war. These mathematicians include the genius Alan Turing and the odd new guy, Doctor John Smith – a curly-haired man with a mysterious blue box in his office.

It’s a perfect setting for a Doctor Who historical, one in which Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor fits particularly well (especially once he’s toned down his clothes to blend in), and one which the franchise hasn’t visited before. With Turing’s story having been brought to popular attention in last year’s biopic The Imitation Game, it was about time the Doctor paid his own visit to Bletchley Park.

But Turing himself is only mentioned in passing here; rather, writer Matt Fitton concentrates on his own group of characters – Constance Clarke and Sylvia Wimpole of the Women’s Royal Navy Service, along with a shady double agent, a British major, and even a German spymaster who somehow gets mixed up in the action.

Having found himself stranded at this point in history, the Doctor’s attempts to get his TARDIS working again bring all these characters into conflict with a very peculiar alien – a creature composed of radio waves. It’s one of Doctor Who’s more unusual concepts, and seems very fitting for both the setting and the audio medium.

How much you get out of the story will depend on your interest in and knowledge of the period, as the use of codebreaking machines in the fight against this alien does get rather complex towards the end, in a way that may confuse some listeners or require a second listening. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Fitton has done his research into the era, and all the tropes familiar to fans of Second World War intrigue are present – double-crossing, code-cracking, and even a trip to a Nazi submarine.

This story is also notable for introducing a new companion (despite us already having met her in The Last Adventure – it’s Mel all over again!). Miranda Raison gives Constance a steely, professional demeanour, making her stand out as a companion who’ll be able to stand up to the Doctor when necessary – indeed, their first scene together features her telling him off for overworking the Wrens. And yet we also get mentions of a missing husband, setting up intrigue for an emotional arc to come.

After last month’s The Last Adventure powerfully filled in an important gap in the Sixth Doctor’s life, Criss-Cross is a lower key adventure for Old Sixie. And yet it’s solid Doctor Who – an intriguing alien, a fitting setting, and the debut adventure of a strong new companion.

CRISS-CROSS (DOCTOR WHO) / AUTHOR: MATT FITTON / STARRING: COLIN BAKER, MIRANDA RAISON, HUGH FRASER, ALISTAIR PETRIE, PAUL THORNLEY / PUBLISHER: BIG FINISH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


Suggested Articles:
Tom Baker is back as Tom Baker, and despite his death in King of Cats, he is back on top form in thi
Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future is back on audio with a set of stories produced by B7 Media and releas
When a long-dormant, mind-reading, character-changing virus is re-released in 2009, Cardiff finds it
Earlier this year, Big Finish expanded their range of The Avengers audios – which previously only
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in Audio Reviews

BAKER’S END: GOBBLEKNOLL HALL 08 December 2016

DAN DARE: VOLUME 1 08 December 2016

TORCHWOOD: OUTBREAK 08 December 2016

THE AVENGERS: STEED AND PEEL – COMIC STRIP ADAPTATIONS VOLUME 2 03 December 2016

UNIT: SILENCED 03 December 2016

DOCTOR WHO SHORT TRIPS: THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE 02 December 2016

CITY DEPTHS 02 December 2016

FIRENZE! L'ASSASSINO E ANCORA TRA NOI (1986) 02 December 2016

MONSTER 1983 29 November 2016

ENDURANCE 29 November 2016

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner

Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144
Notice: Undefined index: sub_content in D:\inetpub\wwwroot\modules\mod_yt_content_slideshowii\tmpl\theme4.php on line 144