The downside to Big Finish having the rights to play with the modern series of Doctor Who is that its world-famous stars aren’t always available. Luckily, Big Finish have a plan for that. Case in point, The Tenth Doctor Chronicles, a collection of four part-narrated, part-dramatised stories from different points in the Time Lord’s life… which doesn’t feature David Tennant.
Faced with the task of replacing a beloved leading man, a box set like this one can thrive or fail on who is brought into to, in this case, fill the converse shoes. Thankfully, The Tenth Doctor Chronicles finds the perfect understudy for Tennant in the form of Jacob Dudman. A talented impressionist (you might have seen some of his viral YouTube videos), Dudman offers an uncannily accurate take on the Tenth Doctor’s ‘Dick Van Dyke’ estuary accent.
If you’re still not convinced then the box set also comes with a couple of guest spots from actual stars of the Tennant era on TV. First, we have probably the most underrated member of the Noble family in Donna’s mum Sylvia, as played by Jacqueline King, and - more noteworthy - the long-awaited second appearance of Lady Christina De Sousa in the Whoniverse, following Michelle Ryan’s Doctor Who debut in 2009’s Planet of the Dead.
Let’s not forget about the stories themselves, however - including Helen Goldwyn’s Taste of Death about an addictive alien cuisine, the time travel-themed Backtrack by Matthew J. Elliot and Last Chance by Guy Adams which deals with endangered animals being hunted (including the Last of the Time Lords himself!). The highlight, though, might be James Goss’ Wild Pastures, which sees Sylvia take the lead as she and the Doctor infiltrate a creepy care home.
The Tenth Doctor Chronicles continues Big Finish’s mission statement to fill in the gaps of the TV series, offering up the Tenth Doctor vs. the Slitheen, an unlikely team-up for the Doctor and Sylvia and a return for Christina. It’s also important for welcoming two notable new players to the team in the form of Dudman and Ryan - both of whom are already set to return for more boxsets. Based on the strength of this release, we hope they stick around for a long while yet.
THE TENTH DOCTOR CHRONICLES / DIRECTOR: HELEN GOLDWYN / WRITERS: MATTHEW J. ELLIOTT, JAMES GOSS, HELEN GOLDWYN, GUY ADAMS / STARRING: JACOB DUDMAN, JACQUELINE KING, MICHELLE RYAN, JON CULSHAW / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 30TH