Book Review – Doctor Who: The Great Space Elevator

  • Title: The Great Space Elevator
  • Series: Doctor Who Companion Chronicles
  • Author: Jonathan Morris
  • Director: Nigel Fairs
  • Characters: Victoria, Jamie, Second Doctor
  • Cast: Deborah Watling, Helen Goldwyn
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 11/14/2016

**Spoiler Alert** The Great Space Elevator is a Companion Chronicle story featuring the Second Doctor as played by Patrick Troughton, and his Companions, Victoria and Jamie. The audio is read/performed by Deborah Watling who played Victoria on Doctor Who. The Companion Chronicles series by Big Finish always remind me of the Doctor Who Missing Adventures books or the BBC Past Doctor Adventures books and this one is no different. It’s great to re-visit an older era of Doctor Who.

The TARDIS lands in a jungle, and the Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria see a huge skyscraper rising into the sky. They are brought to a base station and told they are in an restricted area. The Doctor actually offers to leave immediately but the base station receives a distress signal from the sky station. The Doctor and his companions, as well as Tara, the base commander, take the Space Elevator to the Sky Station to investigate.

Once at the Sky Station, which takes several hours of travel time, Tara and company arrive, only to be told nothing is wrong and they should turn around and head back to the ground. But the crew of the Sky Station is acting strangely. First, everyone is wearing thick, insulating space suits (which Victoria, who is telling the story, assumes to be normal). Second, the Doctor quickly discovers the crew are magnetic, and they seem to have electricity in their eyes.

The Doctor tells Victoria to return to the space elevator where it’s safe, while he and Jamie investigate. Victoria waits a few minutes, then goes to investigate on her own. She wanders through the station and is soon attacked and thrown into a storage closet. She’s rescued by the Doctor and Jamie, who have been joined by one of the Sky Station workers – someone who “hasn’t been converted” like the ones in the control room. Victoria realizes she was nearly converted and offers to pretend she was and investigate in the control room. The Doctor and Jamie tell her it’s too dangerous, but Victoria insists.

In the control room, Victoria discovers the purpose of the Sky Station – to monitor and control the weather. And the “converted” staff are attempting to create a giant electric storm, a cyclone. The cyclone will be centered on the base station – it will also allow the creature that is controlling everyone on the station to feed on even more pure electric power.

Unfortunately, when Victoria sees Tara, she sees her as an ally – she’s chased out of the control room. Tara follows, aiming to convert her, but is trapped in a Faraday cage by the Doctor. The Doctor interrogates Tara and discovers the electric creature comes from deep space. Unfortunately, more of the converted crew arrive and “convert” the Doctor – and everyone returns to the control room. In the control room, the Doctor quickly reveals he was never converted because he had ground himself (in the story referred to as “being Earthed”). However, it is Victoria who turns on the automatic fire suppressant system, grounding everyone and forcing out the electric creature. The creature escapes down the elevator cable, but the Doctor calls down to the base station and has the cable ground. The Doctor also turns the storm back to sea and disperses it.

I liked seeing Victoria in this story. She is often an underused companion. And I liked seeing her frustration with the Doctor’s protective attitude (and Jamie’s – “you’re just a girl” comments). And it was great to see Victoria figuring things out and even saving the day by turning on the fire extinguishers. But the story here was a bit basic. I kept expecting the mysterious force controlling the crew to be Cybermen, but the actual electric monster was a bit disappointing. Still, it’s well worth a listen. Recommended.

Find out more about Big Finish audios at their website: www.bigfinish.com

Click this link to order The Great Space Elevator on CD or Download.

Note: No promotional consideration was paid for this review. I review because I enjoy it!

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