The start of a trilogy of adventures introduces Tom Allen as new companion Oliver Harper, sneaking new stories for the First Doctor and Stephen Taylor in-between The Dalek Masterplan and The Massacre. Purves’ impression of Hartnell improves with each rendition, and Simon Guerrier has captured the voices of the TARDIS crew admirably well.
There’s some clever use of non-copyright music that manages to incorporate the Beatles into the story without Big Finish having to pay out a fortune, and the tale is very appropriate for the era. There are just a few hints given as to what Oliver Harper’s big secret is (it’s revealed in the second of the trilogy, The Cold Equations), but all that’s strictly necessary to know is that he doesn’t want encounters with the law.
For Torchwood fans, there’s a little bit of interesting continuity going on here – the deal with the 456 that Jack was part of in Children of Earth has to have taken place not that long before the events chronicled here, and no doubt at some point a link will be drawn between the two.
Verdict: An intriguing new companion starts in a strong piece. 8/10