This play sees the Tardis crew from the eighties reunited in yet another adventure. Previously we had seen Nyssa return to travel with her old friends although several years after she had left to help cure Lazer’s disease in Terminus. The older version was used to great effect but here they talk about Nyssa’s recent rejuvenation which left me a bit confused. Twists such as this continue to make Big Finish stand out from the series and using its rich history to good effect.
In this play, the Tardis crew land on a comet and discover a thriving economy contained within, literally a giant supermarket where stock is going missing and everyone is an artist of some sort.
Accused of theft, the Doctor and Turlough are arrested, while Tegan and Nyssa go shopping, only to end up on the run with a girl whose friend has gone missing and she is a class of people that are too poor to have items such a s spacesuits.
The arrest makes sense here as a massive amount of goods have been going missing and a box that materializes out of thin air seems the best way to explain the theft, especially when video evidence is found that proves the fifth Doctor and crew really are the thieves and justice is used to boost profits. And Tegan and Nyssa discover there is something lurking behind closed doors.
The crew are on fine form here. They each successfully capture their old television personas and by splitting them into pairs allows for them to have solid story threads. Turlough’s duplicitous nature is used to jump the story forward as he turns state’s witness to escape prison. Only here we know he is working to help the Doctor and the others rather than be the selfish get he was in the beginning. And Tegan bows to Nyssa’s older and wiser head which shows the depth of their friendship. Nyssa was always the one person that Tegan could talk to and confide in in the television series and nice to see it continued here. Davison has a wonderful wit here, more so than in the series and his Doctor is all the better for it.
What lies in the unstable zone? Who are the cloud creatures and exactly who is following whose orders?
However, the story is pretty bland, filled with clichés and, despite the strong performances especially Mark Strickson as Turlough, the story failed to hold my interest. Chalk this one up as the only way is up.