Tuesday, 19 January 2016

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It’s been a year since Tegan Jovanka ended her travels in the TARDIS, but when the Doctor comes back into her life, so does her ex Kyle. This may sound more rom-com than sci-fi, but rest assured, they’re all soon propelled into a time-travelling adventure including water-based goblins, a scheming Countess from a faraway planet, and spacecraft designed by Rembrandt himself.

The Waters of Amsterdam is a fantastically original adventure from writer Jonathan Morris, largely due to its focus on the emotional lives of its characters, an aspect sometimes neglected in the weaker of Big Finish’s productions. The opening episode, depicting Tegan and Kyle’s relationship through a series of flashbacks, is a refreshing break from the usual exploration of spaceship corridors, and is vibrant and touching.

What The Waters of Amsterdam also has to its credit is an abundance of humour: there’s Tegan losing her air hostess job in a characteristically loud-mouthed manner, there’s a number of good wisecracks from Peter Davison’s dry Fifth Doctor, and then there’s Rembrandt. Historical figures in Doctor Who are often romanticised, but this version of the Old Master is a grumpy old sod, entirely unimpressed by the Doctor and co.’s intrusion into his life, to very entertaining effect.

With a touching emotional story, a sci-fi adventure, a lot of humour, and a historical figure thrown in for good measure, The Waters of Amsterdam is a very strong and, at times, very original Doctor Who story – just what we love to hear from Big Finish.


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