FREELANCE WRITER. JOURNALIST, AND SCRIPT READER – FAN OF SCI-FI AND CHOCOLATE DIGESTIVES – YSTV'S BEST DRESSED MEMBER 2013

Thursday, 20 July 2017



The Doctor and Romana materialise the TARDIS underground in the opening of Subterranea, the latest Fourth Doctor audio play from Big Finish. But this doesn’t mean they’re far from civilisation – this planet’s mole-like inhabitants live in huge vehicles called Drill-towns, which constantly mine their way around the rocks. And there’s another race among the rocks; the cyborgs known as Silex are on the prowl and have a habit of feeding on the Drill-towns.

The story, from veteran Who writer Jonathan Morris, plays out simply but enjoyably, well fitted to the hour-long format and to the era of Who in which it’s set. There are some nice twists, particularly at the end of part one cliffhanger, and the Silex are effectively threatening villains, if at times overly reminiscent of the Cybermen. Perhaps a name not starting with the ‘cy’ sound would have helped.

What makes Subterranea well worth a listen, though, is not the plot but the characterisation of the race who live on this planet. There’s an Industrial Revolution-esque style to them, which makes the whole thing feel like a Dickens novel crossed with Journey to the Centre of the Earth

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