(ISBN 1-84435-023-1)





 In the depths of space

 a little known

 district harbours a

 terrible secret. Long

 known as a place of

 death, it claims

 thousands more lives

 as a great corporate

 space-fleet goes to

 war. As the fleet

 screams out in fear

 and pain, an

 irresistable voice

 calls out to three

 travellers and a

 macabre mind sets a

 deadly trap...


 The Doctor, Peri and  

 Erimem face the

 terrors of Talderun

 and the wrath of a

 corporate empire as

 they struggle to

 understand the

 hideous secret of the

 domain of the dead –

 a district known in 

 legend as



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“It was an irresistible challenge to write Doctor Who

in a contemporary way. I hope you like it…”

                                                                                                                     -  Austen Atkinson


A vain hope, I am afraid, Mr Atkinson. “Nekromanteia” is bad… so very bad, in fact, that out of over forty Doctor Who stories produced by Big Finish, I would rank this one as being one of their very worst. On almost all fronts Austen Atkinson’s story disappoints; even Simon Williams’ (Group Captain Gilmore from “Remembrance of the Daleks”) much-hyped guest appearance is cut short.


Listening to this play (if one is able to keep their interest fixed on it long enough to follow the plot) is an ideal way to make oneself very frustrated. The story has a hell of a lot of potential, but in almost every instance where a decision about the plot or a main character needs to

be made, in my view the writer has made the wrong choice.


There is one scene, for example where Atkinson’s 'contemporary’ Doctor Who pushes the envelope a little too far even for my taste – Erimem is almost raped, and then savagely beaten. Now I am no traditionalist by any means; I enjoyed Virgin’s often quite adult New Adventures and am a big fan of groundbreaking audio plays like Joseph Lidster’s brilliant “Rapture” that succeed wonderfully at bringing Doctor Who up to date. Wanton sexual assault, however, is clearly a step too far. That is not what Doctor Who is for. That is the domain of Eastenders.


Good points? Peri is stripped naked and thrown in a bath of oils… on audio. Like I said, frustrating. Apart from that one little scene “for the Dads”, Atkinson does succeed in generating some genuine concern for Erimem’s well being. For all we know, she could have been killed off in this story – Big Finish do have a proven track record for keeping these things under wraps! Erimem is treated absolutely barbarically here, and save for that rather definite crossing of the line regarding her near rape, the events of this story certainly demonstrate the charcater’s determination and, for want of a better word, balls. The Doctor only takes the best and if nothing else, “Nekromanteia” certainly proves that Erimem deserves her place in the TARDIS.


Furthermore, the sound design is also very good; the dark and gritty worlds and space stations of the future brought gloriously to live through David Darlington’s score and sound effects. Sadly though, superb production and even apposite title music is all for nought if the story is not much good.


In summary then, you will probably have more luck trying to spell “Nekromanteia” than you

will sitting through the thing for nearly two hours. I am afraid that this is most definitely one to avoid.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006


E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

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