(ISBN 1-84435-158-0)




 screams echo in the

 halls OF A RUN-DOWN

 ASYLUM as mysterious

 creatures Terrorise

 the staff. Patients

 complain of betrayal

 rather than illness,

 and no-one is quite

 what they seem.


 Mel knows that the

 Doctor is the best

 person to find the

 answers but she is

 stranded on Earth,

 and the TARDIS has

 returned without



 Why does a medical

 facility need to be

 under armed guard?

 What procedures are

 the staff carrying

 out, and WHY? What

 is the price that must

 be paid for making an

 agreement with those

 who run the asylum?


 As the answers begin

 to be uncovered, the

 Doctor finds that the

 past may yet come

 back to haunt him...


 PREVIOUS                                                                                  NEXT



june 2005







Unregenerate! was released at a strange time for Doctor Who. With every fan’s attention squarely focused on Christopher Eccleston, Billie Piper and the magnificent new series finale, what chance did a mail order audio drama have? Well, despite its dearth of Dalek battle fleets, time goddesses and even heartbreaking regenerations, Unregenerate! managed to pique my attention with its curious title and stirring cover illustration, and from there things only got better.


The first episode of David A. McIntees script successfully ensnared my attention right from its start. Jamie Sandford’s character of Louis is instantly alluring, his “I’ll make your dreams come true, provided that you come with me the day before you die” angle is a brilliant and mysterious way to introduce the main thrust of the narrative.


With the Doctor locked away in

an asylum (which is probably for

the best, considering that this is

the post-regeneration, spoon-

playing, metaphor mixing, and

juggling version of the seventh

Doctor) the onus is on Mel Bush

to drive the adventure forward,

and once again, to my surprise,

she excels at it. Bonnie Langford’s performance here is at least on a par with her inspiring turns in The Juggernauts and Catch-1782. This is largely due to her charming rapport with her own companion, the ‘Cabbie with No Name’ played by Toby Longworth. The Cabbie is

a wonderful character; the sort of congenial Cockney rogue that you wouldn’t trust with your holiday money, but seems to have his heart in roughly the right place.


As was the case with both The Fires of Vulcan and Flip-Flop, which were also set during Sylvester McCoy’s first season, the dire straits that the Doctor and Mel find themselves in here make for a much darker and altogether more appealing story than was the norm for the horrendously fluffy 1987 run. As the plot unfolds, we learn that Louis and his colleagues are Time Lords, taking individuals out of time just prior to their deaths to be lobotomised and turned into empty vessels and serve as hosts for TARDIS consciousnesses. At the behest

of the Celestial Intervention Agency, these Time Lords are attempting to use these TARDIS consciousnesses to “control” the development of time travel on worlds other than Gallifrey. It’s an stimulating premise, to say the least, with shades of the eighth Doctor novels, and McIntee does an almost Holmesian job of painting a lurid picture of corrupt and crooked Time Lord society desperately trying to cling onto their slipping crown.


On a final note, it’s refreshing to see a so-called past Doctor visit our present (as opposed to 1987 for Sylvester McCoy, or 1985 for Colin Baker etc) and enjoy an adventure that feels every bit as current as those that we are now lucky enough to have back on television. If Big Finish can continue to produce stories as modish and as remarkable as this one to improve upon the much-maligned early days of the Doctor’s seventh incarnation, then I await the next seventh Doctor and Mel outing with bated breath. Now theres a sentence I thought Id never write.


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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