(ISBN 1-84435-096-7)




 On the morning of

 October 12th, 2021

 Hex woke up. He was

 expecting to go to

 work at St Gart's in

 London as normal.


 But after his ex-

 flatmate is wheeled

 into A&E following a

 bike accident, and the

 strange young woman

 from Human

 Resources tries to

 chat him up and an

 eight-foot tall guy in

 a Merc tries to run

 him down, Hex

 realises things are

 not going quite as he



 Then in a Shoreditch

 car park he meets the

 enigmatic Doctor who

 explains that he's an


 investigator and

 something very

 strange is going on up

 on the thirty-first

 floor of St Garts...


 PREVIOUS                                                                                  NEXT


The Harvest

JUNE 2004







These seventh Doctor and ‘McShane’ audio adventures have improved dramatically over their last couple of releases. And, though it’s been a while now since we last heard from the duo, The Harvest continues the trend, introducing a new companion while it’s at it.


Hex waltzes into The Harvest like a proverbial breath of fresh air. An interesting and amiable young man, Thomas Hector Schofield is a liverpudlian nurse from the near future who very suddenly finds himself way outside his comfort zone when he becomes embroiled in Ace’s investigation at the hospital where he works. It’s delightful to hear a companion genuinely shocked by the sheer wonder of Doctor and the TARDIS for once. Whilst his frequent “oh my God”s do tend to grate a little bit, they are much more credible than the blasé reactions of many later companions. Even Philip Olivier’s warm scouse accent makes the character stand out, surrounded as he is in the canon by a chorus of principally BBC English-spouting companions and allies. Perhaps most invigorating of all though is the distinct sexual tension between Ace and Hex, which is pretty much unprecedented in a TARDIS crew (unless you include Fitz’s relentless lusting in the eighth Doctor novels) and sure to prove interesting in later stories.


The narrative itself feels like a love song to the series in many ways. Wholly appropriate, really, given that this is a essentially fresh start for a new TARDIS crew. The Harvest sees the TARDIS returning once again to the junkyard in Totter’s Lane, not to mention - to my complete astonishment - the Cybermen.  


St Gart’s Hospital makes for a magnificently clinical setting and an ideal breeding ground for the silver giants. But this story is far from being standard Cybermen fare – in fact, it’s the exact opposite. Instead of being exposed to the graphic horrors of cyber conversion, Dan Abnett treats us to a much more psychological drama as a Cyber Leader is actually to seeking to become more human. This theme of twisted emancipation is probably more redolent of the recent Davros audio drama than it is any preceding Cybermen story.


Furthermore, although he’s often overshadowed by the new companion, Sylvester McCoy puts in an exceptional performance as the dark and enigmatic post-Survival Doctor. Abnett keeps his Doctor on the sidelines, ever the grand puppet master, affording this play a very familiar feel for readers of the New Adventures.


All told, The Harvest has a little of something for everyone. It’s dark and delicious, thought-provoking and even quite wry. If this is the kind of script that the former Transformers man is capable of contributing, then I very much look forward to hearing from him again, as I do “just Hex”, “just McShane”, and “just the Doctor!”


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.



The Big Finish audio dramas featuring Hex have to take place prior to Ace’s departure in Love and War,

and after Cat’s Cradle: Witchmark the TARDIS becomes infected with Tir na n-Óg protoplasm and remains infected until long after Ace has left the TARDIS crew (in fact, until after she’s left and returned!) The ‘Hex’ adventures must therefore take place before Cat’s Cradle: Witchmark at the very latest, but we still feel that they fit into things better between Cat’s Cradle: Time’s Crucible and Cat’s Cradle: Warhead as we feel that

the author’s portrayal of Ace in Cat’s Cradle: Warhead demonstrates a marked change in the character – a change that could be accounted for by the spate of adventures that we believe have taken place since the preceding novel, Cat’s Cradle: Time’s Crucible.


Once could speculate that the Big Finish audio dramas featuring Hex take place later in the New Adventures, whilst Bernice is off on side-trip somewhere, but this seems unlikely as she is not even mentioned in passing. Likewise, one could argue that the Hex adventures take place between Survival and Timewyrm: Genysys, and that the Doctor - for whatever reason - failed to restore Ace’s memories of them at the beginning of Timewyrm: Genysys, but this wouldn’t account for Ace’s apparent aging over the course of those adventures.


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