We’re back with the booming voice of Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor, as we follow his adventures with his fellow Gallifreyan pal, Romanadvoratrelundar. This month, the Doctor and Romana are visiting somewhere that a lot of fanboys have been anticipating, The Movellan Grave…
When an archaeological dig in 1980s England finds a Movellan power pack buried amongst Iron Age artefacts, the Doctor and Romana have no choice but to investigate. And what they discover worries them very much indeed.
A Movellan ship is buried under the ground. Soon the robotic enemies of the Daleks are making their way to the surface, but they are not the biggest threat humanity faces.
Because on board this ship is the greatest weapon the Movellans have ever devised. A weapon that could stop the Daleks forever… and anything else that gets in their way.
The Doctor and Romana are back in Baker Street, in the 1980s, and Romana is struggling to assimilate with the culture of the time. That hair and that fashion, it’s understandable why Romana wouldn’t be too fond of the decade. Then something interesting happens; an archeological dig uncovers a Movellan power pack that’s at least 2000 years old.
It seems that the dig has uncovered more than a Movellan power pack though, it seems as if there’s human remains with odd injuries, and the scientists who excavated the dig seem to think that there’s more going on that it would seem, and you can’t help but think that they’re right.
I have to give it to Andrew Smith for writing the Fourth Doctor at his most alien and his most arrogant in this story; there’s a moment between the Doctor and one of the scientists that is so brilliant, and it’s all because the Doctor likes knowing more than everyone else in the room. I think it’s sometimes easy to forget just how alien the Doctor is, but Tom Baker plays it brilliantly.
There’s a moment in the third act of the first episode that is really spine tingling, but it gets glossed over way too quickly; I know why it’s done, because there’s the chance that the scene would have become cliche, but I have to admit a scene slightly later makes up for it.
Big Finish has the great power of being able to build upon the foundations that the TV show gave us all those years ago, and in this release, the mythos of the Movellans (which would be a great title in itself) is expanded upon. You think you know all about the Movellans? Think again.
If there’s one gripe I have with the first episode of The Movellan Grave, it has to be the cliffhanger; and I don’t know whether it’s because I listen to a heck of a lot of Big Finish and watch a heck of a lot of Doctor Who, but the cliffhangers recently seem to be so predictable. I know that there’s only a certain number of ways that you can build drama and suspense, but the predicament that the Doctor finds himself in here is somewhat commonplace now.
The second episode of The Movellan Grave starts with what can only be described as a rip-roaring chase scene, with an unlikely catalyst. War makes every party extremely desperate when a stalemate has arisen, and the Movellans are no exception. It seems that they, like the Time Lords, will do anything to defeat the Daleks.
The Movellan’s lack of emotion and humanity makes them feel like a midway point between humanity and the Daleks that they’re fighting; and Andrew Smith makes this apparent when a Movellan attempts to take charge over a group of very frightened people. Luckily for the listeners, this situation that our characters find themselves in lends to being a greatly atmospheric game of cat and mouse.
There’s a scene between the Doctor and the Movellans which is arguably one of my favourite scenes from this entire series of Fourth Doctor Adventures from Big Finish. The Doctor gets a speech similar to the iconic one he delivers in Genesis of The Daleks.
The ending of The Movellan Grave is extremely bittersweet; which, I for one, adore. There’s a lot of emotion and action, then, just before the end titles swoosh in, there’s a little joke to bring a smile on your face. After all, isn’t that what Doctor Who is all about?
Overall, The Movellan Grace is a fun story that absolutely whizzes by; it’s a Doctor Who take on Frankenstein, which mixed with Tom Baker’s iconic voice and Andrew Smith’s brilliant script, makes it a great addition to the Big Finish roster.
Should you want to purchase The Movellan Grave, it’s currently available from Big Finish for £10.99 on CD or a £8.99 download which you can purchase here.