Phobos (Eddie Robson)
This had some things in common with Max Warp- extreme sports on the moons of Mars while a monster that feeds on pleasure/fear makes the Doctor feel as guilty about his martyrdom as Davros did in “Journey’s End.” McGann rocked my socks but Sheridan Smith was curiously subdued.
Immortal Beloved (Jonathan Clements)
This wasn’t as ridiculous as it first seemed, and Zeus was actually extremely well-acted and well-written. The concept was all about cloning and re-zapping your mind into your younger clone’s body- very far out there and full of weird sci fi contexts, wrapped in a shell of ancient Greek mythology, and some very fresh-faced (voiced?) young actors. McGann very talky but reliable as ever.
No More Lies (Paul Sutton)
A very unusual one in both setting and structure- genuinely moving and some lovely banter between the Doctor and Lucie. The posh party setting was fun and the music lyrical- for once the back and forth structure was not particularly grating.
The Angel of Scutari (Paul Sutton)
Tolstoy and Ace as an impressive double act, the Doctor escaping with the help of a golden spoon, a hug that saves the day, a shameful secret revealed, and the phrase “I’ll explain later” used! The plot in Angel of Scutari is necessarily complicated because of the timeline issue, and though I can’t explain it in a way that makes sense, it does.
Best cliffhanger ever heard on Doctor Who audio. McGann was wonderful pretending to be management in a cookie-cutter company- the satire was biting but a little too cutesy in places. One of the company management staff was absolutely appalling- and so true to life!
Sisters of the Flame (Nick Briggs)
There’s no sign of Ohica, but the Sisters of Karn are trying to make a comeback. Lucie made an unlikely pairing with Rosto, appealingly (for a giant centipede) played by Alexander Siddig.
Companion Chronicles: The Glorious Revolution
A bit of circumlocutious storytelling from Jamie McCrimmon forty years after travelling with the Doctor and having his memories erased- he recalls meeting the weary monarch James II and altering the course of history despite the Doctor’s admonitions to the contrary. This is a straight historical with a good Troughton flavor to it; indeed, Fraser Hines’ invocation of Troughton is astonishingly good. It also has a very poignant ending with much in common with “Journey’s End.”
Companion Chronicles: Transit of Venus (Jacqueline Rayner)
Bizarre play with the simple premise of Ian recalling one of his adventures with the Doctor, Barbara, and Susan- this is clearly Ian’s show, though, and William Russell more than rises to the occasion. Another pure historical set in 1770 in the South Seas with Captain Cook, it’s written cannily and plays to Ian’s strengths. Rayner clearly understands the bond between Ian and Barbara and writes with that in mind.