Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)
Phillip Hinchcliffe had a lot to live up to from his much esteemed producing of Doctor Who when he re-joined Tom Baker for the Big Finish adventures. With his first couple of adventures he more than delivered; as he does with The Genesis Chamber.
Set at a human colony where half the people live inside a domed city and procreate using a genesis chamber and the other half live outside in the wild in a tribe and do their procreating the old fashioned way. At the start the Doctor and Leela meet up with some joy riding nobles from the domed city; who crash land in the tribe and from then on nothing will be the same for either of the peoples on the planet again.
At this early stage I felt we might be going for a mix between the futuristic planet in ‘The Time Machine’ mixed with a bit of Romeo & Juliet. Quite frankly I would have been ok with that. Hinchcliffe writes Tom Baker’s Doctor so well and dials up his quirky nature so much that you wouldn’t begrudge a story that felt similar to ones you have already heard. He even writes the funniest and best representation of Leela I have ever heard. The following exchange springs to mind from the trailer:
Doctor: She’s barely better than a savage
Leela: There is no better than a savage!
Classic! But along with the sharp character writing he also manages to make it so that every time you think you know which way the story is going; to send it somewhere else entirely, whilst still maintaining a coherent and interesting story. Both of the two distinct people on the planet seem real and it’s believable that they might have split when they did.
I cannot begrudge them making this story feature-length as it is epic in scale, but I feel at 6 episodes and 3 hours running time they might have maybe trimmed 30 minutes to get a truly cracking pace. As it is this is a fantastic story and worthy of Hinchcliffe’s mighty Who reputation. Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are on top form and guest performers Jon Culshaw and Jemma Churchill to name a couple are perfectly cast. Well worth your time and money!
I give this 8/10 sonics.
Pre-order now from Amazon.
Check out the rest of our Big Finish reviews!