Doctor Who, the iconic science-fiction franchise, is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and it’s time to kick off the celebrations in style. In the story titled “Past Lives,” the Doctor and Sarah Jane team up with UNIT to stop giant alien crocodiles. However, the Doctor is not himself, and he needs to solve the mystery of his ‘degeneration’ before he loses himself completely.
The Storyline: The Doctor’s Degeneration
The Time War is over, and the Doctor is injured and brought to a Time Lord field hospital. His body glows with energy, but instead of regenerating into a future form, the Doctor’s past faces begin to appear as he flits haphazardly between incarnations. He staggers to his TARDIS and sets out to solve the mystery of his ‘degeneration.’ The Doctor follows clues to retrace his steps, encountering old friends and enemies along the way. He must stop his degeneration before he loses himself completely.
The Monk’s Meddling
Settling into his Fourth incarnation, the Doctor goes in search of the Monk, with a vague memory that he had something to do with his ‘degeneration.’ Meanwhile, the Monk is meddling, bringing Sarah Jane Smith to the future UNIT HQ to steal a device for an alien race. The Doctor must help Kate Stewart and Osgood foil an invasion before he can confront the Monk about what he knows.
Cast and Performances
Tom Baker kicks off the anniversary celebrations with his brilliant performance in “Past Lives,” where we see the utterly brilliant Sadie Miller reunite with the cast. Jemma Redgrave excels with the audio medium and puts in a great performance here. Ingrid Oliver, who got on nerves in the television series, delivers a great performance as well. Rufus Hound, once more portraying the extremely talented Monk, works well with the rapid pacing of this story.
“Past Lives” is the perfect way to begin the 60th-anniversary celebrations of Doctor Who. The highlight of the story is the interaction between the characters from different eras. It’s great to hear the Doctor’s reaction to seeing Sarah Jane after centuries. The Monk and UNIT crew work well with each other, making it a must-listen story for any Doctor Who fans.
This title was released in May 2023. It will be exclusively available to buy from the Big Finish website until 31 July 2023, and on general sale after this date.