Earth Colony Phoenix is struggling to survive. The colonists,
utterly dependent on transmat technology and unable to leave
the security of their Habitat Domes, have developed severe
agoraphobia. The TARDIS crew arrive on an apparently abandoned
space station above the planet, and soon discover that they
and the colonists are in grave danger...
Big Finish embarked upon a series of stories in which Peter
Davison's Doctor works with former 1960s Who assistants?
No, not quite, but following the guest appearance of William
Russell in The
Game, Three's A Crowd features Deborah
Watling (alias Troughton-era companion Victoria Waterfield)
as the colony's ruler, Auntie. Does anyone else think that
Watling sounds rather like Kate Mulgrew nowadays? The effect
is accentuated in this instance because, like Mulgrew in Star
Trek: Voyager, she plays a leader.
of series and companions, Caroline Morris's Erimem has now
appeared in enough Big Finish adventures to comprise an entire
television season of Doctor Who. Perhaps with that
very thought in mind, and following the traumatic events that
she experienced in her previous adventure, The
Roof of the World, writer Colin Brake raises
the question of how much longer Erimem will remain aboard
But the title of Three's A Crowd doesn't just refer
to the TARDIS trio. It also refers to the agoraphobia that
plagues the Phoenix colonists, which means that most of them
are unable to bear the company of more than one person at
a time. Lucy Beresford provides an excellent portrayal of
an extreme case, Bellip, who finds it difficult to cope with
even a single visitor.
isn't quite enough plot here to sustain the story's 110-minute
running time. On this occasion, three episodes would have
been good company and four's a crowd. However, I found the
agoraphobia angle so engaging that I am prepared to overlook
that, as well as the tale's passing resemblance to the Tom
Baker serial The Ark in Space.
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