(special thanks to Big Finish for providing me with a review copy!)
Siberia at the end of the 19th Century, and the TARDIS arrives just as a shooting star hurtles to the ground.
With it comes an illness that affects the Doctor and Susan, and knowledge that must not fall into the wrong hands.
With his friends either dying or lost, Ian Chesterton must save the future and win the ultimate prize – a way home to 1963…
William Russell (Ian Chesterton), Tim Chipping (Grigory)
So in many ways I’m surprised this is the first time I’ve heard of anything Doctor Who that’s been related to a certain mad monk. Almost everything about the man practically screams out for Who attention, but it’s never happened until now. Yes, Rasputin has turned up in an audio.
“The Wanderer” is an interesting little tale. It features the usual for the series (aliens invading, strange artifacts, etc), and features the aforementioned Rasputin. He’s not named that at the start, but if you know any Russian history (and really, who doesn’t?), then you know right off who the character is.
I must say he blended well with the story. I really liked his relationship with Ian and the way the two of them played off each other. I do find it perhaps a bit unlikely that Ian didn’t realize at first who this was, but he figured it out in the end.
As for the story itself, it was good. Nicely paced, compelling and entertaining. It was a bit odd hearing William Russel giving voice to Susan and Barbara, especially coming on the heels of my recent experience listening to “Farewell, Great Macedon,” but he worked well enough in the role. I do still prefer Peter Purves’ version of the Doctor, however.
Overall this is a good story, and as it doesn’t connect to any ongoing arcs, it’s a nice place for people who are new to the Companion Chronicles to get started.
And now, because I just can’t resist…