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“I guess if some geezer came up to me in a bar and said he was my son come back from the future, I’d think he’d had a few too many.”

The Pat Troughton Doctor, Jamie, Ben and Polly arrive at an abandoned village at the Eastern Front during World War II – specifically, an island just offshore from Singapore.

But the village isn’t truly abandoned. ¬†In fact, there’s a British military contingent and a few locals gathered at a rundown local hotel…a group which includes none other than Ben’s father.

But there appears to be an uninvited guest skulking around the corridors…one who leaves dead bodies with faces contorted by fear…

“I’ve seen it!”
“No…death! The grim reaper!”
“Come on then, we’d better go and sort it out.”
“You can’t just…sort out the grim reaper!”

And as the action moves from the hotel to the jungle surrounding, the casualty count continues to increase…can The Doctor in fact sort things out and put matters¬†to right?

“Death don’t hang about, you know. ‘E’s got things to do.”

Elliot Chapman continues his uncanny approximation of Michael Craze’s Ben Jackson, simultaneously managing to put across a greater sense of likeability in the character than Craze ever did. Frazer Hines, for his part, offers his usual equally doppelgangerish take on Pat Troughton’s Doctor and his own Jamie McCrimmon – an always welcome presence in these audios.

Anneke Wills doesn’t get a lot of airtime till near the end, and what she does is more or less relegated to making tea and suchlike, but that’s reasonably accurate for the surviving episodes of her run. Big Finish does make an effort to compensate a bit by giving her some additional narration duties and allowing the lady to express her growing discomfort with playing the role of aesthetic adornment for the party*, so it all evens out, more or less.

* which she in fact does quite a bit, this time around…

Atmospheric and quite horror-inclined, Justin Richards’ The Forsaken is one of the better Companion Chronicle/Lost Stories/Early Adventures offerings to date, and one quite apropos to the season.