a real world point of view
|The Land of the Dead|
|Main enemy:||The Permians|
|Main setting:||Alaska, 1964 and 1994|
|Publisher:||Big Finish Productions|
|Producer:||Jason Haigh-Ellery and |
|Release date:||January 2000|
|Format:||4 Episodes on 2 CDs|
|Big Finish Doctor Who audio stories|
|Whispers of Terror||The Fearmonger|
Publisher's summary Edit
Millionaire Shaun Brett is utilising chunks of the local area to construct a shrine to his dead father. But when deadly creatures start roaming outside, and a terrifying discovery is made inside the house, the Doctor realises that Brett has unleashed an unimaginably ancient force.
The TARDIS materialises high in the air over Alaska in 1964 with the Doctor and Nyssa on board, and the scanners pick up a form of energy the TARDIS cannot analyse. Before they can investigate, a light aircraft nearly collides with them in mid-air and the TARDIS dematerialises to avoid the collision. When it rematerialises 30 years later, they pick up another instance of the same unusual energy pattern and set off to investigate with a tracking device. It leads them to a building under construction, which is built into a cliff face. Nyssa suspects they are being watched, and as night falls they are attacked by unseen creatures which chase them to the building.
Inside the building, Shaun Brett's employees discuss the progress of his building/monument, as well as detail conflict between Brett and the local Inuit peoples that are being handled by his Inuit-American assistant Tulung (and possibly caused by his full Inuit employee Gaborik). His interior decorator, Monica Lewis, questions why Tulung is loyal to the abusive and demeaning Brett.
When the Doctor and Nyssa arrive and request asylum from the creatures, Gaborik initially wants to throw them out but Tulung intervenes and they advise Brett of their arrival. The Doctor notes that the foyer has more of the appearance of a museum. Nyssa is taken ill, possibly due to the change in temperature and exertion, and the Doctor inquires if they can stay the night (noting to Nyssa on the side that the tracker readings are even stronger inside).
In the drawing room, they are warmed by the fire and Tulung provides backstory for the house and its occupants — the Brett family made a fortune from oil, but Brett's father fell in love with the land. Tulung's father was an archaeologist hired by Brett to work on a dig in 1964, which is how Brett and Tulung met — and how both of their fathers died.
The Doctor is given a tour of the museum, where each room is themed to reflect some part of Alaska — a room made of local wood, another of local stone, an indoor virtual shoreline complete with ocean, tides, and local wildlife (though none are seen), and finally a room made entirely of the bones of the local animals. Brett then invites his guests and staff to dinner. At dinner, the Doctor, fresh off the Bone Room, has lost his appetite, Monica says she is a vegetarian, and Gaborik says the animals tasted wrong because of the changes to the environment. Brett continues to abuse "Little Tulung", trying and failing to provoke a reaction.
Nyssa continues to develop a headache, so Monica takes her for a walk, which ends with them in the Ocean Room, where Nyssa suddenly feels much worse. Monica rushes off to fetch the Doctor, leaving Nyssa alone. On the way back to Nyssa, a wall of the Earth Room splits open, revealing an unusual object buried inside. The Doctor is unable to open the doors to get to Nyssa, and the same creatures as from outside begin to manifest inside the Ocean Room.
to be added
- The Doctor - Peter Davison
- Nyssa - Sarah Sutton
- Monica Lewis - Lucy Campbell
- Supplier - Alistair Lock
- Shaun Brett - Christopher Scott
- Tulung - Neil Roberts
- Gaborik - Andrew Fettes
- Nyssa mentions Tegan Jovanka's recent departure from the TARDIS.
- The Doctor notes, a little defensively, that several elements of the TARDIS are not working quite as well as they should, particularly the visual sensors and audio circuits.
- Tulung was born in Alaska in 1954 to an archaeologist from Colorado and a Koyukon woman.
- Shaun Brett has stocked his artificial habitat with sea lions.
- This is the first audio drama featuring Sarah Sutton as Nyssa.
- The cover image shows an adapted image of Joseph Merrick's skull.
- The inner pamphlet includes a map of the base.
- This is one of the few Big Finish Productions audios to be originally released on cassette tape as well as on CD.
- Chronologically, this is the earliest audio drama in the main Doctor Who range to feature the Fifth Doctor, meaning that it takes place before the events of every other audio drama in that range. However, the earliest audio drama to feature the Fifth Doctor is AUDIO: The Darkening Eye, which takes place shortly before the events of TV: Earthshock.
- This audio drama was recorded on 24 and 25 July 1999.
- Tegan Jovanka recently departed the TARDIS during a brief return to Heathrow Airport in 1982. (TV: Time-Flight)
- The Seventh Doctor would visit Alaska again in 1934 in the company of Ace and Hex. (AUDIO: Lurkers at Sunlight's Edge)
- Official The Land of the Dead page at bigfinish.com
- Detailed synopsis of The Land of the Dead at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- DisContinuity for The Land of the Dead at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide