In 18th-century Scotland, aging piper James Robert McCrimmon
is struck by lightning - and survives. But his ravings make
little sense. Who is the Doctor with his strange craft, the
TARDIS? Its been a long time since Jamie remembered
anything about his travels with the Doctor, but his visit
to Helicon Prime just wont stay hidden. He vividly recalls
a trip to the holiday resort where he and the Doctor became
embroiled in a murder investigation, even though acts of ill-will
are supposedly impossible on this planet...
is customary for The Companion Chronicles, the narrative
is framed by the device of the companion, in this case Jamie
(Frazer Hines, making his Big Finish debut), recalling the
adventure many years later, thus explaining why the actor
sounds older. Writer Jake Elliott throws in a rationalisation
for how Jamie is able to remember these events at all, given
the fact that the Time Lords erased his memory of his travels
with the Doctor at the end of The War Games.
fans can relax, because this explanation does not necessarily
rule out the claim, in the Doctor Who Magazine Sixth
Doctor comic strip The World Shapers, that the Doctor
taught Jamie to resist the Time Lords mental conditioning.
Maybe the memory blocks take a considerable time to wear off
and Jamies recollections here are only the beginning.
As director Nigel Fairs observes in his sleeve notes: Jakes
poignant ending reflects not only the sadness of Jamie and
Zoes lost memories of a magical time but our hopes that
their amnesia will be short-lived.
of continuity, Victoria is said to be off studying graphology
(even though she is depicted in the Whos Who?
section of the sleeve notes), thus placing this tale around
the time of The
Two Doctors... whenever that is. By this I
mean that fans have long questioned how The Two Doctors
fits in with the rest of the Second Doctors era. In
that serial, he was working for the Time Lords, even though
his people didnt capture him until his final story,
The War Games. He referred to himself as being a
bit of an exile, despite the fact that his sentence
didnt commence until after his regeneration, in Spearhead
In 1995, in Doctor Who: The Discontinuity Guide, Paul
Cornell proposed the concept of Season 6B, the
idea that, in between his trial and his enforced regeneration,
the Doctor experienced a further series of adventures. Indeed,
the final five Second Doctor comic strips in TV Comic
(issues 916-936) explicitly support this notion by featuring
a post-trial Troughton Doctor, exiled on Earth but not yet
attached to UNIT. Terrance Dicks later validated the theory
in his 1999 novel Players and its 2005 follow-up World
If one accepts the notion of Season 6B, then Helicon
Prime is the first audio story to take place within that
story is enjoyable, conspicuously more heavily populated with
weird of wonderful aliens than a 60s television production
would ever have been able to achieve, and it is made all the
more pleasurable thanks to Hiness narration. The actor
does an uncanny impersonation of Patrick Troughton, right
down to the little cough he used to do between lines. My only
criticisms of Hiness reading are that, just occasionally,
the Doctor comes across sounding like Prince Charles and that
sometimes Jamies Scottish accent crosses over into the
voices of other characters - which is odd, especially since
Hines is actually a Yorkshireman rather than a Scot.
secondary voice is provided by Suzanne Procter (who played
Cousin Justine in BBVs Faction Paradox Protocols)
as Mindy Voir. This role doesnt really stretch the versatile
actress, which leads me to wonder why Big Finish didnt
hire Deborah Watling to provide support as the voice of Victoria
rather than consigning the character to graphology college.
my quibbles, Helicon Prime presents Jamie and his Doctor
very much in their prime.
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