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Audio Review: Doctor Who: The Crimes of Thomas Brewster 
22nd-May-2011 06:39 pm
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Doctor Who: The Crimes of Thomas Brewster (Big Finish Audio Drama, #143)Doctor Who: The Crimes of Thomas Brewster by Jonathan Morris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I have kind of mixed feelings about Thomas Brewster - I liked the character when they initially introduced him, but I've never thought that Big Finish ever made it fully plausible that a Victorian orphan, even an admittedly bright one like Brewster, would have the nearly effortless ability to master future technologies and societies that Brewster does. And somehow I think that prevents me taking as much pleasure in Brewster's antics as I should. Or maybe it's the way Brewster is always trying to justify himself as having noble ends. I think I might actually like him better if he were a more straightforwardly self-interested liar and thief.

(At the same time, I think I remember complaining when I reviewed what was ostensibly Brewster's final story that I thought there was more potential in the character and that it was a shame that Big Finish hadn't kept him on for more stories. I don't think I'm being inconsistent here - I do think there's potential in the character. It's just not being developed in the way I might prefer.)


On the other hand, I was delighted to discover that this audio features the return of D.I. Patricia Menzies, who is one of my favorite recurring not-quite-companion characters ever.

Of course, with Evelyn Smythe also appearing, it makes for kind of a crowded companion line-up. Brewster actually works well here, though. The 6th Doctor, Evelyn, and Menzies are all much less inclined to cut him any slack than the 5th Doctor and Nyssa were.

The story is pretty much a fun romp, starting with the Doctor and Evelyn being chased in a speedboat down the Thames by a giant robot insect, and proceeding to London tube commuters fighting more giant robot insects on an alien planet and assorted mistaken identity hijinks in which nearly everyone seems to get a turn at pretending to be the Doctor. Not a classic, but not the dull exercise of tying up continuity loose ends on Thomas Brewster that I had initially been anticipating.

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