“Devil in the Mist” is the first release in Big Finish’s monthly range this year, featuring the Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and (for the first time in an audio adventure) the robotic shapeshifter Kamelion. How does the first adventure for this TARDIS team shape up? Read on to find out!
Written by Cavan Scott and directed by Ken Bentley, “Devil in the Mist” is set between “The King’s Demons” and “The Five Doctors”, telling the story of the Doctor, Tegan and Turlough’s first adventure with Kamelion on board.
It’s packed with creative ideas, the most interesting of which is the concept of the Zamglitti: alien warlords who can transform themselves into mind-bending mist. The character referred to in the title, Nustanu (Simon Slater), is one such creature and he serves as a formidable foe for the Doctor and his friends to combat throughout the story.
Joining the TARDIS team on this adventure are Orna (Anjella Mackintosh) and Rako (John Voce), both of whom are hippo-like Harrigaines, a species last seen in Scott’s brilliant story for the Ninth Doctor Chronicles: “The Bleeding Heart”. Both characters are compelling and Scott spends some time expanding on their species’ mythos, which is welcome.
Of course, the real star of the story is Jon Culshaw, who brings Kamelion to life excellently, allowing Big Finish to harness the potential of this sorely underused but very promising character. His rapport with Tegan is the highlight of the story, and he gets some interesting material to work with in part four, which is full of twists that keep the plot exciting right until the end.
The main trio of Peter Davison, Janet Fielding and Mark Strickson are on top of their game, once again giving such authentic performances that this story could easily have fit in with the era it emulates. Fielding is probably given the most interesting material, with Scott teaming a distrustful Tegan with Kamelion. That’s not to say the others have nothing to do; the Doctor gets put in rather a unique situation, which leads to some interesting interactions between him and Turlough.
Andy Hardwick‘s sound design is on point throughout, and he brings the jungle planet upon which the Doctor and his companions find themselves to life with flair. The cliffhangers to episodes one and two are highlights, with Hardwick imbuing them with a real sense of danger through both his sound effects and his music.
All in all, “Devil in the Mist” is a brilliant start to 2019’s Monthly Range, and a welcome glimpse into the as-yet-unseen TARDIS team of the Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and Kamelion that leaves me excited for the remaining stories in this trilogy.