They say that there are some things that you shouldnâ€™t know. Leave it where it belongs- in the past, thatâ€™s another popular expression. All of these can, to an extent, apply to this months Lost Stories range, The Macros.
A Sixth Doctor and Peri adventure co-written by Ingrid Pitt (who starred in 1972â€™s The Time Monster and 1983â€™s Warriors of the Deep) and her partner Tony Rudlin, The Macros unfold as the TARDIS team arrive on the famous Philadelphia Experiment boat the USS Eldridge. Events start to cross into another universe and thatâ€™s when things get a bit, well, bland.
Letâ€™s be clear here, there are some great moments in this play, when the Doctor and Peri first arrive on the abandoned, rotten ship a great sense of loneliness and paranoia that are evoked by the subtle yet chilling incidental music. The Sixth Doctor and Periâ€™s relationship in these Lost Stories is an interim between how they were together on television and how they are in the regular Big Finish audios, which is a bit tricky to get into when weâ€™ve had them get on so well in earlier Big Finish plays. Old sixy is less gruff with Peri and has a strong and clear loyalty to her but in turn still appears to have a small lack of respect for her.
The Macros is a script that was created for an era of Doctor Who that wasnâ€™t that successful but with tweaks and polishes here and there, Big Finish have made a steady play that wouldnâ€™t have transposed on a television screen at all well. Certain elements of The Macros could never have been achieved in Doctor Who in the 1980â€™s-the massive ship and the other dimension would have ended up becoming a production nightmare and so itâ€™s plain to see why this script never saw the light of day on our screens.
So, what it really comes down to is-are you missing a treat by not listening to The Macros or just saving yourself some money to buy another Big Finish Doctor Who play? Only you can decide that, but if you want to listen to a bold, refreshing and entertaining Doctor Who play, then The Macros – with its very traditional 1980s Doctor Who elements – isn’t for you.
Overall, The Macros plays out well but has a little of its 1980â€™s hangover to deal with.