Trouble in Paradise

The Doctor finds himself face-to-face with Christopher Columbus when he and Peri are sent on a mission to locate an omni-paradox.

Following last month’s Smoke and Mirrors, June’s Destiny of the Doctor entry sees our hero encounter another historical figure, and once again we don’t get the unadulterated hero-worship the TV series bestows. Here Cameron Stewart voices Christopher Columbus. Peri informs the Doctor and the listener of Columbus’ morally indefensible actions, but what we see is a self-aggrandising character who has bluffed and bullied his way through life. Columbus refused to accept that the lands he discovered were not part of Asia, and took credit for spotting the Bahamas first to claim a lifetime pension from the Spanish Crown. It is this side of the man that comes to fore under Fountain’s pen, a slightly comical, opportunist figure obsessed with his reputation and his own survival.


Nev Fountain is great at writing adventures for Peri, as evidenced in the superlative Big Finish Companion Chronicle Peri and the Piscon Paradox. He writes her relationship with each of her Doctors distinctly and accurately. The antagonistic dynamic with the Sixth Doctor is well-played in Trouble in Paradise as their disagreement actually makes sense because its a clash of ideas, not just bickering; it’s an important plot point. You can almost see the events here as taking place between seasons twenty-two and twenty-three, accounting for their better relationship at the start of Trial of a Time Lord.

Mr Fountain’s writing with this release is skewed slightly more to the rebooted Doctor Who style; with an RTD-era anthropomorphised animal as alien and the Moffat-inspired universe winking out as a consequence of events in the story. It’s a well-crafted, timey-wimey tale, and the first in this series to shake up the format a bit.

The story is told and acted by Nichola Bryant, who has an immediate advantage in narrating, as her performance as Peri is very different from her own voice. She switches effortlessly between the young, excitable companion and her warm, authoritative narration. Her Sixth Doctor is hits the right notes: knowledgeable and avuncular, but alternately stern and childlike.

Order Doctor Who – Trouble in Paradise on CD from Amazon:

Doctor Who: Trouble in Paradise (Destiny of the Doctor 6) (Dr Who Destiny of the Doctor 6)

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