I listened to the first half of Big Finish‘s The Spectre of Lanyon Moor during a run today. Starring Colin Baker as the 6th Doctor, travelling with Evelyn Smythe (Maggie Stables), The Spectre of Lanyon Moor includes the first meeting between the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney) and this incarnation of the Doctor. In this instance, Dimensions in Time has been ignored.
The Doctor and Evelyn arrive in the midst of an archaeological dig in Cornwall. Eveleyn’s keen on getting some breakfast, but the Doctor is more intrigued by an ancient fogou.
It’s not long before the Doctor hears tales of terrifying imps and ghoulish legends, all of which are scoffed at by the leader of the dig. That is until Evelyn encounters a devilish creature that devours a new found friend.
The Brigadier, officially retired, is unofficially investigating on behalf of the ministry due to some historic records of mysterious events surrounding a naval base in the area. To anyone not “in the know”, he’s just helping an old friend with some hands-on archaeological work.
So far, The Spectre of Lanyon Moor is a reliable story told in the traditional way. It shares the atmosphere of Terror of the Zygons, with the Gothic feel of Image of the Fendahl, and includes a lead archaeologist that’s not too dissimilar from James Ellis’ character from Battlefield.
Without UNIT to give orders to, the Brigadier is, thus far, reduced to the companion role of constantly asking what the Doctor is doing. He feels a little bit wasted here but perhaps that will change as the story continues and concludes.
Whilst not fantastic nor sparkling, The Spectre of Lanyon Moor is a safe listen that’ll transport you back to the classic era of Doctor Who with elements of familiarity.