We finish with The Savages.
And so this lovely collection comes to a close with this tale. We’ve had a monster story with The Dalek’s Masterplan, an historical with The Massacre and something else entirely with The Celestial Toymaker- so it’s nice that this final story is ticking the sci-fi story box.
There is a great sci-fi idea at the heart of this story. And as we have seen with other Who ideas (The Ark in Space/Alien and a computer virtual world called The Matrix, for example), this one has turned up- albeit in a slightly different form- in a blockbuster sci-fi movie many years later, but to tell you either the idea here or even the movie would be too big a spoiler.
As with the rest of this box set, the linking narrations by Peter Purvis are excellent and go a long way towards bringing this to life. However, I think this is the only one from this set where I did find myself hankering for some visuals whiles listening to it, but I think this was because the narration was so vivid, rather than it lacking in any way.
I would like to mention my favourite idea from the story, but again, I feel I’d be spoilering it too much to do so, but I will say that it does produce some excellent performances from Hartnell and Frederick Jaeger, who plays Jano, the human leader.
I do fear that the casual listener will go through this set and assume that all early Who tales were as strong and/or thought provoking as the ones included here- be warned they are not.
So, this is a strong story with some fine performances. In the end though, I’m not sure if I’m disappointed or proud of the programme makers for not hammering home the point behind the title…
And finally- there is an extra disc in the set which has an hour long documentary which was first broadcast in 2009 on Radio 4. It is an illuminating show, explaining how these audios came about and includes interviews with Peter Purvis and some of the team of dedicated fans and professionals around the world who make it their mission to track down the remaining missing Who episodes.