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'The Elite'

CD audio adventure released October 2011, 4 episodes

Writer: John Dorney from a storyline by Barbara Clegg
Director: Ken Bentley

Roots: The Wave. Ender's Game, plus Reagan-Era hype about computer games as combat simulators. Logan's Run (forced euthanasia at a decreed age). Theories of eugenics. 'master race. Oberon refers to Nyssa as 'Sleeping beauty' "It always comes down to 'that troublesome priest'"

Intertextuality: The Doctor references The Rosemariners of Rosadelicrucia, from the lost story The Rosemariners by Donald Tosh, adapted by Big Finish as part of its 'Lost Stories' range for The Second Doctor.

Dialogue Triumphs: "Oh, I'm threatened with execution all the time. Funnily enough someone always seems to turn up at the last minute and say 'hold your fire'. I've almost come to expect it."

"You're making a big mistake. You can't scare an Australian with imprisonment, it's in our blood!"

"I haven't seen a mind probe like this in, ah - well, it's probably only a few weeks, actually. I do see an awful lot of mind probes. I should really write a field guide."

"You're trying very hard to convince me you are a fool, but I do not think you are" "-Ah, yes well that's where you're wrong; I am a fool. It's just that as fools go I'm something of a genius"

"Obedience leads to discipline; discipline leads to conformity; conformity leads to strength, and through strength we ensure the best for all."

"Doctor? Doctor What?"

Double Entendres: "It's the academy - they're coming out!"

Continuity: There are more than two thousand varieties of rose on the planet Florana, which is listed by Galactic Heritage and has been uninhabited for thousands of years. Famed for its unspoiled beaches and effervescent seas, in this time landmarks mentioned include the Vartak ridge; the city of Zurandra has a population of thirty-one thousand. Concepts mentioned include the Rapture, Nirvana, Deliverance and the Promised Land, apotheosis, the Underworld and damnation, and God. Transmit technology is beyond them. Currency is in credits

Ten years ago a Dalek ship's space-time core was damaged in battle. The ship crashed on Florana and the surviving Dalek creature convinced its human rescuers that it was an Emissary of the Gods, fabricating a jury-rigged survival 'throne' and through the population's church influenced its military, creating an 'elite' of warriors that would elevate technical progress and, short of repairing the stricken ship, draw the attention of Dalek forces and ensure its rescue.

Artron energy is more powerful than most others, according to the Dalek Commander

The chronon wake of the collision with the Dalek ship affects the TARDIS' trajectory. Thane's men are able to force the TARDIS doors open.

This story is set mere days after the events of Arc of Infinity, although a couple of months have passed for Tegan between Time Flight and Arc; of course significantly more have passed for the Doctor and Nyssa. While in Amsterdam the Doctor's companions stayed in a hostel and 'took in the sights' (Nyssa was very much taken with its tulip fields visited the Rosse Buurt - presumably straying there by mistake), while the Doctor mentions having had to tidy things up on "Gallifrey and... elsewhere..." (see: Links.) in Tegan's absence the Doctor 'cleaned out' her room, putting her spare clothes in storage (and subsequently lost them.)

The Doctor's re-jigged mind probe affects all human ears - but not his. He isn't sure what chocolate would do to a Trakenite physiology (although he could be lying to keep the chocolate for himself.) The Doctor takes his tea with milk, no sugar.

Links: Arc of Infinity (see: Continuity) Nyssa's first taste of chocolate, which occurs in this story, is recalled by the Doctor later in The Judgement of Isskar. The much-referenced planet Florana was first recalled by the Doctor in Invasion of the Dinosaurs. It is not explained which version of Daleks is present here. The Eye of Orion. Tegan mentions the Mara and her attempt to kill the Doctor (Kinda) as well as Brisbane - this story leads to the TARDIS arriving there for a break (Hexagora)

The Bottom Line: "I seem to be making a habit of helping psychotics today"

Exemplary. The potential for Big Finish's Lost Stories series - more than staging complete scripts, but also adapting brief storylines into larger, more complex stories, is given a real thrust here. Dorney's script is intelligent, engaging and thrilling - no mean feat for a story which could have been gleaned within seconds by a routine Google search of unmade stories. The phrase "he made it his own" has never been more apt.

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