"The Ultimate Adventure" was originally a 1989 stage play by Terrance Dicks running from March 23 to August 19, performed at first by Jon Pertwee
as the Third Doctor (occasionally substitued by David Banks as a non-canon Doctor when Pertwee fell ill in the middle of its UK run) and later by Colin Baker
as the Sixth Doctor. Big Finish
has faithfully adapted it into a Sixth Doctor Audio Play
with only very minor changes to the script.
Terrance Dicks eventually wrote a sequel for Big Finish
, called "Beyond The Ultimate Adventure".
The Doctor and new companion Jason (well, the Marquis Jason de Saint Epiman de Sinee de la Tour, rescued by the Doctor from revolution-era France) are summoned by Margaret Thatcher
to prevent the kidnapping of an American envoy. The guy promptly does get kidnapped by a Villain Team-Up
of Daleks and Cybermen and assorted mercenaries, and team TARDIS accidentally drags along up-and-coming Teen Idol
Crystal. They follow the lead to an intergalactic Bad-Guy Bar
, where the Doctor's disguise (pointy helmet and all) fails to fool anyone. They pick up a furry alien named Zog, who's had enough of his job at the bar, and go on a stealth mission to trick the Daleks (including the emperor) and get the envoy back to earth on time. Jason and Crys, who've fallen in love at this point, decide to stick together and become a proper team TARDIS.
- Bad-Guy Bar: With a song and everything.
- Continuity Nod: The Big Finish version has a tremendously sweet moment in which Six fondly thinks about Evelyn. (Nicholas Briggs was aware of the Continuity Snarl implications but couldn't resist, and calls the reference "a bit naughty" in regards to canonicity.)
- Doing It for the Art: Nicholas Briggs thought the play was terrible when he first saw it, and Terrance Dicks strongly disliked the way sappy love songs had been shoe-horned into his script. Both cooperated to record the story as a Big Finish audio play regardless just to preserve a classic piece of Who, including every little bit of camp and narm... and having so much fun in the process that they eventually made a sequel.
- Executive Meddling: The producers insisted on having balloon aliens (since they knew a way to make it look cool), a guillotine scene (since they knew a way to make it look cool) and three musical numbers. Terrance Dicks scrambled to come up with a plot that featured all those things, but eventually just gave up on trying to find a way to make the big romantic musical duet look believable. He later expressed relief at the fact that none of the producers happened to know a particularly well-trained group of circus seals that he'd have had to include.
- Happiness in Slavery: A variation; Zog's race enjoys cleaning, but Zog finds his job a bit too rough and escapes in the TARDIS.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Mrs Margeret T is a very thinly-veiled Margaret Thatcher. The Doctor comments that she scares him more than most monsters he faces.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: Zog.
- That Reminds Me of a Song: Crys has a habit of bursting into song.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: How Crys starts out in the TARDIS.
- Translator Microbes: Averted; for some odd reason that's never explained or even alluded to, Jason and Crys don't understand alien languages at all.
- Villain Team-Up: Daleks and Cybermen.
- Whip It Good: Madame Delilah wields a whip. The Doctor is not impressed◊.