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Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who 195 Mistfall

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Mistfall is the one hundred and ninety-fifth story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Andrew Smith and featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, Sarah Sutton as Nyssa, Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka and Mark Strickson as Turlough.

Drawn off-course, the TARDIS passes through a CVE into a closed universe – a hugely improbable event with a tragically obvious cause. In order to escape inescapable E-Space, the Doctor, Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough are forced to venture in the wilds of planet Alzarius.

But they're not the only unwanted visitors to this strange world. A Starliner has landed, captained by Decider Merrion – but why would Merrion risk rousing the Planet that Slept, and the monsters in its marshes?

Mistfall is coming. The Marshmen are coming. But while Nyssa and Turlough find themselves caught in the open, in the hands of fanatics who model themselves on the legendary Outlers, the Doctor and Tegan discover that the supposedly secure Starliner affords them no protection from monsters both within and without...


Mistfall contains examples of:

  • Animal Assassin: The saboteur hides a marsh spider inside Decider Merrion's locker.
  • Call-Back: Naturally, as part of the "Return to E-Space" arc, this story has several nods to "Full Circle". As well as the obvious return of the Marshmen, it is implied that the TARDIS manages to land in the same forest on Alzarius that it did in that episode, and there are plenty of references to Adric and the other characters introduced in Full Circle.
  • Call-Forward: The Doctor remarks that Turlough is a strong swimmer, which calls forward to when Turlough will save Peri from drowning in "Planet of Fire".
  • Chekhov's Gun: The cobweb filled tunnel in the cave that the Doctor and the New Alzarians do not take.
  • The Empath: Fem is able to sense the pain and trauma of other Marshmen, and act as their Translator Buddy as they are, for the most part, The Voiceless.
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  • Evil Luddite: Drell, like most of his race, is opposed to advanced technology because he believes it is an anathema to nature, but unlike most of them, he is willing to employ violent means to achieve his ends. He even attacks the TARDIS console when he sees it: his brain unable to cope with the whole 'bigger on the inside' issue.
  • False Flag Operation: Solus is making his acts of sabotage look like the work of Outler radicals. He has even set up a naïve Outler to killed and take the blame for the attacks.
  • Fed to the Beast: In the cliffhanger to part 3, Nyssa and Turlough are staked to the ground as a meal for a horde of ravening marsh spiders.
  • Lockdown: The New Alzarian exploration base goes into lockdown when mistfall starts to occur.
  • No Social Skills: Turlough reacts to the others' sensitivity about Adric's death with his usual tact.
    Nyssa: Don't you remember? Adric calculated a way back to E-Space when- when he wanted to go back home.
    Tegan: Just before we met the Cybermen! Just...before he...
    Turlough: Before he died.
    The Doctor: Yes, thank you, Turlough.
  • One-Word Title
  • Reckless Gun Usage: Turlough picks up the traitor's gun when he is disarmed. Nyssa tries to tell him something only for him to dismissively tell her "I know how to handle a gun". What she was trying to tell him is that the gun is still fully charged. He then accidentally discharges it which creates enough confusion for the traitor to escape.
  • Reluctant Hero: As usual, Turlough never misses an opportunity to point out that all the disasters and in-fighting taking place are really none of their business, and is thoroughly bemused when Nyssa insists on going out of their way to get involved.
  • Sadistic Choice: Back on New Alzarius, Decider Lana Merrion was forced to divert a tidal wave that destroyed a village of native Hiragi, but if she had done nothing the wave would have destroyed a larger number of Hiragi and Alzarians. She took the action independently rather than consulting others, but she has explained her decision to the Hiragi rulers and they agreed to keep her decision secret.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The New Alzarians are conducting some seriously invasive experiments on the Marshmen, whom they regard as subhuman, even though they are their ancestors. They are also willing to leave their Marshmen test subjects behind when their base is set to self-destruct. It is only when one of the Marshmen develops speech that they concede that the Marshmen are a sentient race.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Solus never had any intention with of bringing Drell along with him after they assassinate the Decider. Instead, he shoots him, leaving his body as another piece of misdirection.


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