The Lure of the Nomad sees the Sixth Doctor travelling around the universe with a new companion Mathew Sharpe, play by George Shear, it also kicks off a new trilogy for the Sixth Doctor and is the last Big Finish audiobook to feature the iconic side-bar cover before they switch to the new logo.
For thousands of years, it has drifted through space, forgotten and lifeless and then one day it is seemingly discovered. The Doctor and his new companion Mathew Sharpe respond to a distress call, where they find the multi-tentacle Makara who have gone from renovated a space-station to killing its inhabitants. It doesn’t take the Doctor long to discover that the Makara has been programmed to kill. But who by and for what purpose? The truth will threaten the entire universe…
Author, Matthew J. Elliot, gives us a rather enjoyable sci-fi story which has more to it than appears at first glance. One thing that will grab your attention is the darker tone of the adventure, certainly the darkest since The Peterloo Massacre released a few years ago. With that darker tone comes some great humour and a few shocking moments scattered throughout the runtime. But what of the story itself?
I have to admit it but The Lure of the Nomad failed to really grip me, it kept me interested but I found my mind wandering at moments throughout the tale. The Lure of the Nomad is a story that requires your attention at all times, something that unfortunately it didn’t have from me. But what this story does very well is taking it in one direction and then, at the final hurdle, switching things up and changing tracks giving us a thrilling cliff-hanger at the end of the third episode. What begins as a simple base-under-siege tale changes when the Doctor begins to experience time shifts to an alien race who should be nothing but a footnote in history. It moves expertly, not really jarring you out of the story but as I stated above, if you aren’t paying the fullest of attention, you might lose the plot a little.
The new companion, Mathew Sharpe is an interesting creation. Played by George Shear, he is an enjoyable character, who like Mel did on the television, turns up first in the middle of his adventures with the Doctor. A space pilot, probably from around the time of Steven Taylor or Sara Kingdom, Sharpe is capable of looking after himself while his younger age means he is still a little vulnerable and needs rescuing from time to time. I found myself really getting into his character and investing my time in his debut story. Given how pivotal he is to the plot, he gets a really large chunk of the action and with this being Shear’s first foray into the world of Big Finish, he acquits himself nicely. He has a nice rapport with the supporting cast and with Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor and the pair do feel like they have been travelling the universe for a while. Let’s hope this isn’t the last we hear from Mathew Sharpe and that Big Finish let us delve into some of his earlier adventures soon!
But Mathew Sharpe isn’t the only interesting character to spend time with the Doctor in this story. We’ve got the shady businessman, Eric Drazen playing a large part in the plot too. Drazen is a really cool character who wants to do the right thing, even if it goes against every dodgy thought in his head. Drazen would have been a brilliant anti-hero companion, along with the same lines as a certain, not-a-Nazi, Elizabeth Klein. He and the Doctor make an excellent pair and it is a shame that they don’t go off in the TARDIS at the end of the story.
The Lure of the Nomad, on reflection, is a play that is rather different from the normal output from Big Finish. The story does have an epic quality to it and the emotional torment the Doctor has to endure is equally as epic is scale. Matthew J. Elliot gives us a story where the characters are well rounded and fit nicely into the tense and dangerous world they inhabit. George Shear makes a dynamic debut for Mathew Sharpe and I hope we hear more from him in the future. But ultimately, it is a story about atoning for one’s sins and the lengths people will go to do just that…
For thousands of years, it has drifted through space, unimpeded, forgotten, seemingly lifeless. Now, finally, it has been discovered.
Responding to a distress call from the mysterious hulk, the Doctor and his companion, space pilot Mathew Sharpe, walk into a desperate situation. The multi-tentacled semi-bionic Makara was tasked with renovating the abandoned craft, but now they’ve begun murdering their employers.
The Doctor soon realises that the Makara has been programmed to kill, but by whom, and for what reason? Finding out the truth will mean uncovering a secret that threatens the entire Universe.
Written By: Matthew J Elliott
Directed By: John Ainsworth
Colin Baker (The Doctor), George Sear (Mathew Sharpe), Matthew Holness (Eric Drazen), Susie Riddell (Esther Brak), Ruth Sillers (Willoway), Jonathan Christie (Captain Schumer), Anna Barry (Juniper Hartigan), Dan March (Varian). Other parts played by members of the cast.