Break out the jelly babies – it’s a multi-Doctor story, put together to celebrate the time traveller’s 40th anniversary. However, it’s not a multi-Doctor story in the traditional sense. Production company Big Finish was tasked with the responsibility of creating a CD audiobook featuring every Doctor and companion up until his Eighth incarnation, and this is the staggeringly good finished result.
Zagreus is probably better thought of as an Eighth Doctor story, featuring a top-drawer cast. Rather than having the Doctor charging around and bumping into his former selves, each of the actors are cast in unfamiliar roles. In this story, Charley, the Eighth Doctor’s companion, is thrown into the Matrix - a hive-mind of all the thoughts and characters of everyone who has ever lived on Gallifrey.
Classic Who fans will have an idea of what to expect; entering the Matrix is rather like entering Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. Hence, we find Peter Davison playing a reverend, Colin Baker cast as a vampire, Sylvester McCoy as Winkie and there’s even a posthumous cameo from the great Jon Pertwee.
Zagreus comprises three stories and is ambitious, to say the least. However, this MP3 audiobook pulls off the feat with spectacular aplomb, allowing us to see all the Doctors at work, even if they’re not seeming to be quite themselves. Spectacular stuff.