Review: Doctor Who – Exotron

ExotronThat’s odd. Two Big Finish plays in a row, I.D. and Exotron, and they’re both about robots that have human personalities uploaded into them. Did we really need two of them? Certainly, if it were a choice between I.D. or Exotron, Exotron would win hands down, and not just because it’s got Peri in it.

Exotron is, for one thing, a far more interesting play. It’s not outstanding, you’ll guess what’s going on before the end of part one, and the whole idea of giant hyenas fighting a bunch of Transformers really doesn’t work as an audio play. But it’s still more entertaining than the load of computer code that was I.D.

Plot (cannibalised from dead plots on the Big Finish web site)

On a distant colonial outpost of Earth, a group of terraformers is under threat from the planet’s most fearsome predator: the giant carnivorous Farakosh. All that stands between the colonists and a grisly death are the Exotrons – huge robots equipped with devastating firepower, designed by the outpost’s leader, Major Taylor.

But all is not as it seems. How are the Exotrons controlled, and where did the colonists find the resources to build them? The Doctor wants answers and Taylor is reluctant to provide them.

Meanwhile, outside the compound, the Farakosh are massing…

Is it any good?

It’s diverting. I managed to get through the whole play without yawning, which has to be good. The plot chugs along nicely. The acting’s reasonable and it’s nice to see John Duttine and Nick Brimble getting work. The Doctor is written very well, Peri less well.

But it’s all a bit silly. Sorry, but it is. We have talking hyenas and robots in love. Sci-fi fun, of course, but still silly.

Nothing remarkable then, but certainly nothing offensive. It’s paired with Urban Myths – more on that in a minute.

PS Big Finish: Get the actors to read the scripts before they start. PD and NB were stumbling a bit on the mandatory “Peri loves botany” dialogue this time.

Listen to the trailer (Windows Media)


The Doctor (Peter Davison)

Peri (Nicola Bryant)

Hector (John Duttine)

Paula (Isla Blair)

Shreeni (Nick Brimble)

Corporal Mozz (Richard Earl)

Weiss (Claire Wyatt)

Writer: Paul Sutton

Director: Barnaby Edwards

Price: £14.99 (International: £15.50)

Available from the Big Finish web site


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.