Doctor Who: The Wormery by Paul Magrs & Stephen Cole (Big Finish, 2003) The experimental storytelling doesn’t always pay dividends, but at least the writers aren’t stuck on the bog-standard. Colin Baker holds himself in fine fettle (and is afforded an uncommon depth of character). Former Pertwee-era companion Katy Manning runs rampant as Iris Wildthyme.
Dr. Sixth by Adam Hargreaves (Puffin, 2018) Poor Colin Baker. Hargreaves captures something of the Sixth Doctor’s voice, and also his rather planless propensity towards grandiloquent bluster as a means by which to defeat evil (in this case, the Rani). Unfortunately, the illustrations in this volume are rather bland.
River Song: World Enough and Time by James Goss (Big Finish, 2016) A bit of a mess, sadly. Colin Baker can’t be faulted but his Doctor is out of character and has been shoehorned into the script merely for the gimmick of his being there. River Song would have been better on her own.
Doctor Who: The Carrionite Curse by Simon Guerrier (Big Finish, 2017) Guerrier captures the Sixth Doctor’s character and the salient features of that era (in a good way). Colin Baker’s vitality is undiminished 30+ years on, but the Carrionites—being the type of monster that screeches and threatens but never attacks—are disappointing.
Doctor Who: Planet of the Rani by Marc Platt (Big Finish, 2015) Colin Baker remains a powerful presence but the plot and character motivations are all over the place. Platt has latched on to the conceit that the Sixth Doctor can defeat all the evils of the universe solely through dint of supercilious speech-making.
Doctor Who, Series 8 (BBC, 2014) Series Eight starts with an apology, ends with a folly turned helter-skelter. In-between this, Peter Capaldi simmers rakishly: the sort of caustic, ‘dislikeable’ Doctor that Colin Baker was aiming for, only with the necessary scripts and production values to support the characterisation.
Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos by Philip Martin; dir. Ron Jones (BBC, 1985) A rare instance of a decent Sixth Doctor script. Colin Baker is still left with little to do but (a) run about and (b) look smugly unconcerned, but Varos at least gives a sign of how good his tenure could have been.
Doctor Who: The Sandman by Simon A. Forward (Big Finish, 2002) A nice SF concept, which affords plenty of scope for the Sixth Doctor’s almost bipolar swings between compassion and firewalled ‘otherness’. Colin Baker once again shows that he could have been great if given something to work with by JNT and company.
Doctor Who and the Pirates by Jacqueline Rayner (Big Finish, 2003) A bizarre audio drama, featuring an explicitly unreliable narrator (the story’s telling is itself the mystery) and Bill Oddie in gleeful Ecky Thump pirate mode. The third quarter sees Colin Baker and Co. drop into a full-on musical of the high seas.