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A Most Excellent Match was the third story in the audio anthology, Recorded Time and Other Stories, which comprised the one hundred and fiftieth release in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Matt Fitton and featured Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri Brown.

Publisher's summary[]

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single girl in possession of a mind of her own must be in want of a husband. But which of Miss Peri Brown's rival suitors will be the one to win her hand: handsome Mr Darcy, or the mysterious Doctor?


The Doctor practices proposing to Peri at Longbourne Manor when he is greeted by Mr. Darcy, the handsome stranger who has come to ask for Peri's hand in marriage. Meanwhile, Peri gossips with her sister Tilly about the handsome suitor who has arrived.

Mr. Darcy speaks privately with Peri but the Doctor, under the guise of the name Dr. Smith, interrupts to ask her for her hand in marriage. However, he is rejected, with Peri having accepted Mr. Darcy's proposal instead. The Doctor, outside, contacts Cranton and tells him that he suspects his Jane Austen Experience program might be malfunctioning as Peri seems unaware of who she really is and it appears her mind is trapped in the program. He decides to investigate further.

He discovers that there may be a Mindsmith loose in Cranton's stolen technology that is attempting to take over Peri's mind and use her body in order to escape the machine which Cranton stole to help support him in his old age because his marine pension would not be able to do so. The Doctor, being attacked by something, becomes unable to move while Cranton attempts to monitors Peri's situation. Instead, the Doctor is confronted by the Mindsmith, now having taken on the form of Heathcliff. Luckily, however, the Doctor's earlier tactic to awaken Peri works and she wakes up confused, her mind freed. Cranton helps her out and contacts the Doctor, informing him but when he asks Cranton to extract him, Cranton finds he is unable to do so. The Doctor confronts the Mindsmith who reveals its real target was him, has cut off any chance of his mind being extracted from the psyche-scape and Cranton loses contact with the Doctor.

After being threatened to be reported by Peri, she and Cranton hatch a plan to get the Doctor out of there. The Doctor, meanwhile, awakens inside the psyche-scape still, slightly amnesiac, and finds the Mindsmith, posing still as Heathcliff, attempting to have him sign over his property. Peri has Cranton put her back in the psyche-scape and returns to the simulation just in time, and manages to convince the Mindsmith that the Doctor's property, due to unfortunate circumstance, is actually hers. They then trick the Mindsmith, who is forced to obey the rules and therefore authority of the simulation, by having Cranton pretend to be the rich widowed mother of Peri's character and Tilly, whom the Doctor earlier discovered is the AI that helps control the program, and have the Mindsmith lose control of the simulation by transferring all the estates of the different simulations to her (the character). They then program Tilly to take over as Cranton's mother character "dies" and Tilly releases the Doctor from the machine and control of the Mindsmith. They manage to escape in time as Tilly causes the machine to overload, destroying the Mindsmith forever.

The machine becomes destroyed along with the data-core and Tilly. Peri laments the loss and Cranton begs the Doctor to not tell the authorities and for a second chance to run something. The Doctor reluctantly agrees and he and Peri set off. Peri teases him that although the Mindsmith had been stopping her from leaving, she still remembers everything from the simulation, especially the Doctor's marriage proposal, much to his chagrin.





  • Cranton claims that the Austen Experience is being hosted at the 2351 Galaxy Fair.
  • The Austen Experience takes place in the psyche-scape.
  • Cranton claims he also has other authors including T.S. Eloit, William Makepeace Thackeray and some works by the Bronte Sisters in the program.
  • The Mindsmiths of Askatan used mind weapons to win their wars.
  • The Doctor can play Wisp, Cribbage and Snap.
  • When they trick the Mindsmith, several characters are used including General Tilney of Northanger Abbey, Mr. Earnshaw of Wuthering Heights, Mr. Rochester of Thornfield Hall from Jane Eyre and Sir Walter Elliot from Persuasion (another Jane Austen novel).


  • This is one of the few stories in the Doctor Who audio medium to use a some inappropriate language for younger listeners. Cranton refers to the patrons of his Austen Experience as high class and not people who "...roll up to grab a bitch..."