The Butcher of Brisbane was the one hundred and sixty-first story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Marc Platt and featured Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor, Sarah Sutton as Nyssa, Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka and Mark Strickson as Turlough.
It was notable for expanding the narrative of The Talons of Weng-Chiang from which it draws its title.
Publisher's summary Edit
Adopting the alias of Weng-Chiang, the 51st century war criminal Magnus Greel will one day arrive in Victorian London by Time Cabinet — only to meet his doom, his plans undone by the Time Lord known as the Doctor.
The Doctor never believed he'd meet Greel again. But when a TARDIS trip to companion Tegan's home town goes wrong, the Doctor ends up in the younger Greel's heyday — in a world on the brink of all-out war.
With the Doctor at the mercy of Greel's alien associate Findecker and his army of mutations, Tegan is about to learn just why they called Greel "the Butcher of Brisbane"...
Part one Edit
Magnus Greel, the Supreme Minister of Justice of the Supreme Alliance of Eastern States, is presiding over the Star Chamber in Peking, China. He sentences Ragan Crezzen (Prisoner 100742) to life imprisonment in a labour camp for the attempted murder of a government official, namely Dr Sa Yy Findecker, whom he blames for the death of his friend Sasha. However, he is immediately placed in Findecker's time chamber for experimentation.
The Doctor attempts to materialise the TARDIS at Tegan's father's sheep farm near Brisbane, Australia in June during the 1980s in order to witness the sheep shearing. However, the TARDIS encounters turbulence in the Time Vortex shortly before being struck by a Zygma beam, which begins to carve up its dimensions. The Doctor and Tegan remain in the TARDIS' console room while Nyssa and Turlough are transported to a frozen tundra in the 51st century. However, the Doctor believes that they may have been lost in the Vortex.
Shortly after Nyssa and Turlough's arrival, a portal opens up above them and a desiccated man falls to the ground. He recognises Nyssa and Turlough immediately, telling them that Findecker's time experiments resulted in him being thrown back in time three years. Although he appears to be an elderly man, he claims that he was only 23 years old before he was placed in the time chamber. He dies shortly after telling Nyssa and Turlough that all he wanted was to see Sasha's face one more time.
Having successfully materialised the TARDIS in the 51st century, the Doctor tells Tegan that that there was another Ice Age during this era, which is "justly notorious" for using Zygma energy to conduct time travel experiments. Tegan recognises the lie of the land as Spring Hill in Brisbane.
While sheltering from the cold, Nyssa and Turlough are discovered by a woman named Sasha Dialfra, a member of the Earth Free Media, who offers them thermal blankets. She recognises the corpse of the man from the future as her friend Ragan, whose younger self is back at their base. She realises that he allowed himself to be a victim of Findecker's time experiments in order to prove his theory that the people appearing in the Brisbane Dead Zone are from the future.
After being attacked by a mutated creature, the Doctor and Tegan are rescued by Sasha and Ragan. However, the Doctor is captured almost immediately by other mutated creatures in the employ of Findecker.
Tegan is transmatted to Earth Free Media's base, the Correspondents' Club, which is in close orbit of Earth, 250 klicks above the surface of the planet. On a television monitor, she witnesses Magnus Greel meeting with Ingrid Bjarnsdottir, the Commissioner of the Icelandic Alliance, in Peking. Greel introduces Bjarnsdottir to his "devoted bride-to-be": Nyssa.
Part two Edit
Dr Findecker, whose body is slowly decaying from Zygma beam radiation, attempts to hypnotise the Doctor, though his efforts are unsuccessful. His interest is piqued by not only the Doctor's alien nature but also the fact that he is aware that he has discovered the double nexus particle in spite of this information not being made public.
Sasha and Ragan tell Tegan that the former discovered Nyssa and Turlough in the Brisbane Dead Zone three years earlier and that the two of them were given new identities. Tegan comments that Nyssa, who uses the alias "Nyssa Traken," has clearly done well for herself. Following an attack on Greel's air saloon on his estate, Nyssa is wounded, though Greel himself is unharmed. Fortunately, it is a merely a slight staser-gun wound to her left arm.
Findecker, an expert in cybernetics, tells the Doctor that he has augmented various dingoes with advanced technology, substantially increasing their intelligence and giving them the ability to speech. He names one of them "Chops". Having been given a tour of Findecker's laboratory, the Doctor is chained up and offered to the mutated troll which he and Tegan encountered in the Dead Zone as food. However, Findecker spares his life when the Doctor tells him that he is a Time Agent and he therefore knows from personal experience that time travel is possible. While Findecker orders Chops to chain the Doctor up elsewhere, the Doctor is able to reprogamme Chops to obey his orders instead.
Turlough is working on Greel's estate as Nyssa's secretary. While he converses with Nyssa following the attempt on Greel's life, the Minister of Justice tells Commissioner Duplessis that he strongly believes in a united Earth, but not as a republic.
Nyssa and Turlough are plotting to reveal that Greel is importing illegal substances to Earth. They are aided in their efforts by Nyssa's cyborg servant Kaori, a present from Greel which she has reprogrammed to work for her.
The previous month, Findecker sent a cybernetic doll, the Miraculous Mr Sin, to Greel which he gives to Commissioner Bjarnsdottir as a present for her two children.
Having infiltrated Findecker's facility in the company of Tegan and Ragan, Sasha is captured by the alien scientist. The seriously ill Findecker drains her energy using his distillation chamber in order to sustain himself, killing her in the process. He plans to do the same to Tegan.
Part three Edit
Before Findecker can begin the process on Tegan, the Doctor has the mutated troll destroy the chamber. However, Findecker steals the TARDIS and activates the self-destruct mechanism, though the Doctor, Tegan, Ragan and Chops are able to transmat to the Correspondents' Club.
After learning of the destruction of Findecker's facility in the Brisbane Dead Zone, Greel has an attack and blames the Icelandic Alliance for the incident as well as the earlier attempt on his life. Consequently, Commissioner Bjarnsdottir considers withdrawing from the peace accord.
In her chambers, Nyssa discovers that Findecker is present. The scientist accuses her and Turlough of being Time Agent spies in the employ of the Icelanders. He disappears as soon as Kaori arrives. Confirming his suspicions, Turlough sneaks out to the Icelandic Embassy and presents Commissioner Bjarnsdottir with the evidence which Nyssa has accumulated.
Shortly before travelling to Peking with Chops, the Doctor decoded footage of Sasha's first encounter with Turlough and Nyssa three years earlier. As a result, Ragan learns that it is his fate to be sent back in time and die in the Brisbane Dead Zone. He and Tegan follow the Doctor to Peking, where he breaks into the Justice Ministry.
Nyssa's attempts to reprogramme Kaori were not as successful as she believed, given that the cyborg had actually been spying on the behalf of Findecker. Kaori reveals to Greel that Nyssa and Turlough have been passing information about his affairs to the Icelandic Alliance.
While scaling the outside walls of the Justice Ministry with Chops, the Doctor is reunited with Turlough. Shortly afterwards, Chops recognises Tegan's scent and brings her to the Doctor and Turlough, who are hiding in a stationery cupboard.
Nyssa travels to the office of Commissioner Duplessis with the intention of revealing Greel's attempts to seize control of the Supreme Alliance. However, she is captured by Greel before she can do so.
The Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and Chops incapacitate Findecker while he is preparing to send Ragan back in time to the Brisbane Dead Zone three years earlier. Consequently, their actions have seemingly altered the course of history, though Ragan still becomes a desiccated husk in spite of remaining in his own time.
Part four Edit
As Commissioner Duplessis has learned of his ambitions to seize control of the Supreme Alliance, Greel switches sides, telling Commissioner Bjarnsdottir that he will provide her with the secrets of time travel. He hypnotises Nyssa and travels to Reykjavik with the commissioner.
Given that the peace talks between the Supreme Alliance and the Icelandic Alliance had broken down, Duplessis announces that war has broken out between their two alliances.
Since Findecker has stolen his youth and killed the love of his life, Ragan requests that Findecker send him back in time to the Brisbane Dead Zone three years earlier so that he can see Sasha one more time. Findecker agrees to do so, though only after draining Ragan's energy using his distillation chamber.
In Iceland, the Filipino Army is preparing to march on Reykjavik in what will become known as the Battle of Reykjavik. The Doctor tells Tegan and Turlough that his younger self is marching with the Filipino Army at that very moment and he is therefore aware that Reykjavik will fall within two days. The Doctor is able to bring the brief World War VI to a close by providing additional information to his younger self.
The Doctor is able to gain access to the Icelandic Defence Ministry by performing a perfect impersonation of Findecker's voice. After Commissioner Bjarnsdottir tells Greel that he will be prosecuted for war crimes, Mr Sin kills her with a dagger.
When Findecker's time cabinet materialises on a cliff top in Reykjavik, Greel has Mr Sin kill the scientist. The two of them gain control of the cabinet and are sent back in time to 19th century China.
- The Doctor - Peter Davison
- Nyssa - Sarah Sutton
- Tegan - Janet Fielding
- Turlough - Mark Strickson
- Magnus Greel - Angus Wright
- Dr Sa Yy Findecker - Rupert Frazer
- Ingrid Bjarnsdottir/Stewardess - Felicity Duncan
- Ragan Crezzen - Daniel Weyman
- Sasha Dialfa/Kaori - Daisy Ashford
- Eugene Duplessis/Chops/Guard/Reporter/Autovoice - John Banks
- Mr Sin - Alex Mallinson
- According to the Doctor, the 31st century was "all space cities and monorails."
- Nyssa and Turlough spent a year training in Reykjavik.
- This audio drama was recorded on 19 and 20 January 2012.
- Similar to PROSE: Warmonger, it features the Fifth Doctor while also serving as a prequel to a Fourth Doctor serial (The Brain of Morbius in Warmonger's case) by expanding the backstory of the villain.
- This is both a prequel and a sequel to TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang.
- Big Finish released the first part of the story as a podcast prior to release.
- Subscribers whose subscriptions included this story also received the audio short story Intuition.
- The Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan previously spent several days on holiday in Brisbane in January 1983 after defeating Father Thane and the Elite on Florana. (AUDIO: The Elite, Hexagora, The Burning Prince) Later in his personal timeline, the Doctor would return to Brisbane on 22 September 2006 where he was unexpectedly reunited with Tegan, approximately 22 years after she had left the TARDIS following an encounter with the Daleks in London in 1984. (AUDIO: The Gathering)
- In the 51st century, the Earth is experiencing another Ice Age. (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang) The Eighth Doctor and his companions Fitz Kreiner and Trix MacMillan would later visit Moscow during the Ice Age in 5000. (PROSE: Emotional Chemistry)
- The Doctor tells Tegan and Ragan that Greel is destined to die in another time. However, he initially refuses to either confirm or deny that he was present for that incident. During his fourth incarnation, he and his companion Leela encountered an older version of Greel, who was posing as the Chinese god Weng-Chiang, and Mr Sin in London in 1889. As doing so would alter the course of history, the Doctor never reveals his true identity to the younger Greel. (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang)
- The older Greel would later tell the Fourth Doctor that he had previously encountered a Time Agent in the 51st century. On that occasion, the Doctor was unaware that Greel was referring to his future self. (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang)
- One of the Doctor's first four incarnations was with the Filipino Army when it marched on Reykjavik. (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang)
- The Doctor and Turlough would later visit Reykjavik again in an alternate timeline on 12 February 2144. (AUDIO: Repeat Offender)
- Official The Butcher of Brisbane page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for The Butcher of Brisbane at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide