The Crimes of Thomas Brewster was the one hundred and forty-third story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Jonathan Morris and featured Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor, Maggie Stables as Evelyn Smythe and reintroduced John Pickard as Thomas Brewster.
It was notable for featuring the third appearance of DI Patricia Menzies, for featuring the first appearance of the Doctor's future companion Flip Jackson, for turning the Fifth Doctor's former companion, Thomas Brewster into a companion of the Sixth Doctor and for retconning Evelyn's personal timeline to include a time where she shared the TARDIS with another companion.
Sent down south to assist the Metropolitan Police in their efforts to investigate the gangland kingpin known only as "the Doctor", Detective-Inspector Patricia Menzies finds herself up to her neck in laser-armed robot mosquitoes, gun-running criminal overlords, vanishing Tube trains... and not one, but two Doctors.
Meanwhile the real Doctor, and his academic assistant Professor Evelyn Smythe, have become ensnared in the machinations of an old acquaintance — time-travelling Victorian guttersnipe Thomas Brewster. But what's Brewster's connection to the rapacious robot Terravores? And can anyone contain the gathering swarm?
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- The Doctor - Colin Baker
- Evelyn Smythe - Maggie Stables
- Thomas Brewster - John Pickard
- DI Menzies - Anna Hope
- Raymond Gallagher - David Troughton
- Jared - Ashley Kumar
- Phillipa/Flip - Lisa Greenwood
- Sergeant Bradshaw - Duncan Wisbey
- Terravore Queen - Helen Goldwyn
Cultural references from the real world
- Menzies compares the interior of the TARDIS to "Captain Kirk's ship."
- Flip's ringtone is Pokerface by Lady Gaga.
- While being interviewed by Menzies, Evelyn tells her that the Doctor's name is "Dr John Smith."
- As the Doctor asks the Terravore to tell him about themselves, they ask who he is. He states he is the Doctor's Companion and its "kind of my job to ask stupid questions".
Fashion and clothing
- The Doctor's coat is destroyed in the explosion of the Terravore. He tells Evelyn that he has twelve other identical coats in the TARDIS wardrobe.
- Menzies asks Evelyn what has become of Charley Pollard.
- Menzies was recently seconded from the Greater Manchester Police to the Metropolitan Police Service due to her experience with mysterious individuals calling themselves "the Doctor."
- When Evelyn attempts to test Brewster's claim that he is the Doctor, she mentions the Daleks.
- Brewster tells the Doctor that his girlfriend Connie Winter was hit by a car and left in an irreversible coma.
- The Locus tells the Doctor that all life on Symbios exist in symbiosis, hence the name of the planet.
- A future incarnation of the Doctor saved Symbios from the Drahvins at a considerably earlier point in the planet's history.
Theories and concepts
- The Doctor tells Menzies that, due to the Blinovitch Limitation Effect, he experiences a prickling sensation on the back of his hand when one of his past or future incarnations is in the vicinity.
- Brewster sends a Great Portland Street tube train to the planet Symbios on the other side of Mutter's Spiral through a space-time wormhole.
- The Doctor claims to know how to drive a speedboat, though his efforts are less than successful.
- This audio story was recorded at The Moat Studios.
- The Doctor and Evelyn were previously imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1554 (AUDIO: The Marian Conspiracy) as well as visiting it in 2003 in an alternate timeline. (AUDIO: Jubilee)
- Brewster becoming a companion of the Sixth Doctor was foreshadowed in AUDIO: A Death in the Family as Evelyn reminisced with the Seventh Doctor about each of them spending time "in a spacesuit bouncing about Axos with that poor boy Brewster." This remark also foreshadowed the events of the following audio drama AUDIO: The Feast of Axos.
- The Doctor tells Evelyn that he once passed under the original London Bridge in a boat with King James II (AUDIO: The Glorious Revolution) and that mudlarks used to scavenge for goods in the River Thames. (AUDIO: The Haunting of Thomas Brewster)
- This is the Doctor's first meeting with DI Menzies in his personal timeline. However, it is their third meeting from her perspective, following AUDIO: The Condemned and AUDIO: The Raincloud Man. Menzies elects not to inform the Doctor but he correctly guesses that this is the case. He promises to return the favour when they meet for the first time in her personal timeline.
- DI Menzies refers to the Ackley House incident in Manchester in February 2008. (AUDIO: The Condemned)
- Brewster once again poses as the Doctor, as he did while the TARDIS was in his possession. (AUDIO: Time Reef)
- Menzies comments that the Doctor looks about five years younger than he did during her two previous encounters with him. (AUDIO: The Condemned, The Raincloud Man)
- Menzies tells Evelyn of the time that Charley Pollard claimed to have met the Doctor out of order. (AUDIO: The Raincloud Man)
- In AUDIO: The Raincloud Man, the Doctor politely refuses Menzies' request to travel with him, citing the growing mystery surrounding Charley's true identity, though he states that one day he may return and take her up on the offer. As his encounter with her in The Raincloud Man takes place later in his personal timeline than the events of this story, he would have been aware at that time that Menzies had never become his companion when they met in 2010. Consequently, granting her request in 2008 would have altered history and damaged the Web of Time. It is possible that the Doctor's grounds for refusal, namely the mystery surrounding Charley, may have simply been an excuse to avoid revealing to Menzies that he had already met her future self.
- The Doctor recalls visiting the then newly opened Great Portland Street Tube in the company of Brewster and Nyssa in 1867 during his fifth incarnation. (AUDIO: The Haunting of Thomas Brewster)
- Menzies compares Brewster to the Artful Dodger from Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist. Later in his sixth incarnation, the Doctor would meet a 23-year-old version of the Artful Dodger in the Land of Fiction (AUDIO: Legend of the Cybermen) whereas the Ninth Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler would later meet Dickens himself in Cardiff on 24 December 1869. (TV: The Unquiet Dead)
- Captain Ruth Matheson would later tell Warrant Officer Charlie Sato about the 2010 Terravore incursion in the London Underground and that a deactivated Terravore was stored in UNIT's Vault. (AUDIO: Tales from the Vault) In 2014, Rees would use his mind to control this Terravore to help him search for his music box. (AUDIO: The Screaming Skull)
- The Doctor would later visit another sentient planet, Unity, during his seventh incarnation. (AUDIO: Shadow Planet)
- In order to fool Brewster, Menzies poses as the Doctor and introduces him as her companion. However, when the ruse is uncovered, Brewster claims that he 'thought it a bit odd, [him] turning into a lady'. The Doctor would later regenerate into a woman in his thirteenth incarnation. (TV: Twice Upon a Time)
- Official The Crimes of Thomas Brewster page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for The Crimes of Thomas Brewster at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide