When the only other option to certain death is suicide, Ian Chesterton takes the gamble of his life...
The Rocket Men (1)
The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki reach Platform Five, a place of leasure on the planet Jobis, from where visitors can admire its renowned natural habitat, including giant beings similar to manta rays and another species of little insect looking like diamonds. They decide to stay here for a while to recover from their recent adventures.
A few days later, the Doctor leaves because he's been invited to another Platform, which serves as a centre of scientific research. The companions stay behind, and enlisten to go on a tour around the natural beauties of the planet; however, the day of the tour, Barbara feels sick and has to give up on the visit.
During the tour, the barge where Ian and Vicki are embarked is suddenly attacked by the Rocket Men, a band of pirates who claims to have taken control of the entire planet; they rob the passengers of their goods and declare their intentions to take away all the "diamonds" (the little insects).
Back to the Platform, some time later, the leader of the Rocket Men, Ashman, starts looking for the companions of the Doctor amongst the hostages all put together in one room. Vicki reveals herself as one of them when Ashman threaten to kill a girl; Barbara follows suite, while Ian stays silent. Ashman contacts the Doctor, who during all this time has fought the pirates from the platform he is in, and tries to force him to surrender threatening Barbara's life. The Doctor does not give in, so Ashman opens an airlock and throw Barbara out of the Platform, straight towards Jobis' surface. Without thinking, Ian throws himself out of the airlock after her.
The Fall (2)
After the Rocket Men brought their group back to the Platform, Ian had managed, with Vicki's help, to subdue one of them and put on his suit; he then had observed everything that happened with Ashman and the other hostages disguised as one of the pirates. He also heard that the Doctor and the scientists of his Platform were able to dismantle the Rocket Men's force field and called for help from the Galactic Heritage; that is why Ashman tried to force the Doctor's hand.
When Ashman throws Barbara from the Platform, Ian goes after her in his Rocket Man suit and after an initial hesitation, succeeds in taking control of his suit; he is then able to catch Barbara before she reaches the ground, saving her life. Immediately after, Ian is confronted by Ashman, who flew after him. He fights valiantly, but ultimately Ashman, who knows the suits better than him, deactivates the control of his suit, and Ian starts falling in his turn towards the ground. However, one of the manta ray-beings grabs him and brings him to safety, while other beings of the same species attack Ashman and kill him.
With their leader gone, the Rocket Men are easily subdued by the forces of the Galactic Heritage. The Doctor explains to Ian that the scientists he visited were working on a way to communicate with the manta ray-beings. The Doctor perfected their research and, when the Rocket Men attacked, succeeded into enlisting the help of those beings, for which the diamonds-insects represent the main source of food. Before they leave, the Doctor encourages Ian to talk to Barbara and tell her how he really feels about her.
- Ian Chesterton - William Russell
- Ashman - Gus Brown
- Barbara Wright - Jacqueline Hill (archived recording of her scream)
- The skies of Jobis are protected by the Galactic Heritage.
- Gus Brown was recommended to Big Finish by Beth Chalmers.
- This audio drama was recorded on 7 December 2010 at The Moat Studios.
- It was released on 10 August 2011.
- This story was told from Ian's perspective.
- Following Ashman's death, more than a dozen groups of his fellow Rocket Men began fighting for control of his territories. (AUDIO: Return of the Rocket Men)
- Ian mentions the recent trip to Rome and Italy. (TV: The Romans)
- The older Ian telling the story says this is the time when he realized he was in love with Barbara. The two were eventually married after their travels ended, and the Eleventh Doctor attended the ceremony. (COMIC: Hunters of the Burning Stone; TV: Death of the Doctor)