The Bounty of Ceres
Written by Ian Potter
Reviewed by Jeffrey Zyra
The Doctor, Steven and Vicki have landed on the asteroid Ceres which is between Mars and Jupiter. There they have encountered the crew of the Cobalt Corporation and they are anything but friendly as the end up putting Steven and Vicki in a strange type of cell and put The Doctor in suspended animation. What makes Ceres a weird place to work is that the conditions outside are deadly but now the conditions inside have become deadly also. It appears that the maintenance robots have turned against the crew and have started eliminated everyone one by one. It is up to The Doctor to find a way to stop the robots and find the person responsible.
The Bounty of Ceres is the classic robot trying to kill the humans and take over. But this time there is a twist as they are being controlled by someone. The thing is whoever is doing it has programmed the robots to think that the humans are a maintenance fault that needs to be repaired. I found this to be pretty clever and a different take on the robot takeover story. I did like the way they did this and it did add a little bit of mystery to it.
For the most part The Bounty of Ceres was entertaining but I did find it to be a bit dull in places. The getting captured twice did seem to be a bit much as how many times can they get put in a cell for the same thing. Plus one of the things of The Early Adventures is to have The Doctor disappear from the story but having him in suspended animation and then in a cell was a bit much especially since they were on a small base on an asteroid. This was minor and did not damper the enjoyment of the story.
I did like the conclusion and the way The Doctor trapped the person who was involved with having the robots killing everyone. It was classic Doctor Who and done with the typical style you would expect from The Doctor. It was pretty classic and definitely one of the best showdowns for the First Doctor. Speaking of the First Doctor Peter Purves does a really good First Doctor. William Russell does a good one but Peter Purves does an exceptional job and it actually sounded just like The Doctor from the Steven and Vicki era. I was really impressed as I have never heard Peter Purves First Doctor impersonation before. In fact the performances by Peter Purves and Maureen O’Brien were excellent as this story did have the feel of a First Doctor era story.
The Bounty of Ceres was a story that did have some minor problems for me but not enough to ruin my enjoyment of the story. Big Finish’s The Early Adventures has so far been a really good series and if you are a fan of the Hartnell era then this is a story for you.