So who’d have thought, Big Finish have now reached 150 main range releases. I would have said monthly except they release two every September meaning that there are actually 13 releases per year. Back to the point; I thought I would draft an occasional review in honour of this milestone. For this honour Big Finish broke into a Seventh Doctor trilogy with a collection of four short tales featuring the Sixth Doctor and Peri.
For those of you in a rush the simple review is brilliant all four; if you have more time please do hang around…
Comparing with for example 45, Company of Friends or Demons of Red Lodge this is a great success; those other collections suffered (in my humble) from having one weaker story, a best story and two somewhat variable stories. Actually now I think harder I would say actually one favourite, one poor and the rest somewhere in the middle. I will let you make up your own mind.
This set of four is different; all are strong in their own ways – as to a favourite…
Here we go, in order of appearance:
- Recorded Time: Back in the court of Henry VIIIth and the Doctor needs to keep Peri out of the King’s clutches. Meanwhile Anne Boleyn (played really well by Laura Molyneux) is keen to salvage her place in history before she is replaced (and beheaded). A historic story by Cahtherine Harvey with jibes about the Doctor’s coat, mysterious alien artefacts and I also enjoyed how the Doctor was disappointed at meeting the king in person. Needless to say history ends up on track in the end
- Paradoxicide: although the main twist is pure Who – bit of time travel sets up the situation that leads to the bit of time travel, this Richard Dinnick tale really packs in the plot and worked really well for me though they did lose an entire civilisation in the middle
- A Most Excellent Match: so how does one work Darcy, Heathcliffe, the d’Urbevilles and other assorted 19th century novels into a Dr Who story? The answer is here – a tale of dodgy virtual reality as peddled by the wonderfully played carnie Cranton. In this tale by Matt Fitton we have classic dialogue, mental foes and the Doctor proposing marriage to Peri! Yes it all happens here, step right up folks!
- Question Marks: possibly the best of the four this Philip Lawrence tale finds the Doctor, Peri and three other survivors of an unknown catastrophe fighting to survive impending doom with no memories and no idea who might be a killer or a saviour. The captain of the vessel is the wonderfully named Destiny Gray played equally wonderfully by Raquel Cassidy who coins the title name from the Doctor’s shirt collar markings. The ending is very clever and cannot be even hinted at!