River Song 5.1 The Bekdel Test review

With boxset number five, Alex Kingston’s River Song takes a rest from wandering back through the Doctor’s timeline in four new stories where she meets some of the incarnations of the Master. The first encounter (and they aren’t in Master timeline order – why would the be!) is the Jonathan Morris story The Bekdel Test. River gets to face off to a version of the Master she hadn’t previously been aware of: Michelle Gomez in her first Big Finish appearance as Missy! (Michelle previously appeared in main range story Valhalla and also has her own boxset out in February).


The Bekdel Test

First the teaser from the product page:

Back at the start of her imprisonment, Doctor Song becomes a guinea pig for an innovative new security system.

But it’s her fellow prisoners she needs to be most wary of.

Because it’s early days for Missy, too. The Doctor is dead, and she is outraged that somebody else killed him first…

So River vs. Missy and despite it being a River boxset, it’s a close run competition for survival between them. Missy almost crowds our River as she demonstrates her usual remorseless disregard for the lives of others. Being both imprisoned there’s a need for them to cooperate (to an extent) to escape, but how far can River trust Missy?

Away from the main show there are a whole raft of other notorious prisoners, a mysterious director and a continuous sense of a top-notch super-secure prison. Speaking of directors, Ken Bentley is working to his usual high standard and the whole is complemented by Howard Carter’s sound and music. Whether this story passes the actual Bechdel Test I’ll leave others to determine.

The scene where they meet is very well crafted as Missy teases River over her identity. It perhaps takes a lot of time but as a fan is precisely what I want to hear. The rest of the cast do well to populate the story but in reality it’s all about River and Missy. It’s a very enjoyable encounter and hopefully we get more. Many more.

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