A New Doctor Who audio play, featuring Paul McGann as the Doctor and Julie Cox as his travelling companion, Frankenstein writer Mary Shelley.
This follows on from The Silver Turk (Doctor Who)
and The Witch from the Well (Doctor Who)
but all three stories in this trilogy do pretty much stand on their own, so casual listeners could get into this easily without having heard the other two.
This one runs for four episodes of twenty five minutes in length each [approx] and is spread over two cds.
The story sees the Doctor and Mary arrive on the planet Draxine, where two city states of human colonists live in harmony.
Because when they get there, they find that one city has been destroyed. And the president of the other one assassinated by a lady who is now a wanted fugitive. The former vice president has been thrust into a role he never expected to get.
But worse lies in store. Because the dead of the destroyed city have come back to life. Their skeletons are on the march.
And they may not be the only undead on the planet....
As with the first two stories in this trilogy, Paul Mcgann gets some great dialogue which he delivers with aplomb. And Julie Cox makes Mary a hugely appealing character, full of initiative and determination and a strong sense of right and wrong.
The guest characters in this one are nicely written and portrayed, which lives it well above average. An early scene featuring a tough veteran soldier and a scared young recruit encountering the dead is a good example of this. The same goes for the new president, who turns into a character of great depth.
But the main point of this one is to examine Mary's relationship with the Doctor. Because as the opening scene shows, she's at that point lots of companions reach when they realise their feelings for him. An uneasy ride lies ahead for Mary though as she witnesses many horrors on the planet. And learns a few truths about the Doctor also.
The third episode does keep you guessing about what's really going on here.
And whilst certain elements of the fourth do feel familiar, there's a lot of originality about it.
One minor quibble is that this features, as has been occasionally common of these audios of late, some monster voices that are a bit hard to hear. But it also features two other voices treated with special sound that are really quite effective, so it's a minor complaint.
The ending of part four has to bring this trilogy of travels for the Doctor and Mary to a close. But is it the end of the story as well?
No spoilers. But do be sure to listen after the closing music of part four for an extra scene.
A very good piece of science fiction, a fast paced story, and one with great character moments, this is a really good release.
There's just over ten minutes of music from the story on the last track of disc one.
A trailer for the next Doctor Who audio play from Big Finish after that above mentioned extra scene on disc two.
And roughly fifteen minutes of interviews with cast and crew right after that.