In 2006, BBC7, the BBC's digital archive radio station, after airing some previously recorded Eighth Doc stories, asked Big Finish Productions to produce a series of new 50 minute tales, with a new companion, Lucie Miller, later to be released on CD. They should have been wonderful. Big Finish wheeled out some of their most respected writers, the casts were, in radio terms, stellar, Paul McGann (one of the finest radio voices of his generation) was still in the lead chair. It all looked rosy right from the off. The remit seems, understandably, to have been 'new series for the radio' but for all their lining up of the big guns, what makes the NEDAs so much less than they should have been is that they are so slavishly adhere to the norms of new series TV, with its constant musical accompaniment, casual slaughter (specifically of women), and with modern youth as something to be pandered to, rather than analysed or, god forbid, criticised. The Doctor is, for Lucie, more a figure of ridicule than one of mystery (for no other reason than he is older than she is). One doesn't expect a Victoria Waterfield clone in this day and age but had I been the Doctor, I would have booted her out of the Tardis quicker than you could say "Turlough". (Actually, he does try to do just that quite early on in the previous story.)
'The Horror of Glam Rock' is story number two and there are a couple of funny moments. The cast ain't that bad, although Lucie is really annoying and the whole thing crawls its way into predictabilty pretty quickly. When the most engaging supporting character is killed, it is not only sadly predictable but the death is then happily forgotten by everyone in no time at all. Since when did death become so easily shrugged off?
There is a certain poignancy in hearing the late Stephen Gately (and he is rather good) but 'The Horror of Glam Rock' is, as audio entertainment, a badly choreographed train wreck.