This is the hundred and first release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Paul McGann as Eight, India Fisher as Charlie and Conrad Westmaas as C'rizz. There are 4 episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes.
When Charlie's curiosity leads her to open one of C'rizz's relics, and release somethings that would have been better kept locked away, The Doctor, Charlie and C'Rizz are transported to a world that seems right out of the imagination of Hieronymus Bosch, with scenes right out of hell. C'Rizz falls under the spell of the charming Aboresh, who starts teaching the Eutermisan the ways of the Force (sorry, I mean the full potential of his psychic abilities) in a series of Yoda like lessons. But does he have a darker purpose and an evil use in mind for the impressionable C'Rizz? The Doctor and Charlie find themselves in a fortress, where life is strangely medieval, but there are definite signs of very advanced technology. And just what does Cocothis not want the Doctor to see in the cellar?
This is a bit odd for a farewell story in that it keeps the character that we are saying goodbye to out of the story for most of its running time. This is a blessing, as it concentrates on the Doctor and Charlie, and recaptures some of the old spirit between the two, before all the emoting (what is it with all the d@mned emoting in more recent Dr Who? The rot set in with the TV movie, and I yearn for the days when the Doc would step out of the TARDIS and kick some alien @rse with a well polished boot rather than having to deal with all this emotional baggage. Sometimes there is so much baggage that the script writers have lost sight of the need to provide a thrilling adventure - rant over...) and C'Rizz got in the way and spoiled the fun relationship between the two. What follows is a fun run around with some dark imagery that leads to a shattering conclusion as C'Rizz finally finds his destiny and makes his own decisions for a change.
It's a decent story, has a well handled farewell to C'rizz, and has a lot of fun and repartee between the Doctor and Charlie. The soundscape is excellent, and really conjures up images of Hell. All in all 4 stars for this above average release.
There is also a set of interviews with cast and crew as extras at the end of both discs. These do tend to fall into the luvvie `everyone involved with this production is just fantastic' or `look at me I am brilliant' sort of interview, but nonetheless are reasonably interesting.
another audio adventure for the eighth doctor who, and his companions charley pollard and c'rizz. This story follows on from the earlier one memory lane and takes place before the series of adventures featuring the eighth doctor and lucie miller.
It's a four part story, each episode running for twenty five minutes. In this tale, a mishap in c'rizz's room on the tardis plunges the tardis crew into deadly danger, as they travel into a very strange place further than they've ever gone before. The doctor and charley end up in a citadel where a group of people struggle to keep back invaders from beyond, and meantime c'rizz, separated from them, is being taught by a strange man to use his mental abilities to their full potential, and to punish wrongdoers. Can the doctor and his friends get back to the world they know? And what are the hidden secrets of this place?
And will everyone make it home?
An interesting story. It exists to tie up a few loose ends in the range, but it also manages to be a good story in it's own right. There is a lot going on here, though, and you may need to listen to it more than once to get everything straight. The supporting cast and characters could be rather cliched, but do manage to rise above that. The three regulars are absolutely excellent, paul mcgann getting some wonderful dialogue that he delivers with relish. And you won't forget some of what happens to charley and c'rizz here anytime soon.
each disc ends with the usual interviews with the cast. be aware that those on the first disc do give away a few things about episodes three and four, so you may want to save them till later.
An interestingly different audio. Not the easiest one to get into, but it has lots to recommend it.
on 17 November 2007
The Tardis breaks down in a forbidden sector of space and The Doctor and his companions are again separated and plunged into different situations.
This is the story where C'rizz finally realises his potential and the somewhat duplicitous Utermesan becomes the focal point of the story for the first time. For fans of Conrad Westermass' flat and emotionless portrayal of the character this is a treat, however for those who find the character dull and irksome this is one to miss. Charley, The Doctor's female Edwardian companion is somewhat sidelined here and Paul McGann relies too heavily on this regeneration's vague foppishness for my liking. The presentation of the 101st Big Finish Doctor Who adventure is as sumptuous as faithful listeners have come to expect but the package feels somewhat lifeless. Never mind, fans of the Eighth Doctor will at least see a change in his crew shortly which will hopefully shake things up a bit at least...