1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is the hundred and twenty second release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Sylvester McCoy as Seven, Sophie Aldred as Ace and Philip Olivier as Hex. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. This is the third of a trilogy of adventures that are developing an interesting story arc for Hex. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of the first disc. There is a treat for regular listeners in the form of the third 10 minute segment of a twelve part adventure called `The Three Companions' on the end of disc 2.
This is an excellent release from the Big Finish team. It ends a trilogy of Seventh Doctor releases in which the character of Hex is explored, and an interesting story arc for him is starting to develop. Following the events of `Enemy Of the Daleks', in which the caring nurse was totally unable to help in anyone in the face of the slaughtering daleks, the Doctor takes him to somewhere where he can be of use - and where he can meet one of his heroes. Scutari at the height of the Crimean war, where a certain Florence Nightingale is due to arrive in a fortnight.
It's not that straightforward though. The writers use the possibilities of time travel to throw in some really interesting adventures for Seven and Ace after they leave Hex to his nursing for a few days. And it's not all plain sailing for Hex as he finds himself in trouble. There are some great ideas here, and they are well realised to give a totally gripping story that keeps you on your toes. The actors are in top form, especially Olivier who relishes this chance to do some interesting character development. His scenes with Florence Nightingale are an absolute treasure. McCoy is impressive as Seven, as is Aldred as Ace, getting a little romance in her life for a change, and Aldred plays it just right.
In years to come all three of this little trilogy (Magic Mousetrap, Enemy Of the Daleks, Angel of Scutari) will probably be looked upon as fan favourites. I know they are all up there in my top ten. The Big Finish team were quite cruel though, they leave this story with the biggest possible cliff hanger, and it was a 16 month wait to find out how it played out. Luckily, I do not now have to wait and can just go straight to the next tale in the arc, Project Destiny.
A superb release. Intelligently scripted, a cracking historical romp, some time travel shenanigans, great performances. It has all the elements of a classic story, 5 stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2010
This is a decent Big Finish audio play; an informative pure historical. Unfortunately this is not as satisfying as it should be. The convoluted story-telling whizzes back and forward in time and between storylines, demanding close attention and a repeat listen to be followed (although for some this may be a strength). However, this means that on first listening "The Angel of Scutari" is not as engaging as it should be. I generally prefer a straighter storytelling and a slightly less "knowing" Doctor. The story is driven by those overly used and tedious "rules of time" and "causality" hinderances. For this reason I dropped one star. However apart from this there is a decent story here with some strong performances, so I don't regret the purchase.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2009
Back cover blurb:
October 1854: As the British Army charges into catastrophe in the Crimea, the Minister for War sends Miss Florence Nightingale to take charge of the field hospital at Scutari.
But there's already an angel of mercy working with the sounded at Scutari. A first-rate felow who's turned up out of the blue. Goes by the name of Schofield; Thomas Hector Schofield...
With the Doctor and Ace lost in the siege of Sebastopol, Hex has rediscovered his calling. But there's cannon to the left of him, cannon to the right of him - and a deranged spycatcher-in-chief on his case...
The third in a loose three story arc, this audio adventure sees The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy), and his companions Ace (Sophie Aldred) and Hex (Philip Olivier) travel back in Earth's history to the infamous Scutari Barracks, the Turkish military hospital in which Florence Nightingale drastically improved sanitary conditions and famously saved the lives of many British soldiers injured in the Crimean conflict.
Seeming at first to be a straightforward `historical' story, we soon learn that The Doctor has been here before, and has to go back along his own timeline to ensure there are no repercussions.
Jeany Spark plays the famous `Lady with the Lamp' as a necessarily hard-nosed and ballsy character, rather than the soft gentle angel of history, and this is refreshing as you know that she'd have had to be tough to thrive in such a hellhole.
The Doctor's spunky teenage companion Ace is separated from her friends early on and this gives actress Sophie Aldred a rare opportunity to plough another furrow for the character, finding love in an unlikely place. Liverpudlian nurse Hex also gets the chance to play to his character's strengths, as he rolls up his sleeves and mucks in.
Overall this is a powerful historical war drama - with a bit of time travel thrown in for good measure. An engaging and intelligent story that is the equal of anything in the Big Finish range.