Released in 2011, this is the fourth release in the second season of Lost Stories from Big Finish. It is the second of four full cast audio adventures for the Seventh Doctor and Ace, and finally give us the scripts that were planned for the season following ‘Survival’. The adventure is 4 episodes of half an hour each, on two discs. The end of each disc has some interviews with cast and crew.
On the strength of the episodes that I have listened to, it seems a mercy that the classic series finished on the high that it did, if these stories had been made and transmitted I think that the show’s demise would have inevitable and it would have left on a very sour note.
This adventure has a very strong opening scene, new companion Raine meeting the Doctor in some very unusual circumstances, but then totally fails to build on it. There are some hangovers from the previous adventure (Thin Ice), including Raine herself. Unfortunately Ace is still hanging around, and while I like the character I felt that she had no place in this particular story. Many of her scenes would have worked a lot better with Raine instead, and her presence felt forced into the script and often unwelcome. The scrip itself is incredibly lacklustre, after the one good opening idea it just tails off completely. The alien threat are awful, and the idea to make them sound like whingy surfer dudes is just an abomination that I hope never gets repeated.
The plot makes little or no sense, certain characters just do not work, the aliens are terrible and there does not appear to be an actual crime of the century as per the title. Apart from Raine, who could be an excellent character if not shackled by Ace, this is a bit of a turkey. 2 stars.
If Doctor Who hadn't been cancelled in 1989 then we might have been enjoying these season 27 lost stories on dvd rather than audio but the bbc who had gotten fed up with and embarrassed by Doctor Who were determined to kill the show off and finally succeeded even though there were these scripts already in development. Crime Of The Century introduces Raine, who would have been 7th Doctor Sylvester Mccoy's new travelling companion. An upper class girl whose father is a London gangster who was previously introduced in previous story Thin Ice and despite getting all the best schools and education money can buy is an expert safe cracker. An interesting very different new companion, it would have been interesting to see how Raine and her father would have fitted into the show, i strongly suspect her father Marcus would have become a reccurring character if the show had stayed on air in the 90's. The story itself sees Ace on a mission for The Doctor in a middle eastern country getting mixed up with Russian soldiers and an alien invasion and one of The Doctor's latest grand plans. Not as good as Thin Ice but a strong indicator of how the show was improving before being taken off the air and fun and enjoyable.