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The Acheron Pulse – A pulsatingly good second instalment,
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This review is from: The Acheron Pulse (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
This is the hundred and sixty sixth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Colin Baker as a companionless Six. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with cliffhangers and original theme music between each. 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 second disc and a few minutes of the soundtrack at the end of disc 1. This is the second part of a trilogy of interlinked adventures, the first featured the Fifth Doctor, and the tird will feature the Seventh, giving us a multi Doctor story in which the various incarnations do not meet ‘on screen’, a great concept that Big Finish have toyed with in the past, but never fully committed to like this.
The story can be listened to in isolation from the other two, it stands alone reasonably well. But I would recommend getting the preceding release, ‘The Burning Prince’ as a) it will help you to get the fine detail of what is going on and b) it is a damned good release.
The story is set some 30 years after the events of ‘The Burning Prince’. Old Sixie drops into the Drashani Empire to find that it is being invaded by a mysterious all conquering force known as The Wrath. Needless to say, the catastrophe facing the Empire stems from the Doctor’s actions in the previous story, and a darkly tragic air pervades as the Doctor finds answers that he doesn’t like and tries to set things right. Having said that, this is still a piece full of action and adventure, served up with real brio by Rick Briggs, who has quickly turned into an excellent BF writer. He finds just the right voice for Sixie, and Colin Baker evidently relishes getting his teeth into the script. He never gives less than 100 % as Six, but it is noticeable how his performance always rises to great heights when faced with a really good script.
It’s fun and funny, it’s dark and moving, it’s thoughtful and reflective. It’s not often that the series, in any of its formats, has dealt with the question of the consequences of the Doctor’s actions, and when it does it is always welcome and well done. This trilogy is shaping up to be another classic entry into that particular Who genre. 5 stars for this release.