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A decent Big Finish romp,
This review is from: Dr Who City of Spires CD (Dr Who Big Finish) (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)I'm a big fan of the Big Finish series of audio plays.
This one sees Colin Baker's Doctor arrive in the Scottish Highlands and meet his old friend, Jamie McCrimmon (now "The Black Douglas"). It's always good to hear Colin Baker - for me a much unfairly dismissed Doctor Who (though I believe that amongst fandom these plays have gone to show how good he could've been, given the chance). Frazer Hines, as Jamie, is also enjoyable to hear. My first Doctor was Peter Davsion, so all I know of Pat Troughton's era is what was repeated on television and the DVD releases.
Naturally, Jamie - having had his mind wiped by the Timelords at the end of Doctor Who - The War Games [DVD - is unable to recognise the Doctor or remember his time in the TARDIS.
The Doctor soon finds that things are not as they should be - the 18th Century Scottish landscape is littered with technology ahead of the time and who, exactly are the Redcaps and the "Overlord"? The story itself follows the Doctor as he tries to find out who the Redcaps are and then the overlord. The error strewn timeline continues as historical figures (such as Rob Roy) who should've been dead for years turn up and become involved in events. The first half of the play is probably better than the latter. It sets up the meeting between Jamie and The Doctor, the battles and the derring-do are all great fun, but the second half seems a little weaker to me. We find out who the Overlord is and how the Redcaps come about (it's not *that* exciting) and it stumbles on through an alien possession story.
The worst thing with this story, however, was that it doesn't have a great deal in the way of resolution. This is fine for me, as I will certainly be in line for the next story (Dr Who the Wreck of the Titan CD (Dr Who Big Finish)), but it's less good if you aren't a regular listener. I think that this would be my main criticism. A lot happens in this story and, unfortunately, the end isn't satisfying in a "beginning - middle - end" kind of way. In other words, this story isn't a great stand-alone. UPDATE: having now heard The Wreck of the Titan, I can confirm that alongside that this story seems both better (as it starts to get a clearer part in the trilogy it begins, worse in that Wreck of the Titan is a much better, more fun, story).
All that said I enjoyed it, and I think Doctor Who fans will too, provided that the above is remembered. It isn't, however, my favourite. To give you an idea of the Big Finish audios that I really enjoy, my favourite at the moment is the wonderful The Kingmaker (Doctor Who).