Bang-bang-a-boom! (Doctor Who) Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Dec 2002
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Word of advice: if you were put off these two by their tv stories in these roles, then give them another chance. as with the audio the fires of vulcan, they show here how good they can be with quality material, which they never really got on tv.
the story runs for four episodes, each a little longer than the usual twenty five minutes, and is spread over two discs.
it involves the tardis crew arriving at a space station which is about to host the intergalactic song contest, only to find a fragile peace between races and a murderer having struck. if the doctor cant solve the murder and save the contest, the galaxy will erupt into war.
a deliberate parody of the eurovision song contest, this is also a very funny comedy and all involved play their roles to perfection, one character doing a superb parody of barbara bains performance in space 1999.
a hugely enjoyable and very entertaining audio and well worth a listen. and another word of advice: there will be occasions during disc two when you think the story has finished. don't hit the off switch! let the cd turn itself off. you'll thank me for this
Personally, I hate Eurovision, but love (for example) the gleeful mickey taking of Terry Wogan's commentary. The send-ups of STAR TREK and SPACE:1999 also work for my money, partly because the excellent music and sound effects only subtly suggest the influences of these series. Partly also because whilst the characters echo protagonists of TREK etc, they are also people in their own right. They are given backgrounds, histories and motivations, which if not completely developed,are rounded enough to keep the narrative alive. Rest assured, there is a traditional DR WHO plot involving murder, intergalactic politics and alien representatives from rather strange cultures. This though, is just an excuse for some rather excellent satire and jokes.
The actors, who all play with commitment and energy, particularly Graeme Garden, Nickolas Grace and Patricia Quinn, are superb. Moreover, because he's surrounded by rather a strange,larger than life cast,Sylvester McCoy's comedic portrayal of the Doctor seems a little more grounded and reassuring than usual - even if he does still play the spoons as well as having a passionate love scene (this for me, is one of the funniest ever scenes in DR WHO). Bonnie Langford continues to prove what a good actress she can be when given the right material - she plays "straight man" to virtually everyone else in the cast with considerable skill.
Although perhaps not for every afficionado of WHO, BANG-BANG-A-BOOM! is lively, amusing and memorable enough to deserve more than the one listening. A personal favourite.
Dark Space 8 is a space station that will host the 309th Intergalactic Song Contest until they suffer a spate of murders. The seventh Doctor and Mel land just in time to get caught up in events.
The music is largely minimalist with a Theremin in the back ground giving a nice spooky but playful vibe, but there was an annoying habit of having an organ play the same three chords very loudly to emphasise certain moments. The effects are good and functional. Russell Stone's score to the story, alongside the scores to ‘Dust Breeding’ and ‘The Rapture’, was released on the CD Music from ‘the Seventh Doctor Audio Adventures’.
Bonnie and Sylvester are as god here as you will find them anywhere else, but for some reason Sylvester’s Doctor is mixing up proverbs and playing spoons again. Those quirks got dropped after his first series so why are they back here? The rest of the cast are all over the top with silly voices but that fits in with the tone of the production which is an out and out attempt at comedy. Whereas ‘the One Doctor’ merely had humorous elements this was much more of an attempt at comedy.
Comedies are usually plot light because they rely on humour but humour is polarising and this isn't funny, but it is 2 and a half hours long. Luckily comedy episodes of usually serious programs exist in a kind of continuity bubble where they have no real impact on anything so luckily you can just ignore this audio drama and not miss anything.
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