on 4 November 2004
Omega is the first of four specials that Big Finish released to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of everyones favourite time lord. An inspired idea, having each drama focus on a villain from the series. At time of review i have not heard the next three. I approached Omega with characteristic trepidation, knowing full well the possibility of the spoiling the series continuity by ruining Omega as a character. In The Three Doctors he was a raving lunatic, in Arc of Infinity a troubled loony with a little heart. In Omega, well, without spoiling anything, they don't ruin his image.
"Jolly Chronolidays" delivers elderly tourists to areas of great historic interest throughout the universe and their latest venture is to where Omega first used the stellar manipulator to create the black hole from which all time travel originally derives, the "sector of forgotten souls." The Doc ( is on board, as well as a couple of actors ( and a bus load of tourists. I had predicted what was to happen next, (surely Omega will reappear and try to destroy the universe) but spectacularly Nev Fountain flips everything on its head and delivers a spellbinding story gripping from start to finish. The layers of psionic energy in the sector means nobody's ever quite sure who every one else is and the looming shadow of Omega himself is never far from the Doctor's thoughts. Just what is going on? Why is the actor playing Vandokeirion threatening to cut off his hands and calling himself "the conscience of the universe?" Why is the stewardess Sentia so driven to entering the black hole? IS Omega actually present or is it just madness...on everyone's part?
I was very impressed with this story.
This is the forty seventh release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Peter Davison as Five and Ian Collier as Omega. There are four episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes.
This is the first in a run of three stories based around infamous Who villains released by Big Finish to celebrate the fortieth year of the series. The celebration cumulated with the sprawling multi-Doctor epic Zagreus. The villain Omega was first introduced in the celebration of the first ten years of the show, the excellent Three Doctors. He next popped up in the Fifth Doctor series Arc of Infinity as part of the twentieth anniversary celebration. It is fitting then that he should kick off the fortieth anniversary celebrations.
This story acts as a direct sequel to the Arc of Infinity, and familiarity with that story is required to get the most from this. It's a fascinating story, one that looks at the origins of Omega and the Time Lord's powers of time travel while at the same time playing with your perceptions and expectations. Peter Davison is on top form here as the Doctor, with his trademark compassion, pacifism and rising panic. Not wishing to give anything away, the script makes some difficult demands of him and he rises to the challenge admirably. Ian Collier reprises his role as Omega, with a charismatic performance that portrays Omega's shattered personality very well. The script cleverly peels away layers of perceived truth to reveal the real truth beneath, as the story is bit by bit chiselled away and brought to the listener. It's a superb production from all involved, worth five stars.
on 2 February 2007
"A strange telepathic message prompts the Doctor to travel to the 'Sector of Forgotten Souls', a place where, thousands of years ago, Omega's ship vanished whilst detonating a star.
"He's not the only one journeying towards it. 'Jolly Chronolidays' prides itself on giving its tourists an experience of galactic history that is far better than mere time travel.
"Its motto is 'We don't go into history, we prefer to bring history to you'.
"When Omega's ship suddenly materialises in front of their shuttle, and one of their employees goes insane and tries to destroy his hands...
"...suddenly it's not just a motto anymore.
"And Omega - and his madness - is closer than they think."
"Omega", by Nev Fountain, is the first of Big Finish's "Villains" trilogy released in 2003 to mark the 40th anniversary of "Doctor Who" and the run-up to Big Finish's 50th regular release, "Zagreus". Like the other "Villains" stories, "Davros" and "Master", "Omega" is a companionless story. Although the story follows directly on from the televised story "Arc of Infinity", the absence of Nyssa and Tegan is never really explained.
Ian Collier of "Arc of Infinity" returns to play the voice of Omega in this curious four part story. The story pits Peter Davison's Doctor against the ghost of his recent nemesis Omega, who has apparently reformed, fallen in love and now just wants a return ticket for he and his bride-to-be to Omega's own antimatter universe: a journey that the Doctor intends to help him accomplish. Unfortunately, in the midst of all of this, the employees of 'Jolly Chronolidays' are beginning to go mad and people are starting to die.
The story rambles on in this slightly undramatic context for some time and, expecting more from this much vaunted set of releases, I was preparing to rate the story a disappointing three stars. However, episode three builds up to a stunning revelation that puts a whole new perspective on everything that has gone before (that is, if you know the television series well enough to understand what's going on). It salvages the story and makes "Omega" a definite "must listen twice" story.
The performances are on the nail, particularly Peter Davison's. Ian Collier is entertaining as Omega and mixes moments of madness with a world-weary lugubriousness to good effect. Meanwhile, the supporting cast are played well as characters just as ineffectual and feeble-minded as writer Nev Fountain intended them to be. Overall, "Omega" is an enjoyable enough play that is entirely made by its clever third episode.
on 21 October 2010
'The Arc of Infinity', The Doctor's 1983 trip to Amsterdam, has to rank as one of the shows all-time lemons. What idiot would either want, least of all attempt, to create a sequel to such a disaster? Nev Fountain, that's who!
'Omega' came as the first of three homages to past villains in the run up to the 40th anniversary behemoth that was 'Zagreus' and was the most surprising as well as the most entertaining. It is also downright barking and features one of the most jaw-dropping end-of-episode cliffhangers ever. The last part is admittedly far too long (it is in truth a five part story, not a four parter), over-indulging its task of expanding on the past. Yet, as a couple of hours of audio entertainment for anyone saturated in the Who universe, 'Omega' is hard to beat. There is a great support cast, the music and sound design are top notch and Peter Davison is at his very best. It is, moreover, often extremely funny.
Though I've only given 'Omega' four stars, it is nonetheless one of a select group of stories from Big Finish's monthly Doctor Who range that I would not willingly be without. (See also: 'Phantasmagoria', 'The Church and the Crown', 'The Kingmaker', 'Year of the Pig', 'Magic Mousetrap', the six stories of 'Season 2002', 'Zagreus', the four stories of 'Season 2004', 'Other Lives' and 'Memory Lane'.) But be warned: if you're not at least partially aware of the two Omega stories on TV, you will miss a lot of the what the story's about. Great though 'Omega' is, it is unshamedly fan-centric.
on 27 December 2007
This story is really clever.
You really do believe that the Doctor is in this nearly from the start to finish. But to find out the main bulk is just omega with his fractured mind is a brilliant twist and wonderfully different.
I like all the good and fresh ideas that people try to think up for doctor who. nev fountain is a great new writer for the range and i would say this is the best of the super baddie trilogy.
Omega isnt entirely evil, he's mostly just misunderstood. The other thing is the doc is not perfect. He is fallible. (a fact which has been evident right through all of his incarnations, not just from peter davison as ive heard a lot of people saying. Remember Katarina and Sara Kingdom and so on???
This story is easy to listen to, with no intrusive annoying sounds just plain old fashioned entertainment. this story is highly recommended for anyone!