on 28 September 2015
Recorded on 27 and 28 April 2005 at The Moat Studios ‘Scaredy Cat’ was written by Will Shindler who also wrote ‘The Twilight Kingdom’ and directed by Nigel Fairs. It’s only one hour and about ten minutes, how BF can justify the price for such a short runtime with a poor reputation or why they split it into four episodes I don’t know.
The dripping of water and birds tweeting all sound very natural, and the music itself is functional but a bit unengaging. Then there is the actor making Gorilla sounds which undermines the rest of the effects in any scene it features. The little Girl sounds like she is least in her twenties. It may just be me but the directing lacks sharpness, and the cliff hangers are lame.
Charlie is virtually non-existent, C’rizz seems bland and I can’t say the characterisation is bad because there isn’t any. Who is Eunis Flood? What does he want? No character set up they just jump straight into the action, why is this so short? I am not familiar with C’rizz at this point and I am constantly feeling that I missed something. Then again this is so steeped in blandness maybe we should be thankful for small mercies. I have heard some bad Big Finish but this is awful. Utterly void of ideas and lifeless
This is the seventy fifth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Paul McGann as Eight, India Fisher as Charlie and Conrad Westmaas as C'rizz. There are 4 episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs.
I suppose one of the problems of being involved in a series as long running as Doctor Who is that eventually the ideas start to dry up and it becomes difficult to be fresh and original every single month. To an extent that seems to be a problem here, with lots of old ideas (mad scientists, living planets, companions having to learn the futility of trying to change the future, etc, etc) being recycled. On the plus side however, all involved do a thoroughly professional job and an entertaining adventure results. McGann and Westmaas have some particularly good moments as they investigate the unfortunate past of the planet Endarra. Arthur Bostrom plays an excellent scientist driven to the edge by his obsession. It was a surprise when I read the cast list, as the voice was familiar but I couldn't place it. I guess it was because he was speaking normally and not with the mangled French accent of his most famous character Officer Crabtree from Allo Allo.
There is a strong feeling of familiarity and having been here before, but largely papered over by a committed cast and crew. 4 stars.
‘Scaredy Cat’ is a passable Doctor Who adventure, with a slightly contrived yet well-paced storyline. A lot of the elements are over-familiar from other stories – mad scientists, a serial killer bad guy with hammy dialogue, a living planet – but the performances and production are generally solid enough for this to remain an enjoyable back to basics 8th Doctor story. One mild bone of contention is the very short running time, with a story that would easily fit onto 1 CD being spread onto 2 in order to bump the price up. Hmmm…
on 15 April 2009
It means literally 'the soul of the vengeful': Those whose lives have been cut short early and died with empty hearts.
Millennia ago, the people of the planet Caludaar pledged never to set foot on their sister planet Endarra...
But what secrets does the planet hold? There are laws even the Doctor won't break...
And while C'rizz learns that some tragedies can't be averted, Charley must decide who the enemy actually is.
For death walks on Endarra, and this time she won't be denied...
A decent if uninspiring entry in the Big Finish monthly series; worth a listen but far from the best of the lot.