This is a funny little story; it feels like it starts in the middle. I had to go back and check I hadn’t skipped the first few tracks, or picked up another cd which had the second part on it. But once you get over the feeling of complete mystification as to where/when/what/why is going on, you find yourself engrossed in a mystery at sea with the Sixth Doctor and Peri.
On board the ship Lankester, sailing from Madagascar to New Orleans, Peri had been looking forward to a relaxing sea voyage, but she’s got anything but. In the middle of the Atlantic, tossed in a storm that’s lasted for days, the ship’s doctor has disappeared, and the mysterious passenger Amy is confined to her cabin. And the Chief Mate de Requin gives her the creeps. What more could possibly go wrong?
Well, quite a lot actually, and Peri and the Doctor soon find themselves fighting not only the elements, but also a few other things quite outside their experience. Add in a Chief Mate who’s got plans of his own, and a paranoid Captain, and the Doctor and Peri will be lucky if they make it to New Orleans at all.
This is an unusual offering from Big Finish in that it is only a two-parter story, of some 70 minutes all up. It was first offered as a bonus to BF subscribers on its release in 2005, but is now available for purchase generally. The small cast does a great job in this story, although I did think that de Requin’s final scenes were a bit over the top, as Tony Beck seemed to find himself channelling something not quite in keeping with the character (no more, for fear of spoilers). That didn’t seem quite right to my ears, but I must suppose that the character’s fate was as envisaged by the writer, Elliot Thorpe.
A nice little story, it offers a good view into the relationship of the Doctor and Peri, and definitely showcases them both well.
A short doctor who audio that was originally given free to subscribers to the range, and put on sale to everyone else months later. One long episode of just over forty five minutes, it features the sixth doctor and peri. They are passengers on an old merchant ship in the south atlantic. There's a strange lady locked away in one cabin. The first mate has a few schemes. And they're about to come face to face with some legends of the ocean.
An interesting little story in that the setting is quite well realised, with a few multi national accents on display. Although there are a lot of characters who don't get any dialogue and are just noisy presences in the background of scenes, which doesn't quite work. The doctor runs into trouble whilst peri discovers the secret of the mysterious passenger, and things are duly resolved with everyone getting their just desserts at the end.
A bigger problem with this one is the actions of the main characters, as the doctor and peri tend to spend the whole story reacting to what happens to them rather than doing anything on their own initiative. So ultimately this is an okay little story, but nothing desperately memorable
"She's called 'Lankester' and every year she sails from Madagascar to New Orleans and back again. Every year. Without exception. Regular as clockwork.
"Her schedule is never behind. Her cargo is always fresh.
"This trip, she has passengers. The passengers have baggage.
"And the baggage might be just enough to sink her..."
"Cryptobiosis", by Elliot Thorpe, was originally a subscribers-only freebie and, as such, rather than being a full two-disc story, it takes the form of a single, forty-five minute, self-contained story with a small guest cast. "Cryptobiosis" is, therefore, a largely inconsequential outing but still features the high standard of music and sound design that we have come to expect from Big Finish Productions.
There's not a lot I can say about the story itself without spoiling the revelations and character twists. However, suffice it to say that the story is slightly hokey, with a somewhat incredible "creature of the week". The ending is morally ambiguous and features some slightly dubious "crazy" acting from one of the guest cast.
Although atmospheric, "Cryptobiosis" is essentially a throwaway, take-it-or-leave-it piece. Worth having for completist fans and a mildly diverting way to spend forty-five minutes, with lots of trailers for other stories on the end for good measure.
Doctor Who has met a tonne of different monsters in the sea in his time. But now it comes the time for...mermaids.
One might think this would be a stupid or obvious idea. Wrong. This audio is well written and well acted by all those involved. For once the story is not too over long, being just one single episode, and the story is faster paced and the better for it considerably. Some of the big finish adventures suffer only because they are over long and protracted. i like the new 25 minute format that they have taken up, its better. But this story has all the highlights of a good story. Good characters, believeable mermaids and Mermen. Good moral undertone to the script ago, which unlike most other people i like to see and hear in stories.
Doctor Who expects a trip on a gentle liner and ends up on the lankaster, with its moronic crew members and trapped mermaid. The Doctor played by Colin Baker again is as usual top notch and as loud and different as ever. Ive always thought Colin is a woefully under appreciated Doctor. He is after all one of the best actually. And Nicola Bryant is great as Peri, nice to have her and the sixth doctor back together again, havent been too many stories with these two great actors together.
So altogether this is a very worthy addition to the big finish range...