on 30 March 2009
The third and final story in the Key2Time trilogy from Big Finish is a triumph of acting and atmosphere. Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor is on song as he fights to prevent the loss of his beloved TARDIS, and the return of an old friend is a real bonus for loyal fans.
The Timelord and his companion Amy materialise on board a spaceship piloted by the slug-like Teuthoidians, and promptly see the TARDIS jettisoned into space. If this isn't bad enough, the ship's engines are about to explode and another ship appears, intent on destroying the Teuthoidian vessel...
I think this story arc has gone from strength to strength and The Chaos Pool provides a fitting finale. With plenty for long in the tooth Whovians to get nostalgic about: The Key to Time, The Black and White Guardian and the return of one of The Doctor's old allies; plus some great new aliens and a brilliant twist, this audio is the complete package. Big Finish have come flying out of the starting gates in 2009, and one senses the best is yet to come...
This is the hundred and ninteenth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Peter Davison as Five. 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. There are some interviews with cast and crew at the end of each disc. This is the third of a trilogy of adventures called Key2Time, following up on the Fourth Doctor's adventures with that artefact, and Five's brushes with the Black Guardian.
After the slightly better `Destroyer of Delights', this release rounds out a disappointing trilogy by taking the quality down a notch to a level similar to the trilogy opener, the Judgement of Isskar. It's a chaotic story in which Five and Amy must find the sixth segment, find the Chaos Pool and then do something or other to stop the Key decaying key destroying the Universe. Oh, and stop any other interested parties (Guardians, Graces etc) getting their hands on it. Cue lots of incomprehensible technobabble and pointless running around as Peter Davison does his best to hold it all together in the face of a terrible script and some aliens who sound unnervingly like Frankie Howerd at times. He gives it his all, but to be honest the script is beyond even his skills. And then, with a leap and a bound he solves the whole thing in an incredibly anticlimactic climax that didn't really need twelve episodes of the main range (and however many spin off episodes) to reach.
There are some nice ideas here, but when they do occur they are wasted. Chief among these is the revelation of the identity of Madam President. I won't spoil it as it is one of the few good bits in the story, but after the big reveal absolutely nothing interesting is done with the character and the whole thing feels wasted.
Not a great story by any means. And as a resolution to a twelve part story arc it's grim. It's especially disappointing coming, as it does, on the heels of the excellent `Brewster' trilogy. 2 stars.