TOP 100 REVIEWERon 15 September 2016
This is part of the series of Lost Stories produced as full cast audio dramas by Big Finish. These are stories which, for various reasons, were written, or had story ideas drawn up for various Doctors in the tv series, but were never made. Big Finish have released nearly 30 of these Lost Stories so far, and they’re a brilliant chance to hear stories that we might have seen on tv, had circumstances been different; and a great opportunity to hear stories of their time, written for the Doctor of the time. This one is the fourth release in the second series, and features Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor, and Sophie Aldred as Ace.
The story follows on in several threads from the previous story, Thin Ice (both stories are complete on their own, but they have certain common elements and characters). It’s 1989, and we are hearing the thoughts of a young woman, on her way to a house to crack the safe, where she is to retrieve some jewels. But what she finds when she opens the safe surprises even her. Meanwhile Ace has been charged by the Doctor with finding Markus Creevy, who she met recently in her timeline, but more than twenty years earlier in his timeline. The Doctor requires Creevy’s help, but Creevy doesn’t feel particularly inclined to give it.
The story quickly moves from London to the Middle East, where both the local tribes and the foreign ‘invaders’ seem to be facing another enemy; and back to the Scottish border. Along the way we are reacquainted with Markus Creevy’s family, and we again find the mysterious and plotting Doctor, with the Ace who is very self-sufficient and who is a big part of the Doctor’s plans. We also meet someone else from the Doctor and Ace’s past, who is less than pleased to see them again, and who is determined to remove them from his sphere of influence.
This is another story jam-packed with ideas, and they all play out perfectly, and all pay off wonderfully. The story, already sounding complicated from the beginning, gets more convoluted as it continues, with new characters, and new agendas being thrown in along the way. It’s often harsh and brutal, but totally engrossing throughout. As is the case with Thin Ice this story is very complete on its own, but some of the characters are again followed in future Lost Stories, continuing in Animal, and Earth Aid.
There are some very important themes, and some great characters in this story, and they are absolutely perfectly performed. Beth Chalmers as Raine, Ricky Groves as Markus Creevy, along with Derek Carlyle, John Albasiny, John Banks and Chris Porter play their parts absolutely perfectly. The sound production is fantastic; during some of the action scenes I could not believe what I was hearing, with the quality and depth of the sound and the total soundscape delivery.
A fantastic story, and a great Lost Story. This is one that I will listen to again very happily, and find something new to enjoy each time. Great stuff, and a real classic.