Nick Briggs and Jason Arnopp have produced a clever boxset of four discs featuring the Seventh Doctor, Raine, UNIT and the Other Doctor! There is also Elizabeth Klein (from a parallel history where Nazi's used the TARDIS to conquer the galaxy).
The story worked well for me as it introduced a threat from parallel dimensions allowing a whole host of new monsters to be introduced which the writers clearly enjoyed. My favourite are the floating heads on which people can ride.
Eventually the story comes to a conclusion which the avid fan might well guess and I won't spoil. We also get some tremendous performances and are left keen for more with this cast.
First released in 2012, UNIT: Dominion is the second 'series' of UNIT adventures following the excellent yet little known first UNIT series released way back in 2004/5. Unlike the first series this adventure features the Doctor, in his seventh incarnation.
Though it is a four disc set, like the Dark Eyes or Jago and Litefoot releases from Big Finish, this is one single adventure (though there is theme music at the start and end of each disc to break it up a little). It ties together a few things from the Big Finish/Seventh Doctor range, including the Kleine story (this follows from Architects of History, where after the rearrangement of the time lines she ended up as UNIT's scientific advisor) and Raine (who was introduced and then criminally mistreated by Big Finish in the second 'Lost Stories' season, thankfully they have realised their mistake and have brought her back here, giving her much better material). In these respects it is pretty much for hardcore fans who have heard Kleine and Raine's previous outings. But for those of you that have I can recommend that you do listen to this, as it is well worth the effort.
The story follows two strands to begin with. Odd things are happening on earth, and it is up to UNIT along with scientific adviser Kleine to deal with it. But up pops a figure in a blue police box. As ever, the Doctor seems to have appeared in the nick of time. But this is a version of the Doctor that no-one at UNIT has dealt with before. No-one remembers a bald incarnation... In the other strand Raine and Seven are summoned by a distress call across a dimensional divide. The Doctor soon has some hard choices to make, and all hell is let loose. Can he stuff the genie back into the bottle before the universe comes to an end?
Eventually the two stories converge into a stunning climax as Big Finish bring all the threads together.
In all I have to say I loved this adventure. There is plenty of incident, and lots of great character moments. McCoy turns in a very strong performance, which he tends to do when he is given great material. Kleine is given some very strong scenes, as she wrestles with her doubts and inner demons. And Raine is given the material she should have had in her introductory adventures. The biggest plaudits however go to Alex MacQueen as the bald Doctor. His is a powerhouse performance that strikes all the right notes of charm, menace and out and out lunacy. He and McCoy play off each other very well, really making this a memorable listen.
There are 4 one hour episodes, each on a separate disc in it's own jewel case, all collected into a card slipcase. There is a fifth disc in the last case of bonus interviews with cast and crew. It's a rip-roaringly good adventure with lots of good character work, memorable monsters, whacky incidents and a megalomaniacal, totally bonkers villain in a plot twist that, if you haven't read any of the spoilers, will make you gasp at the end of the second disc. It's excellent, 5 stars.
on 3 January 2013
This set is one story presented over four discs, and this is one of its key problems, because it doesn't have enough material for anything longer than the more usual two disc releases, so it does tend to pad out the episodes, usually trying to cover this by giving Sylvester McCoy the pointless scenes; good as he is, the whole thing still runs far too long. There is some risible dialogue; when I reached dreadful lines that announce that the 'monster is mental' I started to wish I hadn't started listening at all. The term 'mental' is as stupid as it is insulting to people with mental health issues, and this term is often used along with the 'oh my god' so much the sign of dire writing. The audio is badly hampered by the over performed and over written character defined on the box as 'the other Doctor' although the clumsy writing soon makes evident who this character must be, and what performance in the new television version of the series has probably influenced this over the top portrayal. Things do improve in the last disc, with a few good lines and Sylvester finally at the centre of the plot, but even with some better scenes by the end it was far from a good day at the office for Big Finish. Sylvester is great, and Tracey Childs is fine with the material she is given, but with very strong releases this year with the Dark Eyes and Jago and Litefoot box sets, this set is best described by one word: disappointing.