on 26 June 2013
I first watched Doctor Who back in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and I was instantly hooked, I then discovered he original series. I now own over 100 DVDs, the Murray Gold soundtracks, the toys, the autographs, the posters, ect.
Why start off my review like that? Well, for the longest time, i've been meaning to buy the audio adventures produced by Big Finish, but I always kept putting it off. "I'll buy a CD next time, for now I need the latest special edition of Robots of Death!" However, as I was looking through Big Finish's website to see what adventures they had available that I could add to my EXTREMELY LONG wish list, I spied an audiobook, starring the sixth Doctor, Colin Baker and my all time favourite classic monsters, the Silurians! So I thought, i'm only going to continually wait some more, I might as well finally buy an audiobook and see if I like it or not.
Short answer, I did.
Long answer, this was an incredibly enjoyable adventure, it was dark, sinister, scary, thought provoking and a fun story. Not a lot of people enjoy Colin Baker's performance as the Doctor from the original series, and while I can see why, I don't think Colin is to blame. It could be down to a number of things, the director, the writer, even down to the coat (i'm sorry, it HAD to be mentioned!). Now I don't ever think there has been a Doctor to play the role poorly, I love each and every one of them, they all give their own performances that make them all unique and fantastic, it's just a shame that even though Colin had amazing moments as the Doctor, he usually habits and pieces that fell flat due to the writing or direction. However, I particularly enjoyed his performance in this adventure, it was a nice balance of seriousness to him acting like a clown (no, not another jab at his coat.). We don't get to see much of the full potential of the Sixth Doctor, but since Colin is featured in a lot of the Big Finish adventures, i'm hoping that can now be fully rectified.
Maggie Stables stars as the Doctor's companion, Evelyn Smythe. Like I said before, this is my first purchase of the Big Finish adventures and I picked an adventure that is part of the Doctor Who continuity, not just in the televised series, but now the Big Finish series now. So I was pretty confused about who exactly Evelyn was, listening, I took it that was a teacher of some sort. I didn't really know much about Evelyn, but i'll be going back to buy more CDs and hopefully learn more about her, however, I enjoyed Maggie's performance and she was enjoyable and got into the action as much as the Doctor did.
The Silurians are terrific, I was surprised that even though these are based on the ones from the 70's, this adventure features a female Silurian. Not strange now I suppose, being that the majority of the Silurians featured on the new series are female, but it's great that now the Silurian's world is no longer as small as it was back in 1970. I absolutely LOVE the classic Silruians and I loved them in this, they're incredibly dark and scary once again. The Silurian actors were great, the voices were exactly how I remembered them. Miles Richardson and George Tefler play Charles Darwin and Captain Fitzroy respectively and they did a marvellous job on their performances, especially Miles. For a second, I almost believed he was a young Darwin.
Getting near the end of my review now, I think what kept putting me off from buying one of Big Finish's products was how exactly they were going to tell their stories and whether or not they'd be good. I remember listening to David Tennant reading "Stone Rose", in hopes for some more Doctor Who action, but in the end, it was just David reading from a book. It bored me, I had no interest and I was worried that Big Finish's stories would be like that also, just Colin Baker doing a Silurian impression. But this felt like a genuine Doctor Who adventure to me, the sounds, the acting, the music, the atmosphere, it was all there. I was expecting a narrator to explain what was happening visually, but there was none, just the actors playing away and it felt real and I could see what has happening. All you need is your imagination to fill in the images and it was all there, it was amazing.
I strongly suggest any new comers to Big Finish to not be shy and buy this adventure for your collection! I am thrilled that I enjoyed this adventure so much and I'm definitely going to purchase more from Big Finish in the future...or was it the past?