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return to draconia,
This review is from: Paper Cuts (Doctor Who) (Audio CD)
Latest doctor who audio play from big finish. As ever a note for casual listeners first. This is the second in a trilogy featuring the sixth doctor and his companion charley, which began in Patient Zero (Doctor Who). Whilst this one picks up from where the ending of that one left off, it does keep the story arcs of the trilogy in the background and tells a largely self contained story. But if you haven't heard patient zero you'll be totally confused by a couple of things at the end. So hear that one first.
As those who have will know, charley now has some rather different secrets she's keeping from the doctor. the cliffhanger from patient zero is quickly resolved in a clever way, and then the doctor, via a clever and amusing scene, gets an invitation to visit draconia. The planet previously seen in the third doctor story frontier in space. His old friend the emperor of draconia has died, and the reptilian aliens of the empire are choosing a new ruler. But with a jealous noble, a scheming priestess to contend with, and a lot of secrets of the empire to discover, the path to succession is anything but smooth.
The draconians have a feudal society a la ancient japan, and the story tries to depict a few things about them that we never saw on television. The trouble is that without the excellent masks that they had on tv, these really could be humans. They just dont come to life as well as they might on audio. There are occasional nice touches that make you realise this is an alien culture, but this is also a rather slowly paced story that takes a while to unwind. And the episodes are all a good five minutes over twenty five each, which means they're not the fastest paced.
Do persevere because the are clever plot twists to be heard and some interesting adversaries. but the latter would also work a bit better on tv. This is by no means a bad story but it's a mid point of a trilogy and it doesnt do much to advance the overall story.
Speaking of that: do be sure to listen after the end credits of part four.
The trilogy concludes in Blue Forgotten Planet (Doctor Who) a trailer for which is at the start of disc one. fourteen minutes of interviews with cast and crew are the end of that disc.
Disc two ends with the fourteen minute long sixth episode of the three companions, which is being told an episode at a time over the monthly big finish range. And it's something else that casual listeners might be able to get into, but I would recommend starting at the beginning.
This episode continues the story from part five nicely of the third doctor and the brigadier on a very strange world. Two things from earlier episodes turn up, so you may start to guess what is going on here. But one doesnt arrive in the manner expected. But what makes this episode memorable is some excellent sound design and some clever scripting that allows all three companions in the story some good moments. It's good enough to make you want to know what will happen next. As it should do.