Die, Deindum, die!,
This review is from: Escaping the Future (Bernice Summerfield) (Audio CD)
The galaxy has been torn apart by merciless invaders from the future. A coalition of worlds set up by Braxiatel has been comprehensively defeated by the superior technology of the Deindum. Only a few scattered pockets of resistance are still active. Bev is running the Braxiatel Collection as a refugee camp, living in constant fear of attack. Adrian and Doggles are hiding in a bunker on Earth's moon, trying to launch covert attacks on the enemy with limited resources. Hass is stranded on the occupied planet Maximediras. Bernice and Peter are free for the moment, travelling around through time in an attempt to learn more about the Deindum: where did they come from, what do they want, and can Bernice find a way to strike back at them...?
In the previous audio release, Resurrecting the Past (Bernice Summerfield), Braxiatel's (Miles Richardson) long-running story arc was brought almost to its resolution. Following the events of that release and of the book Present Danger (Bernice Summerfield), Escaping the Future brings his tale to a close.
Machinations that had gradually unfolded in the Bernice Summerfield and Gallifrey series, which could have been interpreted as references to Doctor Who's Time War (they certainly were by me), proved to involve a different, though thematically similar, conflict. Instead of xenophobic, time-travelling, hovering machine creatures we have xenophobic, time-travelling, hovering reptile heads. You don't need to have read Present Danger in order to follow the audios, but it does help to enhance the sense of scale of the Deindum threat.
Future releases promise a new direction, a chance for newer listeners to jump on board without fear of complicated back-story. Will some characters be written out? It seems almost inevitable. Will some of them die? That would be telling. What I will say is this: with the ever-present risk of death at the hands (well, the heads) of the Deindum or, even worse, of being erased from existence itself by an altered timeline, writer Eddie Robson toys with the lives of his characters on numerous occasions as the story approaches its dramatic conclusion. After this, anything goes - nothing and no one from the old continuity is safe.
In view of such a threat and such a new broom, if it were up to me I would have extended the war with the Deindum for a couple more CDs and made this the finale to the season. However, despite its mid-season position, and a few moments when I found the mechanics of what our heroes were trying to achieve somewhat difficult to follow, Escaping the Future provides excellent escapism.