There’s a lot to applaud about Martin Johnson’s new series of audio adventures, which kicks off with this one-hour tale, directed by Big Finish stalwart Lisa Bowerman. After a few initial hesitancies, the central cast blend well together, with Life on Mars’ Liz White so far the strongest of the three. The sound design is, as you might expect given Johnson’s background, excellent – there’s plenty going on in scenes that require it, but a good use of quiet when appropriate. The music is suitably cod-heroic.
The only problem that I have – and this applies more to the first half of the episode than the second – is the scripting, which is let down by some horrendous info-dumps regarding the characters, and some weird inconsistencies regarding their knowledge of the workings of the Osiris. The former is something that plagues pilot episodes across the board but which could have been ameliorated more than here; the latter is slightly more worrying in terms of the series’ future. Exactly what knowledge Osiris puts in the trio’s minds – and when – is critical to the plot, and it seems to be on a sliding scale; hopefully this is something that can be tweaked (or even retconned – Osiris didn’t want to overload them with info, so removed some, perhaps?) down the line.
There’s a slightly Boys’ Own feel to it – the trio see themselves as going off on “adventures” – which sets Osiris apart from some of the other audio series out there. It may be a little too straightforward for some people, but I certainly will be interested to see where Johnson and his team head next.
Verdict: Stick with it despite the slightly clunky start – this could be the start of a fun ride. 7/10