Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: 151: The Doomsday Quatrain

Sixteenth Century Florence – and the Seventh Doctor arrives as Nostradamus’ predictions appear to be coming true…

A terrific four part story this, from a writing team new to me on audio (although from the booklet, they’ve obviously contributed to other lines before).

It’s got all the ingredients nicely put together – a setting that’s easily understood by the audience, both through the simple shorthand of knowing who Nostradamus is and through a very well put together audio landscape; a very good twist which alters everything you think you know about the story, and makes sense of some of the earlier inconstancies (some of which derive from earlier Who stories but which as the listener, you don’t cotton on to immediately); a alien species which you can actually understand when they’re talking (and I was very pleased to see the comments in the latest Big Finish Magazine complaining about the voices in Rat Trap!); and lots of opportunities for Sylvester McCoy to roll his “r”s.

David Schofield leads a strong guest cast, with a great performance as Nostradamus, who is reminiscent of a character from an early Peter Davison story in his ability to adapt to circumstances and become master of his own fate. The music also plays a strong part in selling the story: there’s a hint of Murray Gold’s score from The Vampires of Venice mixed in with the stings from McCoy’s own era hiding in there.

Verdict: With some links forward to the final part of this McCoy trilogy, this is one to sit back and enjoy.  8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order The Doomsday Quatrain from Big Finish

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