Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio 158: Wirrn Isle

The Doctor and Flip discover that not all the Wirrn disappeared at the end of The Ark in Space

Okay, please let this be the final story to feature Nerva Beacon and/or its alternate uses for the next few years. What with Wirrn Dawn for the Eighth Doctor, Destination: Nerva for the Fourth and now this for the Sixth, the various elements have been plundered sufficiently. It’s beginning to get like New Earth was for the 10th Doctor!

But the concept goes out on a high. This is a classic base under siege story, suitably reworked for the Sixth Doctor. William Gallagher’s script starts with a claustrophobic opening episode then expands the canvas across the rest, so that by the time you reach the end and realise the scope of the problem, it feels like an organic development. Similarly, the characters’ growth doesn’t feel forced on to the story, as it can sometimes do – the theme of what you’ll do for family (and what defines family) are sufficiently stated without being rammed down the listener’s throat.

There are some nice nods to Robert Holmes’ world-building, both in The Ark in Space and The Sontaran Experiment, with the characters’ accents reflecting both the received pronunciation of the Nerva inhabitants, as well as the GalSec’s more colonial roots.

Partnering him with Flip has brought out a different side to the Sixth Doctor, and it will be interesting to contrast his behaviour with other companions later this year…

Verdict: A well-paced, well-produced finale to the latest Sixth Doctor trilogy.  7/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order Wirrn Isle from Big Finish

<<< 157: The Fourth Wall


One thought on “Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio 158: Wirrn Isle

  1. I loved the story, but felt it was marred by a rare factual error. That’s the good thing about Dr. Who is that when there’s hand waving involved, they do it mightily and with some class, and the rest of the time the writers get the facts right.

    So, I had a big problem with the “pupae”. The insect life cycle is egg, larva, pupa, adult. It was done right in the 4th Dr. episode. So who got the bright idea to talk about the pupae walking around and leaving a mucous trail? The larvae do that. Pupa don’t go anywhere. Tried to overlook it the first time, but it was in there again, unabashedly so, and I felt it was a serious flaw in an otherwise fine story and performance.

    Posted by Sharaz Androzani Jek | April 16, 2012, 8:19 pm

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