Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio 167: The Shadow Heart

The Seventh Doctor must face the consequences of his own actions – and those of his predecessor…

Jonathan Morris bring this trilogy to a close, picking up on elements from John Dorney and Rick Briggs’ stories, and adding his own twists – not least a timey-wimey element where the Doctor doesn’t experience the events of the story quite in the order that the rest of us do. For a moment, I thought we were going to get another Flip-Flop, where the discs could be played in either order, but this is a little more linear than that, at least for the majority of the characters.

The Wrath are given a different role to the previous play, but are still as ruthless and determined. There’s a little bit of Destiny of the Daleks about their motivations here (or Star Trek: The Motion Picture if you want to be more pretentious). Quite a few characters from earlier plays make a reappearance but none of them is quite what they appear to be, and there are some intriguing ideas – not least a space ammonite!

The story also sees the introduction of Vienna Salvatore, a bounty hunter played by DS9 actor Chase Masterson, who is now being spun off into her own series. As Chase mentions in the extras, she wanted to find the humanity within the character, and the more restrained scenes definitely work better than the rather over-the-top almost comic-book introduction. (There’s a logical absurdity about someone saying they kill anyone who knows their name but who’s a mercenary for hire – how do they get business? Shades of the recent Red Dwarf finale!)

There’s been a nice continuity between the elements of this trilogy, thanks to a consistent approach by Ken Bentley to the soundscape. More crossovers like this, please.

Verdict: A different sort of trilogy gets an appropriately different sort of ending. 7/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order The Shadow Heart from Big Finish

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