Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio 204: Criss-Cross

DWMR204_crisscross_1417Stuck in 1940s Britain, the Sixth Doctor needs help from the girls at Bletchley Park…

I really enjoyed the relationship between Colin Baker’s Doctor and Miranda Raison’s Constance in the Last Adventure box set, and their first full adventure together lives up to the promise. It may not have been a conscious decision, but Raison’s Constance Clarke goes some way to filling the gap left by the late Maggie Stables’ Evelyn Smythe – a character who will stand up to the Doctor, and who gains his respect for her own abilities. It’s never quite going to be a partnership of equals between Doctor and assistant, but that’s definitely how Sixie/Evelyn worked at its best, and I hope that will continue here. I do wonder, though, if we’re possibly going to wander into Father’s Day territory in the longer arc… I hope not!

Matt Fitton resists the temptation to display all of his research into the period – just one line (about the colour of coffee) feels a bit heavy-handed – but makes the way in which Bletchley Park operated absolutely essential both to the plot and the resolution (including a particularly appropriate and bleak ending for two characters). Ken Bentley has built a strong cast around Baker and Raison, with Hugh Fraser and Paul Thornley particularly effective, and a whole host of other characters brought to life by Alistair Petrie, Charlotte Salt and Robbie Stevens.

Verdict: A thoroughly enjoyable adventure to kick off the new companion’s tenure. 9/10

Paul Simpson

 

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