Lest we forget, in the midst of all the excitement over the new series audios that Big Finish are producing at the moment, the main range continues to be the heart of the BF Doctor Who universe. This release marks the end of the first trilogy featuring Miranda Raison’s Constance Clarke, who seems to have fitted in so naturally with Colin Baker’s Doctor that I feel as if we’ve had a good half dozen adventures already (of course we had an extra one in the Farewell Sixy box set!). It also marks Louise Jameson’s debut as director on the main range – and may this be the first of many such outings.
Whether it’s the cinematic nature of Ian Edginton’s script – a respected comics writer also making his debut for the line – or Jameson’s own instincts, but this story, as Colin Baker notes, feels like a real blockbuster. I think in part that comes from the use of Jamie Robertson’s music score – it’s not simply there to underscore the emotions and the beats of the plot (although it does that very well), but also to move the story forward between scenes in the way that John Williams’ music for Spielberg so often does. There’s a real momentum throughout, and Jameson isn’t frightened to mix things up, so some scenes crash into one another, while others are given space for the listener to absorb what’s just happened – kudos to Jameson and sound designer Martin Montague for creating the very differing environments required (and overlapping them where needed!).
Baker is on fine form here – in fact, it’s some of his best work in recent time, particularly in the nuances of the Doctor’s relationships with the various characters and his reaction to humanity’s aptitude for making a bad situation worse. He and Raison are surrounded by a strong cast – an all-American crew who I really hope we hear more from in future releases.
Verdict: One of the best Big Finish releases of the year. 10/10