Big Finish’s annual collection of four one-episode stories features the Seventh Doctor and Ace. Early indications would suggest that this is quite early in their travels – Ace is eager to learn, the Doctor periodically mangles his phrases – but then, out of the blue, there’s a reference to Hex being in the past, and some hints as to the future direction of this particular TARDIS crew’s travels…
There’s a good contrast between the stories in tone and type. John Dorney’s title story may be one of the most irritating ever released by Big Finish – or at least it is if you’re listening to it while exercising/walking the dog etc. and are unable to change tracks as suggested! Similar to those old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, you get choices at the end of each track and need to move forward one or two tracks (or sometimes more) to complete the story… Listening to it linearly does work (despite the occasional frustration) and there’s a good in-story reason for it – worth persevering with.
Jamie Anderson presents Come Die With Me, a murder mystery with a twist (and not the one that I thought was coming either based on the evidence) which uses the Doctor and Ace well. Christopher Cooper’s The Grand Betelgeuse Hotel puts Sophie Aldred front and centre opposite Jon Culshaw’s judge, and gives her a chance to really let rip in a heist story with a few intriguing side-ideas. Matthew J. Elliot’s Dead to the World also has some interesting concepts, although its villains’ motivation is perhaps a little too familiar (and who wrote the letter at the beginning? The Captain or Cynthia?).
Verdict: An enjoyable anthology. 7/10