Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: CC 708: House of Cards

House of Cards coverThe Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie become involved in a high stakes card game – the highest you can possibly imagine…

And so Troughton February continues with a Companion Chronicle by Steve Lyons featuring the original team (only Victoria isn’t getting a look-in, and she features in the AudioGO Tomb of the Cybermen classic novel read that’s out in March). As Anneke Wills notes in the extras, Lyons has caught the essence of her character, and this is very much a Polly story, with interaction with Ben, Jamie and the Doctor as necessary.

It always slightly throws me when one of the other Troughton companions ‘does’ the second Doctor if Frazer Hines is part of the recording since he has got it down to such a fine art, but after a moment, I realised that Wills gives us an equally valid rendition. It doesn’t have the exact tones that Troughton would have used, but the performance is pure Pat.

Not reading Doctor Who Adventures, I hadn’t encountered the villains of the piece before, giant snakes who have been influenced by time on Prohibition Earth, and they make another good audio foe. This story isn’t suitable really though for the average DWA reader (those it’s aimed at, I mean, as opposed to the completest fans who will be buying it because it’s got the logo on the cover!): the cliffhanger is one of the nastier that Big Finish has done and the concept at the heart of the casino is all too horribly feasible. Kudos also to Lyons for not giving a traditional happy ending in which everyone learns a lesson from events.

Verdict: Worth listening to twice to catch the bits you only fully understand by the end. 8/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order House of Cards from Big Finish


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