Review: Doctor Who: Big Finish Audio: The Lost Stories 3.5: Power Play

Evading capture, the Sixth Doctor and Peri land on Earth – where the TARDIS is spotted by one of its former occupants, Victoria Waterfield…

I really wanted to like Gary Hopkins’ reworking of his original script, which if it had been made in the 1980s, would have seen Debbie Watling reprising her role as Victoria a decade before she really did so for the Reeltime movie Downtime. And it’s fair to say that everyone involved in this version gives it their all – as Watling comments, Leatherlungs is back, with some suitable screaming from her.

But it really doesn’t hang together very well. The characters never feel more than two-dimensional, and the two separate plot strands are brought together in the most unlikely of coincidences, culminating in a “reveal” that had me going “anything but that…” We actually didn’t need to know the information given then – not everything has to be wrapped up.

I never felt that I understood why Victoria was with the campaigners – yes, Watling explains in the extras but not from the play itself – and why was someone who was so adamant about not being called Vic in one of her few extant appearances happy to let everyone do so in this? (Minor point, true, but annoying).

Add in too-intrusive incidental music – and bear in mind that I’m a fan for the most part of the Murray Gold school of underscoring every emotional beat – and one or two dodgy performances, and this sadly is a Lost Story that perhaps should have remained a legend. 4/10

Paul Simpson

Click here to order Power Play from Big Finish


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