Big Finish are thinking big at the moment, with specials coming along regularly. We’ve had the first of the Jago and Litefoot crossovers with the Sixth Doctor (albeit a month early), and the adaptation of Benny’s debut Love and War, and now here’s a five-disc mammoth box set which provides over four hours of action.
There are many mysteries involved in Dominion, and you really don’t want them spoiled before you listen to the set. My appetite for this was whetted at the PowerCon in September when Nick Briggs dropped a few hints about Big Finish recasting the Doctor with regards to this story, and Alex MacQueen’s Time Lord is a great piece of schizophrenic acting. Arnopp and Briggs’ script doesn’t cheat the listener though: the clues as to what’s going on, and where he fits on the Doctor’s timeline are scattered throughout, and I guessed a good proportion by the end of the second episode.
MacQueen makes a good foil for Tracey Childs’ Elizabeth Klein, and given the history between Klein and the Seventh Doctor, it’s good that their scenes together can deal with that, rather than just having to put differences aside to fight the aliens. Childs and Sylvester McCoy continue to spark off each other; further adventures would be good to hear.
Beth Chalmers’ Raine Creevy is also becoming more interesting, and her presence makes for some head scratching with regards to continuity – is her introduction in the Lost Stories now Big Finish-canonical? Is Ace’s involvement indicative of her future fate in the Big Finish timeline, or quite what (it fits with one version of Season 27, but not the one on audio…!) Should you just ignore all this and enjoy the story? (That one’s easy to answer – yes!)
Among all the fighting, the inter-dimensional travelling and quite amazing concepts (mind leeches, giant floating heads that don’t sound like William Shatner), Dominion is also the story of one man trying to stay alive so he can be there for the birth of his child. Yes, Dominion could have been told over three discs – in fact, ruthless editing could have taken it down to two without losing too many beats, I suspect – but Pete’s story would have been one of the first casualties. And that would have been a shame.
Verdict: Prepare for an epic! 8/10