Jonathan Morris doesn’t provide any let-up in the tension in this second story, as those who have managed to survive the sickness come to terms with a very different society. It isn’t just that particular illness that they have to worry about: picking up on a line from the original series, we see how the cities have become breeding grounds for other diseases, and at least one of those who got through the first episode doesn’t make it to the end of this.
Characters start to gravitate towards James Gillison’s proto-community at Feltham, and Morris uses the audio medium well to convey some of the shocks connected to this, notably when Chase Masterson’s Maddie Price and Terry Molloy’s John Redgrave arrive there. Gillison is the sort of character who both TV versions of the show did well: someone who sees the plague as an opportunity to put into effect some of his own theories on how civilisation can be – the cliffhanger to the episode seems to those involved in it to be non-threatening but is horrendously chilling in light of what we learn as the episode unfolds.
But the real shocks come from the introduction of Louise Jameson’s Jackie Burchall, one of the most powerful characters Big Finish has created, who has been through a horrendous, yet totally credible, sequence of events. Jameson has shown her versatility in a number of Big Finish productions away from her signature character of Leela in the Doctor Who range (let alone the different sides to the Sevateem warrior that we’ve seen), but this has to be her best yet.
With a brief appearance by one of the original Survivors, this maintains the standard of Big Finish’s most adult drama to date. 9/10