Dark Shadows: Review: Big Finish Audio 10: Final Judgement

Starring Lara Parker and Kathryn Leigh Scott with Nigel Fairs

Written by D. Lynn Smith, Directed by Darren Gross

In which Josette (Scott) persuades the Dark Lord (Fairs) to put Angelique (Parker) on trial for crimes against true love. Can the witch triumph against a prejudiced jury, or will she burn in hell for eternity?

One of the problems with Josette as a character is how her inherent goodness and innocence makes her come across as an utter sop. While this makes her stand in stark contrast to Angelique’s brand of emotionally-charged evil, it also unfortunately makes her character pale in comparison. Final Judgement attempts to redress this, but only with some success.

At least Josette finally gets to tell off Angelique for ruining her life, turning Barnabas into a vampire, and making things miserable for the rest of the Collinses. Josette also exults at getting the chance to make Angelique answer for her actions – and clearly Kathryn Leigh Scott relishes the opportunity as well – but once Angelique goes on the attack, Josette soon caves in like wet cardboard.

Yet again, Angelique justifies her actions – arguing that she had every right to protect her love for Barnabas (even once it was no longer shared) – but her defence rests on several things that the listener knows to be patently untrue, which further cements the notion that she wasn’t acting as purely in the name of true love as she’d like to think. And the fact that Josette either doesn’t pick up on these untruths, or is unable to rebut them effectively, only makes her look more of a drip.

Perhaps Final Judgement was a post-Wicked attempt to let one see events from the villainess’s point of view, and to show that Josette wasn’t quite the paragon of innocence and virtue that she appeared to be. If so, it doesn’t really succeed. Instead, it feels like yet another retread of ground that’s already been trodden upon many times before. Let’s just get these ladies on The Jerry Springer Show and let them have at it, already!

Verdict: A promising premise is let down by a meandering script which dilutes both characters’ positions and arguments for their cases. 5/10

John S. Hall

Order Final Judgement from Big Finish here

Discussion

One thought on “Dark Shadows: Review: Big Finish Audio 10: Final Judgement

  1. Agreed. For me this was the really the first disappointing “Dark Shadows” audio drama. Both KLS and LP are fantastic; there’s no faulting their performances. But the subject matter came across as cruel to me. I have a difficult time reconciling this vengeful spirit of Josette with the kind ghost inhabiting the Old House and protecting David and Vicki.

    Posted by Chad Moore | February 28, 2012, 7:04 pm

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