Dark Shadows: Review: Big Finish Audio 27: Operation Victor

Starring David Selby, Terry Molloy and Fay Masterson, with Alex Mallinson and Joseph Lidster

Written by Jonathan Morris, Directed by Darren Gross

In which British Secret Service agent Sally Green (Masterson) forcibly recruits Quentin Collins (Selby) on a mission to infiltrate the heavily-guarded castle of Doctor Moloch (Molloy), a scientist aiding the Third Reich in their plans to win World War II through black magic and other forces humanity was not meant to meddle with…

A few reviews back, I complained about the lack of follow-up to all the various enemies Quentin had inadvertently amassed throughout his audio adventures. Well, obviously someone at Big Finish has been playing the long game, because everything comes to a head here! The culmination of Quentin’s wanderings thus far, Operation Victor has a lot of expectations to meet; by and large, it does not disappoint.

Like the recent Doctor Who story Asylum of the Daleks, this story takes place against a backdrop full of sturm und drang that one wishes had been explored in greater detail instead of focusing more on a young woman who is more than she seems.

Unsurprisingly, Quentin clashes with Sally Green (or, should I say, “von Green”?) on virtually every level. Equally unsurprisingly, he rails against Dr. Moloch’s sadistic experiments upon vampires and werewolves and zombies (oh my!) in the hopes of creating hybrid super-soldiers for the Fuhrer. It goes without saying that Terry Molloy excels at portraying the Dark Shadows equivalent of Dalek creator Davros, but wisely eschews the Kaled scientist’s rantings in favour of a measured performance that emphasizes the banality of evil.

Alongside the main drama, various fan-pleasing nuggets dropped along the way include the name of the London Tube station where Rosie Faye died in London’s Burning, and the fact that the US government has files on Collinwood and its inhabitants dating back to 1897! Equally pleasing is the story’s soundscape, which contrasts its Hammer Horror roots with a theremin-infused atmosphere for Dr. Moloch’s laboratory, wholly in keeping with Universal Pictures’ 1940s “superstition meets science” sequels to their iconic horror movies of the 1930s.

Verdict: It may not quite reach the heights of The Fall of the House of Trask, but Operation Victor has its share of satisfying plot resolutions and sends Quentin Collins wandering off in a different direction… 8/10

John S. Hall

Click here to order Operation Victor from Big Finish

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