Nine more Big Finish audios

Two rather routine stories, followed by four very experimental ones and three stories revisiting old Who themes.

listened to it some time ago. Five, Peri and Erimem, rather incoherent plot with witches and planetary invasion, nice touch with the cat at the end.

The Dark Flame: felt this worked a bit better. Seven, Ace and Benny and a rather complex tale of identities and possession – seemed to borrow bits from Image of the Fendahl and The Hand of Fear, but no harm in that.

Doctor Who and the Pirates: billed as the Six and Evelyn musical story, though in fact the Gilbert and Sullivan songs are restricted to the third episode of the four. Bill Oddie as the pirate captain! But a very successful leavening of the comic overtones with a serious and tragic foundation.

Creatures of Beauty: Another experiment in format, with the plot fragmented non-sequentially across the four episodes, so that the crucial contribution of Five and Nyssa to the very beginning of the story only really becomes clear at the end. Very well done.

Project: Lazarus is a story in two parts, the first of which is (another) tragic tale with Six and Evelyn, and the second featuring Seven and Six together – or is it really Six? Rather on the horrific side for my taste, but well done.

Flip-Flop: Like Creatures of Beauty, requires some intellectual work from the listener. The two discs are alternate versions of the same planet’s history, in each case changed into the other by the intervention of the Doctor and Mel. Really very well done.

Omega: Five on his own, dealing with Omega who is attempting to re-manifest in this universe. Lots of creative playing with the listener’s head, culminating in a brilliant moment at the end of episode three. And an Irish time lord – Professor Ertikus, played by Patrick Duggan. Really liked it despite my lack of familiarity with Arc of Infinity. Despite the serious theme I thought it borrowed more than a few elements from Douglas Adams.

Davros: Alas, despite resurrecting Terry Molloy to play Davros, ex-Gulliver/Time Lord/Thal Bernard Horsfall to play the chief human villain, and the fantastic Wendy Padbury to play his wife, I felt the brilliant cast was let down by the plot, which has an episode of silly office bickering between the Sixth Doctor and Davros and then the predictable mayhem and slaughter.

Master: Again, alas, decent performances by all, rather let down by the plot which is an extended piece of the type of fan-fic we have all read so much of since June. (Except this is Seven/Beevers Master rather than Ten/Simm Master.)

In summary, the middle five of these are all excellent; not so sure about the two on either side, though Davros does have nostalgia value.

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