Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Big Finish Doctor Who on BBC

The BBC’s station Radio Four has aired some Big Finish dramas featuring the Eighth Doctor, with more to come. Each will be up for a week from the original air date, so  listen while you can. The first one, “Death in Blackpool.” aired Monday has five days left on the digital player, which is free to non-Brits as well. 
Death in Blackpool, featuring the opinionated Lucie Miller, was…well, let’s just say it makes most of Davies’ Christmas specials look frolicsome and charming.  And I’ve only heard Lucie’s introductory story, “Blood of the Daleks,”—I imagine it would be even more depressing to fans of hers.  What makes it worse is that the main crisis isn’t even an alien invasion or temporal collapse—but a car crash, with Lucie barely clinging to life. Which isn’t to say that there aren’t aliens involved, but they aren’t really what makes it depressing.  As a side note, this episode spoils Lucie’s adventures with her Aunt Pat, but I’m not sure how significant that is.
The second one, Situation Vacant, is much funnier. An ad has been placed that reads: 
TRAVELLER IN TIME AND SPACE seeks male or female companion with good sense of humour for adventures in the Fourth and Fifth Dimensions.
No experience necessary.
No time wasters, no space wasters please.
The potential companions struggle to find out what’s going on at a hotel conference, leaving the audience to laugh at the conventional approach to a very non-conventional situation. I’ve thought about writing a story like this once or twice, so it was great fun to listen too.
Today’s serial, Nevermore, has the Doctor and the winner of the tryouts in the previous story landing on a Poe-themed planet, complete with dreary ravens and threats of the Red Death. I really should read some more Poe—I’ve only ever read “Masque of the Red Death,” “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and maybe “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Tonewise, it’s between the other two serials,  but they’re all very good.

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