The story so far… being retentive to the point of filing my books by size and publisher, I’ve decided to listen to Big Finish’s range of Doctor Who stories not in order of publication, but in purely chronological order. Yes, I’m that daft. I’ve even arranged them into “seasons”. You’d think I had better things to do with my life (and you’d be right). Thus far, we’re three full seasons into Peter Davison’s tenure as the Fifth Doctor.¹ That has brought us through the full range (so far) of stories set between Time-Flight and Arc of Infinity. Now we head post-Arc of Infinity…
Omega, by Nev Fountain
The Doctor is sightseeing, on his own… on a tour party… at the site of Omega’s supposed death. Where historical re-enactment is the order of the day… but it seems that Omega is not dead yet…
I’ve been mildly confused by this tale (one of several that marked the 40th anniversary of Who’s first broadcast). Confused, and amused in equal measure. The confusion comes from having forgotten everything I ever knew about Omega. Clearly I should have gone on one of Jolly Chronolidays’s tours. The storytelling doesn’t help matters, as it isn’t explained why the Doctor has come out all this way until the second episode. Although, as it transpires, this too is a red herring. I think it’s safest to say, at this point, that nothing and nobody in this story is exactly what they seem. Far from it.
Amusement? The dialogue has some sparkling one-liners: “I’ve always had this strange premonition that I would end my life by dying,” for example. Since I’ve been listening to this on the way to work, between J34 & J37 of the M1, I’ve not been able to note down the others. The interplay between the Doctor and Daland (Hugo Myatt) is at points hilarious however. Meanwhile Omega himself is predictably hatstand – yet his new girlfriend quite possibly has even fewer sandwiches in her lunchbox. Caroline Munro, indelibly etched into my mind for her role in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (along with Tom Baker, of course) has an absolute whale of a time as Sentia.
And once all the red herrings are laid aside, there’s a desperate race to stop Omega’s dimension destroying everything within reach. Marred only by the sudden appearance, as if from nowhere, of Time Lords from the Doctor’s own future… not sure I like the idea of there being time *after* the Doctor. Still, a very enjoyable romp back into Gallifreyan history and continuity.
¹Yes, I’m aware that Big Finish also publish a range featuring Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor, and that there are ranges called the Companion Chronicles and Lost Stories that go even further back than that – but even I have to draw the line somewhere. So Big Finish Folly is intended to go through Doctors 5, 6, 7 and 8. A bit like Steps, y’see.