Big Finish Folly, Part 20

Another week, another play… attempting some rough maths here, I figure there’s at least another 200 plays ahead of me (including some more Lost Stories and the entire Eighth Doctor Adventures range). That’s nearly four years’ worth of weekly posts – and that ain’t even counting the range that will build up in the mean time. So, I guess I’d better speed up a little, eh?

Cobwebs, by Jonathan Morris

You can say one thing for Big Finish: they love to play with the gaps in continuity between the stories. And there’s certainly a lot of space to play with. It isn’t much of a spoiler to say that here, just a few short weeks after the TV story Terminus, the Tardis crew encounter Nyssa once again – except that for her, the intervening period has been a bit longer. Fifty years longer, in fact. Now a noted scientist, she has come to the research station on Hellheim to try to discover a cure for a galaxy-wide virus. But Hellheim itself is sickened – and lethal…

Jonathan Morris was responsible for The Eternal Summer, which was brilliant, and The Haunting of Thomas Brewster, which was less so. Cobwebs is a return to form however, and a satisfyingly fraught and tense closed-set drama focused heavily on the theme of identity (as audio dramas often are – when you can’t see the characters, their internal identity becomes that much more important). Just as Tegan is still less than sure of Turlough’s motives at the beginning, the other characters at Hellheim are uncertain of their own motives – and in some cases don’t actually want to know. Once the damaged computer core (itself struggling with an identity crisis) plays its hand, the story becomes a desperate race to escape with the vaccine needed to save the galaxy.

Adrian Lukis is well-cast as the acidic Enforcement Officer Bragg, and the only off-note is Nyssa’s companion, the android Loki – Big Finish rarely manage to create robotic characters that are convincing enough for me. Edgar, on the other hand, is perfectly pitched as the doomed Hellheim intelligence. Another excellent “start” to a season of plays; if I hadn’t left my damned ipod at work, I’d be cracking on with the next story too…
****½

Buy it here.

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stevenpoore

Epic Fantasist & SFSF Socialist.

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