Big Finish Audio “Quick Review”
Ares One: NASA’s first manned mission to the dead planet Mars. But is Mars as dead as it seems?
While the NASA team investigate an ‘anomaly’ on the planet’s surface, the Doctor and Peri find themselves inside a strange alien building. What is its purpose? And what is frozen inside the blocks of ice that guard the doorways? If the Doctor has a sense of deja-vu, it’s because he’s about to meet some old adversaries, as well as some new ones…
We open Red Dawn with a countdown timer and launch of man’s first foray to the red planet in a ship called the Argosy. From the very get-go this seems a doomed mission as a ton of stuff begins to go wrong right out of the gate. At the exact same moment, The Doctor and Peri travel to a large building that seems to have doors and other controls that are run empathically. Once they run into the now landed Argosy crew, they find out that they are on Mars just as the Ice warriors show up. The villain of the piece is a man named Paul, who is so stupidly one-dimensional that he might as well be a textbook example of bad ethical practices. The man literally tries to incite a inter-galactic war for the sole reason to make money on weapons trading and other like things.
The play has a few missteps that made this drama hard to finish for me. While I have complimented Nicola Bryant as Peri in the handful of audio adventures I have heard with her, this audio play is seemingly back to the “old school”. I found Peri (of no fault to Bryant, but the script) to be about as annoying as she was in the earlier parts of her run on the classic show. All she did was run around and hound one of the Ice Warriors about his promise not to kill the Doctor and yell at folks about ethics. Peri was not the only blight on this drama as it seemed as if everyone involved was completely incompetent in all situations. The Doctor kept talking about the Ice Warrior honor code, but never takes advantage of it, as he has with other races such as the Sontarans.
This is quite easily the most boring of these audio dramas so far, and it was slightly less entertaining than The Sirens of Time. Not all stories can be top shelf I guess.
My rating: 2.5 out of 5
Here is a “trailer” of sorts: