A Doctor Who Audio Drama by Big Finish (number 27 in the main line)
Man has it been a while since I’ve reviewed anything Doctor Who related, when this site was still called “An American View of British Science Fiction”, I used to review these a lot, but for some reason I haven’t kept up with it. My apologies to those that liked following them, as I have sort of neglected that side of the site. My plan is to start going back into these now, and even though there is no way I’ll catch up in any sort of manner that wont take ages, but I’ll try. Truth is, I originally listened to this many years ago, even before I started working at my current job, during those times when I used to walk to work. Going into this, I obviously didn’t remember the finer details of the audio drama, so I needed to listen once gain. Man this brings back memories!
This is a Sixth Doctor adventure, and like with all of these audio dramas I absolutely love Colin Baker in the role. I never hated him in the TV show or anything, but he was honestly never my favorite. What a difference decent scripts and good direction makes for such a good actor, he’s easily the highlight of my adventures through these. He is joined by his companion Mel as played by Bonnie Langford, once again a character that I didn’t particularly enjoy that is made much better in audio form. In this serial, The Doctor comes face to face with …… The Doctor?! in this light-hearted Christmas Special. Being a Christmas special, this isn’t necessarily the best episode of Doctor Who in any regard, but its fun.
When the evil Skelloids launch an attack upon the seventeen worlds of the Generios system, its peace-loving inhabitants face total destruction. So it’s lucky that the Doctor, that famous traveller in time and space, is in the area, and that he, along with his pretty young assistant, Sally-Anne, manages to defeat the deadly creatures and save the day. But now it looks as though the Doctor’s luck has run out. Who is the mysterious, curly-haired stranger, intent on causing trouble? What role does the feisty redhead Melanie play in his scheme? And what have they to do with the sinister alien cylinder approaching Generios? One thing is certain: for the Doctor and Sally-Anne, there’s deadly danger ahead…Publisher’s summary
Joining Baker and Langford are the imposter characters of Banto and Sally-Anne, played by Christopher Biggins and Clare Buckfield. Banto is traveling around in a port-a-potty (or port-a-loo for UK readers) called the STARDIS, basically extorting people for money posing as the legendary Doctor himself. And when not heroically fighting the bad guys, he spends his time ogling his beautiful companion, seemingly on the edge of having to make a trip to a hotel room at any moment. As you can imagine, this all makes the actual Doctor very irritated indeed.
This is an enjoyable romp that doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s full of fun gags, and plays up all of the tropes of the show to a silly degree in the fraud Doctor and his companion. Audio design is spot on, and sound effects and music are good. Perhaps my only quibble is that there are a handful of instances that the dialogue gets a bit buried under music and sound effects, but it never goes so far in that you can’t hear what’s happening. I’m not sure I’d recommend this as a standout episode on it’s own merits, but if you are listening to these in order like I am, it’s a good listen.
Currently one can purchase this directly from Big Finish, or do what I did, and listen on Spotify. It looks like a bunch of these old Big Finish releases are on there absolutely free!
Loved this one, fun light-hearted romp that it is. Maybe this is actually my favorite Mel story (although there’s plenty of Big Finish stuff I haven’t heard)
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She is rather good in this, it’s sad we never got to see this version of mail in any of the televised episodes 😦
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