An Audio Drama by Big Finish (39 in the main range)
After some of the heavier Doctor Who episodes, it’s sometimes fun to have a light comedy episode from time to time. I may be in the minority there though, as I can imagine this drama is divisive depending on whether or not you want the franchise to always be serious or not. I recall people being in an uproar when episodes such as Love and Monsters were released, so I’d imagine it’s dicey. These are rarely my favorites in any way, but serve a fine purpose. This time, we are looking at Doctor Who: Bang-Bang-a-Boom! a Big Finish audio drama that somehow manages to be both a parody of Star Trek and The Eurovision Song Contest at the same time. Starring Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor and Bonnie Langsford as Melanie Bush, this is an interesting episode for sure.
“Dark Space 8 – an advanced monitoring station floating serenely among the stars. Its crew – a dedicated and highly-skilled group of professionals, calmly going about their vital work. Its mission – to boldly host the Intergalactic Song Contest. With representatives from myriad worlds competing, the eyes of the universe are on the station. But dark deeds are afoot aboard Dark Space 8… and people are starting to die. The haughty Queen Angvia, the gaseous gestalt Gholos, disposable pop idol Nicky Neumann, erratic Professor Fassbinder and the icily-efficient Dr Helena Harcourt all are suspects. Could old political rivalries be manifesting themselves among the contestants? Is this the work of a breakaway terrorist faction? Or has someone just got it in for singer-songwriters? With peace in the galaxy hanging by a thread, it’s vital that the mystery is solved and fast! Can Dark Space 8’s unconventional new commander, with the help of his personal pilot, Mel, find the murderer in time to prevent a major intergalactic war? Or will it be nul points for the entire universe…?”
Not being from the UK means that Eurovision is somewhat alien to me, no matter what Will Ferrell films get made about it, but I at least know the general idea, and watched the clip of Lordi performing in it years ago. That said, you really don’t have to have an extensive knowledge of it to have fun with this. Now, Star Trek is something I can get behind! The whole premise behind this is to imagine that a space station not to dissimilar to Deep Space Nine is selected as the host of a galaxy-wide song contest and shady stuff starts happening. I especially loved the musical nods to the Star Trek franchise and the numerous jabs at the show’s tropes.
Overall, there’s not too much to say about this one – it’s predictable, silly, and isn’t something I can really see myself rushing back to give a re-listen to. That said, it’s funny and does a good job of poking fun at Star Trek, and for that I enjoyed it. It fits right in with episodes from this era like Paradise Towers and Delta and the Bannerman, so in that way it’s perhaps one of the better thematic continuations of the classic show we’ve heard up to this point. If you like McCoy era Doctor Who, check it out! Honestly though, The One Doctor was better.