Salutations dear reader, and welcome back to Big Finishing Move, where I take a look at the Doctor Who-themed output of the audio powerhouse, Big Finish, and see if their stuff is worth your blood, sweat, and tears. Today, we’re rejoining the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn as they bite off more than they can chew on the seedy streets of London in Project: Twilight.
TARDIS Team: Sixth Doctor and Evelyn Smythe
We find the Doctor and Evelyn in southeast London, just off the river Thames. The Doctor has come for some Chinese take-out (or should I say take-away) from a local joint he considers to have the finest food in the universe. On their way back to the TARDIS, they come across the ravaged corpses of animals and decide to investigate. This one decision opens up a huge can of worms, because of course it does. There are real monsters in the shadows of London, they are tired of hiding, and they refuse to do so for much longer.
The first thing you’ll wonder as you listen to this episode is if the Doctor and Evelyn took a bunch of stupid pills before getting out of the TARDIS. When confronted by a malicious group led by a madwoman performing horrible deadly experiments on people against their will, the Doctor simply demands that they stop killing people and he will help them with their goals. Even the sight of someone exploding in a burst of guts and blood across the room and themselves, the Doctor and Evelyn seem to take the situation in stride and get back to the tasks at hand.
The bad guys are so obviously bad guys and make little effort to hide their nefarious nature. Their motives are so poorly hidden that you can’t help but facepalm as the Doctor continues to miss the boat and not figure out what is going on until it is explained to him in no uncertain terms. Classic Who fans will remember that these creatures are well known to Time Lords and they have a standing order to stop these monsters whenever they come across them. This directive is one of the few things in Time Lord society the Doctor takes seriously. Hell, even if you didn’t know, we have the Doctor go on about it once the truth is revealed to him. So what does the Doctor do then, you ask? Why, go back to helping the same monsters who were tricking him of course!
Do they trick him again?
The overall production is lackluster as well, as both the score and the actors come off flat. Everyone seems to be either not trying or not given anything to work with in terms of material. Some of the actors are hamming it up, but not in any way that makes me care. Passionate and interesting performances couldn’t have saved this sucker, but it may have at least gotten me to invest something in these characters.
Like Storm Warning (which I reviewed last year), this story is one of the most important stories in the Big Finish canon. Many dominoes were set in motion beginning with this story, the ramifications of which stretch over the course of years of releases and even multiple incarnations of the Doctor. While both stories are severely flawed, Storm Warning had enough charm and fun to still be worth your time on its own. Project:Twilight, on the other hand, only has redeeming value in that it allowed for years of better stories to be told. Thankfully, enough of the plot for this story is covered in those other good entries that you never need waste your cash on Project: Twilight. It is a mound of wasted potential topped with insulting and lazy production and writing. It isn’t even bad in an interesting or funny way, it is simply the tedious and boring type of bad. Seriously folks, save your money. Read a quick synopsis of the story online if you must, but don’t go wasting your cash on this mess. It just isn’t worth it.
Purchase Doctor Who: Project: Twilight Here:
Keep in mind ladies and gents, that Big Finish aren’t the only folks across the web doing audio dramas, in fact One Of Us has its very own by the name of Infinite Variations. Give it a look thenext time you have a chance! As for this series, we are just going to keep on rolling as next time we’re back with Tom Banker and Louise Jameson in:
Check out my previous reviews of Doctor Who releases from Big Finish: