Here we go again folks, it’s another installment of Big Finishing Move! For those unaware, this is where I get to take a look at the Doctor Who audio offerings of Big Finish Productions and give you my honest opinion on them. Today we once again are right by the Fourth Doctor’s side in The Last Colophon.
TARDIS Team: Fourth Doctor and Leela
The fourth incarnation of our favorite Time Lord once again seeks to get away from it all. To that end, instead of hitting up some famous vacation spot where evil or whatever can find him, he decides to do a little camping on a dead planet, figuring nobody will find him there.
A Time Lord can dream, can’t he?
The Doctor and Leela soon themselves captured by a freshly landed survey team. Not long after that, the group comes across a signal emanating from a large dome. Inside, the last living being of this planet is being held captive by a robot nurse. He is the last of the Colophon, and his secrets are very deadly indeed.
This whole episode is the poster child for wasted potential. So many great ideas are brought down by mediocre execution. I was really excited for this one, which makes the letdown all the more bitter. How is it that a story featuring an (mild spoiler) invisible man , a sadistic nurse robot, people from a weirdo capitalist society, one of my favorite Doctor-companion pairs, and a freaking genocide leaves me underwhelmed?! By not allowing any time for any of these elements to develop past the surface, that’s how. Cool ideas without any framework behind them do not an interesting story make.
The writing is just baffling at points. One head-scratcher in particular is why they had the Doctor go out of his way to notice the bad guy seemed not to be listening to him as they escaped the complex, only piecing things together once they had made it back to the TARDIS. The Doctor is one of the smartest and most savvy beings in the entire universe, a fact that is severely undercut when the audience is light years ahead of him in figuring things out. I can think of plenty of ways where they could have hit the necessary beats they needed without making making the Doctor look bad but for some reason they chose the one that makes him look more than a little incompetent.
Tom Baker and Louise Jameson are on their game despite not having much to work with in the script. The rest of the cast does what they can with the material with varying amounts of success. One disappointment was Gareth Thomas as Morax. He was trying so hard to reach that cheesy overly dramatic delivery so often seen during the Fourth Doctor’s era but he just couldn’t sell it. I’m sure he gave it his best, but it didn’t work for me.
Nothing here is offensively bad, but then nothing overly good about it either. In the end it’s just kind of “blah.” Easily the weakest entry so far in this series of the Fourth Doctor Adventures. Unless you are a completionist, I say skip this one and save your money for next month’s installment.
Purchase: Doctor Who: The Last Colophon Here:
Big Finish aren’t the only people who do audio dramas, we here at One Of Us happens to have our own show by the name of Infinite Variations! Do yourself a favor and check it out!
For next time, we’re going to see the Doctor get into a mess of biblical proportions with:
Check out my previous reviews: