Greetings everybody, and welcome back to Big Finishing Move. For any of you not in the know, this is the little section of One Of Us where I get to take a look at the auditory offerings from Big Finish and give the people my two cents as to whether or not they are worth your investment. Today we are looking at the Season Three finale of the Fourth Doctor Adventures as Scarfy and Savage (I love calling them that) go on a Zygon Hunt.
TARDIS Team: Scarfy and Savage *ahem* I mean, the Fourth Doctor and Leela
The Doctor and Leela hit up the planet Garros, a planet with an ancient jungle and supposedly no large fauna. To the Doctor and Leela’s surprise, they find large creatures, as well as a bunch of yahoos with guns out who kill them for sport. Said yahoos are part of an order of knights who protect Earth. They include Earth Forces Knight Commander-in-Chief Greg Saraton, a man behind a majority of Earth’s defenses including the codes for the defense grid protecting the planet itself. Captured by the order, the Doctor and Leela get caught up in a Earth invasion scheme by the Doctor’s most phallic foes (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about), the shape-changing Zygons.
One of the things I really enjoyed was Leela’s disgust at the Knights’ brand of “blast everything for no greater purpose than inflating your ego” hunting.” As a huntress, she lives by an ethical code in her hunting. She lives with the land and while not entirely against sport hunting, she sees it fit only when her prey has a good chance of ripping her face off and eating it. She kills to feed, clothe, protect, and on rare occasion to test her mettle. She does not kill to get her jollies and takes great offense at those like the Knights who do. I’m not what you call an outdoorsman, but I have been both hunting and fishing and reaped the benefits of both on my dinner plate. I was taught a respect for the land and its animals and the importance of conservation and I’m happy to hear those values championed in Who.
While I did enjoy the story, it does suffer one major flaw. The Doctor and Leela don’t really do much in this story. One could argue that the story may well have resolved itself without the Doctor showing up at all. I don’t mean to suggest that the Doctor has be the center of every story. In fact, some of the best tales in the franchise have him more in the background. This time, however, his presence (or lack thereof) usually remains vital to the plot.
I’ve sung the praises of Baker and Jameson an bunch of times during the course of this season and their work once again lives up to the high standard they have set for themselves. Special props should also be given to Michael Maloney as Saraton, he really seemed to nail the right vibe of the special kind of overacting actors from the Fourth Doctor’s era were known for.
I’m so happy this season ended on an acceptable note. The middle of the season did struggle, but the season opened and finished fairly strong making this the best season of the Fourth Doctor Adventures to date. Zygon Hunt on its own works well enough on its own, to fully appreciate it though you will need to go back and listen to the previous episodes of the season if you haven’t picked them up already. Here’s to you Nicholas Briggs, you not only brought this season home but you’ve delivered the best season for the Fourth Doctor you’ve ever done. I’ll be expecting even better from you next season.
Purchase Doctor Who: Zygon Hunt Here:
Do note gentle readers, we here at at the good ol’ One of Us have our own audio drama series by the name of Infinite Variations and we are also home to Jason Neulander’s new spin-off series from The Intergalactic Nemesis entitled Salt. Go get yourself some glorious audio goodness!
For next time, it looks like we are going to get our Doctor Who with a splash of Tron in:
Until then, happy listening!
Check out my previous reviews: