Hey folks, welcome to 2016 and the first installment of Big Finishing Move of the new year. If this is your first pop on by here this is the section of the site where I get to take a listen to the works of audio staple Big Finish and let you know if you should drop some coin to pick them up or save it to buy that fancy cheese you like next time you are at the grocery store.
It’s a new year and the Fourth Doctor is in! Tom Baker is back for the fifth series of The Fourth Doctor Adventures. This series sees the introduction of Lalla Ward as Romana II. The pair have done some novel adaptations for BF, but this series marks the first time the pair has worked together one new Who adventures since their time on television. Is their opening outing Wave of Destruction a hearty audio meal or is it all sizzle and no steak?
TARDIS Team: The Fourth Doctor, Romana II, and K-9 Mark II
Welcome to London in the 1960s! It’s here were we find the Doctor and Romana exchanging banter while doing the Times crossword puzzle (this is a clever nod to the fact that the cast, especially baker and Ward used to do the Times crossword on set every day). K-9 returns in the TARDIS after completing a mission of making multiple stops across time and space to throw of the Black Guardian off their trail only to get his system all scrambled by an odd energy wave. Investigating what caused the wave that messed up everyone’s favorite tin dog leads the Doctor and Romana to stumble into a crazy alien plot to, you guessed it, take over the world. Can Time Lord duo figure out how to save the day in time!
I’m happy to report that this story nails the Doctor and Romana relationship. They bounce of each other spouting exposition and technobabble just as they always have. Usually the companion’s role is to give the Doctor a reason to explain things to the audience but as Romana is a Time lady and in many ways is just as quick as the Doctor her role was to piece together things either with of ahead of the Doctor. The Doctor here correctly plays Quick Draw McGraw to Romana’s Baba Looey (bless you if you get that reference).
On the acting side of things I don’t have anybody to single out, no one is bad, but nobody is putting in anything of note either. It was surprising to me how much people said they were having the time of their lives while recording this one as several actors including our leads sound just shy of bored.
The problem here is that they played things as safely as possible. This is the series opener, this is the story that is supposed to grab our attention and get us excited to here more and this is not the story to do that. This story is altogether too simple and tidy to garner much of a reaction. If they would have slipped this in as a mid series episode I think it could have worked much better, but it is baffling to me why they decided to open with this. The only reason I can come up with is that they wanted to assure the audience that they could nail the tone of the TV show during this era of the Fourth Doctor and they do hit that mark, but do so at the cost of anything overly interesting. Still, the story works for what it is and the acting is passable so I say go ahead and pick it up if you want to but your probably better served waiting for next months installment.
Purchase Doctor Who: Wave of Destruction:
Take note, my good readers, we here at One of Us have audio goodies of our own, we are the proud home of the spin-off series from The Intergalactic Nemesis, the one and only Salt! It is all for free for them ear-holes so you have no excuse not to check it out!
Next month is going to be busy as we take a look at:
As well as:
See you soon!
Check out my previous reviews:
Phantasmagoria, The Fearmonger, The Light At The End, The Spectre of Lanyon Moor, Storm Warning, Blood of the Daleks, The Chimes of Midnight, Seasons of Fear, The King of Sontar, White Ghosts, Dark Eyes II, The Crooked Man, Project: Twilight, The Evil One, The Harvest, The Last Of The Colophon, The Council Of Nicaea, Destroy The Infinite, Afterlife, The Abandoned, Zygon Hunt, Revenge Of The Swarm, Philip Hinchcliffe Presents Box Set, Dark Eyes 3, Mask of Tragedy, The Fourth Doctor By Gareth Roberts, The Exxilions, The Darkness of Glass, Dark Eyes IV, Requiem for the Rocket Men, Signs And Wonders, Death Match, Suburban Hell, The Burning Prince, The Cloisters of Terror, The Acheron Pulse, The Fate of Krelos, The Shadow Heart, Return to Telos, The Sixth Doctor – The Last Adventure, Doom Collation I, The Yes Men, The War Doctor: Only The Monstrous