Hey there everybody, and welcome to Big Finishing Move! This is where I review Big Finish’s latest audio releases to let you know if they’re worth your hard earned money, or if that change jingling in your pocket is better served getting yourself a nice big box of Booty-O’s.
Today we’re back with the Fourth Doctor and Romana in The Trouble with Drax, yet another installment in The Fourth Doctor Adventures for 2016.
TARDIS Team: The Fourth Doctor, Romana II and K-9 Mark II
The Doctor and Romana are in the TARDIS arguing about the Doctor’s unwillingness to use the randomizer for the thousandth time when the TARDIS is suddenly summoned by their old acquaintance, Drax. While modern fans might only be familiar with Sontaran, old school fans will remember Drax from the Armageddon Factor, who was another rebel Time Lord like the Doctor (although without so many scruples) out making his own way in the universe. Drax needs a wee bit of help pulling off this little caper, and he wants to recruit The Doctor to help. Can the TARDIS team get to the bottom of what’s going on here, or will they be forever lost in the dark?
I don’t usually bring up the mixing in these reviews, but my experience while listening to this story bears note. It’s summer and that means I have to run my AC from time to time. I also listen to these stories out of the speakers of my 13 inch MacBook. It isn’t the fanciest set-up, but I always have it right next to my head, and even with a little background noise, I can usually hear things just fine. However, with only the fan on and my computer right next to me, I had the damnedest time hearing the dialogue. All the music and effects came through fine, but I was often at a loss as to what anyone was saying. Once I turned the fan off, I could hear the dialogue fine. I’ve never had this issue with a Big Finish product before, and it did make me feel that they didn’t put their normal love and care into properly balancing the various audio elements.
Despite the audio issues, Tom Baker is having a ball here. With everything he’s ever done, it’s easy to tell that Baker loves to play the comic side of being outraged and flabbergasted. It gives him a chance to ham it up to the extreme as he flounders around and guffaws. All the others do really good jobs as well, but when Tom gets going on this level, your attention is not going to stray when he’s speaking.
Your enjoyment of this is going to come down to your acceptance of the main joke. An easy argument could be made that they push the joke well past the point of absurdity. Still, one could just as easily argue that that’s part of the point. When I first finished listening to the story, I was like Romana, bothered because I thought things had gone too far. However, in the process of writing this, I have brought myself around to the Doctor’s point of view as he finishes the story with a laugh and taking it all in stride. It was fun enough while it lasted, and I enjoyed what it set out to do, but I can also understand why this story would seem to be a bit of a disappointment for many people. Unless you are seriously in the mood for a story that is balls-out bonkers, I would approach this audio release with caution.
Purchase Doctor Who: The Trouble with Drax Here:
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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, Wave of Destruction, The Labyrinth of Buda Castle, The War Doctor Volume 02: Infernal Devices, Doom Coalition 2, The Paradox Planet, Legacy of Death, The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Volume 1, Gallery of Ghouls