Greetings and all other sorts of fantastic pleasantries! Welcome once again (even if it is your first time stopping by) to Big Finishing Move. Here we take a gander at the the work of Big Finish and let you know if it is worth your bottom dollar or you should save it for extra cheese and pineapple on your next pizza (yum). Today we are back with the Fourth Doctor and Leela in the latest installment of the Fourth Doctor Adventures. This time they face the Big Finish created villains, the Rocket Men. So does this story reach for the stars or crash and burn? Let’s strap on a jet pack and find out!
TARDIS Team: The Fourth Doctor, Leela and K-9 Mark I
Normally this is the bit where I give a quick synopsis of what is going on in the story. I try and hype things up while giving a little background on characters if necessary so that people can get excited about hearing the story. I’m not doing that this time, you aren’t getting one peep out of me on this one. Now before you start crying foul and accusing me of laziness, there happens to be a very good reason I’ve chosen to do this. Requiem for the Rocket Men is structured is such a way that if I explained it, I would spoil it, and this is way too damn good of a story for me to even entertain the notion of robbing you of one of the delightful twists and turns found within.
So, moving right along…
You don’t have to worry if you are like me and didn’t know squat about the Rocket Men going in. The story does an excellent job of filling you in on who they are and what they do without spending too much time on clunky exposition. Basically they are space pirates with jet packs, but despite how cool that already is the story doesn’t make the mistake of letting the concept stand in the place of characterization. The Rocket Men we do spend extended time with are fleshed out with varying styles, motivations, and approaches to life and the pursuit of their individual and collective goals. This makes the Rocket Men feel like a real organization as opposed to the groups of bad guys who are bad because… uh, reasons, like we sometimes get in Who.
Everyone from top to bottom delivers a great read. Our three leads need to shine on there own as well as when bouncing off each other for this story to work, thankfully the writing as well as Tom Baker, Louise Jameson, and John Leeson are up to the task. Geoffrey Beevers returns as the Master and proves just how masterful he is at it and Mark Frost gives a nuanced performance of the Rocket Men leader, Shandar, keeping the character just shy of the cartoon as he should be. Even the Marshall character, who runs the greatest chance of coming off as flat, is performed with just enough style and depth by Damian Lynch to keep him interesting without detracting from the main story.
Okay, let me spell it out for anybody who it is at all still curious on what I think of this one, I adore this story. If you like Doctor Who at all you should pick this one up immediately. This is not only one of the best for the Fourth Doctor range, but one of the best stories I’ve had the pleasure to review for this series. John Dorney, you clever bastard, you’ve gone and written such a thrilling and fun adventure that ends on such a great note that I am giddy for the follow-up in the next installment. Go buy this one, go buy it now!
Purchase Doctor Who: Requiem for the Rocket Men Here:
And if your looking for even more awesomeness to listen to, remember we here at One of Us have our own audio drama series Infinite Variations, as well this being the home of the spin-off from The Intergalactic Nemesis titled Salt. Now, all this is content happens to be FREE on the site, so get with it and wrap your ears around our audio goodies!
For next time: