Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Big Finish - A Thousand Tiny Wings

Big Finish release 130 was A Thousand Tiny Wings by Andy Lane. Directed by Lisa Bowerman and starring Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor and Tracey Childs as Klein.

It is 1953, Kenya and the Mau Mau uprising has trapped a group of women in a remote house. There is a mystery illness and a strange creature in the woods. And into all this comes the Seventh Doctor for a confrontation with Elizabeth Klein who he first met in Colditz.

I bought this as part of a special offer for the three stories in the Klein trilogy and it was very enjoyable. If you have read my previous reviews you will know that I love a confrontation between the Doctor and a strong willed opponent with a different philosophy. These battles of wills seem to be what I like most about Doctor Who. Obviously I enjoy a good monster story from time to time but listening to the Doctor clash minds with an opposing point of view makes for terrific audio drama.

Klein is a fascinating character, a scientist from another time stream where Germany won the second world war. She is very different from the conventional stereotype of a Nazi scientist, Klein is a believer but not in a straight forward way. She is complex and humane and quick to point out the flaws in the Doctor's own arguments against her. It takes a terrific performance from Tracey Childs to bring her to life and to make her a hero in a strange way.

Right now I am trying to decide which is my favourite of the Big Finish Doctors but if you asked me to pick which of the supporting characters I would like to see brought into the TV show I would pick Klein. Of course it is not all just a clash of wills. There is a mystery and a monster and it is all played out in a neat variant of the classic "Base in Peril" story. The monster itself is a clever commentary on the role of the English occupiers and the struggles of the Kenyans for independence.

All in all this was a great starter to the Klein trilogy. I have found some of my recent listens to be either too short or too long but this was like that third bowl of porridge, just right. It gets 4 out of 5 straw boaters. Next up will be Survival of the Fittest.

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