Saturday, July 21, 2012

Big Finish - Winter for the Adept

Big Finish release 10 from July 2000 - Winter for the Adept, written by Andrew Cartmel and directed by Gary Russell. Starring Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton, with an early Big Finish appearance from India Fisher.

My flurry of Big Finish reviews continue as I go back to the first stories I bought from them. I think I have had at least two different computers since the one I first downloaded this story on to, but fortunately the new Big Finish site makes it very easy to download all stories purchased in the past. It is a model of digital distribution that other pay for content sites could learn from. Once you have bought your story it remains in your account from then on, so you can download it to new devices as you acquire them.

This was another CD that Brian from British Invaders recommended to me because he knows I like a good ghost story. Somehow Nyssa arrives by herself at a remote school high in the Alps and she is soon caught up in an investigation into a Poltergeist, something that her very logical mind rejects as impossible. Fortunately the Fifth Doctor is not too far behind and on hand to help out when things get rather dangerous.

I must be getting rather spoilt by the high standard of Big Finish dramas lately because this was not quite as good as I remembered it. I was bothered by the accents that two of the supporting actors were using which kept taking me out from the story. Also the Doctor doesn't seem to be acting in a very rational fashion here, particularly when he keeps arranging seances, which seems out of character for him. We're used to him spouting scientific sounding techno-babble but when he starts talking about hauntings, seances and psychic ability it seems a bit strange to me.

Apart from the accents the rest of the cast are fine. India Fisher is good as one of the schoolgirls at the centre of the Poltergeist activity. I presume it was her work here that got her the role as Charley Pollard who becomes a companion to the Eighth Doctor in Big Finish 16 - Storm Warning. And the writer was Andrew Cartmel, he of the masterplan that never got a chance to happen because the television show was cancelled in 1989. Although he did get to supervise the lost stories series for Big Finish.

I think if he had rated this story the first time I listened to it I would have given it 4 stars. However in comparison with some of the stuff I have been listening to recently it is going to get downgraded to 3 out of 5 spillage detectors. But Big Finish and their digital delivery gets 6 out of 5!

I have just ordered another 12 Big Finish releases so plenty more reviews coming soon.

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