Thursday, August 2, 2012

Big Finish - Arrangements for War

Big Finish monthly release 57 - Arrangements for War by Paul Sutton and directed by Gary Russell.

Consequences. That is what the Doctor and Evelyn are dealing with as this story begins exactly where they left off at the end of Project: Lazarus. Seeking a break from the death and violence they land the Tardis on the planet Világ, just as the natives are negotiating a peace treaty to end a century of war. However with the Doctor around things usually start to happen and this is no exception.

I liked the political intrigue in this story. The mix of court diplomacy with science fiction reminded me of some of Iain M. Banks' Culture novels which is high praise indeed. It was also very moving to hear Evelyn struggling to come to terms with the events of the previous story. The Doctor's failure to save one of the victims of Project Twilight has really affected her. Unlike the Doctor she is not used to those around her dying and now she has her own brush with mortality to deal with as well.

A word about the actress Maggie Stables who retired as a teacher and decided to try her hand at acting. She appeared in a stage version of Jane Eyre with Nick Briggs who recruited her for a part in The Sirens of Time and then Big Finish created the role of Evelyn with her in mind. I really like the idea of an older companion for the Doctor, one who isn't so easily impressed by his brilliance and who can hold her own in their arguments. There has been a nice arc in their relationship over these last few stories with consequences of their actions affecting the atmosphere in the Tardis. Well done to Big Finish, and the writers, and to Stables and Baker for bringing all this to life.

Meanwhile the planetary politics continue with Evelyn taking on an advisory role at the peace talks, while the Doctor's involvement just seems to make things worse. Can Dr Smythe unite the opposing forces in team to repel an Alien invasion?

This adventure does seem like a deliberate change in pace after the frenetic action of the two Project stories. The supporting cast all do fine work and the political intrigues are good fun, even if the Doctor does fall for one of the oldest tricks in the book. Another good instalment in the Evelyn Smythe saga that gets 4 out of 5 (regraded) heart murmurs. Next up will be a Seventh Doctor adventure called Harvest.

1 comment:

  1. For me this was a grower, by the end I really liked it after a slow start