Friday, August 24, 2012

Big Finish - A Death in the Family

Big Finish release 140 - A Death in the Family. Written by Steven Hall and directed by Ken Bentley.

So this is it. The conclusion of a long arc of stories featuring Evelyn, The Forge, Ace and Hex, and the villainous presence of the Word Lord. And this was not what I was expecting at all. The story starts out with a fairly straight-forward first part that ends in a dramatic cliff-hanger. Then the narrative splits and we get chapters featuring first Hex and then Ace, before Evelyn returns in the final part and the grand plan of the Seventh Doctor, the great manipulator, is revealed. With the Word Lord drawing his powers from language itself it takes a remarkable scheme to overcome him and I cannot really say much more about the plot without giving too much away.

With the Doctor away from the action for most of the story there is a lot of work for his three companions to do. I confess I am still unsure about the character of Hex but he is growing on me. Sophie Aldred gives us a grown up Ace who is more than just baseball bats, bombs and youthful rebellion, and I really enjoyed her chapter. But yet again it is Evelyn who won me over. There is something about the feisty Dr Smythe that appeals to me and Maggie Stables gives another completely convincing performance. As does Ian Reddington as a new incarnation of the villain who uses words as weapons. and does so with considerable relish.

The production values are up to their usual high standard and there is little more I can add. This was a surprising, but very satisfying conclusion to a long series of stories. 4 out of 5 seals of Rassilon. Tremendous stuff.

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