Sunday, August 19, 2012

Big Finish - Project: Destiny

Big Finish number 139 Project: Destiny by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright, directed by Ken Bentley.

Hex has been shot during the Crimean war in The Angel of Scutari. The Doctor and Ace rush to get him to the familiar medical surroundings of St Garts, the hospital they first met him in. However something is very much amiss, London is empty and quarantined because of an infection that turns its victims into huge insectoid "Contaminants", and the mysterious department C4 are investigating. Except that C4 is The Forge by another name and soon the Seventh Doctor is locking horns with Nimrod again. Meanwhile Hex is discovering some unpleasant truths about his family history.

At the end of Thicker than Water I said I wanted more bangs and crashes and this story delivers. Right from the start the Doctor and his companions are dealing with an army of the infected trying to get in at them, helicopter gunships, and the malevolence of Nimrod and his Forge troops. Stephen Chance is more restrained as Nimrod and appears all the more more evil for it. I liked that all his Forge agents have codenames from Greek mythology, Maggie O'Neill plays a character called Aristedes. The story also dips in to the Dracula mythology from Hammer horror films to regenerate agent Artemis who appeared in earlier Forge stories.

Continuity is a knotty problem for fans of any long running characters. We like history to be respected, and for elements from older stories to be referred to in newer adventures. But we also want to hear new stories, and to conveniently ignore some of the more outlandish moments from the past. Personally I have a fairly flexible approach to continuity but it is fantastic how Big Finish is building their own version of the Whoniverse with recurring characters and groups like The Forge. This continuity comes back to haunt Hex, almost literally in this case.

This is a terrific conclusion to the Forge arc of stories and I hope it is not the last time the Doctor will encounter them. 4 out of 5 phials of the Twilight virus antidote. Next will be the story this has all been building up to: A Death in the Family has a lot to live up to. Will it meet the challenge?

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