Monday, November 19, 2012

Big Finish - Patient Zero

Digging through the Big Finish back catalogue brings me to Patient Zero from August 2009. Written and directed by Nicholas Briggs with yet more Daleks!

The Sixth Doctor and Charley Pollard arrive in the mysterious Amethyst Viral Containment station, and their timing is not great because the Daleks are on their way. On top of that the Tardis seems to have picked up a stowaway, and then there are the enigmatic Viyrans. It's quite a heady mix for the Doctor who is also trying to solve the riddle of Charley's true identity.

Listening to two Dalek stories in a row was tempting fate for a disappointment but this was actually very good. Trying to figure out what is going on with Charley suits the Sixth Doctor's somewhat abrasive demeanour. And while he is kept busy by the Daleks and Viyrans, and has to ensure that a host of deadly viruses are not released on an unsuspecting universe, his enquiring mind means that things are set up quite nicely by the end of this story. The mystery continues and I look forward to the next instalment.

I have temporarily run out of superlatives for Nick Briggs' performances as the Daleks. I presume he does the Viyran voices as well, and they are equally impressive. Colin Baker and India Fisher spark off each other nicely, and the cast is rounded out with enjoyable turns by Michael Maloney and Jess Robinson.

It seemed like a short story after the sprawling epics of Love and War and Dark Eyes but I enjoyed it. A shorter review and a score of 3.5 out of 5 viral nasties.

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