Friday, December 21, 2012

Big Finish - 1001 Nights

The latest Big Finish monthly release is 1001 Nights by Emma Beeby and Gordon Rennie, Jonathan Barnes, Catherine Harvey. Directed by Barnaby Edwards.

This is one of Big Finish's releases which features four single stories. However this time they are linked by a back story which places Nyssa in the role of Scheherazade telling the stories to entertain a bored Sultan while the Doctor languishes in the palace dungeons. And there are stories within the stories and a deeper fiction which will be resolved by the end of the tale. The Doctor himself is involved in an escape attempt which reminded me of the Count of Monte Cristo.

Unfortunately the four stories in one format doesn't quite work for me. I have grown used to the four act structure of the monthly releases. There is nothing wrong with any of the adventures that Nyssa relates to the Sultan, they just seemed a bit short and inconsequential. The first is a variant of the Prisoner's Dilemma, the next puts Nyssa in a Victorian version of the Exorcist, and the last story does that inn at the end of the world where stories are currency that Neil Gaiman and others have covered in comics. I am getting quite picky about these audio dramas aren't I?

On the plus side Sarah Sutton is much better than she was in Castle of Fear, I could listen to Peter Davison's Doctor nearly all day, and Alexander Siddig and Nadim Sawalha have excellent voices. The music and sound design by Jamie Robertson are very good, particularly in the dungeons with the incarcerated Doctor scratching at walls and shifting large stones.

December is turning out to be a packed month of releases for Big Finish and I suspect most of the others are going to overshadow this one. Fairly middle of the road so 2.5 out of 5 regenerations.

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