Sunday, December 2, 2012

Big Finish - The Chaos Pool

Released in March 2009 the final part of the Key 2 Time trilogy was The Chaos Pool, written by Peter Anghelides and directed again by Lisa Bowerman.

There's a spaceship crewed by evolved and highly aggressive Slugs. On another ship there is a President who looks and sounds just like Romana but isn't. The Doctor has two companions now called Amy and Zara, or possibly just one of them at a time. There's a weird old professor who spends a lot of time moaning about his hip. And somewhere in the middle of all this confusion there is a satchel holding the parts of the Key, and something called the Chaos Pool which may end the Universe, or save it, or something. I wasn't really paying attention was I?

Good points first: Amy is more interesting in this one, as is her evil twin Zara. Peter Davison sounds like he is having fun, Lalla Ward does good voice acting for someone who is more or less retired, and Toby Longworth does great monster voices. But I was not really engaged with the story or bothered about the outcome.

I prefer my Doctor Who stories on a slightly smaller scale with more human consequences from the action. If there could be some spooky stuff as well, or a good monster, then so much the better. These bigger stories with some cosmic quest and nearly invulnerable super-beings arguing about an artefact that does everything or nothing just don't grab me. It would be interesting to go back to the Big Finish forums and try and dig up the thread about these stories when they first came out. I know a lot of Doctor Who fans love stuff like this and I would like to read what they said at the time. I still consider myself somewhat of an outsider looking in at the Doctor Who universe, although I am getting pretty well versed in the Big Finish stuff. But I have seen so few of the original serials, and can't really remember the ones I watched in the 1970s that I still feel like a bit of a newbie here. And some of my views are clearly out of step with the majority. Love and War got rave reviews from just about everyone but I hated it.

2 out of 5 pools of chaos for this story. My decision not to buy Unit: Dominion is looking more and more dodgy. I may crack in the New year. Now I need something to cleanse my palate and relight my listening pleasure.

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