Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Big Finish - Spaceport Fear

Big Finish's latest monthly range release is Spaceport Fear by William Gallagher, directed by Barnaby Edwards.

From the Big Finish synopsis: Welcome to Tantane Spaceport – where the tribes of Business and Economy have been at war for all of four hundred years, where a terrible creature called the Wailer prowls the corridors around the Control Tower, looking to eat the unwary, and where there is one Arrival: a battered blue Police Box containing the time-travelling Doctor and his companion, Mel.
This story feels like one of those generational spaceship science fiction stories such as Brian Aldiss' Non-Stop. The tribes of Business and Economy know no other world than this strange Spaceport. And with the power supply limited there is a lot of wandering around in dark corridors with the spooky sounds of the mysterious Wailer creature punctuating the silence. The Sixth Doctor is in fairly robust form, although this is not quite the spiky persona of his early stories. Similarly Mel Bush is an older, more experienced (and less irritating) character who uses her computer skills to good advantage. There's some clever trickery with using handheld computer games as a form of communication. Although this does beg the question as to why the Doctor with his technical know-how, and his tendency to get separated from his companions, doesn't come up with some form of communicator to use when they step out of the Tardis.
The stand out vocal performance in this adventure comes from the distinguished actor Ronald Pickup who appeared in the very first season of Doctor Who on television. Bonnie Langford and Big Finish regular Beth Chalmers are very good, and Colin Baker seems on better form than he was in The Wrong Doctors. It's another example of a skilled audio production from Big Finish but it still didn't quite do it for me. At the moment I'm getting more fun from the Big Finish special releases such as Unit:Dominion and The Memory Box.
It's better than the Wrong Doctors but still not up to the best that Big Finish can do. Although the Doctor gets a high score within this story I can only give it 3 out of 5 extra lives.

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