Saturday, March 16, 2013

Big Finish - Seeds of War

The latest Big Finish main range release is Seeds of War by Matt Fitton and Nicholas Briggs, directed by Barnaby Edwards.

The third of the run of Sixth Doctor and Mel stories and my favourite so far. From the synopsis: 
A race against time takes them from the Great Tower of Kalsos to the Reliquaries of Earth. In an epic journey across the ten systems, their fates are intertwined with one family. The Tevelers are to feel the effects of war more than most. The Doctor has a plan. Mel is sure he can save the day. But something is lurking. Watching. Waiting. A presence the Doctor knows of old. But just how far does its influence pervade? The Eminence awaits.

A sprawling space epic with four distinct parts each set in a different location and all featuring the growing menace of a new (or old) villain, The Eminence. David Sibley does a marvellous job as the voice of the new baddie, and all the performances are very strong in this drama. Despite the shifting locations the writers wisely focus on the fate of the central Teveler family who hold this story together and give it that important human element. In fact I was a bit disappointed when we didn't get back to the surviving family members as the story concluded. They were all likeable characters and it would have been nice to learn their fate.

The fate of humanity is at stake as the forces of the Eminence try to destroy their crops and all food supplies. Given enough time the Sixth Doctor may be able to save the day but the odds are stacked against him, despite Mel's continued faith that he will save the day. Interestingly in the midst of all this the Doctor has to run a realistically portrayed resuscitation  I really felt for him as he struggled to save a life while Mel confidently promised the relatives that he would. I have been in similar situations myself and they are not pleasant  Well done to Big Finish for getting this right.

I've been a but unsure about Colin Baker recently but he and Bonnie Langford are very good here. In fact the whole cast are very strong with Ray Fearon standing out as Barlow. It's a terrific story with a memorable villain. Best of the mini series. 4 out of 5 glowing orange eyes.

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