Sunday, April 7, 2013

Big Finish - The Girl who Never Was

From 2007 The Girl who Never Was by Alan Barnes, directed by Barnaby Edwards.

A ghost ship. A girl with no memory, adrift in time. An old enemy. This could be Charlotte Pollard's finest hour - or her last. Set course for Singapore, 1931. Journey's end.

This is the finale of Charlie Pollard's time with the Eighth Doctor and my habit of listening to Big Finish releases in completely the wrong order continues. In my defence I can say that I am a subscriber now I keep up with current story arcs, but I'm still sampling their back catalogue here and there. And this is the second Charlie end story I've listened to after Blue Forgotten Planet which finished her run with the Sixth Doctor. 

The script by Alan Barnes is much more solid than the last one of his stories I listened to. It has a nice eerie setting on a ghost ship that seems lost in time and may contain a great treasure or a terrible threat. The setting reminded me of a strange little horror film called Triangle which is worth checking out. I enjoyed the unstuck in time aspects of this drama and it helps to have an older version of Charlie played with such distinction by Anna Massey. There's quite a big cast for a Big Finish production here, and they are all very good. There is even another small role for Jake McGann.

Paul McGann continues to rival Peter Davison as my favourite Big Finish Doctor. I don't think this is my favourite Charlie Pollard story but India Fisher is as likeable as ever. And the whole thing is brought together nicely by Barnaby Edwards' direction.

The Girl who Never Was is a Cyberman story which is given away by the above cover image, and that's a problem. Big Finish are caught in a cleft stick here, they know that putting certain enemies on the cover will increase sales, but that will also upset fans who don't like spoilers. It is the same on television show, we all know which baddies are returning this season before the Doctor does, and I can't remember the last time the series surprised me in the way that something like Unit: Dominion did. Anyway when the Cybermen are finally revealed here at the end of episode two it shocks everyone apart from the listener. Sword of Orion had the same problem.

I enjoyed the story despite all that, and the final post credits scene was good fun. Pity about the cover though. 3 out of 5 ghost ships.

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