Saturday, April 13, 2013

Big Finish - Terror Firma

This was another pick-up from Big Finish Day, Terror Firma by Joseph Lidster, directed by Gary Russell.

The Eighth Doctor and Davros meet for another of their philosophical battles. Meanwhile his companions Charley, the reptilian humanoid from another dimension called C'Rizz, and two other humans Gemma and Samson, have to deal with the Daleks and an apparently conquered Earth where the survivors just want to have drinks parties and show no signs of any resistance. Desperate days on planet earth.

Davros is one of the best opponents for the Doctor. Their grim verbal confrontations work perfectly in an audio play. It's all very well using the theatre of the mind to summon up the image of a horde of deadly Daleks, but when you hear Paul McGann and the marvellous Terry Molloy do battle with their voices it's just splendid. There is a particular edge here as Davros believes he is dying and he may also have interfered with the Doctor's memories. So the playing field is not level, and all is not what it seems. Terrific stuff.

As ever I was less concerned about the fate of the companions. India Fisher does her usual marvellous job, I don't really have much experience with C'Rizz although he did turn up in another story I've reviewed, Memory Lane. The Daleks have marvellous Nicholas Briggs' voices but they don't do much. These are the all bark and no bite variety with lots of "Exterminates!" but no actual pressing the button. Unlike the much more menacing creatures we encountered in Dark Eyes or To the Death.

So McGann and Molloy get 5 stars but the rest is a bit dull although it is nice to hear Julia Deakin in there. There were one of two moments of dodgy sound quality but that might just be the discs I listened to. 3 out of 5 withered, claw like hands. Everything is a bit middle of the road at the moment. Can Sherlock Holmes or the Fifth Doctor ramp things up a bit?

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