Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Big Finish - The Crimes of Thomas Brewster

Wham bam! and straight onto the Crimes of Thomas Brewster by Jonathan Morris and directed by Nicholas Briggs.

Lots of stuff going on in this story. The Sixth Doctor meets up with Thomas Brewster. He also encounters Detective Inspector Menzies (although it's the first meeting for him but not for her, if you see what I mean in a timey-wimey way). And it's his first adventure with Philippa 'Flip' Jackson who may be returning soon as another Sixey companion. In amidst all these comings and goings there are swarms of robotic Mosquitoes, a malevolent alien race called the Terravore, a sentient planet, and a telepathic force known as the Locus. All this and Evelyn Smythe as well.

I must admit I've been struggling with the Sixth Doctor of late. He's a grumpy old curmudgeon sometimes, but team him up with Dr Smythe and you have a winning combination. Something about her no nonsense, down to earth approach seems to work well to temper the more extreme elements of the Sixth Doctor's personality. It's also clear that Colin Baker and Maggie Stables get on well together and seem to be having a lot of fun with their characters. It's a great shame that a period of ill health is preventing Ms Stables from doing any more stories at present, she has been one of the best things about my Big Finish listening experience.

I am less sure about Thomas Brewster. I know I have missed out two parts of his adventures with the Fifth Doctor that followed The Haunting of Thomas Brewster, and maybe they would have convinced me about him. He just seems a bit dull at the moment and his part in this adventure could have been filled by any of the lesser characters. Meanwhile it's nice to have Anna Hope back as the laconic but efficient D.I.Menzies in her third adventure with the Doctor. I hope she comes back for more, or maybe a spin off one shot story called Menzies Investigates!

Having David Troughton show up in Doctor Who is always nice because it reminds us of his father. I am curious why Sean Pertwee has never done any Big Finish or television Who, I'm sure he must have been offered? Anyway Troughton is great, and Lisa Greenwood and Ashley Kumar provide good back up as Flip and Jared.

This time the music fit right in and didn't bother me at all, and with Nick Briggs' ever reliable direction it all trips along nicely and is one of the better Sixey stories I can recall listening to recently. 3.5 out of 5 mechanical mozzies. And onwards to The Lady of Mercia

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