Saturday, September 7, 2013

Big Finish - Starlight Robbery

Starlight Robbery written by Matt Fitton and directed by Ken Bentley.

Here is the second part in the current Seventh Doctor trilogy. Elizabeth Klein and Will Arrowsmith are sent undercover to an illicit, galactic arms fair run by the Urodelian crook, Garundel who we last heard in Black and White. The Doctor has set his two companions on the trail of the Persuasion machine and its creator Kurt Schalk.

Sylvester McCoy is a busy chap and this seems like one of the Doctor-lite episodes from new Who. So Klein and Arrowsmith do most of the leg work here and they are ably assisted by a host of bad guys attending the arms auction. In particular Dan Starkey who plays Strax on TV gives us three different Sontarans. His performance is one of the high points of this audio drama. It's nice to hear the Sontarans as a credible military power instead of just figures of fun. I am less keen on Garundel as a character but his role as a galactic con man works in this story so I'll give him a pass.

As ever it is Tracey Childs as Klein who really shines as the best thing in the whole episode. I've mused before about why her character works so well with the Seventh Doctor. We shouldn't like her but we do. The few moments she gets with the Doctor are great stuff. She can see through the master manipulator and recognises when she is being used as a tool, "just another sonic screwdriver" as she memorably puts it.

The story didn't grab me particularly, but the Sontarans and Klein were worth the price of admission alone. 4 out of Sontaran spheres for Starlight Robbery.

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