Monday, January 6, 2014

Big Finish - Afterlife

Bang up to date with the latest release in the Big Finish regular monthly range: Afterlife by Matt Fitton, directed by Ken Bentley.

This is a direct follow on from the events in Gods and Monsters with Ace grieving for the loss of her friend Hex, and the Seventh Doctor coming to terms with the consequences of his actions. Ace persuades the Doctor to deliver a letter from Hex to his grandmother and to tell her about Hex's death. Meanwhile Ace gets mixed up in a local gang war and comes across a criminal with a surprising resemblance to her old friend.

So much of the action involves the Doctor sitting down with Mrs Schofield (played with Liverpudlian relish by Jean Boht) and discussing the life and death of her grandson. It is quite touching stuff with the Doctor forced into a position he has no real experience of. The B plot about a turf war between feuding criminals was rather less interesting, as was the predictable alien involvement. Personally I could have done with more of the Doctor and less of the usual running around. However Sylvester McCoy is still flying off to New Zealand so Big Finish have to cut their cloth accordingly, and a second plot line for the separated companion is traditional after all.

Now I am going to enter spoiler territory so look away if you plan to listen to this audio but have not done so as yet. This story is all about the Doctor and Ace dealing with the death of Hex, and the consequences. All powerful stuff, but it all seems totally negated by bringing him back to life at the end of the play. Alright his memory has been wiped and he's essentially a different character played by the same actor, but for me this just wasted all of the build up that led to Hex's sacrifice in Gods and Monsters. I know that Philip Olivier has been a popular actor with the Big Finish crew and I'm sure they wanted to bring him back somehow I just wish they had found a different way to do so.

Still the conversations between McCoy and Boht are very well done so it's another 3 star story for me. Where they go from here with Hex remains to be seen, maybe I'm wrong and they will produce something interesting.

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