Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Big Finish - The Trial of the Valeyard

Being a subscriber to the main Big Finish monthly Doctor Who stories means I get the yearly bonus release and here is Trial of the Valeyard by Alan Barnes and Mike Maddox, directed by Barnaby Edwards.

The Sixth Doctor is back in the Time Lords' courtroom again but this time he is defending the prosecutor from his own show trial. Can the Doctor untangle the web of lies surrounding his possible future self and reveal some of the dark secrets in Gallifrey's past?

I confess I haven't ever watched any of the Trial of the Time Lord series at all. I am also one of those Doctor Who fans who find the rest of the Time Lords rather boring and annoying. They have dull, pompous attitudes and tend to wear ridiculous robes and silly hats. One of the smart things that Russell T Davies did when he revived the show in 2005 was to scrap all that nonsense and leave the Doctor as the last survivor of his race. So this story was always going to have a hard time impressing me.

Colin Baker, Lynda Bellingham and Michael Jayston all tackle their roles with relish and sound like they are having a lot of fun. They are also all very charming in the CD extras interviews. But this was all rather dull for me. I'm not interested in whether the Doctor has twelve regenerations, or twenty four or a hundred. I'm still surprised that Robert Holmes introduced the concept in the 1970s but presumably that had something to do with making the Doctor appear mortal to some extent.

Last year's bonus release was the rather splendidly spooky Night of the Stormcrow which is now available to buy from the Big Finish site. My advice would be to go and buy that instead. 2 out of 5 Time Lord helmets for Trial of the Valeyard. Onwards!

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