Friday, June 27, 2014

Big Finish - Masquerade

Masquerade by Stephen Cole, directed by Ken Bentley.

The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa find themselves caught up in a seventeenth century French chateau full of dangerous liaisons, but because this is Doctor Who there is much more to this than meets the eye (or ear?). And there is a strange and threatening presence lurking in the wings known only as the Steamroller man.

The first chapter of this story is rather good with the Doctor and Nyssa slowly realising that their memories and perceptions are being manipulated. In fact I could have done with this going on a little longer but the constraints of the four act structure demand a revelation and a cliffhanger every twenty five minutes. Once the mystery of what is really going on is revealed then it just becomes a succession of techno babble explanations and a lot of shouting.

I have to say that the background music here also stood out for the wrong reasons. It was too noticeable to me and jarred somehow which is me being very unfair on the composer, and the huge amount of background music that Big Finish have to produce every month. On the plus side all the performances are good and Peter Davison is his usual relaxed self in the CD extra interviews.

I think Tomb Ship was the best of this Fifth Doctor trilogy. Masquerade gets a middling 3 out of 5 powdered wigs. Next month it's the turn of Sixie and some short stories.

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