Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

Destination: Nerva

The first of the series of regular Big Finish releases featuring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor and Louise Jameson as Leela, in a script by Big Finish head honcho and Dalek voice Nicholas Briggs. I was re-listening to this at the same time as finishing Leviathan Wakes, a novel with a body-horror-in-space concept similarly at the core of the plot, and given the difference in medium, Destination: Nerva pulls this off well, helped by the always excellent Raquel Cassidy (Matt Smith's boss in Party Animals and also the leader of both the Almost People and their human counterparts in last year's Who episode).

Unfortunately the decent performances are not helped by a confused plot. I listened to the first section, set in 1890, three times without really understanding its relevance to the rest of the story. The rest is set on Nerva, scene of the great Ark in Space and the so-so Return of the Cybermen, without really giving much sense of this being a known place other than Baker's rather weak "Well, I Nerva!" line. Minor characters and subplots wander into and out of the story without being resolved. It should either have been done at full length (it is only two episodes, which took me by surprise the first time I listened to it) or, perhaps better, been pared back to the core alien infestation story with more Cassidy, Baker and Jameson without trying to get us interested in the side details. A rather disappointing start.
Tags: doctor who, doctor who: 04, doctor who: audio, writer: nicholas briggs
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