Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

The Peterloo Massacre, by Paul Magrs

Second line of third episode:
The Fifth Doctor: "Cathy? From Hurley Hall…?"
A straight historical story from the pen of Paul Magrs, dealing with the infamous attack on protesters in Manchester on 16 August 1819 by what we would now call security forces, in which 15 people are known to have died (though the real number was probably more). I realised writing this that I walked through the scene of the attack in central Manchester every day over the Easter weekend while at Mancunicon - it took place roughly where the Radisson Blu Edwardian is now, and I was staying down Oxford Street which turns into Peter Street as you approach the city centre.

Other reviewers have raved about this as being one of the best Big Finish plays for years. I can't quite rise to that level of enthusiasm - I liked it well enough, and I thought Peter Davison in particular nailed his Doctor's moral outrage very well, and Sutton and Fielding also strongly rise to the occasion. The soundscape of early nineteenth-century England is also very well realised from the technical viewpoint. But I found it all a bit didactic, and yet not quite delivering the substance of what the protesters were protesting about; I also wasn't completely satisfied by the impact of the massacre on the contemporary characters in the final episode. Chacun à son goût.

Tags: doctor who, doctor who: 05, doctor who: audio, writer: paul magrs
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