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Ten months on from hearing the first of them, I have spent my commuting time this week alternating between reading Proust and listening to the next three audio plays in the Big Finish audio series, dating from 1999 and 2000. Phantasmagoria takes the Fifth Doctor and Turlough to the early 18th century in London; Whispers of Terror takes the Sixth Doctor and Peri to a political assassination in a future Museum of Aural Antiquities; and The Land of the Dead takes the Fifth Doctor, but this time with Nyssa, to contemporary Alaska besieged by creatures from the Permian era.

There was nothing very special about Phantasmagoria, except that it shared a plot twist with The Stones of Blood and I thought got away with it better. The soundscape of London was quite nicely done, though the writers seemed confused about who Queen Anne's father was (making me wonder for a bit if this was supposed to be some parallel universe; but no, it was just a mistake). Since I was never a huge fan of Turlough, his presence here didn't really excite me.

Whispers of Terror did make something special of the audio environment, with the Museum of Aural Antiquities being a place which for obvious reasons loses little by being portrayed through sound alone rather than vision as well. The Six/Peri banter was pleasantly nostalgic too. Sadly the plot was fairly obvious right from the word go, with a silly twist at the very end.

I enjoyed The Land of the Dead much more, not for the reasons I had expected. I would defend Nyssa against the likes of The Guardian who put her far down the list of companions, but Sarah Sutton is not especially outstanding here. Davison, however, is, and has a brilliant rapport with guest actor Lucy Campbell, whose performance here is memorable but appears to have done almost no other acting work apart from a bit part in another Stephen Cole Big Finish audio. Also the story is surprisingly good, with the archaeological delvings of the scientific researchers mirrored in the psychological delvings of the two main male characters into the circumstances of the tragic accident involving their fathers from decades before. The two actors slightly struggle to bring it off but it kept my attention.

Well, tonight we have the real thing starting again!

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
peteyoung
Mar. 31st, 2007 10:04 am (UTC)
I enjoy the Davison audios for the way he can capture a rising sense of panic. It's just that particular way he has of saying "Oh no..."
(Anonymous)
Mar. 31st, 2007 03:49 pm (UTC)
"There was nothing very special about Phantasmagoria, except that it shared a plot twist with The Stones of Blood"

And that Gatiss reused much of the plot when he wrote The Unquiet Dead..

- Kharin
nwhyte
Mar. 31st, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
Hmm, not really fair! There are similarities of atrmosphere but not so much in the plot!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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