The folks at Big Finish are always trying to come up with new ideas for spin-offs from their main range based on the worlds of television’s Doctor Who. This is, perhaps, one of those spin-offs that has much promise but ultimately feels disappointing.
Set on the fictional world of New Earth (which first appeared in the early days of David Tennant’s Doctor), we find a planet under threat by a group known as the Lux. Senator Hame (played, as she was in the original episodes, by Anna Hope) encounters a new human friend called Devon (played by Kieran Hodgson) who exposes and ultimately defeats the organisation. Along the way they encounter several colourful inhabitants of the planet including Sapling Vale (Yasmin Bannerman), Oscar McLeod (Toby Hadoke) and Sister Jara (Adjoah Andoh). The scripts by Roy Gill, Roland Moore, Paul Morris and Matt Fitton are all linked by the overall threat but are each set of different areas of the planet.
Whilst the cast do a good job in their respective roles, and director Helen Goldwyn works hard to keep interest up with a solid sound mix and pacing, it is hard not to look past the weak story line (not enough to sustain four hour-long episodes) and the deliberate shoe-horning in of the Doctor himself (voiced by Hodgson in a pretty good impersonation of Tennant’s Doctor) in order to bring in some more cred for the story. A lengthy extract from Wilfredo Acosta’s music score and an extended disc of interviews are included as part of the bonus material but these will be of little interest to people other than completists.
For a production company that pushes out as much product as it does, Big Finish can be excused for stretching themselves thin with this particular series. There is an awful lot of potential in the characters created here and this reviewer feels that, given better material to work with, this series could be one of Big Finish’s more entertaining spin-offs. This particular set is a mild curiosity at best with little interest to people who are not fans of the Doctor Who episodes on which they are based.
Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Rating out of 10: 5
Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: March 2018
RRP: $41 (CD) $20 (Download)