The third release from the Big Finish Originals range (after ATA Girl and Cicero Series 1) is another wonderful chance for the Big Finish production team to break off the shackles of previously established shows. After the heavy drama of the first two releases it is nice to see the more humorous side to Big Finish which does not get nearly as much of an outing as it should.
Legendary British performer Nigel Planer (most famously remembered as Neil in the seminal British comedy series The Young Ones amongst a lengthy and distinguished career) has penned this comedy which he pitched to the Big Finish team. It tells of Jeremiah Bourne, a young man who discovers he has an extraordinary gift for time travel. He finds himself moving between present day London to 1910 and, along the way, helps a number of people in need – most notably a pregnant girl by the name of Daisy. Sebastian Armesto brings much to the role of Bourne including equal doses of bravado, bewilderment and humour. He is an excellent leading man and the perfect casting choice for this series.
Director Barnaby Edwards has assembled an exceptional pool of talent to portray the other characters (including Planer himself as the villain of the piece, Henry Davenant Hyde). Among the all-star cast is fellow Young Ones alumni Christopher Ryan as Bourne’s Uncle Pete, Tim McInnerny (in hilarious form as Rodger Allcott Standish) and Celia Imrie (in a wonderfully straight-laced turn as Clementina Quentinbloom). Other cast highlights are Sophie Thompson (Phyllis Stokes), Tim Bentinck (Mr Grout), Annette Badland (Mrs Grout), Ony Uhiara (Daisy Wallace), Helen Goldwyn (Janet), and George Naylor (Ed Viney).
The quality of the writing, performances and direction are matched by the exceptional sound design of Daniel Burnet and Steven Foxon which evoke both eras with remarkable clarity.
There is a bonus hour of interviews with the cast and crew that show just how much love for this project there was. Planer, especially, speaks with enthusiasm about the project he clearly has an attachment to and is delighted to see it come to fruition.
Unlike the earlier releases, fans of the science fiction-type releases from Big Finish will enjoy this refreshing take on the time-traveller story. There is much to enjoy from the quick dialogue to the action sequences as well as the plot twists. It is sharp, funny and has a wonderful heart to it. Hopefully a second series will be commissioned.
Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Rating out of 10: 10
Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: July 2018
RRP: $17 Digital Download