REVIEW: CD review: Doctor Who - The Brood of Erys
(Big Finish Productions)
It's taken a while, but the script writers at Big Finish Productions have finally stopped referencing the sixth Doctor's appalling taste in clothes.
Nearly every other sixth Doctor audio adventure I have heard has characters making outrageous comments about the colourfulness of the Time Lord's attire as they meet him for the first time. This, more than anything, reminds us that while we may only be listening to the story those partaking in it have all their senses about them.
Writer Andrew Smith does not have his characters do this in The Brood of Erys and it's refreshing. An alien like the Doctor will seem alien no matter what he's wearing - particularly when his TARDIS lands on another world.
Anyway, the characters in The Brood of Erys don't have time to make such off handed remarks as this four parter gallops along at breakneck speed.
It opens with the TARDIS in mid-flight. An affable, almost avuncular, Doctor is calibrating his space and time ship and is driven to distraction when companion Flip Jackson (Lisa Greenwood) compares his work to setting up a wireless gaming station.
Their relationship echoes that of Old Sixy's, as Baker is prone to call him, with long dead companion Peri Brown. They can grate on each other and then be the best of friends.
But Jackson, a checkout chick with attitude, isn't a spot on her predecessor.
Soon the TARDIS comes under attack from the Brood of Erys in a sequence that is reminiscent of the best of science fiction movies - the incidental music is particularly effective here - quickly reminding us that this sequence would look great on screen.
No sooner do you get into the drama of the first episode of this four parter and the cliff hanger music is crashing in, making you want to listen on to part two just because you have the CD or the download and you don't have to wait for another week to see what happens next.
This is a good sign since. It not only shows the plot does not drag but proves that Baker's Doctor can be as compelling as the rest given a good script. And good The Brood of Erys is.
Without giving too much away the Erys of the title puts me in mind of grandfather in Neil Cross's Doctor Who Series 7 classic The Rings of Akhaten. It's funny because Nicola Sian, who plays Sarra Vanser in Brood also appeared in Rings as Clara Oswald's mother Ellie.
At times Erys also reminds me of Deep Thought in the radio adaptation of The Hithchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
The Brood of Erys is the second part of a Big Finish Productions Doctor Who trilogy. But you don't have to have heard the first story, Antidote to Oblivion, to appreciate this one. What happens in the first story has no bearing on the second.
Extras include the usual musical suite and interviews with the cast.
Download it at www.bigfinish.com.
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