TV & Radio
REVIEW: CD review: Doctor Who - Afterlife
(Big Finish Productions)
This seventh Doctor story starts off strong, doing something never done before in Doctor Who, analysing the after effect of the death of a companion.
The companion's name is Hex (Philip Oliver) and he travels time and space with the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and fellow companion Ace (Sophie Aldred) before he is killed off. Ace is furious with the Doctor for Hex's death. She blames the Time Lord for the sudden departure of her mate and she spends the first half hour part of the story giving the Doctor the cold shoulder for it.
Most of us visit the Whoniverse to avoid such mundane soap operaish things but in the hands of Aldred and Mc Coy this half hour is one of the most electric of Doctor Who I have seen or heard. Here are two actors who know their characters inside out, and can play them convincingly at the worst of times.
Seldom has the Doctor been more alien than in the first part of this four parter, rarely has Big Finish Productions done so well with the opening of a story.
Writer Matt Fitton, I first thought, was being very clever by introducing listeners to the Liverpudlian character through his death. But then I listened to the cast and crew talking about the making of Afterlife in the behind the scenes extras and realised he had made many appearances in previous audio adventures. I just hadn't heard them. Afterlife is the 181st story from Big Finish Productions' main Doctor Who range.
As the story moves on Ace convinces the Doctor to travel back to 21st century Liverpool to break the news to Hex's nan they discover that most Doctor Whoish of tropes, alien forces at work right under the noses of humanity. Then it gets complicated. It's almost as if this story, directed by Ken Bentley, changes genre as it develops.
Available on CD and download from www.bigfinish.com.