Monday, January 05, 2015

A couple of trips with Eight - More Big Finish

Change of tact for this week. Quick review of two different audio serials. One that didn't grab me, and the other that was actually quick itself.

Embrace the Darkness

It's a shame then that after the epicness of “Seasons of Fear”, “Embrace the Darkness” ignores all of that and gives us a mediocre base under siege story.

It does have a decent twist that raises the serial up a couple of notches, but overall this is an immensely missable entry into the Eighth Doctor's adventures. Let's get back to the many mysteries of Charley, or even that trial, or whatever it was, that the Doctor seemed to be involved in.

Not that I have anything against Base Under Seige stories. Doctor Who survives on Base Under Siege, and the Troughton era thrived on them, but this one killed all momentum from the previous serial.

Living Legend

This wasn't on my list of McGann to listen to. It was originally a free giveaway on the Doctor Who Magazine, so entirely skippable. Except for their fifteenth birthday Big Finish have made it free on their site for ever more. Just in time for me to listen to it in the right place.

Of course, “Living Legend” is entirely skippable, and considering my preoccupation with Charley's big storyline, that should be a death knoll for me. But it is fun. I think that's what makes it stand out more than 'Embrace the Darkness'.

If the previous one had come earlier in the run, it's complete disregard of the ongoing plot would have not been as noticeable, and the scariness of the aliens would have shone a little a more. Here, despite it being totally throwaway, the fun McGann and India Fisher are having manage to make it worthwhile. It's only half an hour, but that means the joke actually works, instead of it outstaying it's welcome. I moaned during “Cyberman” that the two mini-series are stretched out, and I think that's part of the problem with “Embrace the Darkness”. It tries to be too long to try and become the standard length of a Who serial.

“Living Legend” on the other hand is a quick shot of fun, and because of that it totally works and does the job it set out to do.
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