Sunday, March 01, 2015

Even More Divergent Universe

Ooops. Couple of days late. Sorry about that. Just started a new job and getting used to the new schedule.

Anyway. we starting to close in on the end of this Divergent Universe storyline, and I'm pretty sure that's a good thing. Big Finish had an interesting idea, taking the Time Lord to a place with no time, but it's not lived up to it, nor the promise of what we saw of this place in Zagreus either.

With Faith Stealer things have started to shift away from the eighties feel, but only just. The Doctor, Charley and C'rizz hit a zone where faith is treated as a commodity, and arguing religions are treated like advertisements rather than the usual excuse for a good war. So what happens when a zealot enters the fray?

Still it's not enough. Charley is starting to bug me, it's like the writers aren't sure what to do with her now that her storyline of her being the time break is over, and she's turned into a rather boring companion. Though finally we're getting a story that properly dives into C'rizz since Kromon. It takes an enjoyable romp and gives us a look at a companion who has been woefully underused so far in his first season. There's another nice nod to very Classic Who, this time with Venusian Aikido, and that the Doctor hasn't used it in awhile.

It also feels somewhat like a Master story. Obviously the Divergent Universe doesn't allow that, but I can't help but wonder if some quick renaming was done to make it fit. I'd not realised it till here but the Master is an odd one for the Eighth Doctor. After all, the TV Movie deals with the Master having been caught, punished and finally locked away. New Who reveals he was brought out for the Time War, and before Missy you could easily have done a story like Faith Stealer and even the Divergent Universe to bring him back. Yes, I know Dark Eyes deals with this. It's one of the things that intrigues me about it.

The other thing that raises this above the usual mire of the Divergent Universe is some rather clever dialogue scattered throughout, and a couple of performances, especially the gleefully sadistic doctor that briefly gets hold of C'rizz. It does create some fantastic imagery too. It's not my usual cup of tea, but I do like it.

Finally a serial in the Divergent Universe that actually requires the non-linear aspect of it.

The Doctor and co stumble into a zone that’s on brink of destruction after what seems like a nuclear war. Or at least it gave me the image of a Fallout 3 style wasteland. However, this is where the exact issue of what is going on with the Interzone becomes a bit problematic. How can a world be devastated by a world war when we have the Doctor and his companions travelling between different areas of it?

It's a question that doesn't get an answer until the next serial, and that mystery ends up distracting you a bit too much from what's actually going on with the serial. Which is a shame because it's pretty decent. Small group of survivors, but instead of struggling, they're all trying to keep a delusional queen happy. Her coping, and almost lack of, makes it probably Charlotte's best outing since Scherzo.

The fact the world ends and immediately restarts is pretty epic. We’ve constantly been told that ‘time’ has no meaning and this really is the first time Big Finish have sold that concept. Shame it's the last one before the home straight.
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