Saturday, March 07, 2015

It's all gone a bit Welsh - Caerdroia

The start of this is fantastic, finally giving some real feeling to the Divergent Universe storyline, and retrospectively making a few of the others fit slightly better, especially The Last with the new explanation of the Interzone.

It seems the Doctor's had just enough of all this 'experimentation' that's been going on and finally takes on the Kro'ka and starts an endgame that takes him to the Divergents' homeworld. What this means is that the sub-standard audios we've had to put up with are over and things kick off again.

Upon arrival at said homeworld the Doctor is split up into three separate beings. Which seems almost puerile at first. They even make the joke of the good one versus the evil one. What we actually get is the grumpy one versus the zany one. Or to put it another way, the Hartnell/Pertwee/C. Baker one and the Troughton/T. Baker one. Obviously the third is the McGann one. More importantly McGann pulls it off with aplomb.

In audio, one actor playing three parts, hell, even three variations of one part could spell an utterly terrible and incomprehensible mess. Instead McGann gives us three distinct voices for each of them, and you can always tell them apart, even when they're conversing between themselves. What's more is the writer uses it brilliantly. Lloyd Rose casts one as the obvious weak link. Easily distracted, barely able to hold his attention. You fall for the trick just as much as the bad guy. Then the twist comes and McGann is pulling off a perfect Baker cheeky about-face. Quickly followed by the grumpy one settling into a perfect Colin Baker pragmatic solution.

I've always rated McGann as the Doctor, but as the character, not as someone who channels the previous incarnations. Here he shows how his Doctor fits that mold, and with a few tweaks could easily fit some of the others too.

But that's not all that's good about it. The mystery and solution of Caedroia is nicely satisfactory. Charley feels like she's worthwhile again and all that talk about just who C'rizz is actually fits now.

It might have taken five serials for this Divergent Universe to do anything, but it's finally paid off. With the culmination hitting in the next one, my faith is restored in Big Finish.

Okay, that's two weeks in a row I've missed my Friday deadline for the audio post. So let's just make it Saturday. It's far easier for me to do, and it's a special day for Who anyway.

Today's banner is by Tregetourello on Deviant Art because God Damn Big Finish's actual cover is awful.
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