It slipped on Twitter during Gally 1 this year, that had the recording of this story not clashed with a Final Audition for some Sci-Fi Show , Fitz would've been played be a certain young Actor called Matt Smith.
Izzy (still would've been my preferred choice of permanent Companion, I'll wait while you gather the torches and pitchforks) Its a fun story that, with the passage of time, is either funny or slightly controversial.
Mary's intro is good and Solid nice nod to then future events.
I always thought it was a subtle Metroid reference...
Thought the sale would be a good opportunity to give the Shelley stories a relisten, starting with Company of Friends. Sure has been a long time since the 8th Doctor was this young, huh?
Once again I am struck at just how much I love the short-story collection format. Sure, every now and then we'll get a stinker, but when they work, they really work. In my memory, the inaugural Shelley episode was always a full 2-hour affair. It's astonishing just how much character and mystery and tension they were able to interject into so short a story--all the while also introducing a new companion. In fact, I might even go so far as to say this may be my all-time favorite companion introduction story--though y'all can probably guess the two stories (also Big Finish) that make me hesitate here. Good stuff!
Its also fun to realize it's technically a. Ulti-Doctor story, and McGann's brief scene opposite himself is a real delight. I'd really like to see more. Ulti-Doctor stories utilizing the same actor! Especially with McGann, since the 8th Doctor has undergone such dramatic character development in-between Storm Warning and 8DTW4.
The other big story to talk about is Izzy's. There's no real getting around it: it's irredeemable misogynist garbage. The only positive thing I can say about it is that Izzy was a fun, energetic character with a unique and interesting dynamic with the Doctor--one I'd like to see more of. But that positive impression is somewhat tempered by the fact that she's supposed to be 17 years old--despite acting like an exaggerated version of a cartoon 10-year old--she's basically Bart Simpson on amphetamine, right? And that absurd immaturity only makes the explicit misogyny of the piece even worse. Yikes.
Thankfully, the other two stories--while not quite as good as Helen's--are excellent, and more than make up for the big plodding stinker in the set. I don't have mich to say about either of them, but you know me and my excessive verbosity: I seldom have nothing to say.
Fitz' story was, ostensibly, a fun comedy... but it didn't quite work for me. And I think it's all down to Fitz' line delivery. Maybe it's the accent? Or maybe the actor was inexperienced? But his voice was just too controlled, too deliberate. Rather than sound like the charming rogue in the script, Fitz sounds more like a sociopath. He affects the voice of a serial killer: the last voice you'd want to hear in a dark alley. Something looser and more natural would have fit better, I think--unless Fitz is meant to be more of a sinister character here, but if that's the case, there's nothing to indicate as much in the script itself. So I'm left thinking the performance just really clashes with the overall tone of the story.
And last but not least... Benny. Benny. Benny, Benny. Apparently this was my first introduction to Benny, a couple years ago, when I was only listening to (at a slow rate) 8th Doctor audios. And I'd entirely forgotten! I think maybe I was just too excited by Mary Shelley's intro? Because, frankly, there's no good excuse. Lisa Bowerman's performance is utterly brilliant (is it ever not?) and the story's got a great energy, interesting mystery, and perfect pacing. And Benny's instant rapport with the Doctor? Perfect. Totally and completely perfect.
Gods above, I need more Benny in my life. We all do.
Well, that's my piece said. Fair warning: I'm an American and will be disconnecting my Internet later today for a while, and will be doing nothing with my time but desperately listening to as many audios as I can possibly tolerate, because I don't like watching shitshows in real-time. So don't be surprised if I wind up bumping a loooooot of old threads here with impressions.
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