Synopsis On an almost lifeless planet in a remote star system, Earth Colony Phoenix is struggling to survive. The colonists, utterly dependent on transmat technology and unable to leave the security of their Habitat Domes, have developed severe agoraphobia... not to mention an inability to deal with visitors...
The TARDIS crew arrive on an apparently abandoned space station in orbit above the planet and soon discover that they and the remaining colonists are in the gravest danger. To survive, the Doctor, Peri and Erimen must uncover the colony’s darkest secrets before it is too late.
Something inhuman is stalking the Colony… and it’s hungry!
Written By: Colin Brake Directed By: Gary Russell
CAST Peter Davison (The Doctor); Nicola Bryant (Peri ); Caroline Morris (Erimem); Deborah Watling (Auntie); Lucy Beresford (Bellip); Sara Carver (Khellian Queen); Richard Gauntlett (General Makra'Thon); Daniel Hogarth (Laroq); Charles Pemberton (Butler); Richard Unwin (Vidler)
I really enjoyed this, although I accept that it has a very average premise. It's just a very good example of 'average!' I have a real fondness for Peri and Erimem. I get the feeling Big Finish wanted a further companion for the Fifth Doctor before Matthew Waterhouse and Janet Fielding agreed to return, and this line-up was particularly successful. Shame it ended so soon! Equally, the sound design is lovely and heightens the claustrophobic nature of the story. Nice to hear Debbie Watling playing a different character, and Richard 'Urakk' Gauntlett made good use of some typical villain's dialogue.
As an aside, what happened to Daniel Hogarth? He was a regular with BF for a long time and now seems to have disappeared. He was a a great alien voice 'go to' man. The Slithergees, in particular, were wonderful.
3* but a good 3* - entertaining enough if not very ground-breaking and there's nothing bad about it. For me the highlights were
- The ingenious idea of a society which effectively imprisons itself through excessive online contact displacing human contact, to the point where actually meeting people becomes a phobia. Even more topical now than in 2005! - Deborah Watling playing a totally different 'Doctor Who' character - I enjoyed her performance very much
I liked this one, too. Not every release can be a Kingmaker or Son Of The Dragon. It's a solid story that raises some interesting questions and is performed really well. Another one for a solid 3/5, and that's not a bad thing. It's entertaining.
I admit to not having re-listened to this yet, and apparently it didn't make a big impression on first listen, as I can barely remember the details of what it was about, even after having read the description of the story, as well as this thread.
"You're all irresponsible fools!" Doctor: "But we're very experienced irresponsible fools." _____________________________________
- I'm always all right. - Is all right special Time Lord code for really not all right at all?
This one starts out hitting a little too close to home: experiencing severe anxiety at the thought of a half-dozen people in a single room is just too relatable these days. Who are these people? Do I know them? Do I like them? Are they vaccinated? Are they wearing masks? Are they double-masking? How close are they standing to each other? Is there going to be hand-sanitizer nearby? Do any of them have fevers?
I think this story takes place immediately after the one where Erimem "died" and had all that wonkiness going on with her father, so the TARDIS dynamic is a bit strained... which Peri uses as an excuse, being Peri and all, to act like an absolute jackass. Her every line is either passive-aggressive or extremely judgmental. Yikes.
And then there's the denouement where the TARDIS team discusses ditching Erimem, before ending the episode on the Doctor saying, "three's a crew." But, like, as a listener... I see no reason at all to want Erimem to leave the TARDIS... but the big elephant in the room is that things would probably be much better if Peri left. Get her gone!
Overall not a terribly interesting story. The dinosaurs/reptile aliens were fun, but their plan was a little half-baked (you can't farm humans if all you're doing is killing them off one at a time) and was nicely nostalgic for Cixin Liu's short fiction.
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