The Big Finish audios in my mind had come to a big finish. For the last couple of years, almost every one I listened to was dissapointing. I intended to not listen to any again but I gave this one a try after that horrid 8th Doctor one with the "pick a companion" plot. I was all set to hate this one and this line up. I mean who are they fooling by touting this as the complete Davison companion line up? It's not. Furthermore, how could they have Nyssa in it...and anyway this team was not my favorite of the 5th Doctor team. I also felt it wa a slap in the face to Adric fans to have this team instead of the one the show really had and got wrong but this could have gotten right but that's neither here nor there. Thus I was set to hate this one, especially since the last time they had Tegan back, they totally ruined it and made a depressing "dying" story...so...but but but...
This was not that bad. In fact, I give it a 3 out of 5 or a 7 out of 10. Yeah, they found a way to get Nyssa into it and not insult us...and it works. Turlough feels just right. Tegan is the surprise: she's just like she was in the show and that works too. Davison: not my favorite Big Finish Doctor but here, he's perfect, maybe because he doesn't really have much to do but what he does do is marvelous. There is one very classic line at least to me from this audio (BF audios, even the ones I used to hate, almost always had good dialog but of late...this has not been the case so I was pleased with the dialog for this story). The Doctor is going into something dangerous, leaving Nyssa and Turlough and they ask what they can do. He says something like this, "If I don't return, well, just try to be nice to each other." It's brilliant. There are also other asides that don't work as well but are okay such as "Brave Heart, Turlough" and "Rabbits".
But it is the script that is good. Not great but good. The writer hasn't impressed me in the past nor has he put me off totally and he commented that he wanted to get an Eric Saward feel and I"m not sure he has but maybe he has because to me it seemed very COLD HEARTED which is of that era similar to BLAKE'S 7, in fact, this story with its plague created on purpose plot reminds me a great deal of several BLAKE'S 7 episodes. It also reminds me of SPACE MUSEUM'S first episode and maybe even the rest as the travellers find they are on their way to a fate they already saw...which also reminds me of the old and good movie TIME TRAVELERS and probably a half dozen or more other sci fi novels, films and TV shows. Not that this is a complaint: it's not. It works here despite being somewhat cliche. ANd the resolution also works at least to me. Tegan manages to be charming, Turough manages to contribute, Nyssa manages to be logical and caring without being annoying and Davison...really feels like his Doctor again as in his early BF audios. They all sound good save Davison who really should have given up smoking years ago.
One thing: did they really name those monsters (I guess I wasn't paying attention--are they robotic creations or mutations or both?) CRAPTIDS? I mean CRAPTIDS? What kind of a name is that? It certainly invites insults.
In any case, this reminds me of that era a great deal but apart from that, it also has action, adventure, good cliffhangers, split up companions that actually do something and focuses on the companions and their relationships FOR ONCE and FOR ONCE without being depressing! It all just works without all the "I'm dying" or "I hate the Doctor" or all the other horrible stuff BF has been doing for the last year or two. I hope the rest of this trilogy works as well as this did.
One other thing: I'm really sick of Nick Brigg's pontificating and back slapping as well as that other person (the director? Eddie Robson) with the strange lisp. Please don't have them talk any more. They are really annoying in the behind the scenes stuff and say things that show fan bias as well as being flat out wrong.
Sorry to end on a sad complaint but anyway, this is definitely worth getting and it's entertaining, something BF needs to be again in a big way.