I continue to have a void in my life after catching up with all 200+ episodes of Radio Free Skaro. Most of my favourite podcasts come out in a group round about Monday, and I try hard to make them last, but they don’t, and there is nothing more sad than an emptying iPod. I have been turning back to Big Finish plays to fill the gaps, dipping into my recent haul of these, and hoping I can eke them out because I am determined to not make any more purchases before Aussiecon.
Invaders of Mars (2002) was a bit diappointing, but that may be because I had built it up so much in my head over the last eight years as one I REALLY REALLY wanted to listen to. I loved the premise – aliens invade on the night Orson Welles makes his historic Halloween spoof broadcast of the War of the Worlds – and it has two of my favourite performers of all time in it, Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson.
What I didn’t take into account was that in order to be set in the right time period for Orson Welles, the story had to be based in the US in the 1930′s. Which meant… accents. Dodgy Brits-doing-B-movie-American accents. With a Russian spy thrown in for good measure. Yes, it was shades of Daleks in Manhattan all over again, plus I couldn’t even tell which ones were Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson!
On the other hand the Eighth Doctor and Charley were being awesome, and there were all these cute Orson Welles bits, and by the time the last couple of episodes kicked into gear, I was really enjoying it. I particularly loved the Doctor’s delight at getting to perform some of the scenes in the broadcast of War of the Worlds, once the two storylines collided. But yes. I had to overcome a lot to get to that point.
Cobwebs is a far more recent release – in fact, it was only released this month! Big Finish cleverly had the first episode available as a free download at the same time as their mega First Fifty sale, and then of course I had to get the rest of them, didn’t I? I have to say, I rather like the system BF has for its downloads – you can usually buy the first episode for about $1.50 Australian, and then can purchase the other three episodes by paying the remainder of the price for the full story. While it’s not a discount, it does give you the chance to see if you like the story or not.
Anyway, this story is rather cool because it’s the first time that they have been able to reunite the full TARDIS crew of Nyssa, Tegan and Turlough. Janet Fielding has been notoriously reluctant to return to her role, and only recently realised that by doing so she was limiting what the others could do and chose to come back out of charity! It’s ironic that I got rather excited by this story, as I was never a fan of Tegan (she whined too much and gave Australians a bad name!) though I did adore much of the Peter Davison era. I find that I am able to appreciate Tegan a lot more now than I did when I was younger. I think I’d complain too if I was chucked into some of the situations she was!