And so, the time is here for my prize-winning review!
To set it in context, Big Finish, makers of audio drama par excellence, recently held a review writing competition. The conditions – it had to be one of their products (obviously) and there was a word limit of 100 words. So I decided to put my money where my mouth was and enter it.
Needless to say, if I hadn’t won (joint) third prize, you would never have heard about it, but I did, so I thought I’d treat you to my review of Doctor Who – Omega.
Hang on, though, I hear you cry, I thought this was a mystery-only review blog. Well, read on.
Big Finish have been producing monthly Doctor Who full-cast audio plays for about twelve years now, starting with Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. Paul McGann was on board a year or so later and early next year, Tom Baker finally joins in as well. There are various spin-offs, such as the Companion Chronicles, narrated by companions of the earliest Doctors, along with other ranges, Sherlock Holmes being the one that would most interest the readers of this blog. By the way, there will be reviews of these stories coming soon, starting with Holmes and the Ripper.
Omega is an adventure starring Peter Davison, written by Nev Fountain, who you may have noticed me raving about, notably here, here and here, but in other places as well. And it is a proper mystery. For the uninitiated among you, Omega was the villain in The Three Doctors and returned to face Davison in the story Arc of Infinity. After being vapourised (apparently) at the end of that story, his ghost appears to be haunting a cruise-spaceship, specialising in the history of the Time Lords – in particular, the history of Omega himself. The Doctor finds himself on the ship as people start to die in mysterious ways. But if Omega’s a non-corporeal ghost, who’s running around killing people, and why?
I can’t say any more about it without hinting at the cracking end of episode three – the big twist – but if, like me, you’re both a mystery nut and a Doctor Who nut, then this is the play for you. Funny, exciting and most of all, it’s clever. Very, very clever. Just don’t let anyone tell you the cleverest bit before you hear it for yourself.
Oh, just realised that I’ve accidently written a proper review. Well, here’s my 100 word review as well.
A good mystery provides you with clues as to what is going on so the observant listener can work it out.
A great mystery does this in a way that once the mystery is revealed, the listener is kicking themselves as to why they didn’t work it out.
A fantastic mystery does all of this while tricking the listener into not realising they were even listening to a mystery until the curtain is pulled away.
Omega is a fantastic mystery.
The only thing missing is a bonus track of Nev Fountain leaping out from behind you, shouting “Ta-da!”
Excellent stuff Doc, well done on winning the prize, and another modicum of review of concision we could all learn from. And Nev as always deserves all the praise that gets heaped upon him (and not just by you and me) – cracking stuff as you say. Really looking forward to reading your RIPPER review (sic) as I thought the Clemens play transferred pretty well to audio.
Well, the Ripper review will be up soon, as soon as I re-listen to the final bit of it. Hope you enjoy it.
There must have been exceptional reviews for 1st and 2nd. I thought your 3rd place review was excellent.
Cheers for that Bill. They’re going to post them on the website at some point – I think the winners were exceptionally creative – point of view of a Dalek, that sort of thing.
I should probably point out there were nine other third prizes as well…
Just wanted to pay you the (ultimate?) accolade – I went back and re-listened to OMEGA – and it still works like a dream – Fountain is just brilliantly crafty. I think KINGMAKER is still my favourite of the three Big Finish WHO adventures he’s done, but they are all so excellent that it’s a hard choice. I hope he gets to write for Moffat on the TV show … I can hear the dialogue now: ‘Deerstalker are cool!’
[…] three books, one twitter novel and a series of podcasts – but his Doctor Who audios as well – Omega, The Kingmaker and Peri and the Piscon Paradox. You may think that I’ll praise to the hilt […]