octorWelcome to the Jolly Chronolidays Omega space-cruise. Experience the history of the first Time Lord. Find out how he destroyed a star to create the power source to enable the Time Lords to travel in time. And if you’re really lucky, you might meet the ghost of Omega himself – a disembodied spirit who only the Doctor can see. But if Omega is nothing but a phantasm, who is murdering people on board the space cruiser? As Omega’s plans advance, it seems that he is not the only one on board who is up to something dangerous…
Released in 2003, this was the first in a series from Big Finish featuring the Doctor’s archenemies – the other titles are Davros, Master and Zagreus. But it’s also a murder mystery with a unique twist…
You’d never know that Peter Davison apparently doesn’t rehearse his audio scripts – he just turns up and reads them, but he always produces a perfect performance. His Doctor is so natural a performance, you’d think he’s been playing him all his life – well, I suppose he has, on and off, for the past thirty years or so. And to quote David Tennant, he’s my Doctor. Tom Baker was the Doctor when I started watching, but Peter Davison was the Doctor when I started becoming a real fan of the show.
I don’t watch his stories very often – a lot of them have a very Eighties look and no decade has dated as badly as the Eighties. But luckily, you don’t have to see the scenery in an audio play.
Apart from Peter Davison, the cast does a really good job – the tone oscillates from dark to light to dark again and the cast handles it effortlessly. Ian Collier, reprising his role as Omega from the TV episode Arc Of Infinity, deserves a special mention for helping to give depth to a villain who, to be honest, was always a bit one-dimensional.
The other credit has to go to blog favourite Nev Fountain for a very clever script. Covering a multitude of deceptions and self-deceptions, secret and lies, and one of the cleverest cliff-hangers in Doctor Who history – which is played out at a perfect pace. Nev takes one of the oldest tricks in the detective genre and breathes fresh life into it. It’s possible that some mystery-loving listeners might get a bit grumpy as the whodunit elements does fade into the background for long periods as the science fiction story takes precedence, but it would take a grumpy person not to be impressed with the reveal. Although it might help if you’d seen Arc Of Infinity. But as he later did with the Mervyn Stone audio, The Axeman Cometh, he takes advantage of the audio format to do something original.
It’s available at an absolute pittance – £2.99 on download or £5 for the disc (and a free download as well) from Big Finish. In fact, the first fifty releases are the same price and most of them are well worth a listen. This one certainly is. Highly Recommended.