Sunday, October 14, 2012

BrokenSea Doctor Who (1)

I am aware that BrokenSea Audio’s Doctor Who is an offshoot of the Darker Projects, which is highly acclaimed.  I haven’t heard any Doctor Who from the latter, though I have heard one of BrokenSea’s “straight” plays, which was pretty good.  I wanted to give Mark Kalita’s Doctor a chance; after all, I was quite intrigued by the notion of an American playing the Doctor (and playing him so well, in fact, that Brits could not tell he was American).  

I have listened to two stories so far, and overall I’ve been very impressed at the quality of the writing, the production, and the acting.  Certainly the creators are confident and willing to be quite ambitious about their approach.  One thing that does become clear, however, is that the stories being produced were reacting to what was on TV at the time:  the David Tennant Doctor.  Still, I suppose they can say they did a return to Karn before Big Finish did.

I was really pleasantly surprised with the first episode of season 1, Unleashed, which introduced me to this Nth-type Doctor, rather a nice chap, and his companion George.  I was a bit confused as to who or what George was at first, but after I realized his non-human state I became quite accustomed to him.  It also seemed very Doctor-ish to retain and even nurture such a character—what Kamelion could have been, if written more carefully.  

It was a contest of the minds in Unleashed, and returning villains are used in a somewhat unexpected way.  I don’t have a cast list to hand as one is not on the website, but the actor playing the Mara in particular stood out.  

Things get much more complicated in The Unraveling:  Part 1:  The Breach.   The Doctor is barely in it, and I suspect you really have to be a fan to appreciate this.  You can’t be a casual fan of the show and you have to know your new series as well as your old, otherwise the sudden presence of Ida Scott (including a voice cameo from the Tenth Doctor!) as well as the Sisters of the Flame from Karn in “The Brain of Morbius” will confuse you unduly.  I’m intrigued to find out what Ida is doing in this audio, and although I thought she would have made a good companion, this is the first time I’ve encountered elements from New Who in a fan audio.  Ida’s computer, Tiresias (apparently an ORAC computer in a reference to Blakes 7?), makes quite a good character, and the Draconians have a cameo as well.  I’m not a huge fan of “The Brain of Morbius” and don’t quite know what people see in the Sisterhood of the Flame, but they are involved somehow as well.  

I do like this Doctor so I will persevere. 

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