“Her list of crimes is extensive to say the least, a brilliant mind corrupted, but parole is not what I’d expected… not ever.”
When I looked at subscribing to the main range of Big Finish Doctor Who Audio Adventures last year I looked ahead to the year of stories and I knew that I wanted each story but I knew that in particular I wanted this one. In fact its existence may have helped to tilt my decision from a 6 month subscription to a full year. I really enjoyed The Rani Elite which saw the return of the Rani in this new regeneration. This new Rani plus the inclusion of our newest Sixth Doctor Companion Constance Clarke made this story irresistible to me. Did it live up to my expectations? Read on!
The solicit from Big Finish:
“Miasimia Goria was a quiet planet, an ancient world of bucolic tranquillity… until the Rani arrived with ideas of her own.She planned to create a race of new gods… gods that she could keep on her leash, but those plans went horribly wrong.Now, she languishes in the high security of Teccaurora Penitentiary, consigned there by her arch enemy and old student colleague, the Doctor.But the Rani, always resourceful, ever calculating, knows things about the Doctor’s past that he would rather forget. She wants revenge, even if it takes a hundred years… and then she has other unfinished business.The ruins of Miasimia Goria await…”
Yep! Miasimia Goria! We return to the planet that the Rani ruled over way back in the first appearance of the Rani in The Mark of the Rani!
Some of my favorite parts:
- The Doctor/Constance Clarke- This story starts with them checking The Doctor’s e-mail! It was like the ole Melanie Bush carrot juice exercise bike schtick only it worked and was charming instead of being annoying. I liked their dynamic in the past but this quiet almost domestic moment in the TARDIS was surprisingly fun.
- The Rani- This story proves that The Rani Elite was no fluke. Siobhan Redmond is a smooth operator as the Rani, she gets that detached calm that makes her seem all the more dangerous. I like that she has contingencies set up that really set her apart from the Doctor and the Master both.
- What’s old is new- When they return to the Rani’s planet it’s been 15 years since she left so we get essentially a planet that has moved on. It’s fun to think that this locale we’ve already seen has changed so much. Like Doctor Who: Mistfall most of the fun is in coming back to a place we’ve wondered about. What happened to that place after the Rani left? Well now we get an answer.
- More of the Rani/Doctor Academy History: They tie the Doctor and the Rani together in this story more than in most. The Rani actually uses some of the Doctor’s own ideas, from back in their academy days, against him. A blemish on the Doctor’s record twisted to become something even worse than a mistake.
Lately I’ve been praising the standalone quality of these stories post #200, I think this one almost qualifies as a standalone as it provides so much new info and we go in at a time where we’ve never been but there’s also a definite call back to a TV story and any time they do that you know your enjoyment is colored either positively or negatively. In my case it’s positive as I tend to enjoy returns and expansions to plots I already enjoyed.
In Summary: I really like this one, I think the Constance/Doctor dynamic is fun and I can’t wait to see what they get up to next month. I like the dynamic between the Rani and the Doctor and how she tends to get a one up on the Doctor even after he’s put her away in a prison. I like the setting and the strange flash forward evolution and devolution of this planet we saw so many years ago. I think it has serious re-listen appeal for me. I’m hard pressed to find anything I don’t like about it so that means 5 out of 5 Stars!
Do you like when they go back to the well? Big finish has taken us back to so many classic locations in Doctor Who’s history is there one that you wish they’d do in a future story? Let me know in the comments below or by shooting us a message to letters(at)grawlixpodcast.com.