I was genuinely excited when I first saw the title of this new Big Finish release.
I like it when they use monsters from the old series, and the Sontarans are one of my favourites.
It started well too, with a wonderful budget breaking opening scene that would have crippled the BBC. SFX budgets on audio are great! However, some alarm bells were set ringing in my head as the scene went on… these were Sontarans, but not as I knew them…
And as things progressed through the first episode, I found myself at the beginnings of sadness almost- at an opportunity missed. The creators didn’t seem to be taking this seriously! They were playing it for laughs!
I should add, that I am not averse to comedy in Who, but as a rule I find the occasional one liner more palatable and easier to digest that a full on comedy script.
But I thought I would soldier on (see what I did there?) and listen to the rest of it anyway. And then I laughed out loud a couple of times… my icy demeanour began to crack and I saw what Big Finish were doing with this.
As I said, I don’t as a rule like comedy scripts, because they more than often end up falling back on cheap gags that ridicule the monsters (Daleks can’t go up stairs? Really? No one has ever thought of that before- that’s hilarious!), but that was not the case here.
As for the cast, the was wonderful to hear the ‘old team’ back together again. The Fifth Doctor with Nyssa, Turlough and Tegan produced some great stories, and the actors spark off each other here as if they had never been apart. Everyone is clearly having a great time, and each gets there one particular moment in to shine, with these moments helping to illuminate the cleverness of the title, which is turn tongue-in-cheek, ironic and poignant.
That, and I’ve been singing the Sontaran national anthem to myself for the past couple of days after listening to this…