Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Doctor Who Tales from the Vault review

Like are good ideas, the one behind this story is a simple one.
It is similar to the comic strip series in the Judge Dredd Megazine called Tales from the Black Museum in that it is spinning stories out from the grisly (or not so grisly) leftovers from certain crimes.
This being Who, the crimes in question are naturally of a fantastic nature. Each is well written and well told.
Talking of which, the cast list… to say it is (from the perspective of a Who fan) impressive, is a gigantic understatement. There are four short stories, each of them is narrated by a different companion. So we have Peter Purvis doing one, Wendy Padbury on another and Katy Manning on a third and the amazing Mary Tamm on another. Which is all a bit awesome, I’m sure you’ll agree.
So, when I tell you that this is not all, and that the story that frames these shorts, and features two soldiers in the UNIT vault looking at the items, stars Daphne Ashbrook and Yee Jee Tso from the Paul McGann TV movie, then I’m pretty sure your fan radar machine or whatever it is you have, will blow a bit of a fuse.
Of course, all this fan service would be nothing if the script was not up to scratch. Well, maybe it would. The actors assembled here are good enough that I suspect they could lift mediocre material enough to make it listenable. But this tale was written by Jonathan Morris, and he knows a thing or two about writing.
It is a very strong piece. I don’t mind admitting that I was wrong in predicting the ending, too. I had thought myself very clever to have worked it out from the first few moments of the audio, but was way off the mark.
To say any more would be too much. Just go listen to it.
And the best thing about this?
Well, they only tell the stories of a few of the items in the museum here, and it’s chock full of artefacts. Surely it can’t be long before Big Finish takes us on another trip into the UNIT archives..?

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