After the events of Big Finish’s “Black and White” starring Sylvestor McCoy and Sophie Aldred – I couldn’t wait to find out what surprises they had in store for the seventh Doctor and his companions. Now after finally listening to “Gods and Monsters” – I find myself sat here – sad and a little shocked. Not for bad reasons though. For Big Finish have managed to twist and tangle my emotions – on possibly their best adventure to date….
The Doctor, Ace and Hex have been travelling together for a while now, with Hex played by Philip Olivier has quickly become one of my favourite companions. You all probably know by now that Sylvestor McCoy and Sophie Aldred were one of my favourite pairings in the show and Hex has managed to complement the TARDIS team rather brilliantly. Hex and Ace bounce off each other like old friends and Philip has bought a fresh perspective to proceedings. It’s been interesting to see Ace and Hex’s relationship develop during the series….whilst the Doctor has seemed to become less upfront about his plans – causing a little distrust between him and his colleagues. Apparently the truth isn’t always the best option where the Seventh Doctor is concerned, which in previous adventures has seen the bond between him and Ace strained!
Gods and Monsters takes place straight after the events in Black and White, the Doctor, Ace and Hex are joined in the TARDIS by Lysandra Aristedes and Sally Morgan. They are soon earning their stripes when all four companions are needed to band together to save the Doctor from a trap – he seems to have just walked into. Gods and Monsters gives us two new companions to learn about, plus a familiar enemy for the Doctor to face – Fenric has returned! Yes you read that right Fenric has finally made his audio play début, played wonderfully by John Standing.
Being the part
The acting throughout is sublime with Philip Olivier and Sylvestor stealing the show. Big Finish have really gone to town with this adventure, and for once the Doctor’s cunning seems to have been outshone by another player. Totally turning the tables and for once leaving the Doctor rather vulnerable. It’s these stories that tend to stick with me for months after, they unravel another layer of the Doctor whilst not really giiving anything away. Leaving us with wanting more, building our expectations for his next adventure.
Fenric proves once more to be a most deadly foe, a welcome return to the series complete with his blue skinned servants. The story slowly builds into one of the most shocking endings I’ve had the pleasure of listening to throughout the Doctors adventures – both on TV, audio and books. I admit at the end to having a tear crawling down my cheek, and wondering what the ramifications of this could be. Central to this, is the question can Ace and the Doctor’s friendship continue? Will the strain that’s been building between these two finally be released? I guess only time will tell.
Gods And Monsters proves to be another shining moment in Big Finish’s work, one that brings back one of the seventh Doctor’s best enemies with a bang and should not be missed by any fan. It shakes your very nerves messing with your emotions in the best possible way.
We purchased our own copy of “Gods and Monsters” for this review.