01/07/2012. Contributed by Sue Davies
pub: Big Finish. 2 CDs 120 minute story. Price: CD: £14.99 (UK), Download: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-628-7)cast: Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, Mark Strickson, Sarah Sutton, Rebecca Front, John Cummins, Ellie Burrow, Zoe Lister, Ben Porter, Simon Blake and Philip Pope.
check out web site www.BigFinish.com
In yet another one of those 'Doctor Who' stories where the team arrive at the wrong place and the wrong time, the fifth Doctor and his unwieldy amount of three companions arrive on a commercial comet. The Jupiter Conjunction is what the comet uses to get across the galaxy more quickly. Who knew? Whilst carrying vast amount of goods it is also a home for staff and has a community with shops and activities to alleviate the boredom of slow travel. The staff take up hobbies whilst idling the months away.
With the Doctor and Turlough framed for a cargo theft, Nyssa and Tegan are left to get into their own kind of trouble and fall in with a 'piggybacker', someone who basically thumbs a ride on the comet, seeking their help for a friend trapped outside the environmentally controlled section. They find more than they bargain for as an alien presence lurks in the gloom.
This is a fairly workmanlike adventure with no really gasp out loud moments. How I long for those. (Come back Lucie Millar.) There are several characters added into the mix that we have to get to know quickly before they are discarded at the end of the story. None of them are filled out, apart from the backpacker Chica St Jude (Ellie Burrow) who is more than she appears. Rebecca Front as Patricia Walton, in overall charge of the comet 'lorry' is the star name who makes a short but vital contribution to the plot, a little like her appearance in ITV drama 'Lewis' as commander come to think of it. Turlough (Mark Strickson) is deliciously Avon-like this time and sometimes I wish he could really let rip with the Doctor.
All in all, I enjoyed this but I constantly feel that I am only seeing the surface of the characters with no sense of any development which, of course, is exactly the problem with using the BBC toys and putting them back in the box unharmed.
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