Sunday, 20 September 2015

4th Doctor 3.7 - The Abandoned

Sometimes a story comes along with a lot of expectations, The Abandoned is one of these.
Why is this? You may well ask, well dear reader, but the reason that there has been so much expectation about this story is because of its co-author, none other than Leela herself, the wonderful Louise Jameson.
So with the bar already raised high, I listened to The Abandoned, then I listened to it again, then I thought about it, then listened again, then mulled it over for a few days, then talked to Mrs Wings about it, then sat down to write the review, couldn’t, had a glass of Cider, watched The Seeds of Death, slept, woke up and started to write the review.
It’s a bit of a puzzler this one, a beautiful stream of consciousness with disturbing surreal imagery, if anyone has seen Twin Peaks, think of Doctor Who in the Black Lodge directed by David Lynch  and you won’t be far off.
This story is as near Doctor Who has ever been to “Arthouse”. Episode one is a total dreamscape, a descent into the maelstrom, voices heard, things happen for no apparent reason. Episode two explains things nicely, albeit in an abstract sort of way, and also goes back to a piece of Doctor Who mythology that is seldom touched upon, that is, if the Doctor stole the TARDIS, who were the previous owners, and where are they and what if they want their TARDIS back?
A minimal cast, minimal “sets” this feels like a stage play, the guest cast are uniformly superb and deranged with special kudos to Stephanie Cole as Lady Marianna.
Big Finish make great stories, and thus is no exception, not for the faint hearted or casual listener The Abandoned demands to be listened to with your full attention, then listened to again.  It’s like a delicious meal that you savour, or a painting or piece if music that you can keep coming back to and getting something new every time. Rarely has Doctor Who been so brave or dared to be so different, a testament to the formatless format and the creativity of Louise Jameson and Nigel Fairs.
Not everyone’s cup of Tea, but definitely my mug of Ty-Phoo.
A mind bending surreal trip down the rabbit hole and for the second month running a well deserved 10/10.