Sunday 20 September 2015

185 - Moonflesh

I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this one, of course I had read the synopsis, listened to the “coming soon”, but really couldn’t fathom what type of story this was going to be. Some stories really do defy categorisation, and this is one of them, just when you think you have a handle on it, it goes off on another tangent, yet in many ways is one of the most traditional Doctor Who stories Big Finish have produced..
We begin with the fifth Doctor and Nyssa materialising on an Autumn day in Suffolk, after some really quite charming banter, they are attacked by a lion and saved by a Native American called Silver Crow, who is factotum to The Lord of the manor Nathaniel Whitlock, who having fallen on hard times is importing big game for the idle rich to hunt for sport. With me so far? Good.
As I said, it feels like a very traditional story, very period BBC, think, Blandings or Black Orchid and you won’t be far from the mark, lots of bluff upper class types talking ignorantly about the law of the jungle etc then everything changes.
The Moonflesh of the story title is a crystal found by Silver Crow, when one of the guests tinkers with it and takes a scraping of the crystal, she releases an alien entity and upper class parlour drama becomes a base under siege and a race against time.
This story sometimes feels like a Doctor Who greatest hits package, and could be a little derivative of several classic stories, Black Orchid, The Hand of Fear, and in episode four The Deadly Assassin and Snakedance, but despite these vast changes in tone and swings in emphasis, the story hangs together very well with the many different styles complimenting each other.
So, a bit of an odd story, straight down the line traditional Doctor Who in the style of the TV series from the early 80′s, very schizophrenic, but strangely homogenous, safe and familiar.
Not quite over the moon, but definitely not an eclipse.

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