01/10/2008. Contributed by Sue Davies
CD. pub: Big Finish ISBN: 978-1-84435-350-7. 50 minute CD. Price: £ 8.99 (UK). Non UK £11.50). read by Carole Ann Ford and Stephen Hancock.
check out web site www.BigFinish.com
Susan is travelling with her grandfather. She enjoys travelling but is getting older and longs for her own separate life. She likes Ian and Barbara but is frustrated by their restrained behaviour. She can tell that they like each other but are held back by their English convention. Susan knows this because she is not English, not from Earth, nor a child. She is far older than the adult humans from Earth and her Grandfather is older still. Her human form is holding her back and she finds it difficult to relate to Earthly concerns.
At a point of decision, Susan and her fellow travellers are drawn from the Vortex to an Earth Benchmarking vessel called Nevermore. Captain Rostrum is a vegetable life-form performing a task set by his human masters. He does not realise that he is destroying the fabric of time and space and through the holes monsters come.
As Susan explores the spaceship and contemplates her future, she encounters a technician and has the strangest feelings around him. He says he is working but on what and just what are the first mate's motives? The actions they both take will affect the whole universe.
Stephen Hancock as the first mate joins Carol Ann Ford, the original Susan from the TV series. His gruff but almost affectionate tones add an extra dimension to the story. Both actors have superbly expressive voices. This is a key feature of the Big Finish audio. They obviously listen very hard to their potential actors. They have characteristics not always necessary on TV or film. Reduced to only hearing and imagination the audience need the clues provided by such voices.
I enjoyed this and at 50 minutes is has to be more tightly disciplined than the three or four episodes. It requires a lot of its two narrators. Part play, part story we have to believe in this second-hand tale. It got me thinking about how they wrote out Susan. A human husband, for a Time Lady. How cruel. Still at least she could save on the anti-ageing by having a quick regenerate.
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