01/09/2009. Contributed by Sue Davies
pub: Big Finish. 2 CD2 120 minutes. Price: Download: £12.99 (UK), CD: £14.99. ISBN: 978-1-84435-410-8. cast: Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred, Philip Olivier, Hugh Bonneville, Jeany Spark, John Paul Connolly, Alex Lowe, Sean Brosnan and John Albasiny.
check out web site www.BigFinish.com
This is an earthbound adventure in which Hex gets to do his job, Ace gets to ride off into the sunset with a sexy Russian novelist and the Doctor has to sort it all out again.
The Crimean War is memorable for the Charge of the Light Brigade, poor hygiene, heavy losses, the lady with the lamp and Franco Prussian. I'm ashamed to say I had to look it up to find out what else happened. Suffice to say, be reassured you don't really need to do this to enjoy the audio adventure.
Florence Nightingale is sent to sort out the hospital at Scutari but it appears someone else has already started to do some sterling work. His name is Thomas Scofield but we know him better as Hex. He's been having an odd time since he was invited to chop up the TARDIS for firewood and he could. Hex fears the Doctor and Ace might be dead and might be stuck in a time without antibiotics and sonic scalpels.
Meanwhile, two weeks earlier, the TARDIS lurches on board a ship during the battle around Sebastopol. The Doctor is arrested as a spy for signalling the British fleet but Ace is wounded by a falling mast. Both are taken to separate prisons.
This is one of those confusing time-travelling stories. They seem to go backwards, forwards and sideways. There are no aliens though just a good meaty story involving all three in a convoluted but fun epic. John Paul Connelly plays William Russell who is correspondent to 'The Times Of London' whilst fitting in some nursing and spy catching. Oh and Hugh Bonneville plays Sir Sidney Herbert who is convinced that the Doctor is a spy. Unfortunately, the Russians think he is a spy as well.
As usual Big Finish manage the period detail with a flourish and before you can say Charge of the Light Brigade, there's a lot of Doctoring and nursing going on. The guest actors add some lovely gravitas to the production and, as usual, there are some CD/download extras as they all have a nice chat.
The disc also includes the bonus episode of 'The Gathernaught' part of 'The Three Companions' which is an ongoing 12-part adventure includes with the monthly series.
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