01/04/2009. Contributed by Sue Davies
pub: Big Finish. 2 CDs 120 minutes. Price: CD: £14.99 (UK), download: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-365-1. Cast: Peter Davison, Ciara Janson, Laura Doddington, Lalla Ward, David Troughton, Ben Jones, Toby Longworth and Cate Hamer.
check out web site www.BigFinish.com
As 'The Chaos Pool' opens, we are with the Fifth Doctor and Amy on an unknown spacecraft. A race of giant slugs are piloting the craft and not only are they not pleased to see the two off them, they are quite peckish. Commander Hectocot and his crew nearly make a meal of the Doctor but is unexpectedly saved by Zara who slips into the place of the now missing Amy complete with face and personality change.
Zara has come across from the ship, Eschaton, which is about to blow the slugs out of the sky. If only they had known, they could have just used salt. Although Zara is still determined to look for the remaining segments of the Key of Time, her human side is nursing an unrequited love, for second-in-command, Captain Pargrave. Her friend, the professor, sympathises but Zara doesn't share her emotions with the aloof and unhappy female President in command of the Eschaton.
While the Doctor and Zara negotiate the politics of the Eschaton and attempt to deflect the professor from his increasing interest in the satchel, the ship is bombarded by multiple attacks from what seems to be a mass appearance of the same spaceship. A thousand Commander Hectocots are ready to board and feast on the annoying alien infestations.
A timely escape is required onto the mysterious planet below, where the Chaos Pool awaits. Soon a galactic battle will take place but who will win? The Guardians squabble and move around their human chess pieces but the Tracers, Zara and Amy take a stand against their chosen roles.
There is a lot to follow here as the puzzle of who is who and what is what is more fast and furious than the average Shakespeare mix-up of identities. It's a sneaky thing to do as audio gives you a wonderful chance to do all this without any false beards or strange wigs. It's an enjoyable ride with the segments also playing their own little part in the game.
The cast once again features David Troughton and, this time, Lalla Ward as the President which will bring deep happy sighs from Doctor fans of old. There are also plenty of extras on this CD with lots of discussion about plot and character points, so it proves to be an excellent conclusion to the ambitious trilogy.
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