01/08/2012. Contributed by Sue Davies
pub: Big Finish. 1 CD 60 minute story with extras. Price: CD: £ 8.99 (UK), Download: £ 7.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84435-623-2) cast: Richard Franklin and Felicity Duncan.
check out web site www.BigFinish.com
After others have told their stories now we have the delightful Richard Franklin in the Big Finish fold. As part of UNIT, Mike Yates is not a companion in the strictest sense but, as this tale reveals, he got the chance to help the Doctor in a very important mission, saving the earth from 'The Rings Of Ikiria'.
Written by Richard Dinnick (Big Finish Sherlock Holmes, Short Trips, when does he sleep?), this 'Companion Chronicles' is a story that takes place when the Doctor is on Earth without benefit of TARDIS.
An alien artist has arrived on a remote island in a flurry of crop circle messages with a desire to make friends and art installations on planet Earth. The Doctor, Brigadier and Mike Yates arrive with UNIT soldiers. Ikiria (Felicity Duncan) extends the rather elegant hand of friendship to the Brigadier, creating from the air around her a gold ring set with precious stones which drops into his palm.
Encouraging the Brigadier to wear it, Ikiria sends him away to get a welcome party of politicians to come to the island. She continues to offer the gifts to the soldiers of UNIT and as the slightly bemused Brig rushes off to London, Ikiria tries to persuade Mike Yates to take her offer of friendship but, as you know, bearers of gifts often fail to state the small print.
Trusting his instincts, Mike finds himself increasingly isolated. As the Doctor disappears on a fact-finding mission, it is down to Mike to find out the truth about Ikiria.
Cue some marvellous James Bond stunts and a dramatic cliff-hanger, this action-packed adventure manages to convey the sense of UNIT and the Third Doctor's own action man status. Richard Franklin brings a warm, human touch to this great story and I really hope he does some more.
Once again, the team of writer Richard Dinnick and director Ken Bentley, along with music and sound effects, Richard Fox and Lauren Yason, make this so much more than a simple audio. 'The Rings Of Ikiria' has the feel of a fully cast play. The additional mini-interviews included at the end are also welcome.
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