STORY PLACEMENT

 THIS STORY TAKES

 PLACE BETWEEN THE BIG
 FINISH AUDIO DRAMAS

 "PARADISE 5" AND "THE

 SONG OF MEGAPTERA."

 

 PRODUCTION CODE

 6Y/A/F

 

 WRITTEN BY

 MARC PLATT

 

 BASED ON A STORY BY
 BARBARA CLEGG

 

 DIRECTED BY

 JOHN AINSWORTH

 

 RECOMMENDED 

 PURCHASE

 BIG FINISH 'LOST

 STORIES' CD#1.6

 (ISBN 1-84435-449-8)

 RELEASED IN APRIL

 2010.

 

 BLURB  

 The 16th Century. Kit

 Marlowe is TRYING TO 

 write Doctor Faustus

 when A darkness de-

 Scends on his life, in

 the cadaverous form

 of a Spaniard called

 Velez. The monstrosity

 is in search of a stone

 from South America...

 

 After a near-FATAL

 collision with an

 asteroid in space,

 the TARDIS makes an

 emergency landing in

 Elizabethan England.

 

 These two events are

 connected. The Omnim

 are ready. the point

 of entry approaches...

 

 PREVIOUS                                                                                  NEXT

 

Point of Entry

APRIL 2010

(2 65-MINUTE EPISODES)

 

 

                                                       

 

 

Prior to their release, I was already familiar with the first five Lost Stories. The Nightmare Fair and Mission to Magnus have been widely-known for many years thanks to Targetís novelisations of their aborted scripts, and much has been written about the likes of Leviathan, The Hollows of Time and Paradise 5 despite the extant scripts laying dormant until David Richardson set about compiling this remarkable run. Point of Entry, however, is entirely new to me. This shouldnít be all that surprising though, given that itís entirely new to just about everybody, including the man charged with writing its script: Marc Platt.

 

Expounded from a fruitless pitch that Enlightenment writer Barbara Clegg made to the production team in the 1980s, there is little to set this production apart from one that you might find in the main range. Free from awkward set pieces and overburdened dialogue, Point of Entry has a sheen to it that most of the preceding Lost Stories have lacked. Even Steve Foxonís beautiful sound design feels a little more modish than is usual for the range, the composer opting to score the period piece with apposite acoustic sounds, rather than the sort of intrusive, 1980s electro-bumph that Iíve come to expect from a Lost Story.

 

Nevertheless, Plattís script discernibly tries to mimic the tone of the foregoing Lost Stories, inflicting a measured pace and sense of restraint that is sufficient to convince the listener that this is a bona fide 1980s television soundtrack. On a few occasions, I expected Platt to push the envelope a little further, as no doubt he would have done were he writing a Ďregularí Doctor Who play, but to his credit the acclaimed Ghost Light scribe manages to balance his script on the sharpest of knife-edges.

 

And Platt was certainly the man

to run with Cleggís synopsis. The

16th century setting, the Spanish

necromancer, the magical stone

blade plundered by the Conquist-

adores, and the tortured playwr-

ight are all elements that I could

easily imagine Platt coming up

with himself. What he does with

them is most likely far darker than what Clegg would have done, but itís a testament to his deference for her original idea that when she read his script, she only had one amendment to suggest (though Colin Baker ultimately poo-pooed it!)

 

Kit Marlowe is captivatingly portrayed, the narrative focusing on his increasingly ungodly attempts to find inspiration for his Doctor Faustus. Our introduction to him inevitably calls

the television seriesí Shakespeare Code to mind, but as matters progress the similarities become less and less evident. Point of Entry contains far less cheer than Gareth Robertsí vibrant tale did, and Matt Addisí sour Marlowe possesses none of the mischievous humour that made Dean Lennox Kellyís Shakie so loveable.

 

© Big Finish Productions 2010. No copyright infringement is intended.

Above: Convincing mute Alex Mallinsonís cadaverous artwork

 

The playís real triumph though is Luis Sotoís Velez. An exiled Spaniard living in England, Velez is a sinister sorcerer whose very body is crumbling around him, Deadly Assassin Master-style. Soto, who is actually of Spanish lineage, gives a performance that becomes progressively more chilling as the titular point of entry approaches, buoyed all the way by

the lingering image that convincing mute Alex Mallinsonís cadaverous artwork has burnt

into the listenerís brain.

 

At this point in the season it goes without saying that Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant acquit themselves admirably; they always do. Even when surrounded by the dominating performa-nces of Addis and Soto, each leaves their mark on the listener, whether itís by way of their unconventional response to torture or their frightening inability to emulate Englandís most recognised queen regnant.

 

Dark and devilish, and bubbling with all the contemporaneous fervour of Spanish Inquisitions and Aztec sacrifices, Point of Entry is no doubt destined to become an unlikely favourite amongst the rangeís listeners. Iím always a little wary of rejected scripts and unsuccessful pitches, but I havenít been let down by Big Finish yet; only by the 1980s production teams that saw fit to discard them.

 

Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2010

 

E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

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