THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE DURING THE BIG
FINISH AUDIO DRAMA
SHORTLY AFTER THE
EVENTS OF THE BIG
FINISH AUDIO DRAMA
"THE RAINCLOUD MAN."
BIG FINISH CD#94
RELEASED IN APRIL
In the 32nd Century,
the Doctor finds
himself on a planet
piled high with
over these remains
are an army of
Data Pirates and a
team of researchers
from the mysterious
Lonway Clinic. This is
a world of organic-
digital transfer and
which the Doctor
something far more
deadly starts to
Nicholas Briggs continues to ring in the changes. Big Finish’s ninety-fourth monthly release is the first to combine two completely separate stories. It is also the first to make use of (unless you count the mammoth “Zagreus”) the three-part serial.
To date, I have been a huge admirer of Eddie Robson’s scripts. “Phobos” has been the only slight disappointment to me, and that is only because the episode was merely good as opposed to excellent. Unfortunately, I found “I.D.” to be rather lacklustre and if I am honest, I struggled to maintain my concentration throughout the three condensed episodes.
Robson certainly does what he set out to do – focus the story around a small group of characters; trap them together; and make them hate each other! Sounds great, but regrettably none of the characters are particularly memorable. In fact only Claudia Bridge - the girl who had her personality altered to remove her conscience - really worked for me.
Her dealings with the companion-less sixth Doctor are fascinating, and it is also nice to see Sara Griffiths (‘Ray’ from “Delta and the Bannermen”) back in Doctor Who again, especially when she is playing a character that is about as far removed from Ray as you can get.
“I.D.” also plays with some remarkable ideas. Superficially, Robson looks at personality amending and even personality transplants. His story also features a character that has the thirty-second century equivalent of dyslexia – analogexia, is it? I would not be confident in
my spelling but in essence the condition is where a person’s brain is unable to interface with a computer and so the sufferer has to use an old-fashioned touch-screen and monitor.
On a deeper level, the story looks at what makes a person a person. Can one back up one’s
brain on a hard drive? If it is then transferred into another body, is it still the same person in
a new body? Thought-provoking stuff.
Thought-provoking, but not all that compelling. Perhaps my monthly Big Finish soak in the bath was spoiled by last night’s superb “Daleks in Manhattan”, but even so over the past couple of years Big Finish have pulled out all the stops to make their releases every bit as good as (if not better than) the new series – look at “The Kingmaker” and “Catch-1782”, for example. Sadly, “I.D.” does not belong in the same category as those two stories. Thankfully at least Baker’s robust performance saves “I.D.” from being ranked alongside the likes of “…ish”, but I am afraid that is about the highest level of praise that I can bestow upon Big Finish’s inaugural three-parter.
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2007
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
Whilst this release’s production code suggests a placement between the Big Finish audio dramas Her Final Flight and The Marian Conspiracy, we feel that it is better placed during the first episode of Patient Zero, whilst Charley is in stasis in the TARDIS’ Zero Room and the Doctor is searching for a cure for her disease. This is because Charley is in stasis for many years, and the Doctor alludes to enjoying a great number of adventures during that time, not all of which were virus-related. Therefore it is possible to place both ID and Urgent Calls during this gap, despite only the latter being related to the Doctor’s viral investigations.
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