THIS EPISODE TAKES
PLACE DURING THE BIG
FINISH AUDIO DRAMA
"PATIENT ZERO", SHORTLY AFTER THE
EVENTS OF THE BIG
FINISH AUDIO DRAMA
BIG FINISH CD#94
RELEASED IN APRIL
Earth, 1974. An
innocent phone call.
Okay, it was a wrong
number, but there
can't be any harm in
that. Can there?
“Urgent Calls” is a beautiful little episode. Admittedly there is not a lot of plot contained therein; as Eddie Robson freely admits in the CD liner notes, this episode “…adopts the kind of pace which might stall a longer story” – and that is exactly how it feels. As part of
Big Finish’s larger ‘Virus Strand’ story arc, this episode very briefly touches upon ideas that
I am sure will recur later down the line. However, the meat of “Urgent Calls” is character.
Lauren is a wonderfully sympathetic character; the listener instantly takes to her. Kate Brown is absolutely excellent in the role and she shares a lovely rapport with Colin Baker. Through Lauren’s ‘chance’ encounters with the Doctor down a telephone line, her eyes are opened to all the wonder of the universe. And it amazes her. It scares her. It changes her.
In some ways, this episode could have slotted seamlessly into next month’s “Snapshots” short story anthology as it focuses on how the Doctor changes Lauren’s life. Of course, it would not work as well in print as it does on audio – it is hard to believe that it has taken almost 100 monthly releases for a writer to finally make use of the classic audio device – the phone call.
“Urgent Calls” also has an eclectic and effective soundtrack; Steve Foxon’s sound design has to be given a lot of credit. At times it reminded me of the melancholy score for “The Reaping”, whilst at others it bursts full-throttle in 1970s party mode!
I do not know whether I would recommend CD#94 to non-subscribers on the strength of “Urgent Calls” alone, but on balance I do think that “Urgent Calls” turns the tables just enough to make this release a pretty decent two-disc set.
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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