THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE BIG
"KINGDOM OF SILVER."
BIG FINISH CD#109
RELEASED IN JUNE 2008.
is the eve of battle
a royal ball.
there are NASTY
in the garden
a sequence of
It is the eve of battle
and the Martial
hosting a royal ball.
But there are NASTY
visitors in the garden
and a sequence of
events spiralling out
Spider’s Shadow is a compelling little drama, all in all. It’s an interesting new twist on the old ‘time loop’ idea; no more, no less. By its very nature, the plot of this episode is repetitive (albeit in a cumulative sort of way) and so it was crucial that the actors’ performances’ were sufficiently engaging to keep the listener hooked. Thankfully they were.
Carol Fitzpatrick and Katarina Olsson are both superb as the two backbiting Keldafrian princesses, and Sylvester McCoy matches their game throughout. I must say, Olsson is really establishing herself as the bedrock of the Big Finish troupe – she is in practically
every release, yet somehow she seems to make each new character that she plays sound so distinctive. I should also say here that I like how the writer portrays the Keldafrian princesses as being shades of grey, despite them being teamed-up with the Doctor. It made the play much more remarkable than it would have been had they been pegged as out-and-out goodies.
Kevin McNally’s pan dimensional Spider also impresses, both conceptually and practically. This episode features some great dialogue between the Doctor and the Spider; the Spider anticipating the Doctor’s analogies works especially well. And McNally seems to relish getting his teeth into a much meatier role than The Twin Dilemma offered him. To look at, he might still be recognisably the same man as he was back in Colin Baker’s day, but his Spider’s voice is nothing like that of the pusillanimous Hugo.
On a final note, I think that I’m right in saying that Spider’s Shadow is the first of Big Finish’s bonus one-part adventures to be just that – a bonus one-part adventure as opposed to part of the Virus Strand arc or a continuation of the CD’s showcase three-parter. I must stress
the words “I think” though as the word virus does crop up at least the once here…
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2008
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