THIS STORY TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE
BIG FINISH AUDIO
IN HELL" AND "THE
CHIMES OF MIDNIGHT."
WAR OF THE WORLDS
BIG FINISH CD#28
RELEASED IN JANUARY
A year after aN ODD
meteorite lit up the
skies of New York
laid waste to the
nation. At least,
according to Orson
Welles they did.
But what if some of
the panicked listeners
to the legendary War
of the Worlds RADIO
just imagining things?
Because it is so very different to any Doctor Who that I’ve ever seen or heard, it
is extremely difficult to analyse Invaders from Mars beyond the fundamental ‘did I enjoy it or not?’ Well, I did. And very much so.
Not only is the concept of Mark Gatiss’ story absolutely inspired – the blurb explains it more succinctly than I ever could – but it is executed so very proficiently. Through his writing and direction here, The League of Gentlemen star creates an animated, sepia-tinted America populated by gangsters, scientists, and even textbook 1930s stereotypical (albeit hirsute) aliens. The latter really steal the show with their cosmic protection racket; their lampooned, absurdly synthesised voices; and, of course, their constant bickering. Their antics are laugh out loud funny throughout - their showdown with the Doctor and the camp, traitorous ‘Scum’ Devine is particularly hilarious.
The Doctor and Charley are as impressive as ever – in Part 1 where they discover Halliday’s body and the Doctor decides to impersonate him, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the old ‘holodeck’ episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Dixon Hill anyone?
I was also impressed with the performances of Spaced crew. Simon Pegg’s Don Chaney and Jessica Stevenson’s Glory Bee were two such overstated characters that it was an absolute delight to hear the actors having so much fun playing them – and playing them so convincingly, I should add; accents and all.
A far cry from traditional Doctor Who,
this light-hearted B-movie pastiche is
a real testament to the flexibility of the
show’s format, even on audio. I don’t
know whether it was the ham Yankee
accents or the atomic bomb, but after
listening to this one I found myself with
a burning desire to dust off my copy of
the classic Peter Sellars movie, Doctor Strangelove…
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006
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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