THE EVENTS OF THIS
STORY TAKE PLACE
BETWEEN THE TV
MARK J. THOMPSON
BIG FINISH 'COMPANION
CHRONICLES' CD 1.4
RELEASED IN JANUARY
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The Beautiful People
(4 15-MINUTE EPISODES)
Gareth Roberts wrote “The Beautiful People”. He must have done. I know it says Jonathan Morris on the cover, but it has to be some sort of gross typographical error. The tone; the characterisation - this whole production positively reeks of Roberts’ inimitable season seventeen novels.
In all seriousness, Morris has done a fabulous job here. I know that he is already used to writing for this particular TARDIS crew, but even so, the way that he captures them so vividly - and so perfectly for the medium - is staggering. Of course, having Lalla Ward to
tell his story helps. Although her stab at her ex-husband may not be all that convincing, the prose that she reads really brings the fourth Doctor to life. Some of the Doctor’s dialogue is so tremendously well written that you do not hear Ward relaying the words at all – you just see Tom Baker spouting them!
“The thing is my dear, if fat people had any willpower, they wouldn’t be fat!”
Bing, Ward’s performance is that convincing at times. I really took a shine to Sebella actually – she is utterly hilarious; the textbook happy fatty that you never want to get thin.
“I mean fat people are so miserable! They can’t wear nice clothes;
they can’t step out of doors without being stared at!
Many of them can’t even step out of doors... they are so slow and unwieldy.
Have you ever tried to get past one in the street?”
The story’s real guest star, Marcia Ashton, gives a magnetic performance as the repellent Karna. Ashton is given some fantastic speeches by Morris, such as the one above, and she clearly relishes the opportunity to deliver them with as much ardour as possible. At its best, “The Beautiful People” is delightfully offensive.
The story itself is almost entirely frivolous and never takes itself too seriously, save for a harmless bit of a satire on our ‘size zero’ culture and faddy diets. That is not to say that “The Beautiful People” is not clever though – I love how over the course of the story Morris really gets you behind Sebella and, by the end of the story, you find yourself actively championing obesity and greed. Brilliant!
In summary “The Beautiful People” is wholly enjoyable and altogether fun. The only bad word that I could have to say about it is that the incidental music might well put you to sleep, although this is perhaps an unjust criticism considering the fact that the story is predominantly set inside a health spa!
Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2008
E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
This CD’s blurb states that this story takes place after the television serial Nightmare of Eden, which is also referenced in the dialogue. We have therefore placed it between the television serials Nightmare of Eden and The Horns of Nimon.
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