THIS EPISODE TAKES
PLACE BETWEEN THE BIG
FINISH AUDIO DRAMAS
"THE WORMERY" AND
"THE MALTESE PENGUIN."
DAVID A. McINTEE
BIG FINISH SPECIAL
RELEASED IN APRIL
A thousand years
after his first visit
to the planet Artaris,
THE DOCTOR RETURNS TO
Colin Baker vs Anthony Head! “Excelis Rising” was certainly an encounter that I was looking forward to, and even though the two leads never actually performedtogether side by side, both are superb in their respective roles, their performances flawlessly mixed in post-production to creature a tense and moody audio drama – a worthy sequel to the highly enjoyable “Excelis Dawns.”
This story, however, is very different to its predecessor. A single CD release, the story is truncated into just one seventy-minute episode. This gives it a very different feel to the longer, essentially two-part “Excelis Dawns.” Although it has this feature-length special feel to it, it actually does not do the story any favours and at times it feels longer than “Excelis Dawns” despite being quite a bit shorter, and it is sad that the chance for several potentially great cliff-hangers was missed.
Set entirely within the claustrophobic setting of the Imperial Museum, popular Doctor Who novelist David A McIntee succeeds in telling a wonderfully spooky ghost story whilst still pushing the larger ‘Excelis’ story forward. Grayvorn and the Mother Superior have been reborn as a combined being, in this story referred to as Maupassant. Despite being a combined entity, it clearly Grayvorn in control, Head’s performance imbuing his villain
with a disturbing ambiguity that was not present in the more primitive warlord Grayvorn.
His interest in the Doctor’s change of appearance is fascinatingly explored, Maupassant believing that the Doctor’s mind has somehow taken over another person’s body – a power Maupassant wants for himself…
On the whole, I do not think “Excelis Rising” is quite up to the standard of “Excelis Dawns,” but it is not far behind, no small feat considering the unusual limitation of the story length. “Excelis Rising” is a deeper and darker tale than the first part of the trilogy was – the perfect combination for the broody post-Trial sixth Doctor’s visit to Excelis…
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.
This play’s blurb suggests that it takes place between the television stories The Trial of a Time Lord and
Time and the Rani, and the dialogue offers no clues as to a more specific placement. We have therefore arbitrarily placed it between the Big Finish audio dramas The Wormery and The Maltese Penguin.
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