Thursday, August 21, 2008

Two Plays

The Zygon Who Fell To Earth - Paul Magrs

Story

The Doctor and Lucie bump into Auntie Pat (from 'Horror of Glam Rock'), only in the 80s this time rather than the 70s. And she's married to an ex-muso named Trevor, who turns out not to be entirely what he seems...

Great Bits

* "I wandered lonely as a clown"

* Mimms the Gay Zygon with his slight stirrings of human emotion.

* "Palpate her cybernetic dugs"

* Auntie Pat not being fussed that Trevor is a Zygon and giving the Doctor a row for lumping all Zygons together

* "I've gone native"

* "Change your form if you're going back to reception"

* "Certainly not, I was always like this"

* "Or as you know him...TREVOR!"

Minor Disappointments

It's a shame that "Sting him, sting him to death" didn't end "sting him vewwy hard" like Life of Brian.

Major Disappointment that turned out not to be

And I was just thinking that the end was a bit flat with [SPOILER] selfishly coming back - then felt a right halfwit at the strangely moving final revelation.

Major Disappointment that you can only blame Nick Briggs for

This was going to be called Trevor of the Zygons, which may well be best Who title ever. Nick 'No Talent' Briggs pooh-poohed the idea however.

Conclusion

As a sort of sequel to last year's Horror of Glam Rock this fits comfortably into the first of Magrs' two basic approaches to Big Finish plays - the essentially light-weight and silly but with an undercurrent of 60s northern soap opera strand (I know that's quite convoluted for a 'basic' strand).

Full of whimsy and packed with genuinely funny dialogue, if you liked the earlier play you'll love this.

And with Tim Brooke-Taylor molesting a Skaresen, what's not to love?


The Boy that Time Forgot - Paul Magrs

Story

With the TARDIS stolen, the Doctor and Nyssa try to use a seance to get it back - only to end up a long, long time ago in the presence of an old, old friend...

Great Bits

* the basic premise of the story

* an Alternative Universe that's actually interesting and whose existence has consequences.

* the Cliffhanger to part one.

* "I've never been taken up the Limpopo. I've never braved the inhospitable bush"

* the names of the various Scorpions

* the way in which Nyssa gradually realises that the old, old friend is still an absolute arse.

* Andrew Sachs. He's very, very good.

Minor Disappointments

The sacrificial death of one character may be customary but I was still disappointed when it happened near the end of the final part of this play.

Major Disappointments

Actually, thinking about it, that death may count as a major disappointment.

Major Disappointment that you can only blame Nick Briggs for

Exile. Ok, so it has nothing to do with this but just how inept, juvenile and crap was Exile*? And the rest of the Unbounds were so good, as well.

Conclusion

It's about as unexpected a comeback as you're likely to get in Doctor Who, on a par with bringing Ivy back to Corrie.

And yet it works.

By turns funny, clever, silly, sad and moving this is the perfect exemplar of the second strand of Magrsian audios for Big Finish: the relatively serious story which plays about just enough with the series' history (see also the excellent sixth Doctor offering, The Wormery).

There's not much I can say about it without spoiling it completely (I may already have gone too far, I think) so just go and buy a copy and give it a listen.

Unbelievably, it's so good that it tempted me into getting the previous Davison audio. Maybe this could be the play to bring me back to the BF fold**?

* Whatever the otherwise reliable Rob says
* *I really hope not - the Classic Series figures are taking up all my money as it is

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