Peter Davison has always thrown himself into his Big Finish adventures; his gusto and breathless characterisation is perfectly drawn from his TV adventures. I say this as The Key 2 Time: The Chaos Pool reminded me so much of his on screen tenure. Everything from the exciting plot to the electronic (with added bombastic tones) score from Jamie Robertson captures his time perfectly. But as he doesnâ€™t have his normal team of companions I feared the Davison might be out of his depth. The blurb sums it up perfectlyâ€¦
The ageless leader of a dying race believes that salvation lies within The Chaos Pool, a place that even the Guardians of Time have been unable to locate. Meanwhile Commander Hectocot and his Teuthoidian followers move in for the kill – again and again and again…Two different races from opposite ends of time – so how can they co-exist? In their search for the final segment of the Key to Time, the Doctor and Amy become caught in the crossfire. As the end of everything approaches, old friends and enemies reveal themselves and the final battle between the forces of Chaos and Order ignitesâ€¦
Filled with humour (lisping, foul smelling Vogon-sound-alike deadly slug mutants) and uncertainty of life (mortality is explored and considered upon) the story is a quality mixture with a plot that doesnâ€™t stop moving, packing in as many red herrings on the way as it can. Now, I donâ€™t know how you feel about this but personally speaking final parts to story arcs are often over filled with ideas that should have been include in earlier instalments. But this one maintains the surprises which are well spaced to keep you listening intently. It doesnâ€™t trip itself up trying to answer all the questions before the running time expires. OK, I know Iâ€™m gushing here like a lactating slug, but this is Davison at his best with a script from Peter Anghelides that delivers. He is given plenty of opportunity to prove his heroic image. Lalla Ward as Madam President is as stuffy as youâ€™d want a pompous leader to be whilst Ciara Janson is given some juicy dialogue to enjoy.
The audio design is excellent, the aforementioned brassy musical stabs pack a dramatic punch that punctuate the unfolding drama, emphasising some highly tense moments. Some may find them a bit of a clichÃ© but I enjoy such things. The sound effects too are well staged, thereâ€™s plenty going on and slurping slugs style monsters have deep, guttural noises wherever they roam.
So then, a great release proving thereâ€™s plenty of life left on Doctor number 5. More please and very soon.
Doctor Who â€“ The Key 2 Time: The Chaos Pool is Release 119 from Big Finish and is available now.