This monthâ€™s Eighth Doctor offering, Deimos, is something of a hybrid story. Taking elements of the classic â€œbase under siegeâ€ story template and mixing in a dose of the newer elements of Doctor Who that weâ€™ve become so used to thanks to Big Finish and the new TV series, weâ€™re left with The Seeds of Death meets The Sontaran Stratagem. In audio format. It does sound like a bit of a tall order doesnâ€™t it? Yet somehow it manages to keep itself together.
Arriving on Deimos, the TARDIS crew discover that itâ€™s become a tourist attraction for space traveller wishing to see the catacombs of the Ice Warriors, who rested up there whilst sitting out the death throes of their own home planet. But things take a turn for the worse as the well rested Warriors decide to shake things up a little by claiming back what they view as theirs. And if some humans have to die for them to achieve their goals, then so be itâ€¦
Deimos, despite its promising premise, feels a little light for such a big two parter. Certainly by the cliff-hanger at the end of the CD, one feels a little apprehensive that the story can stretch for another fifty or so minutes. However, what the script lacks in pacing, it makes up for in dialogue with a cracking teaser at the beginning showing the Ice Warriors as a desperate and hopelessly lost race desperate to survive. You canâ€™t help but compare them to the Silurians or the Sea Devils who suffered a similar fate on Earth.
The Eighth Doctor interacts well with the Warriors, his lilting tones and calm manner a stark contrast to their aggressive and dominating statures. His relationship seems to finally be getting somewhere with his new friend, and said friend certainly gets more to do then in previous adventures gone by. As always though, just when youâ€™re finally moving on with your life, an ex always pops up to cause you troubleâ€¦
A meeting between this particular Doctor and the Ice Warriors has always been something that fandom has yearned for as Lance Parkinâ€™s The Dying Days was such a great read. But the Warriors here are slightly more one dimensional and tend to not catch the interest of the listener from the get go. Move forward to, say, 35 minutes into the play and things have improved in terms of dialogue and action sequences. Nick Briggs once again proves that heâ€™s the king of the monster voices by playing the different castes of Warrior class.
Tracy Ann Oberman plays her role well and even though you canâ€™t take the character of Yvonne Hartman out of her altogether, she satisfies the listener with her interpretation of Temperance Finch.
All in all, Deimos is a good start to what will surely be a great conclusion with The Resurrection of Mars in November. Whilst thing took a while to pick up the pace, when we get to the dramatic parts, weâ€™re rewarded well. Now letâ€™s all hold our breaths for whatâ€™s going to be a very good endingâ€¦
Deimos is available on MP3 and CD now from www.bigfinish.com!