|Running Time||60 mins|
With Sophie Aldred as Ace,
Sylvester McCoy as The Professor,
Barbara Shelley as Ace's Nan,
Jane Burke as Nadia, Jack Galagher as the Paramedic,
other voices by John Ainsworth and Alistair Lock.
Sound Engineer: Alistair Lock, Post Production: Nick Briggs
Music: Harvey Summers, Asst. Prod.: John Ainsworth
Produced and Directed by Bill Baggs
Synopsis: Ace is apparently killed and her dead Nan appears,
to help her cross over to 'the other side'. Faced with her own internal
demons, how long can she cling to life? And what is 'the other side'?
The final track of this CD is a 10-minute edition of On CD, presented by director Bill Baggs in discussion with Sophie Aldred, editor Alistair Lock and Assistant Producer John Ainsworth.
A Review by Stuart Gutteridge 29/11/98
The Other Side is a mixture of several things. Firstly, it's a character study of the two regulars, with Ace in particular in the spotlight. Secondly, it's a tense pyschological drama, concluding the two Audio Adventures concentrating on Ace.
More so than in The Left Hand of Darkness, Ace is put through the emotional treadmill as her Nan shows her images of the future, with The Professor identifying her body, attending her funeral and then travelling on with a new companion, Nadia. As the Virgin novels concentrated on Ace, so does The Other Side as it brings together various aspects of her character, something which Sophie Aldred manages to bring across convincingly.
As does Barbara Shelley, as Ace`s Nan being kind one moment, admonishing the next, to manipulative as the drama progresses. For the continuity buffs, there is plenty to enjoy as well: Ace returns home (although Perivale is never mentioned), she refers to Stevie and Meesha (who were mentioned in Survival), and The Professor even admits to being a doctor upon discovering the real cause of Ace`s problems.
Coupled with The Other Side is an interview with Sophie Aldred, who discusses the various aspects of audio drama; unfortuately however, this is of varying quality when compared to the rest of the CD. The Other Side is probably the most enjoyable Audio Adventure thus far, due largely to the excellent characterisation and acting. Another winner for BBV.
A Review by Richard Radcliffe 8/8/02
The 2-story BBV series of Ace, nudie shots of Sophie Aldred included, continues with another character piece that focuses squarely on ACE. Following a similar format as its predecessor - Left Hand of Darkness - The Other Side puts Ace with 1 character she can interplay with.
When the Professor and Ace arrive on present day Earth, Ace is knocked down by a Car. The Professor whisks her away to Hospital, but she dies. The Professor is distraught by this (McCoy is more in this than L-H of Darkness), but Ace is in fact on another plane of existence. She is with her Grandma, and thus the play has its hook.
Let's not beat around the bush. This Ace is the same one off the TV. Her family is the same dysfunctional one. The girl off the TV is the same girl in the BBV audios - and she got on famously with her Grandma. There was always that uneasiness though about the family Connection - Ace's Mother.
The Other Side develops into an emotional rollercoaster for Ace. She has to face up to her feelings about her family, going through Hell to do so. This is all well and good, but does it make for effective drama? I have mixed feelings overall.
Sophie Aldred throws herself into the role of Ace with her usual gusto, but Ace has been pulled this way and that with all the TV stories, books and Audios. The Character has been done that many times, and seems to have reached an impasse. Big Finish have realized it, and tried to go a different way. We'll see how that works. But in 1998 Ace was only in BBV dramas. The Professor was a great Character, with McCoy excellent. Ace on her own was less good. This worked fine in L-H of Darkness, but The Other Side was pushing the envelope too far. 1 Ace Special would have been fine, 2 is overkill.
What does work well is the stand-in companion that Ace sees the Doctor hook up with the minute she is out of the picture. The Doctor always seemed to get over Companions rather quickly by enlisting the help of another, and here it is shown in all its glory. Ace is not happy about it, but quite a bit of fun is had with new companion Nadia.
The Other Side is spoiled by a sci-fi ending that showed what had really happened to Ace (the Professor thinking she was dead, when in fact she was on the Other Side). This alien presence seemed tagged on, and not in keeping with the rest of the production. The end result was 2 ideas that didn't mix. It's not Sophie Aldred's fault at all, but I have quite enough of Ace on her own now - too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. 5/10