The Eye of the Scorpion
The One Doctor
Seasons of Fear
The Audio Scripts Volume Two
|Summary: Four scripts from Big Finish, plus early versions, lost dialogue and introductions from the authors.|
Three out of Five by Jamas Enright 31/8/04
Big Finish are learning. Not only do we get the scripts, but also script changes that happened during the recording, and lots of additional material in the appendices. However (since I can't be seen as not giving criticism), might I suggest footnotes instead of endnotes? It's probably a personal thing, but I prefer not to keep flipping back and forth between script and notes. Not that many of the notes were all that interesting (such as the actor saying 'round' instead of 'around') and most of them might have easily been incorporated into the actual script in some way.
First up is The Eye of the Scorpion by Iain McLaughlin. It's nice to be able to see the proper spellings of many of the names of people the characters refer to. Iain McLaughlin tells us about an earlier version of the script, with a completely different Pharaoh, and we get one and a half episodes of that version in the appendix. Reading that, I can see what Iain McLaughlin meant by Peri and Hatchepsut simply sniping at each other, but some of the relationships that could have developed would have been amusing to listen to. Also in the appendix, we get to see email communications from Iain McLaughlin to director Gary Russell (who directed all of the audios in this book), which gives an interesting insight into the process of audio writing.
Next up is The One Doctor. I never really thought that this story was all that funny (although I admit I seem to be in a minority here). Again it's interesting to see the spellings of all the names, especially those that are a part of the Superbrain questions. A lot of the script does fall flat on the page, showing how important the process of audio is. At the end is a slightly different take on The One Doctor, but I rather like writers Clayton Hickman and Gareth Roberts' other story Crossroads in Time.
The Seventh Doctor story is Dust Breeding, by Mike Tucker. Not sure I would have picked this out as a great example of the Seventh Doctor's reign, but it is important as the reintroduction of a major character. The forward involves Mike Tucker telling us about previous versions of the story when other actors were considered for the role, and at the back is the first episode of the original story. In many ways, although Dark Rising would have been interesting, I think Dust Breeding is the better story.
The book rounds out with Seasons of Fear by Paul Cornell and Caroline Symcox. One of the best bits here is the introduction by Charlie herself, India Fisher. Paul Cornell and Caroline Symcox also treat us to the process behind wanting to write historical audios (although it was Paul Cornell who really wanted the historical part). We get to find out about the hidden track that didn't happen, but the only extra material at the back is an outline of Seasons of Fear.
In all, better than Volume One. With a little bit more work, this series could become great in terms of annotated scripts (which is want we really want, let's admit it), so hopefully Volume Three will be that much better.