Big Finish Special|
Her Final Flight
|Written by||Julian Shortman|
Starring Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant
|Synopsis: When the Doctor lands on Refiloe, he's not impressed. In fact, he doesn't intend to stay for more than just a few minutes. But someone has decided that the TARDIS has made her final flight. Someone whose future depends on the Doctor's death.|
A Review by Richard Radcliffe 3/3/05
I usually do my reviews a day or so after the first listening of an audio. I forgot to do this one, so here I am two weeks after the initial listen, and racking my brains what I have to say about it! I should definitely go back and listen to it again.
Aha! Now I remember - it's the one where Peri is older, and an agent is out to get the Doctor. Oh, and it's also the one where everything is an illusion. It's also the freebie to Big Finish subscribers - the first sixth Doctor and Peri drama in ages, that is not what it says on the tin. Confused - well so was I!
The 6th Doctor and Evelyn on audio have been that successful and interesting, that Peri has been shunted over to the 5th Doctor and Erinem. I was quite looking forward to this audio though, as I rather like the 6th Dr and Peri together - but as the play progresses, and I gradually realized the "truth" of the story - then disappointment clouded everything.
Was this really the best of the open submissions that Big Finish requested last year? If it really is (and I doubt that) then the collective imagination of fandom has faded massively over the years.
I was intrigued, at first, with this older Peri. She was much more sedate, and generally nice about things. I found the hate-filled Peri from Bad Therapy (another idea of where she went after TOTL) not very good. I liked better the Age of Chaos Peri. But the end of Peri should have been just that in TOTL - she should have died, and not been handed over like a trophy to Brian Blessed. That's the real problem with Peri after TOTL - she should be dead - that would be a better end.
I thought Star Trek set the reset button too much, but recently DW has been at it too. It's pretty clear after a little while that all this is an illusion for the Doctor - but the question has to be asked: Why? I know it's all a story anyway, and therefore not real, but this unreality within a fictional setting, where essentially what we are watching, reading about, listening to is not real anyway - it brings a shake of the head numerous times to this reviewer.
Her Final Flight was supposed to be the bonus CD - the extra bit of adventure on top of the regular releases. I thought Ratings War was bad, but this is worse. Big Finish seriously need to review their selection policy for open submissions, if this is the best they can come up with.
I hate to trounce a freebie - but then again, it's just as well as I didn't pay for it - I would have felt far more aggrieved at that! 5/10
A Review by Stuart Gutteridge 4/4/05
It is probably just as well that Her Final Flight is available as a subscrption giveaway because the tale doesn't really amount to very much. What the end result is, is a tale that doesn't know what it wants to be with no real conclusion, as the storylines are left open ended. Aiming to resolve what happened to Peri, some twenty years (in her lifetime) after the events of The Trial Of A Time Lord affords Nicola Bryant the opportunity to portray a more well rounded character, and this reflects her performance vocally. Thankfully her interplay with Colin Baker's Doctor (of whom this play is essentially a character study) is still a joy to behold.
Ultimately Her Final Flight feels too short, with too many loose plot strands. Concentrating on the tale of a disintegrating TARDIS is strong enough on its own, without superflous subplots about an assassin and a virtual reality copout ending. Inconsequential for the most part.
A Review by Chris Pederson 21/4/05
I had recently thought about how it would be great to hear a Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant audio. Parts of that era were really good and fun to watch. Today, I really think that Colin Baker has found his stride in making these audios. He did an interview on a Big Finish Magazine CD that really shows this. According to the interview, Colin seems to put his all into these performances, paying attention to scripts and even making comments on factual mistakes in the script. Nicola also did a great job. I, being overly nostalgic, wish this would have been set within their original time together. Nicola is actually closer to her real age in this one.
I picked this up after seeing Nicola in person. She is quite charming as well as stunningly beautiful. I heard her suggest this one as a good audio of her and Colin. That makes two recommendations in one review. Ms. Bryant is a great actress and great member of the Doctor Who Actor's Guild (there could be one). I'm glad to be able to experience new performances by her and Mr. Baker.
The story is quite good and fairly easy to follow. It flowed. I have to say Colin really gives a star performance. He really has that great 6th Doctor flare and in the good, caring manner, not that initial, overly self-centered flare that may have lost him some points with fans in the past. Nicola also carries some excellent parts and in some spots really captures the character of Peri we remember. As far as picking up these audios though, Colin has sold me on the idea and I look forward to more of his performances.
A Review by Ron Mallett 8/8/05
Written by Julian Shortman and directed by Gary Russell, this story is an odd little project that has that undefinable Big Finish charm about it, but is somehow different. The main popular attraction is that it is an opportunity to have Colin and Nicola work together again (a rarity these days). The fact that it has been packaged as a subscriber's only story and that it is only two parts in length gives it a brevity and compactness that wouldn't see it out of place in the new TV series. Furthermore there is a distinct reliance on the emotional interplay between Doctor and companion to carry the story forward - another key feature of modern Who.
The story begins with a confusing prelude and after the opening music we are faced with one of those awkward solo Doctor moments in the TARDIS where the Doctor is forced to talk to himself. It is at the moment when the Doctor and Peri are reunited that the story takes off in so far as we are presented with some coherent exposition and a situation we can understand. The idea of a damaged TARDIS is a rather clever one.
There are some cliches in the plot as well (the baddies who for some not-fully-disclosed reason want the Doctor dead, the fanatic native who reads religious meaning into events that can be scientifically explained, the Doctor is not only able to piece the whole scenario together in the last five minutes but he's able to turn the whole situation on its head) but they are all forgivable devices that make Doctor Who what it is. The acting is first rate and the supporting cast includes future companion Conrad Westmass, as is the music by David Darlington. Nicola's voice has aged just as much as Colin's and it is more realistic for her to be playing a mature Peri. The most interesting angle is that it gives some insight into the Doctor's understanding of the fall-out from the Trial.
All in all a solid adventure once it gets going, not a classic but fun and admittedly one that is more for the fans...