Big Finish Productions
|Written by||Cavan Scott and Mark Wright|
|Starring Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Philip Olivier|
|Synopsis: 1999: Leaving her infant son behind, a young mother named Cassandra Schofield departs Bolton, seeking a better life amid the lights of London. 2004: Despite the best efforts of the time-travelling Doctor, 'Cassie' Schofield dies on Dartmoor, a vampirised victim of the sinister organisation called The Forge. 2021: All grown up, and a nurse at St Gart's Hospital, Thomas Hector Schofield ' known as 'Hex' - meets, and becomes a companion to, that time-travelling Doctor, but remains unaware that his alien friend knew his mother, and watched her die. 1854: In the Crimean War, Hex takes a bullet, and is seriously injured. The Doctor promises to return him to St Gart's. 2025: Now. In a London ravaged by a deadly contagion... destiny awaits.|
A Review by Thomas Tiley 30/5/17
The Seventh Doctor, Ace and an injured Hex turn up in a deserted London. Rushing to get Hex to a nearby hospital, they come to the attention of an old friend/foe of the Doctor's: the Forge Director Nimrod.
I thought this was an effective story. It has the Doctor reencounter the Forge in the form of his old foe Nimrod, teaming up to solve an alien infestation that caused London to be abandoned.
Stephen Chance as Nimrod is an effective, slimy, charming, manipulative villain who is out to use the Doctor to cure the alien infection and stir up trouble by revealing the truth of Hex's mother.
It resolves or at least reveals the Doctor's connection to Hex's mother Cassie. Phillip Oliver as Hex is good during the whole angry/shouting at the Doctor/dealing with his grief scenes. The scenes with his resurrected mother are quite touching.
Sophie Aldred as Ace isn't given much to do save hang around with the Forge's soldiers, although I will give her points for her unique conflict resolution maneuver aka Let's shoot the Doctor.
The Alien menace isn't very original; it's another insect infection transformation deal, although I suppose the real meat of the story is the drama of the Doctor, Hex, Cassie and Nimrod.
Maggie O'Neill as the Forge's operative Lysandra makes a good contribution to the story. Mistrustful of the Doctor due to an event in her past and his future, she slowly comes to trust/respect him, ultimately siding with the Doctor when the scope of Nimrod's plan is revealed. Not to mention her role in the story's cliffhanger: there is a coffin with the seal of Rassilon in the vaults under the Forge...
All in all, I would say that this story is not exactly brilliant but at the same time not awful either. Essential if you're a fan of Hex (meh) or the Forge (mmm), but otherwise just average.
6/10 unless you are a Hex/Forge fan; in that case, bump it up a point or two.