Keanu Reeves, that great philosopher, once used a phrase that would be repeated unto him time and again. The one that is The One, though not linked in any way with the new DOCTOR WHO audio, has ensured I can use his phrase to describe ARRANGEMENTS FOR WAR by new writer Paul Sutton.
This is something special. I mean, this is MASTER good, and look how I raved about that. Cast, script, music perfect. I dearly love Sylvester McCoy and his Seventh Doctor, but it’s the idea of the character im drawn to- Sylv isn’t the worlds best actor. Colin Baker on the other hand is(if not the worlds best) easily the best Doctor on audio. He never got a chance to show what he could do in the eighties, and look now- his Doctor is kind, exciting, daring and caring- a galaxy away from the jumped up, arrogant clown of season’s 22-23.
His companion is the best on audio too. Created especially for him, Evelyn is a wonderful character so different from Peri, Ace or (shudder) Mel. Her relationship with the Sixth Doc is one of the best and most believable things about this script, and it’s a wonderful feature. But its that very relationship that is being threatened at the start of the play. Evelyn wants time to think after the Doctor’s casual acceptance of an old friends death. Things hang in the balance as to whether she will stay travelling with the TARDIS at all…To give her time, the Doctor lands them on Vilag, a planet that in four weeks will be attacked by the vicious Killorans. The TARDIS team go their separate ways, and become involved in planetary events so drastically the course of history may soon be re-written….
ARRANGEMENTS explores, overall the theme of love. The platonic love between the Doctor and his companion, stretched to the limits after the events of PROJECT: LAZARUS, the romantic (and forbidden) love between Princess Krisztina and Corporal Marcus Reid, and the unrequited kind between Governor Rossiter (Gabriel Woolf, ex Osiran warlord) and Evelyn (gosh she’s popular). The cast is top notch- not a single man or woman putting a foot wrong. We care about Krista and Marcus, as does the Doctor, who dotes on them and becomes a good friend to the couple. Its not often I give two hoots what happens to anyone but the Doctor or companion when part four closes, but this time I did. Sutton has put a script together that is lyrical and clever. It’s a love story, but it never looses sight of the fact this is DOCTOR WHO.
I really, really enjoyed AFW. After a run of low key plays I’ve been listening to, this one really took me by surprise- its so damn good!. My reviewing notes tell me I thought the premise sounded rather naff- and the story isn’t advertised well, but its wonderful. If BF need a quote to ship this, ill gladly provide them with one:
“Simply the best Doctor Who audio that’s come out since November, amazing, wonderful stuff”
You could do very little wrong by snaffling up Davros, Master and AFW immediately. Big Finish prove, again, why they have this licence, why DOCTOR WHO is brilliant and reminds me why the show ran for 25 years. If the Ninth Doctor gets scripting of this calibre- then he’s going to be on the air for a long time to come. And I nearly forgot- they use the ‘Trial Of A Timelord’ theme- I LOVE THAT!
FIVE OUT OF FIVE
NEXT UP: Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and new boy Phillip Oliver as Hex star in The Harvest by Dan Abnett…. ]]>