Don’t worry! I’m not talking about the play, that’s actually quite good. Im trying, in my own random manner to refer to the Doctor, Charley and C’rizz’s predicament in the latest 8DAA (Eighth Doctor Audio Adventure acronym fans!) THE LAST, and my oh my this is a bleak one. It opens in a sort of Judge Dredd way- semi serious, with a bit of humour thrown in, but by golly, this gets all a bit grim not soon after. Perhaps it’s the fact its set on a planet beset by nuclear hell, perhaps it’s the fact one of the three characters is paralysed early on, or even the fact it seems everyone has died at least once that makes THE LAST so astonishingly down beat. Not one for the depressives among us then.
THE LAST endeared me to it for a few reasons, then pushed me away again and left me somewhere in the middle. The nice continuity references to two departed companions left me in a state of interest (I still love references to the Doctor’s past) as did the excellent way in which each of the three leads get their own portion of the story. This has got me all interested as to where the story can go from here on in, before the Eighth Doctor gets home…
The frustrating problems however are why this play gets three instead of four out of five. The fact the ending is a criminal cop out (the changes made to the characters in this play, on the sheer maturity side could have reaped rewards down the line) -the events of this story could have echoed down the line, but sadly, that’s abandoned by the end title music at the back of Part four. I said before its grim and that’s no understatement, but the real thing that got to me during this is that im really not warming to this callous bastard masquerading as the Eighth Doctor. They seem to have sapped all the fun out of McGann, there is little sign of the wonderful Time Lord we met in the TVM- something pretty much all of the BF McGann stuff is guilty of. Im hoping that while the story is progressing well, McGann’s character (rather than his acting, which is excellent) is improved. He can play a great Doctor, so cheer him up!
Overall then, THE LAST plays to a group dynamic I hadn’t seen before as well as making C’rizz an interesting character who carry’s large chunks of the play and its thematic weight. When he and the Doctor get back to ‘our’ universe (Charley isn’t a definite on that level) I hope he stays this good. Overall? A mixed and bloody grim bag, but one that I would listen to again. Still-
THREE OUT OF FIVE. ]]>