Monday, 25 August 2014
REVIEW - DOCTOR WHO - ZYGON HUNT (SPOILER-FREE)
The end is upon us...
And I had no idea it was the finale of the third season of the Fourth Doctor Adventures when I first listened to it. Seriously! I suppose after a while, you just lose track of how many stories are in a season. After a seriously strong run, having discovered that Zygon Hunt was indeed the grand finale, I realize things ended a little anti-climatic if you know what I mean.
I love the use of the Zygons here. If you were iffy because you didn't like their plot in Day of the Doctor, rest assured that there are some subtle similarities, but also a great chunk of Big Finish thrown into the mix that just works because it dares to ask the serious and dark questions Classic Who was prevented from asking in the 60s/70s/80s.
There is also a few nods to other Zygon mythology that you'll like. I admit, Terror of the Zygons is one of the stories I haven't watched yet, but know enough to sit through this tale not going "Am I supposed to know what that reference means?"
Special shout out goes to Gillian Kearney who plays Mina Challis. I feel her character had the best scenes and the most development. It was such a joy listening to her character match words with the Doctor and Leela. Gregor Saraton, who is played by Michael Maloney, was annoying. He's that cliche pompous, ignorant, know-it-nothing-know-it-all character Classic Who added to the roster just to make it clear which character the audience is meant to dislike. Saraton came across as very petulant and childish despite his role to the plot.
The story itself isn't bad. It harkens back to Classic Doctor Who stories. The plot is easy to follow, the characters are easy to distinguish. Unlike The Abandoned where I had no clue which villain was talking for a good chunk of the tale. When I say Classic Who, I mean it though. The characters do feel like they were taken off the cliches page of TV Tropes. The guest stars mistake the Doctor and Leela for spies/intruders/imposters/[insert argument starter] and are captured. I know that's how most Classic Who episodes went, but used for a finale, it feels kinda weak.
The cover artwork on the other hand is my favorite of season 3. I'm not exactly sure if it's the red-motif or the Fourth Doctor running across the screen, but for some unexplained, but gladly accepted reason, the last piece of FDA artwork makes me want to listen to this story over and over and over and over and you get the picture I suppose.
In a lot of ways, this story sorta feels like a filler episode instead of a finale. Finales are supposed to raise the stakes, as well as the suspence and then s**t hits the fan. Zygon Hunt didn't really feel like that. If I had to select a finale from season 3, then I would've picked Destroy the Infinite. That feels like a season finale. Alas, I will testify that there were some major power players during this season, perhaps adding to the sense that Zygon Hunt feels more filler than it's supposed to be. This season is certainly my favorite of the FDAs.
Rating this story: 7.5/10. A fun romp.