Monday, 25 May 2015
REVIEW – THE DEFECTORS
Another Multi-Doctor Trilogy Starts Here!
Big Finish has a history of doing the most creative things when it comes to their Doctor Who range. From Spin-Offs to Crossovers to Villain stories, these guys really know their stuff. And just when I thought they couldn’t get any more creative, they go and announce their ‘Locum Doctor’ trilogy for 2015.
“I’m probably not the Doctor you were expecting.” – Seventh Doctor
Now the idea behind this trilogy is partly to celebrate their 200th Main Range title and partly to see how well Doctors cope by being shoved into the lives of their predecessors. It’s a fantastic idea to have Doctors and companions who don’t belong together be forced to have an adventure. For The Defectors, we have Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor finding himself at UNIT in the 1970s (or 80s) teaming up with Third Doctor assistant Jo Grant and Mike Yates. It breaks my heart that there is no Nicholas Courtney, but we do have the Brigadier in this piece…sort of.
This story successfully captures the Pertwee Era and you can tell just how out of place Seven is. Jo doesn’t believe he’s a future Doctor, he doesn’t know why he’s taken the place of his earlier self – he’s not even sure what the hell is going on here. These elements are the foundation on which the ‘Locum Doctors’ trilogy is built upon.
Unfortunately, this pair-up of Seven and Jo doesn’t exactly work. This isn’t the only problem though. This story makes (over)use of several running gags and just kills them. I believe the same joke is (no joke) said at least 15 times over the course of the FIRST episode. It goes from funny, to not funny, to ‘still doing it’ to ‘please STOP IT ALREADY’.
After that complaint, comes the chemistry between Seven and Jo. While Seven is whimsical and charming and an absolute delight, apart from common banter, the two just don’t feel as though they work. And Jo in this story is fairly useless. She doesn’t do much except be the person all the exposition gets dumped on. That and being captured. It’s a less than ordinary way of using such a character.
As for the story, well I can give you a brief overview of what it’s about, but that’s about it. I can remember the first half of episode one, but the rest is pretty easily forgotten. This is a bit of a shame really.
I don’t usually focus on this, but I feel like I have to mention just how Pertwee this story SOUNDED! Yes, the atmosphere of helicopters flying, ocean, island. This really felt like a Jon Pertwee adventure. In that respect, The Defectors excels!
Rating this story: 6/10. Not the Locum Doctor start I was expecting.