Vienna - Series Three, released February 2016 by Big Finish Productions
Vienna – Series Three, released February 2016 by Big Finish Productions

Written by Ian Potter, Guy Adams and Steve Lyons

The wonderful Chase Masterson is back as bounty hunter Vienna Salvatori in a trilogy of stories. She’s smart and funny in this role that feels like it was written for the actress.

But it took half of the first story, Self Improvement by Ian Potter, to figure out what the heck was going on. Then it became really enjoyable from thereon. To hear the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Dabo girl’s first appearance as the bounty hunter Vienna Salvatori in the seventh Doctor audio adventure The Shadow Heart in 2012 was exciting. Then, as now, Ultravox’s song rings in your head every time you hear the character’s name. But it somehow fits Masterson’s portrayal.

Perhaps coming into Series 3 after missing Series 1 and 2 was an impediment. But when you finally figure out what is going on in the story, it puts a huge smile on your face.

Vienna, as anyone who knows Masterson’s work would expect, is a smart talking as well as shooting bounty hunter with, as it turns out, a heart of gold.  Her sidekick Jexi Reagan (Samantha Beart) sounds like she’s from the Bronx, and so has a no nonsense attitude like her boss.

In Series 3 Vienna and Jexi are hired to protect Doctor Ludovic Glospan (Terry Molloy) and his universe-shattering scientific experiment. But when they arrive on his underwater science base they discover a heinous secret.

The story continues in Big Society by Guy Adams when the pair end up on the city world of London where they meet Tom McQueen (Stephen Fewell), a high-scoring contestant in a reality TV show.

The trilogy wraps with Impossibly Glamorous by Steve Lyons, which sees Vienna succumb to the science she had sworn to protect.

The writing isn’t quite as slick in this first instalment as the rest of the set, because of the mental gymnastics you have to do to catch up with the plot. The second story felt more like new Who, particularly of the Russell T Davies era, because of its cleverness and subject matter. Who remembers Rose’s encounter with the Anne Droid?

The conclusion to this trilogy is somewhat predictable, but that doesn’t make the pay-off at the episode’s end any less sweet. There’s plenty of social commentary here about man playing god with science unchained, and the banality of reality TV. But you probably need to listen to Series 1 and 2 to get the proper perspective on these stories.

Blogtor rating: 7/10

Synopsis

‘Vienna Salvatori is a fantastic fusion of charismatic con-woman and ruthless killing machine… Chase Masterson is brilliant as Vienna… Jexie played with gusto and glorious aplomb by Samantha Beart… infused with a deliciously dark sense of humour and is, and this is the important bit, fun.  And you like fun, don’t you?  Good.  Then you’ll love Vienna…’ Tim Mass Movement

Three brand new adventures for glamorous bounty hunter Vienna Salvatori.

3.1 Self Improvement by Ian Potter

Doctor Ludovic Glospan has a secret. He has made a scientific discovery that could change the galaxy forever, which is why he wants to keep it out of the wrong hands.

Vienna Salvatori and Jexie Reagan have been hired to keep Glospan’s secret safe. On a good day that will be an easy job, but this is anything but a good day.

3.2 Big Society by Guy Adams

Tom McQueen is set to win The Selection and become Chairman Sweet’s new business partner. Failure isn’t an option. Failure is for the weak. Tom McQueen doesn’t even know the meaning of the word failure.

But another candidate has entered the process, a candidate by the name of Vienna Salvatori. Tom McQueen will soon learn the meaning of another word: fear!

3.3 Impossibly Glamorous by Steve Lyons

Vienna Salvatori used to be somebody else. She used to dream that she had an impossibly glamorous life, and then one day she met someone who made her dreams true.

Now she has a new mission. She wants to help make your dreams a reality, help you become the person you always wanted to be. Even if it kills you.

Written By: Ian Potter, Guy Adams and Steve Lyons

Directed By: Scott Handcock

Cast:

Chase Masterson (Vienna Salvatori), Samantha Béart (Jexie Reagan) Terry Molloy (Glospan), Elizabeth Morton (Constanza), Stephen Fewell (Tom McQueen), Bernard Holley (Chairman Sweet), Richard Dixon (Jonah Hall), Sophie Aldred (Kensington Fox), Dan Bottomley (Drew Mulligan)

Producer: Cavan Scott

Line Producer: David Richardson

Executive Producers: Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

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