Based on the 1995 New Adventures novel by Andy Lane.
For those who may not be familiar with the novel ‘Original Sin’ by Andy Lane from the New Adventures line, this audio adaptation by John Dorney can be thoroughly enjoyed as a standalone story. If you are, however, familiar with the book you will no doubt be pleasantly surprised with the final results.
‘Original Sin’ is big. The plot is detailed and never stops advancing from the moment the theme music stops. In fact, we pick up at the end of one story and shift directly into another. The Seventh Doctor, as always, is played by Sylvester McCoy and he is joined by companion Bernice Summerfield, performed by Lisa Bowerman. These two have a great rapport and are both so comfortable and natural in their performances and characters that along with the sound design by Russell McGee it feels grounded in reality in a way most Doctor Who stories don’t.
It’s Earth’s distant future and it feels like a cyberpunk mystery for quite some time. Two other companions from the novels have origin stories presented here, even though both characters have previously featured in releases from Big Finish’s Novel Adaptations. Yasmin Bannerman plays Roz Forrester and is instantly likeable and trustworthy while Travis Oliver plays Chris Cwej, a rookie adjudicator who admires his new partner Roz. The story is split between the four leads though there are quite a few characters that weave in and out. It can be a tad confusing at times keeping track of who is who if you aren’t paying close attention.
Morality of Murder
It’s a tight piece and everything flows nicely, even though there are no stand out moments that pop. There’s a very good conversation about the morality of murder that the Doctor has, and McCoy is most excellent but it feels too short. There’s so much ground to cover that we’re never given the time to take in those special moments as much as we may want, or are accustomed to. It’s certainly not a bad thing that we move so swiftly along, it gives a sense of urgency and creates tension around a great mystery. Especially with the world feeling so close to a possibility of our own future, with aliens and body augmentation and all.
Very Good Audio Experience
McCoy is, perhaps, better than ever and along with Bowerman, there’s never a disappointment. Solid sound and music ground us in a scary future and with an intriguing plot, the only thing ‘Original Sin’ could benefit from is, a bit more breathing space. More time would help to cement the impact of what we’re experiencing and perhaps add clarity between some of the support characters. However, none of this stops ‘Original Sin’ from being a worthwhile and very good audio experience.
Blogtor Rating 7/10
A warning from a dying alien leads the Doctor and Bernice to Earth. However, Earth in this time period is not a good place to be.
The murder rate is rising, but the killers seem to be acting without motive. The TARDIS crew’s investigations lead them to a military training planet, a prison inside a star, and a terrifying old foe.
And all the time they are being pursued – by two dogged Adjudicators who’ve stumbled onto a terrifying conspiracy. Chris Cwej and Roz Forrester.
Things will never be the same again.
Written By: Andy Lane, adapted by John Dorney
Directed By: Ken Bentley
Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Lisa Bowerman (Bernice Summerfield), Yasmin Bannerman (Roz Forrester), Travis Oliver (Chris Cwej), Andrew French (Beltempest), Philip Voss (Robot/ Under-Sergeant), Amrita Acharia (Rashid/ Computer/ Shythe Shahid), Robbie Stevens (Dantalion/ Homeless/ Securitybot), Jot Davies (Powerless/ Pryce/ Hater/ Evan Claple). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs