It seems like ages since we last had an adventure with the Sixth Doctor and Peri. But this year, we’ve got four! Not only have we got an upcoming trilogy in the Main Range but also a new Short Trip to whet our appetites from writer Alice Cavender.
Written by Alice Cavender
Alice Cavender has written a few Big Finish releases and Under ODIN’S Eye is her latest contribution before her upcoming story in the new Lucie Miller set. Having already written for the Eighth and Eleventh Doctors, she has proven that she is adept at handling the stark contrasts between different incarnation’s personalities. Cavender’s grasp on the Sixth Doctor’s personality is so clear that one can see Colin Baker performing the script as the story rattles along. The same is also true for her handling of Peri Brown. It helps that Nicola Bryant is on narration duty by Cavender’s prose allows us to envision Bryant also performing the script on screen.
Cavender has also created a nice mix of characters, all with Nordic names who really jump off the page. These characters feel really well rounded, each with their own lives and desires and you root for each one to make it to the end. Perhaps the exception to this rule is the character of Thor, the boss at ODIN’S who doesn’t really get to step out of ‘moustache-twirling’ villain mode. However that is a minor quibble considering the strength of the other characters. This is also feels like a story that would fit into the darker edge of the series that developed under Eric Saward’s watch. While it isn’t as death-heavy as some of the Sixth Doctor’s televised stories, there are certainly some darker moments and undertones at play here.
A Kerblam that delivers
The idea of a giant Amazon-like company working wittingly or unwittingly with an alien baddie isn’t something new to Doctor Who. However Under ODIN’S Eye stands out from Kerblam because it takes more time to explore the reasons why this corruption has happened. Between the Kerblam Postmen, lies and melting pots in Jodie Whittaker’s story, the message got a little muddled. Here, the treatment of company workers and the punishment for them if they do something wrong is much more apparent and is explored to a satisfactory finale.
Narrated by Nicola Bryant
Nicola Bryant has been absent from Big Finish for a short time now and it is really nice to have her back. In addition to playing Peri, she also performs the role of narrator rather excellently. It is great to hear Peri getting something substantial to do. She gets stuck right into the action, going undercover to help someone she doesn’t even know. Her chemistry with the Sixth Doctor is just as strong as it ever was, even though Colin Baker isn’t playing the Doctor alongside her.
Bryant isn’t just great at playing Peri or capturing the loud and bombastic personality traits of the Sixth Doctor but is just as good at delivering the other characters in this script. There are moments here when you’ll wonder if they cast different actors for the other roles. Her vocal range is incredible and hopefully that’s something that Big Finish will continue to utilise.
Under ODIN’S Eye is another strong entry to the Doctor Who mythos at Big Finish. Alice Cavender once again proves why she needs to write more Doctor Who scripts either for audio or TV screens. Her handle on these characters is excellent and each one feels incredibly vivid. It’ll be very interesting and exciting to see what she does next. Nicola Bryant‘s presence is a nice appetiser for the upcoming trilogy of adventures alongside the Sixth Doctor! Under ODIN’S Eye is a story not to be missed, especially if you are fans of the Sixth Doctor’s era as it captures it perfectly!
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