The latest Monthly Adventure from Big Finish is a Seventh Doctor story with Ace and Mel titled ‘The Dispossessed’. The Doctor, and his companions land themselves in a sticky situation on a planet that is in perpetual night. Ace dives head first into adventure with Mel following close behind leaving the Doctor to fend for himself.
This is a solid entry from writer Mark Morris. True to classic Doctor Who on TV, the plot unfolds slowly over the four parts. The pace is never rushed, meaning those looking for an action packed adventure may be disappointed but the structure is strong as are the performances.
Stirling Gallacher, as Isobel, is clearly having a wonderful time playing something inhabiting a human body. She’s tough and humorous and brings the fun to this story. On the other end of the spectrum we have Nick Ellsworth as Arkallax in a stunning performance as the villain. It would have been nice to get a bit more from Arkallax but the performance and motivation is rich enough to satiate our curiosity and time.
Our lead trio are also in top form. Bonnie Langford as Mel is real gem this release as she does her best to keep up with Ace. We’re accustomed to seeing one of the two companions with the Doctor but in this story we have Ace and Mel together the entire time and it’s refreshing. Ace is herself, headstrong and ready for action. Without the Doctor around to moderate, Mel has to keep up and Langford sells it.
Sylvester McCoy isn’t his usual chipper Seventh Doctor self here. He feels tired or weighted, perhaps in some way prepared for what’s to come. This is after all a trilogy of stories with ‘The Dispossessed’ being the middle story. Regardless, he brings great weight to the story as he doesn’t feel as in control as we might normally expect.
‘The Dispossessed’ is a tight story that doesn’t take many risks but doesn’t need to. Sometimes it’s nice to have a story simply be a story and not try to blow listeners minds with plot twists and jokes. The performances are all excellent and the growing arc is intriguing, though not overwhelming. If this is the first Seventh Doctor story you pick up you’re not going to be lost or confused. It’s a well told and executed story. The kind of story that is comfortable to revisit when you simply want a good audio.
This title was released in September 2018. It will be exclusively available to buy from the BF website until October 31st 2018, and on general sale after this date.
The Doctor, Ace and Mel are caught in a forever night. After crossing the threshold, a strange world awaits them.
An army of tortured souls. A lift that leads to an alien landscape. An alien warlord, left for dead, and willing to do anything to prolong his life… it’s all in a day’s work for the Doctor.
But when his companions become victims of the desperate and powerful Arkallax, the Doctor will have to do battle in a psychic environment where he must make a choice. Save his companions… or himself.
Written By: Mark Morris
Directed By: Jamie Anderson
Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Bonnie Langford (Mel), Morgan Watkins (Ruck), Anna Mitcham (Jan), Stirling Gallacher (Isobel), Nick Ellsworth (Arkallax). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Producer Nicholas Briggs
Script Editor Guy Adams
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs