Big Finish continue their current Seventh Doctor trilogy with Mags in ‘The Moons of Vulpana’. After last month’s playful ‘The Monsters of Gokroth‘, things slow down while examining Mags’ origin. Nothing so simple as visiting friends or family, no. Instead writer Emma Reeves brings the listener much farther back.
If you missed last months adventure (you can pick that up here) but are still keen to check out ‘The Moons Of Vulpana‘, here’s a very brief rundown. Mags is a werewolf who made her first and only TV appearance in the classic Doctor Who story,’The Greatest Show In The Galaxy‘. After last month’s adventure Mags is now travelling with the Seventh Doctor. Not to undermine those excellent stories mentioned above (compliments to Big Finish’s ability to build story arcs through single adventures), listeners are now up to date.
‘The Moons of Vulpana‘ fits comfortably along early Big Finish stories. It’s moody, rich in concept but differs in that it remains focused on its plot. Sharing the best elements of all Big Finish has to offer it’s fitting that this story has Mags revisiting her home world but not in her own time. For better or worse, she’s taken back to when the civilisation began to crumble.
The Core of Vulpana
It’s always fun to play around with time travel and its consequences but ‘The Moons of Vulpana‘ isn’t that kind of a story. Instead this is a story of self discovery. Sometimes the best way to know who we are is to find out where we came from. Often times that means leaving our home to see the world through the eyes of others, and sometimes that means then going back to where you started. It’s never quite so simple with Doctor Who but that’s what makes it such fun.
Mags is forced into some uncomfortable situations, most of which she can handle. Like Ace, Mags is strong willed and more than capable of taking care of herself. That said, some situations are out of her control and that’s just good story telling. She’s our guest hero this month and what’s a Seventh Doctor story without a bit of last minute back up from the Doctor?
At times ‘The Moons of Vulpana‘ can almost feel like Doctor Who has hijacked a Jane Austen novel and showed them how to quickly pass the facade of high society. Other times it’s pure Doctor Who. The Seventh Doctor is calm, clever and treats Mags a bit like he did Ace. That’s part of why Mags is such a welcomed guest character. That and Jessica Martin plays it real. Despite some nonsensical scenarios, her and the Doctor feel like adults lost in a cartoon.
It’s not a fast paced story. It takes time building up the world and characters of Vulpana. This is great for the listener who likes to digest and enjoy an adventure without rushing though the plot. It does rely on some archetypal character building but writer Emma Reeves plays around with it enough to keep it fresh and fun.
‘The Moons of Vulpana’ is a good story that sheds a lot of light on Mags and her people. Similar to the previous trilogy with Kamelion, it’s going to be hard to let Mags go after just three months of adventures. These stories are doing a lot for a character who clearly had/has a lot of potential. Jessica Martin, who plays Mags, fits in so well with Sylvester McCoy and his Seventh Doctor. Thankfully it seems as though next month we’ll have her and the Doctor meeting up with Ace and what a reunion that will be!
Cast & Production Credits
- Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor)
- Jessica Martin (Mags)
- Peter Bankole (Issak)
- Beth Goddard (Barton)
- Sean Knopp (Tob)
- Nimmy March (Ulla)
- Irfan Shamji (Jaks)
The Doctor has returned Mags, formerly of the Psychic Circus, to her native world: Vulpana.
Not the savage Vulpana that Mags was taken from, but Vulpana in an earlier era. The Golden Millennium – when the Four Great Wolf Packs, each devoted to one of the planet’s four moons, oversaw the height of Vulpanan civilisation. A time when the noblest families of the Vulpanan aristocracy found themselves in need of new blood…
A golden age that’s about to come to a violent end!