‘The Wreck Of The World’ is a Second Doctor story that may just be an instant classic.
This is the series finale, so to speak, in the current run of early adventures. So it’s fitting that ‘The Wreck of the World’ lets the series go out on its strong entry. Writer Timothy X Atack, who recently won the Bruntwood Prize – the largest playwriting award in Europe – doesn’t let success go to his head. His first story with Big finish is everything classic Doctor Who fans want. Combined with outstanding efforts from the cast and crew this story raises the Big Finish bar even higher.
What makes this such a great entry? First and foremost: the writing. You could read this script alone and immediately hear the voices of the cast before the actors even begin. It makes wise use of its lead characters. The pacing and structure also feels era-appropriate: ‘The Wreck Of The World’ takes its time, establishing characters slowly. With carefully composed dialogue that carries the characters and the plot without devolving into exposition.
Cast & Characters
Big Finish fans will know that the original stars of the TV program voice their characters wherever possible. So it’s no surprise that Frazer Hines, playing Jamie McCrimmon, brings his character back to life here. As beofre, Hines also tackles the role of the Doctor for Patrick Troughton and does so with great love and affection. It’s a wonderful take on the Doctor which stays true to the character’s voice without skirting into parody. Wendy Padbury also returns as Zoe and she’s positively perfect here.
The guest cast is also incredible. Director Lisa Bowerman always finds the perfect people and encourages them to shine. Judith Roddy as Commander Lorne feels legitimate. You can almost picture Adam Newington as Twenty, who’s such a fun character you wouldn’t mind him joining the TARDIS team. Great writing and performances really do go a long way.
Direction & Sound Design
Bowerman directs this gem with the same sort of passion she gives everything she does. She knows what fans look for and demands everyone is working on the same page. She always brings the absolute best out of her cast. The glue that binds it all so brilliantly together is Toby Hrycek-Robinson pulling double-duty on sound design and score. The soundscape he’s created is gorgeous, robust and lush with effects that couldn’t possibly be of the era. He somehow makes it feel classic while giving us space to breath in all the right places. At the crescendo, he creates a claustrophobic and horrific tone before prompting us to let out the breath we didn’t know we were holding. Every sound effect, muffled voice and good scare with legitimate screams from the cast are magnificent examples of how great the sound design and music comes together in this release. It’s a masterstroke.
A truly superb entry which will likely become a must-have title like ‘The Chimes of Midnight‘ or ‘Jubilee’. Not only is this entry appropriately titled, the art work is incredible and sets off the whole package beautifully. Here’s hoping we get more stories from Atack and that this isn’t his only stop at Big Finish. What an entrance! Cast and crew are sublime with no blemishes or waste. Just a great understanding of classic Doctor Who executed to perfection.
Blogtor Rating: 10/10
This title was released in December 2017. It will be exclusively available to buy from the BF website until January 31st 2018, and on general sale after this date.
Undergoing repairs in deep space, the TARDIS is caught in a collision with the huge, decaying wreck of a starship. Zoe, spacewalking, is separated from her companions in the crash, and the Doctor and Jamie wake to find the TARDIS fused to the side of the ship.
Venturing inside to rescue their friend, they discover that they are on board The World, the very first colony ship to leave Earth, lost mid-voyage under unknown circumstances.
And they are not alone. A terrible suspension chamber is filled with dead, withered human bodies, and a team of gun-toting astronauts are stalking the corridors. But a far greater threat lurks deep inside. The terrifying force responsible for the scuttling of the ship is active once more – and if it can’t be stopped, it won’t just be the end of this World. It’ll be the end of all of them.
Written By: Timothy X Atack
Directed By: Lisa Bowerman
Wendy Padbury (Zoe Heriot/Narrator), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon/The Doctor), Judith Roddy (Commander Lorne), Adam Newington (Twenty), Don McCorkindale (Porthintus), Richenda Carey (Professor Blavatsky). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Producer David Richardson
Script Editor John Dorney
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs