Following swiftly on from the Master themed Short Trip double bill, Big Finish return to the Time Lord Victorious story arc with the first instalment of an Eighth Doctor trilogy; He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not.
‘He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not‘ is a bit of an oddity, subverting any and every expectation. Writer Carrie Thompson has created an American Western in Outer Space. The desert planet of Atharna seems appropriately alien. But a short walk takes the characters into a dusty town, more akin to the West of the United States of America during the late Nineteenth Century than an alien planet. Complete with a Sheriff, cantina and references to ‘moonshine’, ‘He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not‘ is very much in the vein of classic American Western movies.
Supporting cast members Jack DeVos (Samson), Pauline Eyre (Katherine) and Martin McDougall (Craddock) fully embrace the genre with their appropriately over-accentuated accents. It’s all a bit odd but that’s exactly the point. There is something wrong with Atharna. Something is wrong with time itself.
He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not
The central plot also provides a positive message told through Felicity and Sophie, a couple who are simply trying to be together. Tasked with preventing that is Brian the Ood. In what is perhaps the ultimate example of turning your preconceived ideas upside down it is an Ood, typically gentle and kind, cast in the role of assassin who steals the show. Silas Carson is wonderfully soft and sinister throughout. Brian the Ood, is seemingly going to reoccur and I cannot wait to enjoy more and hopefully learn about how he came to be an assassin.
Hopefully the Time Lord Victorious story arc will encourage those who have not dipped their toe into the world of Big Finish to do so for the first time. This particular trilogy can therefore introduce new listeners to the Eighth Doctor on Big Finish. Paul McGann has become a complete incarnation of the Doctor. McGann’s confidence with the role means that stories such as this one sound completely authentic. Once again this is another superb Eighth Doctor story that is simply a joy to listen to.
‘He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not‘ is a lot of fun once you buy into the premise. The shift from alien desert to American Western is a jarring one but it is something thoroughly unique. The music by Ioan Morris and sound design from Peter Doggart help paint the pictures and also build a sense of urgency perfectly. Huge credit must also go to director Scott Handcock for overcoming the hurdles of a lockdown enforced by a global pandemic. It certainly doesn’t sound like everyone recorded their parts remotely!
The conclusion of this story then sets up the next part of the trilogy, The Enemy of My Enemy, due out next month. I’m looking forward to it already.
On the desert world of Atharna, the Doctor’s life is about to be changed forever.
Looking to visit one of the Seven Hundred Wonders of the Universe, he’s quickly embroiled in a web of deceit. Worse than that, this Wonder of the Universe is missing, and the Doctor is about to encounter one of his most dangerous and duplicitous adversaries.
The Doctor is about to meet Brian.
- Paul McGann (The Doctor)
- Silas Carson (Brian)
- Jack DeVos (Samson)
- Pauline Eyre (Katherine)
- Misha Malcolm (Felicity)
- Martin McDougall (Craddock)
- Melanie Stevens (Sophie)