AUDIO DRAMA
UNIT
The Longest Night

Starring: Siri O'Neal and Nicholas Deal
Big Finish Productions
RRP: 10.99
ISBN 1 84435 115 7
Available 31 March 2005


Having survived a day at the seaside, Dalton and Chaudhry are enjoying a few pints. Having spent the day answering the phone and praying for some action, Hoffman is enjoying a night out. Having signed a controversial new European treaty, the Prime Minister is on his way back to Downing Street. Then a bomb explodes in Central London...

From its - literally - explosive beginning, this tale of racial hostility and the fear of a multicultural society and a unified Europe is stirring stuff from the pen of Joseph Lidster, the man who brought us the memorably gritty Master in the Doctor Who range. There's a markedly high body count as a bigot discovers a way to stir up trouble by brainwashing people into carrying out apparent acts of terrorism. No one is safe - not even the regular characters.

As with the first commercial release in the UNIT series, Time Heals, there is a slight problem posed by a reference back to The Coup, the prequel CD that was given away with Doctor Who Magazine. Followers of this series might not have the free CD, and may therefore be mystified as to who Andrea Winnington (Sara Carver) is. Indeed, it took me a while to recall her, and I have heard The Coup. A little more explanatory dialogue might have been in order.

I was also rather confused by the fact that the usual "coming next" teaser has been replaced by a generic trailer for the series. I suspect that this is to protect plot developments in the next instalment, but then in that case why say, "coming next"?

There also seemed to be an unnecessarily high level of coarse language (these CDs don't carry anything equivalent to a BBFC classification remember), but other than that, The Longest Night is powerful stuff for all the right reasons

.

Richard McGinlay

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