Russia, the near future. The Somnus Foundation knows the
fate of mankind; they promise a tomorrow where humanity will
evolve into a godlike form of infinite power. But the Doctor
also knows the fate of mankind; the human race is destined
to fight and struggle for its very existence, to survive disaster
and war to carve an empire from an unforgiving universe. Time
is fracturing, and the Doctor and Turlough are at the heart
of the chaos...
What did I tell you? While whinging about the short running
time of Big Finish's previous two-disc release, Scaredy
Cat, I also admitted that such stories often
over-run at no extra cost to the consumer. Such a situation
arises once again with the four-part Singularity, which,
at 128 minutes' duration, contains more than enough material
for a five-parter.
is the material any good?
to Mark Strickson's frequent lack of availability, this is
only the third audio adventure to feature the surly Turlough.
Thankfully he's as moody as ever, although, as in Phantasmagoria,
he sometimes finds himself acting heroically despite his intentions.
He also has an argument with the Doctor (Peter Davison) about
the Time Lord keeping secrets from him (a case of the pot
calling the kettle black if ever there was one), a debate
that seems more suited to the Seventh Doctor and Ace (mind
you, I have just been re-watching The
Curse of Fenric on DVD). The Doctor's knowledge
and calm control of events in the final episode also seem
a bit Seventh Doctorish.
of Turlough's family sows the seeds for events in his final
television story, Planet of Fire, though there is still
room for further adventures in between, actor availability
permitting. Though Turlough asks to go somewhere warm after
the freezing temperatures of Russia, this doesn't necessarily
mean that the Doctor will immediately set the controls for
Lanzarote, because in Planet of Fire it is Kamelion
who causes the TARDIS to land there.
Russian setting (one that was never visited on the TV series)
implies a communist angle to the Somnus Foundation's goal
of uniting humanity as a single god-like entity, though this
is never explicitly stated. This idea is unfortunately rather
similar to Skagra's plan to create a universal mind in Shada.
Also, I did wonder whether the vengeful beings behind Somnus,
who hate the Time Lords and recognise the Doctor, might prove
to be the Ferutu from the Fifth Doctor novel Cold Fusion,
but that is not the case.
Swallow's story is epic in scope and also extends far forward
in time to the very end of the universe, even further than
the New Adventures novel Timewyrm: Apocalypse.
not quite as singular as it strives to be, this adventure
is a cut above much of Big Finish's recent Who output.
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