The Fifth Doctor faces the embittered ancient Time Lord Omega;
the Sixth Doctor finds himself working alongside the amoral
scientist Davros; the Seventh Doctor tries to save the soul
of his former friend, the Master; and the Eighth Doctor struggles
for control of his own mind with the anti-time entity known
as Zagreus, in the original scripts to four major audio dramas
from the Big Finish series...
collections just keep getting bigger! This one weighs in at
just over 400 pages, containing as it does the scripts to
the epic "villains" trilogy, which comprised Omega,
and the three-CD 40th-anniversary special Zagreus.
we have come to expect, the scripts are presented in the form
they were in when they were taken into the recording studio.
Each and every subsequent alteration has been painstakingly
annotated at the end of each set of scripts, even down to
the deletion or addition of every little "oh", "so", "no"
and "now". Nev Fountain's Omega scripts show the greatest
number of little tweaks and deletions in the studio, whereas
the final episode of Alan Barnes' and Gary Russell's Zagreus
had the biggest chunks of dialogue chopped out if it, because
it was seriously over-running. I still think, however, that
notes at the foot of each page would be more user-friendly
than having to flip back and forth between script pages and
story is prefaced by an introduction by the writer (or one
of them, Gary Russell, in the case of Zagreus) and
the book is rounded off by the original outline or treatment
for each story. These introductions and appendices reveal
how much the stories developed and evolved before they got
into the studio. For example, the treatment for Davros
had Peri accompanying the Sixth Doctor, while the illusory
settings that Charley was originally supposed to visit in
Zagreus were radically different from what actually
transpired in the finished production.
overblown Zagreus is definitely the weakest of the
four sets of scripts presented here. However, its pre-production
development spawned other exciting aspects of the ongoing
Big Finish series and its spin-offs. For example, the non-availability
of Matthew Waterhouse to play a bored Castellan led to Miles
Richardson's Braxiatel being drafted in as a Cardinal, a character
that would become pivotal to the Gallifrey mini-series.
Charley and Lady Louisa Pollard were originally going to encounter
Simon Murchford, the steward whose place Charley took in Storm
Warning - his scenes ended up in the subsequent
isn't much to separate the three "villains" stories in terms
of quality. While Davros and Master have an
edge over Omega as intensely thoughtful character studies,
Nev Fountain's narrative boasts the mother of all plot twists.
is a fascinating insight into the production of these audio
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