Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Last Post: A Companion Chronicle [3rd Doctor + Liz Shaw]

This was brilliant.

Moving and quite simply one of the best Big Finish stories I have listened to and possibly one of the best pieces of Doctor Who full stop.

It was recorded five months before Caroline John's death so this seems a remarkably apt last story for Liz Shaw. John is excellent here as the main story unwind whilst weaving in and out of the Pertwee era with a reference here and a name there. It obviously leans towards the events of Season Seven but not exclusively.

Like 'The Time Museum' it is both an interesting story in itself and a wonderful tribute to an era and an actress so I can only applaud the writer James Goss for doing a fine job.

I don't want to spoil things. So I'm going to be a bit more careful than usual.

This is basically a two-hander. Caroline John is ably supported by Rowena Cooper who plays Emily Shaw, Liz's mother.

Liz Shaw's interest has been piqued by a number of deaths that have been preceded by letters announcing it. The Doctor and the Brigadier preoccupied by their own problems seem uninterested in the problem so Liz turns to her mother for help.

It's played out as a series of telephone calls and letters. Both Caroline John and Rowena Cooper are exceptional. One particular letter monologue, leading up to the end of Part One, acted by Cooper is wonderful. I can't say much more for fear of spoilers.

I'm not sure how or why but Big Finish seem to raise the bar when it comes to the Companion Chronicles. I don't know whether it is in selecting writer's that love the era they're writing about or whether it is the actors involved that give them that extra oomph. Perhaps it is my own nostalgia. Whatever it is I haven't heard a dud one yet.

So I whole-heartedly, absolutely and without equivocation recommend this story. I can see myself listening to this over and over again even unto the last syllable of recorded time.

Honestly do I have to tell you again. This is another one you'll thank me for later.