DOCTOR WHO: DOOM COALITION 2
Rubber lovers bounce back
released OUT NOW! 230 minutes | CD/ download
Publisher Big Finish
As far as Who villains go, it’s difficult to get more obscure than the Voord, the rubbersuited aliens who only notched up one on- screen appearance in 1964 adventure “The Keys Of Marinus”. Now, in the wake of their role in last year’s Paul Cornell- written comic miniseries Four Doctors, the Voord make another comeback in the first instalment of Doom Coalition 2, Big Finish’s latest set.
Once again, it’s a quartet of interlinked stories, which follow the Eighth Doctor ( Paul McGann) and companions Liv Chenka ( Nicola Walker) and Helen Sinclair ( Hattie Morahan) in the aftermath of their initial confrontation with the Eleven ( Mark Bonnar), a demented Time Lord supervillain with multiple personalities. This time, the time- travellers are pitched against an even greater galaxy- threatening adversary with a mysterious link to the Eleven.
The set starts well, with the two opening episodes pulling off a combination of action, intrigue and sparky dialogue. McGann is on excellent form in Voord- related adventure “Beachhead”, while episode two – “Scenes From Her Life” – sets up interesting stakes for the rest of the saga. Unfortunately, final episodes “The Gift” and “The Sonomancer” don’t quite pay this off, delivering fun but occasionally clunky adventures dragged down by excessive melodrama.
It’s good to hear Alex Kingston back as River Song in the final episode, although the overconvoluted plotting necessary to prevent River and the Eighth Doctor meeting hampers the story. It also doesn’t help that the Eleven is too cartoonish to be a genuinely intimidating villain. With two more Doom Coalition- related sets to go, let’s hope Big Finish can pull the saga back into shape for a rousing finish.
Amicus Productions, who made the two ’ 60s Who movies with Peter Cushing, also optioned “The Keys Of Marinus”.