Review: Doctor Who – The Skull of Sobek

The Skull of SobekZzzzz. Zzzzz.

Oh hello. I didn’t see you there. Was I asleep? Sorry.

Right. A review of the new Big Finish eighth Doctor/Lucie Miller play, The Skull of Sobek.

The Skull of Sobek is set…

Zzzz. Zzzz. Zzzz.

Oh, I’m sorry. Did I fall asleep just then? How rude. Let’s try again.

The Skull of Sobek is set…

Zzzz. Zzzz. Zzzz.

Oh dear. I did it again, didn’t I? Right. Back in a minute after I’ve knocked back a pack of Pro Plus. I can see this is the only way I’m going to be able to get through it.

Plot

Too much perfection’s dangerous.

On the isolated planet of Indigo 3, far out in the wastes of the Blue Desert, lies the Sanctuary of Imperfect Symmetry. It is a place of contemplation and reflection. It is also a place of death.

Something from another time, from another world, has found its way inside the hallowed walls. Something with a leathery hide, a long snout and sharp pointy teeth.

Tick tock. Here comes the crocodile…

Is it any good?

It’s a real snoozefest, I’m afraid. I was quite shocked to see all that talent going to waste. Art Malik and Barbara Flynn? Marc Platt? Barnaby Edwards? What’s going on here? How could it have fallen so flat?

The real problem is the script. It’s like a Dungeon & Dragons game written by a 12-year-old. As a result, the plot gets reduced to a load of actors putting on silly voices as they’re possessed by crocodiles – do they prepare for that in RADA? “Sheridan, darling, I know we’ve just been growing from small acorns into great big trees, but now I want you to be a crocodile. A fighting crocodile with a great big mace. Can you do that for me, darling? Lovely.”

Art and Barbara are hamming it up a bit, since they have nothing much to do except pretend to be religious as their sole defining character trait. Sheridan Smith has been entrusted with some recently recovered Ace lines, excavated from a time capsule buried in 1989: she does her best, but there’s only so much polish you can add to a t*rd. You can hear Paul McGann sniffing the ink on his pay cheque in between lines (of dialogue).

It’s just plain awful, bar the occasional titter-worthy line. Was Platt simply trying to go in the opposite direction from his normally colossally over-written stuff? Or did he only have a few days to write it in? Maybe he can’t cope with the short story length required of these Eighth Doctor/Lucie plays.

Still, the good thing about it is that since it’s only 55 minutes, you can listen to it on the train to the gym, on the cross-trainer behind someone who’s almost certainly Matt Berry, and during a 2k row, and you’ll be done and ready for a 5k run and Sapphire and Steel – Second Sight. What do you mean that last bit’s not a good thing?

How much should you have to pay? 

Actual price: £10.99 (£8.99 download)

Actual worth: £0 (don’t even bother stealing it)

Cast

Paul McGann (The Doctor)

Sheridan Smith (Lucie Miller)

Art Malik (Abbot Absolute)

Barbara Flynn (Sister Chalice)

Giles Watling (The Old Prince)

Sean Biggerstaff (Snabb)

Mikey O’Connor (Dannahill)

Katarina Olsson (Sister Thrift)

Writer: Marc Platt

Director: Barnaby Edwards

Available from Amazon.co.uk or from the progressively improving Big Finish web site

  • Ouch!!!!! As so often is the case, something awful often produces the most brilliant of reviews! I nearly spluttered my soup reading this bit especially:
    Sheridan Smith has been entrusted with some recently recovered Ace lines, excavated from a time capsule buried in 1989: she does her best, but there’s only so much polish you can add to a t*rd. You can hear Paul McGann sniffing the ink on his pay cheque in between lines (of dialogue).
    BWAH!

  • MediumRob

    You, my blog and soup, hey? You know you mustn’t eat it while you read here…

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