Review: Doctor Who – Nocturne

 Drwho Main Graphics Bf092 Nocturne Big“Dear Valued Big Finish customer,

Congratulations on your purchase of our latest audio play, Nocturne, starring Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Philip Olivier. To help us improve our customer service and future output, could you complete this brief survey and return it to us as soon as possible?

1 From the following list, please pick the thing you’d rather do most than have to listen to Nocturne again

a) Receive a pick axe to the base of your skull

b) Be tethered to an anthill while slathered in honey

c) Be fed one of your own limbs after having it removed by a chainsaw-wielding serial killer

2 Please suggest further uses for your Nocturne CDs

a) Turning them into throwing disks for Raston Warrior Robots

b) Coasters

c) Pimping our rides”

Plot (so tedious, I almost fell asleep, copying it from the Big Finish web site)

On the human colony planet Nocturne, there is suffering and blight, tragic symptoms of an ages-old war. Never the less, Nocturne is also one of the Doctor’s favourite places in all of time and space, because it is here that a late, great flowering of human art – the High Renaissance – is taking place.

He has been back here, many times. It is a place of music and art which he finds inspirational and uplifting. It is a place he wants to share with Ace and Hex. It’s always been a safe haven for him, a world of friends and laughter.

But with strict Martial Law imposed on the front-line city, and the brutal scourge of interstellar warfare vicing the system, how safe can anyone really be?

There is a note of death in the wild, midnight wind…

Is it any good?

So bad. So very, very bad. It’s been quite a while since I’ve actually had to endure an audio play (although since I’m in the middle of the latest Sapphire and Steel piece of awfulness, it’s once again oh so familiar to me). I kept looking at my iPod in growing horror as I realised that I’d been listening to the bloody thing for what seemed like hours and I was only on track six of 14.

It really is just awful. We have the Doctor’s new most favourite planet ever (now the Eye of Orion has fallen out of favour seemingly) under martial law. Why’s it his favourite? Don’t know. He just likes it. Despite the curfews, soldiers, etc. Okay. Sounds… inconsistent.

But oh dear! It’s being terrorised by a sound beast. Haven’t we already had that with Whispers of Terror? The fact they’re making audio plays seems to confuse the Big Finish producers: “Let’s make it about the medium. That’s terribly clever, isn’t it?” No. It’s not. I don’t remember too many Jon Pertwee stories being about the terrible Chromakey and Colour Separation Overlay beasts or the terrifying 16mm film worm.

How will they stop it? A vacuum? A pair of ear muffs? Who cares?

The script is awful. The dialogue is awful. The acting is truly terrible, although Sylvester McCoy is having one of his better days. The supposed insight into and character development of the Doctor is rubbish and will last about one episode, by previous standards.

Wretched. Don’t buy it. Please don’t buy it.

Listen to the trailer (Windows Media Player required)


The Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)

Ace (Sophie Aldred)

Hex (Philip Olivier)

Korbin Thessenger (Trevor Bannister)

Will Alloran (Paul David-Gough)

Lothar Ragpole (Eric Potts)

Lilian Dillane (Ann Rye)

Cate Reeney (Helen Kay)

Writer: Dan Abnett

Price: £14.99 (£15.50 international)