Big Finish In Review: Doctor Who: Moonflesh

Synopsis: One wouldn’t normally expect to find elephants, gorillas and rhinoceroses roaming free in Suffolk in the year 1911. One wouldn’t normally expect to find an extra-dimensional police box...

Moonflesh-cover

Synopsis: One wouldn’t normally expect to find elephants, gorillas and rhinoceroses roaming free in Suffolk in the year 1911. One wouldn’t normally expect to find an extra-dimensional police box at the same time/space location either. Two aliens, named the Doctor and Nyssa, exit said box, only to find themselves pursued by a hungry lioness – for they’ve landed in the private hunting grounds of the famous explorer Nathaniel Whitlock, who’s brought together a motley group of friends and acquaintances for a weekend’s shooting.

But one of Whitlock’s guests isn’t all they seem. One of them wants the secrets of the Moonflesh, the mystic mineral looked after by Whitlock’s retainer, a Native American known as Silver Crow. Because the Moonflesh is reputed to have the power to call down spirits from another realm

….and soon, the hunters will become the hunted.

Review: This is a lovely historical set during a hunting party in 1911. The Fifth Doctor and Nyssa, played wonderfully as ever by Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton, encounter the standard set of hunting party guests. These English hunting party guests are mined for their stock tropes by actors who know what they’re doing and do it with gusto. That wasn’t the selling point for me, however. The selling point was the story line which mixed alien possession with Lakota Sioux mythology. The writer, Mark Morris, ably blended a standard Doctor Who plot with actual stories, figures, and rituals, including Rabbit Boy and the Ghost Dance.

Unfortunately, I have one unavoidable complaint. Silver Crow isn’t played by a Native American actor. According to behind-the-scenes interviews on the second disc, John Banks is an accomplished voice actor who did research for the role, which included studying Native American cadence and inflection. While I applaud him for his dedication, I (an American originally from Arizona) found his performance somewhat jarring.

I give Moonflesh 4.5 out of 5.

 

Score: 4/5

Written By: Raissa Devereux

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.

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