In Review: Big Finish Classics: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Purists rejoice!

Synopsis: After a tornado uproots her from her home in Kansas, Dorothy and her beloved dog Toto are whisked away to the strange and magical Land of Oz!

Landing in Munchkin Country, and accidentally killing the Wicked Witch of the East, Dorothy and Toto embark on a quest to find the only person who can help them return home: Oz, the Great and Terrible Wizard…

Setting off along the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, they quickly make new friends, including a Scarecrow, Tin Man and cowardly Lion, all of whom hope that Oz might help them in their own quests: to find brains, a heart and courage.

But not everyone is so welcoming. The Wicked Witch of the West has vowed revenge for the death of her sister, and she will do everything in her power to ensure that Dorothy never makes it back to Kansas…

Review: Purists rejoice! Marc Platt has adapted L. Frank Baum’s original novel. There are two good witches, silver shoes, kalidahs, flying monkey binding golden caps, china people, and more. To top things off, listeners are treated to two narrators whose identities I won’t spoil, except to say that the shift from him to her is masterfully handled.

The canon adaptation wouldn’t be worth the paper it’s printed on, however, without the performances to back it up. American expat Ally Doman was wonderful as Dorothy, and actually contrasting an American lead with British actors (who mined British stereotypes) was a great shorthand way to convey that she wasn’t in Kansas anymore. All of the supporting actors were marvelous, but I have to single out Stuart Milligan as Oz, Rachel Atkins as The Wicked Witch of the West, and Dan Starkey as the Winged Monkey Captain. Those three went to town and back again by the scenic route.

Producer Scott Handcock

Script Editor Scott Handcock

Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

Written By: L. Frank Baum, dramatised by Marc Platt

Directed By: Scott Handcock

Cast

Ally Doman (Dorothy Gale), Dan Bottomley (Scarecrow), Daniel Brocklebank (Tin Woodman), Alex Jordan (Cowardly Lion), Stuart Milligan (Oz), Rachel Atkins (The Wicked Witch of the West), Jacqueline King (The Good Witch of the North), Lizzie Hopley (Jinjur), Dan Starkey (Winged Monkey Captain)

10
Big Finish Classics: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • The whole thing
  • Nope
  • Script
    10
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

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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