In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Romance of Crime

Roberts and adapter John Dorney gave a fairly standard prison break with backstabbing and corruption tale a few Doctor Who twists.

Synopsis

The TARDIS brings the Doctor, Romana and K9 to the Rock of Judgement; a court, prison and place of execution built into a rocket-powered asteroid. When involved in an investigation by the system’s finest lawman, they find they must seek answers to some disturbing questions.

Review:  “The Romance of Crime” is the first of two stories in The Fourth Doctor By Gareth Roberts, Volume 1 (Limited Collector’s Edition) box set. I’ve never read the original novel by Gareth Roberts, preferring the wonderful fun of having the cast reprise their roles. I’ll be honest. It’s extremely difficult to objectively review any of these Fourth Doctor audios, because Tom Baker was my Doctor, but I’ll do my best.

Roberts and adapter John Dorney gave a fairly standard prison break with backstabbing and corruption tale a few Doctor Who twists. Indeed, it’s the Doctor Who elements that kept the story from being a bit boring. They gave Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, John Leeson, and the rest of the cast “City of Death” level one-liners and a scenery chewing, mass murdering villain — the sort of villain on which the franchise thrives. In one scene that typified the tone, K9’s circuits had been heroically overloaded (again), and Romana had to repair him. The prison’s Artist-In-Residence, Stokes, played wonderfully by Michael Troughton, took one look at the poor little guy and promptly labeled him a “Cubist dachshund.”

All in all, “The Romance of Crime” was a noir send up and performance showcase for Baker, Ward, Leeson, and a talented supporting cast. Director Nicholas Briggs really knew how to get this marvelous band fronted by Tom Baker to play at their best.

Written By: Gareth Roberts, adapted by John Dorney

Directed By: Nicholas Briggs

Cast

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana), John Leeson (K9)

Graham Seed (Pyerpoint), Miranda Raison (Margo/Xais), Phil Mulryne (Shom, Hogan, Ogron 6), Marcus Garvey (Frank Spiggot), Michael Troughton (Stokes), James Joyce (Zy, Ogron 5, Barman), Joshua Silver (Charlie Nisbett), John Dorney (Eddie Nisbett/Ogrons), Jane Slavin (Blakemore, Bailiff, Librarian)

9.7
In Review: Big Finish: Doctor Who: The Romance of Crime
  • Acting, Dialogue, Doctor Who Tropes
  • overall plot a pit tedious for my tastes
  • Acting
    10
  • Script
    9
  • Sound 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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