In Review: Big Finish: The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield Volume 02: The Triumph of Sutekh

This latest series of Bernice Summerfield Adventures sees her once again teaming with the 7th Doctor and Ace to take on the Egyptian God Of Death Sutekh or as Ace rightly points out. "Dog Face".

Synopsis: This latest series of Bernice Summerfield Adventures sees her once again teaming with the 7th Doctor and Ace to take on the Egyptian God Of Death Sutekh or as Ace rightly points out. “Dog Face”.

1) The Pyramid of Sutekh by Guy Adams

Professor Bernice Summerfield, archaeologist and adventurer, has discovered a Pyramid on Mars. Inside she finds her old friend the Doctor is fighting a battle with the Osiran God Sutekh. One he is losing.

2) The Vaults of Osiris by Justin Richards

Egypt in 2015 is an unsettled place. The trade in stolen antiquities is a murky one, and it’s about to get a whole lot worse, as an ancient and terrible force enters the market.

3) The Eye of Horus by James Goss

Ancient Egypt is enjoying a golden age – peace, prosperity and a powerful Pharaoh. But something is moving through the sands. A forgotten god requests an invite to the feast.

4) The Tears of Isis by Una McCormack

Russell Courtland prophesied the world would end on Tuesday. No-one was more surprised than he was when it did.

Review: This is the first of several Big Finish exclusives this year, but perhaps this is the most anticipated for the fans of Classic ‘Doctor Who’ due to the fact that it is the first and only official sequel to the classic Tom Baker story ‘The Pyramids Of Mars’. And adding to the fangasms is the return of Gabriel Woolf as the evil Osiran.

The question I’m sure many our asking is was it worth the wait. The answer to that is yes.

The story gets off to a cracking start as we find Bernie played wonderfully by none other than Lisa Bowerman at an archeological dig in the middle of a war zone on Mars. Apparently the warring factions have accidentally uncovered an ancient artifact, which of course is just enough to capture the curiosity of a certain archeologist. But as we all know curiosity is not very good for cats and the same applies to archeologist.

This opening story is pretty much Big Finish and Bernice Summerfield channeling the action of ‘Die Hard’ with the archeology and clever twists of ‘Doctor Who’ combined with a dash of ‘Indiana Jones’. But the real surprise is how the Doctor played by Sylvester McCoy is seemingly under the control of Sutekh who is on the rise after a long slumber.

The second story finds Ace played by Sophie Aldred and Bernie in a face against and through time to find a dangerous artifact, which in the wrong hands could spell the end of humanity and the rise of a certain genocidal Osirin. While this story didn’t half half the action and trills of the opening episode. It does see our favorite two time ladies begin their search in the 1940s and wind up in present day.

The real treat here is the moments where Bernice is having to cleverly try and negotiate for the artifact. There is some fantastic dialogue in what can only be described as a verbal game of poker between our heroes and a rather self serving collector of artifacts who has come to possess the item by nefarious means.  In fact the dialogue throughout all four stories is sharp and crisp with some genuinely funny one liners coming from Sophie Aldred as Ace.

The third story is for me perhaps the most intriguing because it gives us a clue as to what a modern day Osirin society would be like and clues us in on the politics and world views of such a society. We witness a peaceful society, which is having to deal with the pending threat of Sutekh who is on the rise.  The story also introduces us to Isis who winds up being a key player in the final episode.

The final part sees our adventures on a dying version of earth. Bernie, Ace and the Doctor get split up and while searching the wastelands Bernice encounters a cult led by the misguided and foolish Russell Courtland who has predicted the worlds end. It turns out that Courtland is not just a cult leader. He and his followers are the needed anchor point to humanity that Sutekh needs in order to bring about earths death and utter destruction.

The resolution to this story is a really clever one and leaves the door open for Sutekh to return again if the folks at Big Finish can come up with a good enough story to use him in. Sylvestor McCoy’s scenes with Sutekh are compelling to listen to and Bernice and Ace’s roles in this story are truly exciting to the point that the listener will find themselves on the edge of their seats. It would have been fun to have Tom Baker’s fourth Doctor be the Doctor that we hear in the first episode, but that might have been an issue given that I don’t think Bernice Summerfield has met any of the other Doctors, but now that they’ve done one adventure with Sutekh there could always be the chance of him returning at some stage.

Not a single trope from Pyramids Of Mars was missed, which was great for us fans, but even better was the fact that we got to see Sutekh go up against Bernice and Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor who has a reputation for being a cunning strategic thinker.

The sound scapes in these stories are awesome. I particularly enjoyed the opening story on Mars for all of its action. At times it was damn right frightening.

All of these stories I can see being made into a feature film. The characters and voice actors were that convincing and the sound editing for the various backgrounds and places used in the stories provided more than enough for the listener to visualise what was going on in their heads.

9.7
Big Finish: The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield Volume 02: The Triumph of Sutekh
  • The return of Gabriel Woolf Sutekh
  • A brief cameo from Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor would have been fab. Other than that there is very little wrong with this set
  • Story
    9.5
  • Voice Acting
    10
  • Sound Editing
    10
  • Incidental Music
    9.0
  • Packaging
    10

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
One Comment
  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    15 June 2015 at 9:02 pm -

    Squeeee! This was awesome! This was the best medium for Woolfe’s return as it always was a voice role, and he’s too old to be subjected to the costume again, unless Sutekh was all CGI for filming.

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