In Review: Big Finish: Vienna: Retribution

I love having to pay attention to piece everything together and being surprised when I miss something that was right in front of me, because I’m rarely ever surprised anymore.

Synopsis: After setting up a detective agency with her partner Jexie Reagan, Vienna has left her dark past behind her. Together, they bring villains to justice and right wrongs. Together, they are a team. But all that changes when a woman is killed in cold blood and Vienna is charged with the murder.

Vienna is sent to a hellhole of a prison with no hope of parole or release. But not all is what it seems on board the Splinter. With no means to escape, and no idea who she can trust, can Vienna survive life on the inside?

Review: Writer Guy Adams changed the format for Vienna: Retribution. Instead of several interlinked stories, listeners got one three-part event. Adams used the expanded narrative to explore themes of penal correction, control, guilt, responsibility, identity, and more. He did all of this in a narrative that would have made Philip K. Dick proud.

More than that, Adams relied on one of my favorite writing techniques generally, which has been favored throughout the Vienna series. He turned seemingly incidental details introduced at the beginning of the story into significant plot points later on. I love having to pay attention to piece everything together and being surprised when I miss something that was right in front of me, because I’m rarely ever surprised anymore.

The great writing wouldn’t matter, though, without great actors. Chase Masterson and Samantha Béart put Vienna and Jexie through the wringer beautifully. Their performance layers had performance layers. The ladies were assisted by Colin McFarlane, who did a marvelous turn as the embodiment of corporate evil. Last, but certainly not least, the ever-awesome Annette Badland stole every scene she was in, establishing the stakes within this world.

Vienna: Retribution reminded me why this is one of my favorite Big Finish ranges. While waiting for the next outing, I encourage listeners to check out Masterson’s Extra Interview. In it, she discusses her efforts to link pop culture and social justice with the help of the United Nations. Like many, Masterson has come to appreciate the power of the genre community to not only love stories, but to live them as well.

You can purchase Vienna: Retribution here.

Written By: Guy Adams

Directed By: Scott Handcock


Chase Masterson (Vienna Salvatori), Samantha Béart (Jexie Reagan), Annette Badland (Mama Val), Samuel Harris (Ratz), Colin McFarlane (Rex Needle), Edward Harrison (Prosecutor Grover), Emma Cunniffe (Sharwell Ness), Adam Redmore (Judge / Drones), Alex Jordan (News Anchor, Drones, Prisoner, Police)

Producer: Cavan Scott

Line Producer: David Richardson

Executive Producers: Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

Big Finish: Vienna: Retribution
  • Story
  • Performances
  • Audio Production

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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