Review: Big Finish: Treasure Island

  Synopsis: Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight! When young Jim Hawkins unexpectedly inherits a treasure map, he little knows what adventures await him. Pursued by pirates, betrayed by...

Treasure-Island-cover

 

Synopsis: Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!

When young Jim Hawkins unexpectedly inherits a treasure map, he little knows what adventures await him. Pursued by pirates, betrayed by friends and beset by skulduggery, Jim must brave high seas and low cunning before he reaches the shores of Treasure Island.

His fellow treasure-hunters include the inflexible Captain Smollett, the indefatigable Doctor Livesey and the irrepressible Squire Trelawney. And then there’s the ship’s cook: a seafaring man with one leg who goes by the name of Long John Silver…

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic adventure is brought thrillingly to life in this brand new full-cast audiobook adaptation.

Review: I’ve never read Treasure Island or experienced any adaptations of it. Instead of pirate ships, I spent my childhood watching monster movies and haunted house tales on screens in the rec rooms aboard starships. When I was Jim Hawkins age, I graduated to the Hinchcliffe era Tardis. I gravitated to this production, because the Hinchcliffe era Doctor, Tom Baker, was playing the central pirate from a novel by the author of The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which I have read.

Given my frame of reference, I realized I had to approach the story differently than many would. First, I had to use the magic of audio to transport the Hispaniola to an alien sea. Then, I had to imagine Jim Hawkins as the sort of boy Sarah Jane Smith would’ve befriended, if there had been any women in the story. Next, I had to imagine Tom Baker, not as the Fourth Doctor, but as the Meddling Monk. Those feats of the mind accomplished, I had a marvelous time.

Barnaby Edwards wrote and directed this adaption. He also acted in it, taking the role of Squire Trelawney. According to the behind-the-scenes interviews on the third disc, Edwards applied the same thorough and loving process he used for Big Finish’s The Phantom of the Opera. The effort is evident in every second of the recording. Moreover, the rest of the cast put in the same level of effort and feeling. Their joy is infectious, and it’s obvious that Treasure Island was a part of their childhoods.

This brings me to Tom Baker. According to interviews on the third disc, he played Long John Silver on stage years ago and was instrumental in getting this version put together in order to reprise the role. This audio is worth getting just for his performance throughout and his behind-the-scenes material. Material, I might add, that includes Baker voicing Silver’s parrot, Captain Flint, with relish.

I give Big Finish another 5 out of 5 and look forward to the next entry in their Classics range.

Score 5/5

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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