Synopsis: Over the years, UNIT has faced hundreds of extra-terrestrial threats. The Black Archive holds relics of many such encounters, and UNIT’s files are filled with reports of strange and dangerous aliens.
And sometimes, they come back.
Review: With UNIT — Revisitations, Big Finish does what it does best. Writers Chris Chapman, David K Barnes, and Roy Gill seamlessly bridge the gap between Classic and Modern Doctor Who.
“Hosts of the Wirrn” by Chris Chapman is a marvelous two-parter that’s exactly what listeners expect, and that’s the beauty of it. Sometimes the narrative path of least resistance is exactly the one to go down. The Wirrn are perfectly the Wirrn. What’s more, listeners get to hear what “The Ark in Space” would have been like as a Third Doctor story with an actual budget. I loved meeting Shana and Kirsty. I also really enjoyed the world-building Chapman does to flesh out our favorite space bugs.
“Breach of Trust” by David K Barnes featured an original alien species retroactively tied to Classic continuity. Barnes’ world-building is also impressive. The Kalvyri are like Enya dialed up to 11 with commentary on gender equality and the right to asylum adding layers to their harmonies. Allegory heavy as the tale is, though, I didn’t feel talked down to. The story plays out organically, and I hope we get follow-up on characters introduced.
Last, but not least, “Open the Box” by Roy Gill serves as a sequel to the Pertwee-era story “The Mind of Evil.” Pik-Sen Lim reprises her role of Doctor (formerly Captain) Chin Lee. Throughout her performance, she captures Chin Lee’s bittersweet optimism, tinged with post-traumatic stress disorder. I really felt the passage of decades and appreciated Kate’s acknowledgment that UNIT should have done more for her.
As ever, Jemma Redgrave, Ingrid Oliver, James Joyce, and Ramon Tikaram are pitch perfect in their regular roles. Their performances combined with Big Finish’s excellent scripts and production give UNIT both historical depth and the confidence to carry on far into the future.
- You can purchase UNIT — Revisitations here.
Written By: Chris Chapman, David K Barnes, Roy Gill
Directed By: Ken Bentley
Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart), Ingrid Oliver (Osgood), James Joyce (Captain Josh Carter), Ramon Tikaram (Colonel Shindi), Vineeta Rishi (Shana), Roger May (Sergeant Brundle / Simon / Fisherman / Jasper), Glen McCready (Marcus / Evans / Jacob), Katherine Senior (Kirsty / Private Sedgwick), Lizzie Stables (Vara / Norei), Richard Earl (Jarrack / Richard), Pik-Sen Lim (Doctor Chin Lee), Jonathan Christie (Seth Heyer), Simon Hepworth (Miles McLellan / Pandora). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Producer David Richardson
Script Editor Matt Fitton
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
- Audio Production10