Oddly, the story I was most looking forward to in DOOM COALITION 2 (This Time It’s Personal) is the one I enjoyed the least. Yes, it’s the return of River Song. Alex Kingston does attack her role with her normal gusto in a way which makes the story burst with energy. Unfortunately, it seems to end up with almost too much energy. Maybe that is fitting for a tale about a planet exploding, but the result is chaotic. A loud, shouty, boom-boom tale which is more of a chore (and an endurance test to the ears) than a pleasure.
(I did wonder how Big Finish was going to get around TV’s Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead being very clearly signed as the first time The Doctor met River. How were they going to have earlier incarnations interact with her without messing up all we’ve seen? The answer is to not actually have them meet at all, which I can understand, but still feels like a cheat).
The others stories here, being a self-consciously Pertwee-esque alien invasion story; a gothic tale of space grotesques (with shades of The Doctor’s Wife) and a historical, were much more to my liking. All in all I think I enjoyed this volume more than the first, I just wish it hadn’t ended with such an assault on my eardrums.
There are flaws certainly, the primary one being that I’m still not sure what Helen Sinclair brings to the table as a companion. Liv Chenka I’m all on board with and I like her survivalist cynicism, but unless Helen’s arc is going somewhere, she will just be a companion who existed rather than one I engaged with for either good or bad.
Roll on, volume 3! I see River is on the cover again, so fingers crossed that Helen is given something to do and that Professor Song finds a way to speak to The Doctor. Both are needed.
Although obviously the next time I discuss DOCTOR WHO on this blog it will be in just under a week’s time to say goodbye to this man – who let’s not forget was actually asked to audition for the role of The Eighth Doctor.
I really am looking forward to the episode, and the arrival of Jodie Whittaker, but don’t want to say goodbye to P-Cap. It’s the very definition of a bittersweet feeling.
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