Axis of Insanity (#56)

Big Finish Main Range

This tale circles around Erimem not being able to read, in a way. And never again is that ever mentioned in future adventures, that I can remember. It’s a clever conceit but it doesn’t really go anywhere, which seems to be the way this story goes. This audio seems to focus more on the weaknesses of the characters instead of their usual interest in their predicament. This one has a strange protagonist who just doesn’t have much power, just a scientist gone bad. It’s just, well, tedious. I never really feel that there’s any danger. I don’t know what about this audio isn’t effective but I never could get into it. I understand the axis and its purpose but why can’t these timelines just die out? They frequently let them, those kooky Time Lords. Then there would be no location for craziness and this just, well, slapdash adventure.

The writing’s not horrid. The acting’s the normal good stuff. The music and sound effects are up to the usual standard. It just doesn’t all hang together as it usually does. It ends up feeling like I’m watching a 1st Doctor adventure in black and white that’s been colorized. Splashes of color and adventure have been added to spice it up but it’s not as strange and amazing as the other, newer adventures. If this was done in 1965, with all the sound effects and just on audio even, it would’ve been astounding. As is, it just doesn’t have the bite and intrigue that the audios normally do. Even the TARDIS graveyard is just “beautiful.” How is it beautiful? It really does feel like I’m listening to the audio of a TV adventure. Whenever the Doctor meets another Time Lord, even dead ones like here, there’s always the intrigue that remains since the Time Lords don’t approve of him. But it’s all just not there. Like the story’s been carved down to the essentials and the extra bits that make it grand are on the screen in front of us. But it’s not there.

Peter Davison, Nicola Bryant, and Caroline Morris

Writer: Simon Furman

Director: G-Russell

Release: April 2004

Laura Vilensky 2019